Project DISC

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Developing Innovations in School Cultivation (Project DISC)

Introduction

The participation of students and other young people in food production does not only enhance their taste behaviours and nutrition status, but can possibly lead to social transformation. Social conditions are complex and therefore positive attitude towards cultivation should be built within children that will in turn help to reverse the existing food shortages. The fact is that Project DISC aims at engaging School Children and the local youth communities in real life production of Clean, Safe and Fair food through working with schools and communities.



Background

Project DISC was started in 2006 by Mukiibi Edward to support the on going endeavors and innovations for some primary schools to produce clean, safe and fair food for the school going children in Uganda with a major vision of enhanced Nutrition for rural school children and change of attitude towards Agriculture among children and young people in schools since Cultivation has been used as a punishment for long.



Why Project DISC?

In Uganda and other African countries, cultivation has been used as a punishment for every offence committed at school by the children, which has made many young people hate Agriculture. Project DISC offers school children to develop intimate relation and love for more sustainable agricultural practices through developing their innovations. Very often this initiative has resulted into environmentally sound farming practices at schools, increased income through market access, Knowledge sharing and a comprehensive social agenda. The number of schools and the interest of the parents and teachers in school cultivation is increasing constantly


Basic Objectives

  1. Nutrition enhancement for children in rural schools
  2. Increase youth and children participation in production of clean, safe and fair food
  3. Dissemination of new farming techniques and agricultural knowledge in schools through networks



Mission

To strengthen the capacity of children and young people to produce and consume clean, safe and fair food



Major Activities in 2010

  1. New equipment and management of 31 school gardens, including an extension of the project to three schools in the Teso sub-region.
  2. Lessons for students on how to ‘home-compost’ and increase production of organic fertilizer for their gardens.
  3. Local Seed collection from all Project DISC school gardens to create a seed network/bank and preserve local seed varieties.
  4. Supply 4 Local Diary cows to four schools in order for the children to study Local animal husbandry and dairy production and while providing fresh milk to the school.
  5. Introduce four annual field trips - two each semester - to producers, food communities and agricultural fairs - for groups of students interesting in furthering their agricultural studies.
  6. Purchase new equipment for the cookery classroom facility used by students at Buiga Sunrise Pre- School.
  7. Deliver sensory education workshops for children and teachers in all Project DISC schools.
  8. Establish and manage a Community Food and Agriculture Library at Kisoga Central village in Mukono District, Ntenjeru Sub-county.
  9. Offer film nights on the theme of food and agriculture for students, teachers and parents on the last Saturday of each month.
  10. Introduce “food adventure research” projects to document all local Ugandan foods and Edible Insects of Uganda which are at a risk of Extinction.
  11. Organize a Project DISC seminar on traditional foods, targeting stakeholders in biodiversity conservation, children, teachers, parents, politicians and cultural institutions. This will be held in the town of Mukono.
  12. Hold a School Foods exhibition in Mukono in July 2010.
  13. Celebrate the harvest season with fruit and juice parties at all participating schools to interact more with the students and promote the project with the local media and authorities.

Major Goals of project DISC


DISC Organises the first Easter fruit and Juice Party

you must be very sure that these children will have fun. Isn't it. Right every child who finds fun in cultivation will have to reap Joy from his or her commitments under the mighty project DISC. It will be April 10th 2009 actually Good Friday not only for believers in Christ but also project DISC stakeholders. Every school is preparing what to show us as far as fruits and Juice preparation and consumption is concerned. Definately they have to eat and drink every thing they will prepare but they have to teach the colligues how they have done it. 12 schools have confirmed their participation, 120 children from nursary, primary and secondary schools and the community have confirmed their presence for the party and 52 parents and teachers will attend to be fed by their own children.

Schools to participate

  1. Buiga Sun rise pre-school Banda
  2. St Balikuddembe Primary School
  3. St Kizito Primary School
  4. Jesus Alive Education Center
  5. Bunyama Primary school
  6. Seeta Nazigo Primary School
  7. St Andrews Primary school
  8. Horizon Junior and High schools
  9. RASA Model primary School
  10. St Stephen primary school
  11. St Balikuddembe SECONDARY SCHOOL
  12. HELM Secondary School
  13. Progressive Secondary School
  14. Ntenjeru Parents High School

Fruits shortlisted for the Party (Local Varieties)

NB This list was compiled from the school contributions on which fruits to Include and it is updated every time children send in new fruits

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DISC Easter Fruit and Juice party 2009 (Just Take a Look and Have Fun :-)))

On April 10th 2009, 164 children and 17 teachers were served with fruits gathered from local gardens in form of an Easter Fruit and Juice party for all the children Involved in the production of Clean, Safe and fair food. This Memorable Nutritional event took place at Jesus Alive Education Center our beautiful Hosts and one of the pioneer schools in the project. This one day taste education workshop was organised by the project DISC coordinator Mr. Edward Mukiibi who also opened the workshop with a fruit and Juice nutritional talk to the children and teachers. The participants were school children and teachers from the 15 coverage schools including 10 nursery and primary schools, and five (5) secondary schools from 2 sub counties of Mukono District, Ntenjeru sub county National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) coordinator and a member of Uganda Action for Nutrition (UGAN) Mr. Christopher Wali Magala also attended and other Organizers and Zone leaders like Irene Nakijoba also the Area youth councillor to the Sub county council, Noel, Abdul, Roger who also works as the project assistant and Betty the students representative on the Convivium committee.

“The major aim of this workshop is to improve on our Children’s knowledge of Nutritional value and tastes of different fruits in the locality and to give an overview of sustainable agricultural production and development in Ugandan schools” Edward said in his Briefing remarks.. In his closing remarks, Mr. Wali Christopher thanked the team which sat down and came up with such an Innovation to boost Agriculture, food production and Nutrition in schools which has been lacking in most of the schools curricular and reminded the schools, teachers, parents to actively participate in project DISC and Slow food Mukono Convivium activities and become active members of the Convivium. He added that this was just the beginning of the strong cooperation between Ntenjeru Sub county NAADS programme and Project DISC.

Students from Saint Balikuddembe Senior School, Kisoga say “This party and workshop especially the practical part on tasting and actual eating and drinking expanded our knowledge on fruits and juice preparation, preservation and Nutritional value of most locally available fruits and their management options” Most of the participants previously had only the class room knowledge of these Nutritional parameters and had just heard of the some wild fruits their grand parents used to taste but had never actually tasted them any where until the project DISC Easter fruit and Juice party came to pass. “I think project DISC is one of the many ways through which the Slow food Mukono Convivium empowers school children and teachers to manage their own Gardens and produce food to supplement their school Lunches and breakfast. So as we move towards commercial agriculture for development, young people like you and me should learn how to cultivate and get such beautiful fruits while taking a good care of our mother earth. I thank slow food because it has empowered us to fight Domestic Violence against our mother Earth through such projects” said Irene Nakijoba, the chief organizer and Area youth Councillor in her conclusive words. At the end of the party the participants realised the relevance of food tasting and each group voluntarily shouted Cheeeeers!!! An innovative move from Buiga sunrise pre-school children guided by Noel their teacher. The children appealed to other schools to join the project and their parents to join the Convivium. Special thanks to our Dear School Head teachers, Children, Parents and teachers who made this possible, the Organizing committee, our Dear hosts (Jesus Alive Education Center Banda) Rorick Videos and Designs Uganda for the photo coverage and Ntenjeru Sub county NAADS programme.


In their words…

“These days my children do not want to miss school because they don’t want to miss the fruits given out at lunch time from their school garden.” Mrs. Viola Kato, Bunyama village resident

“Since our school joined project DISC, we have seen an increase in school attendance especially for agriculture class, and interest amongst the children has increased.” Mr. Kyobe John, agriculture teacher at St. Balikuddembe Senior School Mukono

“I tasted gooseberries for the first time today, and I have now decided to plant an even bigger garden at home than the one at school!” Nalweyiso Jovia, pupil at St. Andrew’s Primary School

“My son surprised me with a Luwombo (traditional sauce made from steamed chicken in Banana leaves) – a dish he learnt to prepare at Sun Rise Pre-School during the Project DISC workshop.” Ms Nakiberu Flavia, parent

“I just want to thank Project DISC and Slow Food for thinking about the future. We are getting old and children do not want to produce food. Then who will feed them and their children? Thank you for teaching these boys and girls to control food production. At least now I know they will have food.” Mr. Eliazari Magala, grandfather

Enjoy The Pictures Below


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CONTACT (For any Queries)

Mukiibi Edward The Coordinator Project DISC C/O Buiga Sunrise pre school PO. Box 4089 Kampala, Uganda Tel: +256 753 858 173 E mail: projectdisc@gmail.com, ediemukiibi@gmail.com




Appreciation

  1. Slow food slowfood website
  2. Buiga sunrise pre school Buiga Sunrise Websiteor school general website
  3. Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute, Kabanyolo (MUARIK)
  4. NAADS Mukono District
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