Monday, June 29, 2009


Would you like to volunteer at a Permaculture Food Security Project at a Primary School and Boarding House in rural Uganda?

To start ASAP, preferred length of stay 3-4 months.

This project has been going for close to a year (see and is at an exciting stage of its evolution. Major infrastructure work has been done this year and the emphasis is moving to productive food growing and the establishment of a chicken system to feed the children.

You will be privileged to be part of a very special school community.

There are three permaculture volunteers and two other volunteers from
Australia and the US.

You must
• have experience in growing food in a tropical climate
• be resilient enough to cope with basic living conditions
• be strong and fit for work in the garden
• appreciate and enjoy the value of another culture
• be keen to have an adventure!
Clean, simple accommodation and all meals are provided at a cost of
US$25 per week.

Come and join us!

Responses to

The Wet Season is Over

The Wet Season is over, the soil is rock hard again and the grasshopper-eating season is coming to an end. This Wet Season was generally regarded as unusual, intermittent, short, but it did at least fill all our water tanks, so we start the Dry Season with 90,000+ litres, of which the garden and fruit trees can claim about 70,000. It will be interesting to see how useful that volume proves to be, and just how systematic and careful we will need to be in our usage.

We ordered 70 day-old chickens a couple of days ago and hope to take delivery soon, by which time our chicken house and brooder will be ready to receive them…this is an exciting, nerve-wracking time and it will be great to have some little animals to look after. We have been planting vegetables and medicinal herbs around the Strawyards to aid in the chooks’ diet. They will lay 200+ eggs per week (we hope), enabling a valuable improvement in the kids diet. Thanks Permaculture North for your generous donation which has paid for the construction of the new shed!!

The almost-completed chicken house & strawyards

We (Kim and Clive) have also reached a milestone with the bandas (volunteer and visitor accommodation) and will be moving into the small Banda this weekend, after 6 months living in a room in the Presbytery next to the School. We hope to start a week-long housewarming party involving lots of pancakes, cups of tea and coffee, roasted G-nuts and cookies...

John Bosco & Bukenya in front of the almost-completed small Banda

The large banda, to accommodate up to 8 people at a time, is also underway, here is a shot of the roofing truss in progress.

The new Large Vegetable Garden is proving to be the major challenge at the moment with a shortage of labour being a real constraint. So, we have posted a volunteer opportunity for someone to join us who has experience in growing food in the tropics .. if you know anyone, please put them in touch with us. Currently the staff are fed vegetables everyday and the children twice a week (and we would obviously like to make this 7 days a week). We have been building a covered compost structure over the last month or so, and this is becoming a critical item to complete, as uncovered compost just doesn’t seem to work well – either it rains hard and soaks it, or the hot sun bakes it.

A welcome addition to the Sabina team recently has been Rico, assisting the school in a number of ways but also a keen member of our permaculture team when he is available. Here he is (in red) with John Bosco (in yellow), Andrew (kneeling) and Samuel assisting with watering of the fruit trees in the evening...Rico has agreed to help us out with that important task a few times each week.

We’ve enjoyed watching the children as they practice their singing and dancing for Education Week which began last Sunday. Usually Sabina does well in this competition and we will be cheering them along as they compete. Hope these pictures give you a sense of the colour and fun …

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wereba Mukwano

On May 30th we farewelled Mike Cloutier after around 8 months volunteering at Sabina. Mike will be remembered for his tireless commitment to planting and nurturing 180 fruit trees (mango, avocado, mulberry, loquat, custard apple, tangerine, pomegranate, Indian water berry, jackfruit, guava…) and for the friendships he developed with many of the children, who will miss him.

Mike joined the project in late 2008 as Dan and Amanda prepared to depart, and held down the role of Project Manager until January, then continued as a volunteer, also helping another project part-time. Mike was a smiling face in the dining area and was known for long late-night reading stints, as well as being prepared to eat ‘anything’.

Mike is travelling home to Canada via England, then he plans an extensive trip into the Arctic Circle, before he settles down to a steady job and raises a family (just kidding Mike).

Best wishes for your future permaculture projects and thanks for volunteering with us.