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What Can We Learn From the Past?

Born 13th May 1920, Cynthia Sampson, inspiration behind Safe World for Women, wrote copious notes about conflict and peace relating to the first half of the 20th century - but still relevant today....

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OrchardSafe World Field Trip to the orchard in Kaabong

AWARE Uganda Orchard Project

About the Project


AWARE Uganda - a women's NGO in north-east Uganda on the border of Southern Sudan and Kenya - was founded more than 25 years ago.

Tree-planting was one of the very first projects.

The women acquired various seeds which included fruit trees such as mangoes, orange, guava, jackfruit, tangarines, passion fruit, pawpaw, and they acquired land of about 10,000 square metres.

The women's group planted the seeds. A few of the seedlings survived and grew into trees. However, in the semi-desert environment of Kaabong, it is a constant struggle to keep the trees alive and productive.

With minimal outside help or agricultural assistance, the women have managed to keep some of the trees alive and have persisited in planting further seedlings.

Visit by Safe World

Safe World founder, Chris Crowstaff, visited the orchard in the summer of 2009. At the time there had been no rain for 2 years. Even the previously productive trees had stopped giving fruit, apart from a few Guavas.

AWARE Uganda founder, Grace Loumo, remembered how - in previous years - the orchard had supplied much-needed fruit, especially oranges, to the local hospital, as well as meeting the needs of AWARE members and their families. But now all the orange trees were barren.

Digging for wadrought-treeter in the dry river-bed

The women have to walk about 2 kilometres to collect water for the trees, especially during the dry season. The dry season lasts for seven months and sometimes longer, since Karamoja only experiences one rainy season a year at the most. Some years there is no rain. The women and men dig the sand in the river-bed for water for the orchard.

Security is a huge issue

Fruit is so scarce in Kaabong that, when the few fruits ripen there is stiff competition from the people and animals in the neighbourhood and much of the fruit disappears before the women and children could harvest it.

Kaabong is still primarily a warrior region. The warrior mindset, together with abject poverty, means that valuable commodities need to be carefully secured and guarded.

There is often little or no fruit in the shops in Kaabong and when fruit is brought in from elsewhere it is prohibitively expensive for the majority of the community. And yet fruit provides life-saving nutrients in such an arid environment.


The members of AWARE Uganda appeal for help to drill a bore hole in the orchard, provide irrigation pipes and a storage facility for water, and seed funding to purchase fertilizers and pay for security guards' wages and a fence to protect the fruits.

This will give the fruit trees the best possible chance and will help to improve the health of the women and children of AWARE Uganda considerably, in addition to helping the members to resume a small-scale fruit-selling industry.


Project target is £19,000.

90.2% of the target amount will go to AWARE Uganda towards the cost of bore hole, irrigation equipment, storage tank, fertilizers, secure fencing and gates and security gards.

9.8% will go towards cost of monetary transfer and administration costs of The Safe World International Foundation.

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