Jun 2011 17

GRG group invests in bulls with new income

Posted in News

A GRG group in Palaro, made up of LRA former child soldiers and community members, have used profits from their GRG communal farming projects to purchase two bulls. The bulls will enable them to farm more productively and increase efficiency, and local members were very proud of their purchase, something they had dreamed of for years. At the price of 300,000 shillings each (125 US), the bulls are a significant investment for the village, located about an hour’s drive outside of Gulu.

According to community members, these are the first bulls that the village has owned since before the 20-year conflict with the LRA. The group members were proud to show their new livestock to GRG staff members, and commented on the significance of the purchase.

Richard Okumu, information officer for GRG’s Palaro B group said, “The most important value is that we won’t have to dig using our hands anymore. We can just plow [fields with the bulls]… we can cover much more land this way.” Before purchasing the bulls, land was cleared by hand and plowed using only hand hoes.

GRG has worked with returnees and non-returnees in Palaro for four years, providing skills training and conflict resolution support to group members. Their decision and ability to purchase bulls independently represents a significant step towards self- sufficiency and an important achievement for GRG’s programs. Rather than being directed on how to invest profits from livelihood programs, group members retain local ownership of the projects themselves and now have the skills and knowledge to pursue new initiatives on their own.

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