Love Mercy has been in operation for 13 years, and has reached over 25,000 households in northern Uganda through Cents for Seeds alone. Our mission & vision is to see a northern Uganda empowered out of poverty – it remains a bold one, but possible. This year we are excited to see 1,500 new women joining the project.
In 2015, the 2030 Adgenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all UN Member nations. It provides a shared blue print humanity, to build peace and prosperity for people & planet, now and into the future, all while tackling climate change.
Watch our CEO Bec Lloyd explain how we are contributing to the UN SDGs
Why is this important?
The goals are a call to action. To end poverty and inequality worldwide, to protect our planet and ensure that all people access justice and wellbeing. If these goals are reached, they can quite literally transform our world. They combat the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing our world, and people today.
This year, we wanted to share how our projects are aligned with the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – seeing a global community free from poverty.
Below are the SDGs that are being addressed directly by our projects.
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Over the last 3 years, more than 2 decades of progress against poverty has been undone by Covid-19. Global inflation and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine have seen more than 75 million people plunged back into poverty.
Cents for Seeds was not immune, with a drop in wellbeing measured across participants, and a decrease in the total return rate of seeds.
However, despite these challenges, in 2022, women participating in Cents for Seeds still reported a 3% increase in wellbeing overall. They could attend Village Savings & Loan Association (VSLA) meetings, and further develop food and economic security.
Income Generating Activities (IGAs) were also started, empowering women with a secondary source of income and further financial security.
Achieve food security & improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
Love Mercy projects:
- Cents for Seeds
Since 2014, the number of hungry people across the globe has been steadily rising. This has been exasperated by climate events and Covid.
Cents for Seeds aims to empower women in northern Uganda with access to resources, to provide for themselves and their families. The sustainable agriculture project is alleviating poverty and hunger, all through a small loan of seeds.
A woman may harvest between 150-300kg of seeds from an initial loan. This crop acts as food for her family. She is able to sell some, to buy other food types to create a balanced diet for her family. Over time, women begin to achieve food security, They are able to plan for the future, create a small store of food at their home, and ensure that they have enough to feed their family.
Ending hunger opens up communities.
Promote wellbeing for all, at all ages
Our ongoing impact reports reveal the change in wellbeing of women in Cents for Seeds vs women who are not participating in the project.
Year on year, since we started measurement, and in spite of challenges worldwide, wellbeing has continued to rise for women in Cents for Seeds.
These impact measurements take a holistic approach to wellbeing, understanding the needs of a person to be in the best position to fulfil their potential.
- Free immunisations for children at KHC
- Implementation of a rapid response Covid-19 vaccination plan
- Agricultural micro-loans that provide food security
- Drilling & repair of boreholes, to prevent disease spread and promote WASH practices
- Outreach for remote communities to access health education and care.
- A focus on reproductive, maternal and child health, including specific outreaches for this group
Achieve gender equality and empower all women & girls
Women and girls worldwide are disproportionately affected by the fallout of the pandemic.
In Uganda, development gains have been fragile due to the increasing instability in weather patterns and environmental threats. Gender inequality exacerbates this situation, with significant disparities between men and women in agricultural land ownership and unemployment. The patriarchal nature in the communities of northern Uganda heavily restricts women in decision-making, owning resources and accessing education or employment. Women specifically involved in the agriculture space also face limited market access, high transport costs, and difficulty accessing finance.
Additionally, Covid-19 exacerbated domestic violence and further created unsafe environments for women.
Cents for Seeds is attempting to address all facets of inequalities that women face in Uganda, both directly and indirectly.
- Empowerment of women specifically, through the provision of a seed loan
- Increase in agricultural knowledge and skillset that opens up earning potential and paths out of poverty
- Financial literacy training and savings group accessibility through VSLA
- Increased access to food and income, decreasing gender and home-based violence
- Small business training through IGA groups, and the development of secondary sources of income
- Girls accessing education with finances secured from crops harvested
- Improved physical, social and emotional wellbeing of all women in the program
- Increased access to health care, with maternity, and postnatal care being a focus
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water & sanitation for all
Love Mercy Projects:
- Well Worth It
733+ million people live in countries with high and critical levels of water stress. At current rates, by 2030 over 1.6 billion people will lack safely managed drinking water. In Uganda, the situation is dire. Of its population of 45 million, 38 million people, or 83% of the population, lack access to a reliable, safely managed source of water. Two decades of economic growth have led to large movements in population, requiring access to water at different points.*
Women and girls specifically spend a minimum of 30 minutes each day collecting water. In most rural settings, particularly in the north, access to a water source is between 5 – 10 km away. This takes girls out of school, and women away from caring for the land to look after their crops.
- Drilling and repair of boreholes in northern Uganda
- Education on maintenance and services of boreholes to ensure long-term function
Promote sustainable economic growth for all
Love Mercy projects:
- Cents for Seeds
- Kristina Health Centre
- Well Worth It
The most common type of farming in Uganda is subsistence farming. Most of the population resides in rural or remote settings, and have access to land. What many lack, however, is access to resources.
Cents for seeds is increasing the financial capacity of families all over northern Uganda. Having the resource to farm, and year-on-year crop yields, ensures financial security, and the ability to continue working on their land. This in turn promotes sales of crops at the local market, increasing cashflow within the community, and again increasing personal finance.
- Village Savings & Loan Association (VSLA) training and meetings to ensure financial skills are gained and put into action
- VSLA enables women to save, borrow and earn interest
Financial security allows women to continue working their land to harvest seeds, purchase other household items, afford health care when needed and pay school fees for their children – changing the lives of everyone in her household.
Did you know that Uganda’s fertile agricultural land has the potential to feed 200 million people – more than 4 times the population size! Eighty per cent of Uganda is arable land, but only 35% is being cultivated.* What these communities need is the resource – and that is where Cents for Seeds comes in.
We see a Uganda where women are empowered, homes are financially and food secure, and every community is thriving. Our goal is to reach 30,000 households with Cents for Seeds by 2025.
Will you join us?