ROTARY DISTRICT 9980, in New Zealand’s South Island, is the International Sponsor for the Lugo/Busukuma “Adopt a Village” project in Uganda, with the Host Sponsor being the Rotary Club of Kololo-Kampala, Uganda.

“Adopt a Village” projects focused on investing in local community members so they can work together to make improvements in their village.

The role of International Sponsors is to support and encourage Rotarians and community members to make positive changes in their communities. “Those living in Lugo are experts in their own community needs, and their actions will drive the process of improvement,” explains Candace Bangura, assistant governor of District 9980.

“Before this project began, Lugo community members participated in an extensive community assessment, which led directly to the design of the project.”

Leadership from the Lugo Farmers Association particularly informed the project, with members working diligently with the project committee from the Rotary Club of Kololo-Kampala to plan and implement the project components.

With a budget of US$89,727, the project aims to address a range of needs that will benefit the whole community, including:

  • Leadership training at the beginning of the project, to upskill local people and organise how they can lead the various components;
  • Water needs, through boreholes, protecting spring wells and constructing a water harvester at the Lugo school;
  • Health needs, via the distribution of mosquito nets and health education;
  • Education needs, by providing desks and equipping the school library;
  • Employment needs, by providing sewing machines and tailoring training; heifers and training from a veterinarian. Currently, leadership, farming and community health volunteer training has been completed, with the remaining components well underway.

Investment in skill-building forms the core sustainability of the Adopt a Village project, as skills gained by Lugo community members can be used to further improve the community into the future. One such example is the training provided in sewing and tailoring, designed to prepare members of the Lugo/Busukuma community with the skills and confidence to start their own tailoring businesses.

Chrisams Designs Ltd, a medium-sized enterprise located at the Ugandan market, guided participants through all aspects of the industry — from sewing machine maintenance, pattern drafting and tailoring, to entrepreneurship and business skills, like record-keeping, customer care and marketing.

A number of clubs in District 9980 are involved with the Adopt a Village project, including the Rotary Clubs of Gore, Balclutha, Invercargill, Invercargill North, Dunedin Central and Winton.

Club and district funds were contributed from both Uganda and New Zealand to finance the project, and The Rotary Foundation matched those contributions with a Global Grant.

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