Farming is the main employer of almost 90% of our beneficiaries, consequently storage and marketing of the produce are still among the main challenges:
Currently the farm has the “seed bank”, where to store up to 48.000 kg of dried harvest. Since the presence of the seed bank, the income of the beneficiaries has improved from 5 to 25%. But the community is also producing vegetables like tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, carrots and greens. Some of these vegetables take 2-3 weeks before they are harvested, which gives farmers assurance of quick income generation. But, every member of the community is harvesting and therefore selling at the same time, being given by the traditional seasons, this brings to earn much less, because of an oversupply on the market.
To face this difficulty, four greenhouses have been installed at the farm, where to cultivate vegetables independently from the traditional seasons. Water comes from the farm’s solar water pump providing irrigation and the farm is able to produce throughout the year; demand goes up during dry periods when most of the other farmers are out of business. Nearly 100% of our beneficiaries grow maize in every season, but the concentrate on the traditional system of drying and milling. Fresh maize can make the farmer earn twice, if not thrice, the price compared to the dried one and by selling fresh products the farmer reduces his workload on post-harvest handling. The market for fresh maize is readily available in the nearby cities – the farm lies not far from the capital -, but the main challenge remains the transport. It is of fundamental importance to transport the products before they lose freshness. Depending on third parties for transportation, has not been reliable so far.
Maize takes between 120-145 days to grow, from planting to maturity. It requires about 220 days for the farmer to plant, harvest, dry and store in the seed bank. On average a family with one acre of farming land will be able to earn about 300 USD more from a single season with two planting patterns, if the product can be sold fresh.
The goal is to construct a cold room where farmers can store their perishable produce during the main season, keeping it fresh for selling for some months. The cold room will ensure that farmers are not exploited by forces of demand and supply: instead, farmers will benefit from 100% plus price whenever they decide to sell their products at a good cost. With a cold room it will be possible for the farm to market all the community farm products in hotels, restaurants and other grocery centres in nearby towns and cities. Instead of selling live pigs and chicken to butchers, it will be possible to train on dressing skills: a whole pig of 60kgcosts about 100 USD, yet the same pig after dressing it in butcher, will earn the middleman more than 100% profit.
With the same investment, the organization seeks to acquire a pick-up to have its reliable quick transportation of the produce from the farmers to the collection centre, before storing them in the cold room. The organization will arrange a market survey and identify potential consumers from hotel/restaurant levels, supermarkets and grocery dealers within the cities and towns around. They will handle all transportation of the produce on behalf of the community. This will mean to eliminate the middlemen and increase therefore the earnings from the produce. E.g. an egg tray of 30 eggs costs 2,27 USD at the local market, twenty miles away it costs 3,5 USD. Transport will also open gates to the farmers to deal directly with final consumers like hotels, restaurants and grocery canters. SDF will contribute with 50% of the cost of the pickup.
A wire mesh fence will be installed to secure the green houses.
The farm will also train its last batch of members waiting on the list in skills of modern agriculture. The Demonstration Farm will also give piglets and kroiler chicken to households in March. The community must be trained on the importance of maintaining our product market supply. The SDF will bring experts who will portion the community into producing zones where production can be controlled. This will help in controlling and determining the capacity the cold room can accommodate in terms of kilograms.
BUDGET: 30.900 Euros for 2016
When one is good at so many different things it is likely that one will be involved in organizing, arranging, planning and more. That's the case of Nicolò. For our foundation he is in in charge of fund raising events: if there is a meeting, an evening or a dinner to organize as it should be, he knows how.
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Davide is project coordinator of ISP… in Africa. In Uganda since always, he has lived the tragic years of guerrilla, revolutions, Kalashnikov and hunger side by side with the locals. His efficiency is reassuring. He lives in Kampala with Giulia, his wife and little Leonardo, the second one is on his way.
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Michil, thanks to him, the foundation project has been born. In 2007, together with his family, he brought the foundation to life and made its work possible. His commitment is great, he has got to know the Tibetan people, he has approached its thoughts. Michil’s contribution is of unexhausted creativity.
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Elide is responsible for the Costa Family Foundation o.n.l.u.s. since 2011. She is silent, her eyes are sprightly, her attitude sweet. But don’t get fooled: she is very determined and admonishes us when the work is not properly done. Elide doesn’t like to appear, but as nobody else she manages to move the public.
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Alessandro is project coordinator for ISP… in Africa for Karamoja. He follows the projects directly, and makes them blossom. But his main strength, is listening to the local community, translate their needs and make possibilities out of them. He lives in Moroto with his karimojong wife Florence and the two children.
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Joe follows the foundation since its birth in 2007. She is the mother hand which guides us gently and with great sensibility. Her advices are precious, her look honest. Twice she has been to India visiting our projects. She is responsible of the foundations press office and communication.
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In 2011 sister Patrizia has got here by chance, she was sent by the Providence to enrich our souls with tales of life. Together with Maristella, in Togo since thirty years already, she follows the school project there. When she happens to be in Italy though, she always finds the time to pop by to say hello.
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Francesco De Pasquale
Francesco is development director at ISP in Karamoja and he is our person in place to follow the school projects with accuracy and great commitment. His joie de vivre and passion for what he does, is contagious even through email.
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Hannington Kakembo is the founder of the Ssezibwa Demonstration Farm in Mukono, Uganda. He follows his project, by the community for the community, with great commitment and passion, but most of all with transparency and efficiency.
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Ludwig is the foundation’s auditor. Our actions pass through his attentive control. He follows us with enthusiasm and commitment not only for the accounting aspects. He concretizes our ideas, our projects, our activity in numbers.
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Pio took a big commitment: he'll help Elide in controlling the numbers that turn around the Foundation. Budget, funding, revenues, loans are all figures important figures that have to be monitored regularly. Pio is that good, that he's also involved in writing down the annual report of the projects we endorse in Uganda.
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Lobsang Tsomo is project manager at the Tibetan Children’s Village in India. She is Tibetan, escaped from his oppressed homeland looking for freedom of expression and life. Thanks to her, the distance between here and the Tibetan people exiled in India, is less huge and richer on possibilities.
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Andy is an adventurer. Six months spent in India alone, several trips in far lands have formed him. He likes jokes and has always one ready for you. At the back-office of the Hotel La Perla Andy and Fabian are the perfect duo. At the end of October 2016, he has been to Uganda for the inspection of the projects. His critical spirit and enthusiasm, have brought home the will to improve and help even further.
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Manuel takes care of the dialogue with the Tibetan Children’s Village. He follows our Tibetan projects. During his trips to India, he has got to know the children of the Tibetan peoples in exile developing a strong and honest relationship to them. When not on the road, he is the creative director of our meetings.
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Francesco Ricci is from Modena, since years he is active in company and social communication. To the foundation he offers his time and his words, rich on honesty and joy for life.
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His happiness is contagious, his advices precious. Daniele is managing the fund raising at Insieme si può… but his commitment goes well beyond. Together with him and Piergiorgio, in 2012 we have started our two green projects in Uganda. Daniele is a honest hand to hold in moments of necessity.
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Merch follows the practical and less practical aspects, like bureaucracy, organization, fund raising. He is a tireless resource of ideas and like magic, from small thoughts, he gives birth to great projects. From his trips to India and Uganda, he has come back richer. Richer on thoughts.
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Lisa follows our donators with attention. She screens all the donations with precision, before they arrive entire and untouched to the ones in need. In 2012 Lisa, together with Stefan and Paolo, has been to Togo visiting sister Patrizia and Maristella. There she has lived the sustained children’s smile.
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Brigitte von Imhof
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Born in Munich, for many years Brigitte has been chef-reporter for the travel magazine “abenteuer und reisen”. During a work trip to Alaska, she got to know his husband Chris, who “at the end of the world” has created the biggest ski-resort. Now she works as a free journalist between these two worlds.