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Love Mercy

Seeding Safe Futures

Seeding Safe Futures

Uganda is currently experiencing significant economic slowdowns as a result of COVID-19 and is one of the low-to-middle income countries predicted to be harde...

international
01/09/2020 > 01/03/2021

FIELD OF INTEREST

  • Tackling Inequality - Community and economic development
  • Tackling Inequality - Health and wellbeing

TARGET POPULATION

  • Women and girls
  • People experiencing socio-economic disadvantage or vulnerability

PROJECT SUMMARY

Uganda is currently experiencing significant economic slowdowns as a result of COVID-19 and is one of the low-to-middle income countries predicted to be hardest hit by the pandemic. This is due to rapidly increasing rates of COVID-19 across Africa coupled with Uganda’s vulnerable economy and under-resourced health system. As a direct consequence, Uganda is facing even higher rates of child and maternal mortality, livelihood losses, reduced access to food and an overwhelmed health system.

Love Mercy seeks to respond to and mitigate these impacts on some of the most impoverished and vulnerable communities in Northern Uganda. This will be achieved by leveraging the organisation’s existing projects and relationships on the ground to safeguard livelihoods and access to healthcare and water for Northern Ugandan women, their households, and their communities.

The requested funding will scale Love Mercy’s evidence-based Cents for Seeds program to reach an additional 8,000 vulnerable women across the Lira, Otuke and Aleptong districts, providing them with farming support through access to seeds, fertilisers and agricultural education. This will support these women to generate ongoing incomes and food security for their families and communities during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

Emergency credit will also be made available through Love Mercy’s existing Village Savings and Loans (VSLA) groups. The requested funding will enable 1,000 women vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 to receive a loan of AU$10 each to be used for critical and lifesaving activities, including drilling and maintenance of boreholes and emergency medical treatment.

PROJECT OUTCOMES

The aim of the proposed project is to respond to the loss of income and health impacts caused by COVID-19 by safeguard livelihoods and access to healthcare and water for the most vulnerable Northern Ugandans. This will be achieved through the following interlinked objectives:
1) 8,000 women provided with farming support including seeds, fertilisers, farming and financial literacy training, and farming tools.

2) 1,000 vulnerable women and families provided with $10 (AUD) emergency credit to enable access to emergency healthcare or to build/repair boreholes.

The above outcomes will be measured as part of Love Mercy’s ongoing monitoring and evaluation (M&E), in which Love Mercy engages Huber Social, an Australian M&E specialist organisation to conduct independent annual evaluations of organisational projects. These evaluations measure overall wellbeing, including their social, emotional, and physical wellbeing in beneficiaries; as well as their capabilities and access to opportunities. Measurement of the two outcomes will also incorporate collection of data by Love Mercy’s team on the ground to assess various indicators of success, such as % increases in crop yields, kilograms of seeds sold and stored, income earned and saved; as well as the number of community members who have increased access healthcare services and clean water sources. Case studies will also be generated to learn about beneficiary experiences and identify needs for future interventions.

Love Mercy empowers Northern Ugandan women to overcome poverty and reignite a thriving agricultural society following decades of civil war. Through innovative and simple solutions that increase access to education, healthcare, food security and income generation, the organisation transform the capacity of woman to support themselves, their families, and their communities. Love Mercy’s programming in rural Lira, Otuke and Aleptong, three of the five most impoverished Ugandan districts includes:

Cents For Seeds (CFS): a program which loans women 30kg of seed and provides specialised agricultural training and farming tools. Each women’s crop, once planted and harvested, generates 150kg of seeds, and once their loan has been paid off equates to 130kg+ of excess seeds for each participant’s ongoing food and income security. This creates a perpetual seed loan cycle that benefits an exponentially growing number of women and their households each year.

Village Savings and Loans Groups: CFS participants are empowered to capitalise on the seed loans through intensive financial literacy training and support in establishing weekly savings, with interest distributed on a biannual basis.

Irrigation and safe water projects: Bore hole drilling provides CFS communities with access to clean and safe water. Love Mercy’s irrigation projects mitigate the impacts of climate change and drought on crops, providing CFS participants with ongoing food and income security.

Kristina Health Centre (KHC): With the nearest referral hospital 72km away, the KHC provides accessible primary health services and maternity care, ensuring the continued health of local communities so that they can overcome poverty.

BUDGET BREAKDOWN

TOTAL BUDGET: $37,500
FUNDING
Funding sourceAmount
Private Donations to Love Mercy$22,500
EXPENSES
Expense itemAmount
Purchase of sesame and soya seeds for seed micro-loans$10,000
Purchase of farming tools for 8000 women$15,000
Agricultural and financial literacy training for 8000 women$2,500
1,000 x $,1000 emergency credit loans$10,000

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