Noelina, the FMNR child champion in Nalweyo (Uganda)

June 16, 2015

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This story is part of the FMNR Annual Report 2014 for Uganda

One of the schools involved in FMNR is Nalweyo Primary school in Kibaale District. Among the pupils in this school is Noelina, an FMNR advocate who has taken FMNR to her household and neighborhood.

“I learnt about FMNR when I joined the environmental club in my school. We have an FMNR demonstration garden where we prune trees twice a month. Using the skills I learnt, one day I went home and I stopped my mother from cutting or burning any tree stump that is on our land. I told her that she should rather start pruning the trees”. She continues, “Now my role at home is to make sure that I take care of stumps by pruning them. I am motivated to do this because there is scarcity of wood at home and also the drought periods are long.

Noelina has proved that tree stumps can regenerate into trees when nurtured by pruning and protecting.

Noelina’s mother confirmed that; initially when her daughter stopped her from destroying tree stumps, she disagreed with her for fear that the trees would out compete her crops. But Noelina was persistent and even went ahead to tell her about the importance of trees. In appreciation she says

“For sure if it was not for Noelina, all these trees that you see here would not have existed”. We have so far protected and regenerated 60 tree stumps across our four acre piece of land. Out of the trees protected I harvested 15 poles for building my kitchen. With her presence here cutting trees can’t happen”.

Noelina’s mother Resty acknowledges that the use of herbs has become popular as a complementary approach of modern medicine in treating ailments

Beyond enjoying the benefits of harvesting trees, Noelina’s family has allotted 0.2 acres for regenerating medicinal trees and herbs. These trees serve the village. “In this village many people come here to get medicine to cure diseases of their children. I also teach people how to use the herbs and instruct them to grow the trees at their homes”says Resty.

Noelina wrote the best essay in her school during competitions organized by the project this year and she got a solar lamp as a prize. “The solar lamp that I received increased my passion to conserve the environment and to develop my career in the same field. I have even gone ahead to convince fellow children (10 girls and 5 boys) as well as neighbors (5 households) about FMNR and the importance of trees”. Noelina together with children from other schools have participated on a radio talk show sponsored by the FMNR project, to sensitize people of Kibaale District about the role of children in conserving the environment.

Overall, across the FMNR project sites, output monitoring records show evidence of use of skills acquired through FMNR trainings among teachers and children.

Cotilda Nakyeyune is World Vision Uganda Project Coordinator for the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) project, part of the DFAT funded multi-country FMNR for East Africa project.