Economic Development

The Batwa communities are the poorest inhabitants in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They lack basic needs, including food, clothes, and shelter. They face several challenges as a result of poverty. For instance; Very few Batwa attend school, resorting to begging in trading centers. Many young girls indulge in sex work for survival, while adult men and some women have resorted to alcoholism to forget the problems at hand. FSDA will initiate community-led projects and help the Batwa people to identify, learn and embrace business opportunities for their economic empowerment.

Economic Empowerment (Agriculture and Agribusiness Development, Small Business Development services and support (SBDSS), Financial literacy and Village Savings and  Loan Associations (VSLAs). FSDA supports selected Batwa households by;

  1. Facilitating households to engage in agriculture as a business using Farmer Field School (FFS) and Farmer Market School (FMS) approaches encourage smallholder farmers to make informed choices on crop selection based on the availability of the market and profitability of the enterprise and promoting Farmer Market. The organization trains and supports linkages with value-added actors where farmers can get higher pay from their produce.  Starting such an agribusiness venture costs $230, including training and inputs.
  2. Training participants in starting and or improving individual and or households businesses for financial independence and self-reliance. FSDA supports the targeted participants with training and start-up package (in-kind or financial). FSDA field assistants/partners provide further coaching and mentoring of the business start-up participants for at least 12 months from the start of the project to ensure best business practice application, including record keeping. A household business start-up costs $250, including training.
  3. Inculcating financial literacy skills and a culture of saving and local resource mobilization, FSDA supports the establishment of Village Savings and Loan Associations which work as centers of learning financial discipline and growth with 100% self-governance. FSDA mainly provides training and start-up inputs such as record books, a saving box and padlocks.

Education (Adult literacy, elementary education and Technical, Vocation & Education Training (TVET). In Uganda, barely 10% of Batwa children enrolled in school due to a lack of basic needs such as books, pens, school fees, and uniforms. Therefore, Batwa Freedom and Security Development Agency strive to improve Batwa’s access to education by:

  1. They provided adult education to organized community participants to gain literacy and life skills necessary for effective participation in development programs in their communities.
  2. Sponsoring promising and committed children and youth to attend elementary and TVET schools so that they can compete for and access employment opportunities with required qualifications. The selection of students follows a participatory process with clear criteria.
  3. We are providing educational supplies, including uniforms, to selected Batwa children and schools.

Environmental protection and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) activities

Cognizant of the fact that Batwa people cannot be completely separated from the environment as they continue to live with the nostalgia of their forest life besides the reality that they live in very steep slopes of Southwest Uganda, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Northwest parts of Rwanda, BFSDA is committed to supporting them to preserve the environment and protect the soils from washing downhill. Tree planting and terracing the land using economic plants is part and parcel of all programming to avoid the occurrence and effects of landslides and mudslides, which have become a regular occurrence in the region.