“Go and do something on that land.” Inspired by these words from his father, Stuart set up the Kawumu Training Center for Youth on his family property, where his staff of six teaches agriculture to young people. They employ integrated farming techniques such as intercropping bananas, eggplant and cassava to maximize use of space since each crop matures at different times, and control insects through the application of pepper, ash or fermented urine. The center also maintains year round fish ponds. On the side of vocational training they run the Awa Minami Tailoring School which was established in partnership with Awa Minami High School in Tateyama City Japan. In recognition of 20 years of friendship and mutual cooperation between the people of Tateyama and Uganda, the Awa Cultural Heritage Forum recently awarded Stuart with a bronze statue of a Japanese High School student.
Stuart with statue awarded by the Awa Cultural Heritage Forum for 20 years of friendship and cooperation between the people of Tateyama City in Japan and the people of Uganda / Awa Minami Tailoring School
The Kawumu Center is one of several projects managed under the Consciousness Uganda Foundation, of which Stuart is the director. Another project is happening in the town of Kitalya with a public primary school of about 350 students. There, children receive a school lunch – a cup of ‘posho’ or corn porridge, and learn how to grow corn, papaya, and different kinds of vegetables. The children also care for baby chicks and goats that provide milk. At special events like Christmas or graduation the staff cooks a big meal for the kids using the produce they raised themselves.
Kitalya Primary School – borehole donated by It Is Well International, Inc.
Working in collaboration with organization called Today’s Seed Tomorrow’s Hope, which was started by ARI supporter Rev. J.B. Redding, 18 children from Mede, a remote village located in a volatile area near the Sudanese border, are being given the means to live safely and receive an education. Now in its eighth year, they have assisted a number of children to complete their basic schooling, with some even going on to high school and beyond.
Stuart’s days of social service started back in his youth when he joined the Red Cross as a volunteer. When war broke out in Uganda in1979 he became part of the team working at an IDP camp at a place called Sentema, but had to run for his life when Idi Amin forces, unhappy with the fact the Red Cross was helping all people, including their enemies, attacked. But with all that he is involved in, he still keeps connected with the soil, caring for his own family farm. “I love farming,” he says matter-of-factly. “I like using my hands.”