It’s a meaningful week for us, as the UN recognises three significant days that are close to our hearts, and speak to why we do what we do!
We know Cents for Seeds addresses and supports all of these challenges, but it is always reassuring to see that proven in our Social Impact Reports and truly understand how the project is impacting individual lives.
Our latest wellbeing survey of participants in Cents for Seeds shows that despite the ongoing global crisis, women in Cents for Seeds have a 6.8% higher wellbeing than women not participating.
Improving Wellbeing and Preventing a Humanitarian Crisis
Vulnerable communities are hit hardest by global crisis. Following years of drought, COVID-19 has compounded the challenges faced by communities across Uganda. Strict covid travel restrictions threatened to prevent our Cents for Seeds team from travelling between communities to deliver seed loans and support services for the women to grow their crops and feed their families. With food supplies critically low, the situation looked to be quickly turning into a humanitarian crisis. Cents for Seeds came under threat not once, but twice.
In spite of these challenges, Cents for Seeds still reached 18,000 women in 2021, continuing the record of increasing the number of women assisted annually since the program’s inception in 2010.
A huge congratulations to our team in Uganda for adjusting & adapting amidst the uncertainty that the pandemic tested from all angles. We could not have done this without their expertise.
We are committed to ensuring the effectiveness of our projects in Uganda, so for the third time, we have partnered with Huber Social to conduct a Social Impact Report in the communities participating in Cents for Seeds. The measurement not only tracks overall progress in terms of wellbeing but also provides data-driven insights on the changing needs of women and their communities to inform and strengthen Cents for Seeds over time.
You can read about how the Cents for Seeds program works here.
The Impact Survey
In 2021, measurement activities took place across seven parishes in three sub-counties; Akura, Olilim and Awake. As women in Uganda are the caretakers of the family, many of those who participate in the Cents for Seeds program do so not to just better themselves but to support their partners, children and communities. The data used throughout this report includes survey responses from 1,026 individuals at various stages in the program cycle.
Data was collected using paper-based surveys. The survey was translated by local Ugandan translators and completed in hard copy during seed distribution activities. Participation was voluntary and privacy protected with all data remaining deidentified.
The following factors were identified as predictors of wellbeing for 2021 Cents for Seeds participants:
2021 Top 3 Key findings – The Impact of Cents for Seeds
1. Cents for Seeds supports participants’ wellbeing despite a global crisis
In spite of wellbeing decreasing across all communities measured since 2020, wellbeing of Cents for Seeds participants is 6.8% higher than that of women not enrolled in the program.
2. Key progress made in feeling connected to the land, being respected and having self-love
2021 participants reported a stronger connection to the land and feeling respected in their home.
3. Cents for Seeds participants are more resilient and have stronger connections
Participants feel more connected to their land and communities and have stronger coping and problem-solving skills.
The change from 2020 > 2021
Despite the challenges that Cents for Seeds participants faced, there were still improvements made in program outcomes this year. In 2021, women in Cents for Seeds felt significantly more connected to their land and respected in their home as compared to participants in 2020.
Participants’ Most Important Need is Being Met
On average, women in Cents for Seeds are more resilient, more connected to their community and land, and have greater access to key resources as compared to women who are not in the program. In 2021, the ten largest positive gains for women in the program are:
Challenges for the Cents for Seeds Graduates
The wellbeing report highlights all the good things about the project. It also tells us where the gaps are, and allows us to address these project gaps with information that is directly coming from the community.
The ranking of outcomes from graduating participants was relatively low in 2021. These results suggest that compared to continuing program participants, graduates may feel less mentally strong and resilient and are therefore less prepared to leave the Cents for Seeds program.
After discussion with Florence, we believe that the uncertainty that covid has brought about has significantly affected this result. Women are uncertain of what is ahead, and so graduation from the project right now is a little bit more intimidating than it has been in the past.
However, being led by our agronomy and VSLA staff in Uganda, we are focused on developing ways to increase support for the graduating participants, such as offering an alumni program for graduates to take part in other income-generating activities.
By maintaining a connection with Cents for Seeds, graduates can still benefit from the program’s training and resources while continuing to strengthen their resilience, mental wellness, and ultimately their wellbeing.
Thanks to our generous community we can continue to build the Cents for Seeds project to expand and support the communities of Uganda in building rural women’s resilience, creating sustainable food sources and income generation, with the ultimate goal of ending persistent poverty.
The full 2021 report can be found here. It contains more detail specific to each parish surveyed to see the unique impact of Cents for Seeds at the community level, and further detail around the challenges that Cents for Seeds program graduates face.
A small donation of $30 provides one woman with 30kg of seeds to start her Cents for Seeds journey. Can you support Cents for Seeds this month?