GHETTO GO GREEN-Promoting Youth-Led Biodiversity Adaptation Mechanisms in the Ghetto communities of Kampala.

Promoting Green Beauty in the Ghetto and Green Enterprises for better urban youth livelihood using vegetable farming with recycled waste.

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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Rwendeire Peniel

Initiative's representative date of birth

01/september 1987

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Uganda

Headquarters location: city

Kampala

Where are you making a difference?

Uganda-Kampala-Kinawataka,Katwe and Kyebando

Website or social media url(s)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/networkforactivecitizens website:https://nacuganda.org/

Date Started

October 2019

Project Stage

  • Start-up (first few activities have happened)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €50k - €100k

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit/NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

Raised by well to do family and exposed internationally, I kept thinking that all other communities were like my parents home until While in secondary school we did a geographical tour to assess the effects of rural-urban migration. For the first time, I was exposed to ghetto communities of Kampala. Shocked by what I saw I kept thinking that I can make a difference when I grow up this compelled me to study social work instead of Law a career my parents wanted for me. In 2019, I watched a documentary about the “boy who harnessed the wind” where he used local materials to solve community problems. This compelled me to design Ghetto Go Green concept an approach where am combining Green beauty with Green Enterprises in the Ghetto communities

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Rapid urbanization of Kampala city ( averagely 4% annually) has degraded the quality of key Kampala Capital City environmental assets and its capacity to promote biodiversity, public green spaces, decent green job opportunities especially for youth living in the Ghetto. In 2014, it was estimated that 54% of Uganda’s urban population lived in slum areas (World Bank). Solving this matters since it will contribute to the desired vision of KCCA which is: a vibrant, attractive, and sustainable city

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Ghetto Go Green project uses an approach of shared value with society, stakeholders and the environment by addressing social, environmental and economic aspects of youth living in the Ghetto communities commonly known as K-Zones. Socially: The project deals with mindset change by mentoring Ghetto female and male youth as Active Citizens who are championing urban biodiversity. Environmentally: the project set up urban green spaces and equipped it with subsidized WIFI in partnership with telecom companies as space where youth socially connect off and online through social media for social cohesion. Economically: The project has supported the establishment of vegetable gardens in the Ghetto communities as an economical alternative to illegal ways of surviving in the ghetto such as prostitution, drug trafficking, city robbery, and other illegal ways. Therefore the established network of Green Ghetto economy where youth living in the Ghetto communities are profitably engaged in vegetable growing as urban farmers, sales agents, transport/supply of vegetables to supermarkets and restaurants and benefiting from the Green Health Insurance scheme as a household benefit.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

Driven by the principle that “Nothing is waste only when wasted”, we, therefore, use locally available resources to promote urban Climate Smart Agriculture approaches like the use of recycled domestic waste as an organic manure for the gardens, and city waste such as polyethylene bags, broken plastics, as vertical and horizontal vegetable gardens that are grown on rooftops, verandas and compounds thus keeping the city clean while also empowering Ghetto vulnerable women/youth to be more resilient to environmental and economic shocks in the city.

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

Ghetto Go Green project brings together a network of different stakeholders in order to sustainably run urban biodiversity. Therefore landowners considering the fact that youth in the Ghetto communities don’t own land hence they need rights to access the land and establish private gardens, Government through Kampala Capital City Authority, therefore, the community development officers, the agricultural officers, the city physical planners since they have the influence of the city development plan. The approach works with the policymakers therefore the division mayors, the clerks to the council who have influence over the environmental policies, programs and division budget allocation for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The approach works closely with the private sector therefore the community restaurants who consume the vegetables grown from the community, and community health facilities who provide Green Health Insurance to the youth in the network.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

In October 2019, we attracted one-year funding worth 50,000 USD to build the capacity of 200 youths, establish three green spaces in ghetto communities. Support 30 youths to establish 90 gardens in communities. We created partnerships with the private clinics that will be providing Green Health Insurance. In this COVID 19 country lockdown, the Gardens have been a beacon of hope to ghetto vulnerable households who are accessing subsidized/free fresh vegetables from 90 gardens that are spread in 13 communities (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TJussSfI0k) in this same period on average, vegetables worth 50 USD are sold on a daily basis hence a source of income and livelihood for Ghetto youths during this Covid 19 country lockdown. (https://www.dreamtown.ngo/stories/2020/4/8/ghetto-green-spaces-a-beacon-of-hope-in-covid-19-lockdown ) we are measuring progress on both social and economic using a simple records management system to track daily sales and daily maintenance of the gardens.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

Ghetto Go Green impact looks at (a) Social: our impact is 390 (60% female) youth living in the 13 Ghetto communities as active Citizens who are championing urban biodiversity through promoting urban green spaces for social cohesion and urban farming as an economical alternative to illegal ways of surviving in the ghetto such as prostitution, drug trafficking, city robbery, and other illegal ways. (b) our impact is a network of 200 gardens managed by youth living in the Ghetto communities contributing to the Green economy and profitably benefiting the youth as urban farmers, sales agents and involved in transport/supply of vegetables to supermarkets and restaurants and benefiting from the Green Health Insurance scheme as a household.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

Ghetto Go Green project promotes shared value for society and stakeholders. We have combined Green beauty with Green Enterprises by greening up the Ghetto through green social spaces where community youth meet to access the internet and interact, we also established Green Health Insurance in partnership with the private clinics for ghetto youth to access health services. Urban farming through the planting of vegetables as an economical alternative to illegal ways of surviving in the ghetto has complemented Kampala Capital City Authority efforts to reduce crime in Ghetto communities by greening up the Ghetto community and providing alternative source of revenue for youth living in the Ghetto.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

At this stage, therefor the sho term, we are relying on grants and so far Ghetto Go Green has attracted one-year funding worth 60,000 USD.The grant is being used to establish the needed structures therefore the gardens in the K-Zones, the green spaces, the resource center and the development of Green Health Insurance digital database system. In the medium- and long-term run, the project will be sustained with fewer grants and more of profits emerging from the sales of vegetables. The grant will support more on the social impact of the approach while the profits from the sales will focus on business expansion and Green health insurance of the target beneficiaries. So far we have signed contracts to supply 10 restaurants and 5 supermarkets

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

The project is composed of 3 full-time staff and 2 part-time volunteers. Agronomist: this person is responsible for setting up nursery gardens and monitoring gardens (b) Business consultant. This is responsible for developing business plans, looking for markets (c) Social worker: the social worker is the community contact person who works with the communities, and local leaders (d) community journalists are our part-time volunteers who use social media to promote the project

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

12. Connection to Biodiversity: How does your project directly contributes to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity? Please share data to support your answer.

Rapid urbanization of Kampala city (averagely 4% annually) has degraded the quality of key City environmental assets and its capacity to promote biodiversity, especially in Ghetto/slum communities. In 2014, it was estimated that 54% of Uganda’s urban population lived in slum areas (World Bank). The project has promoted a symbiotic relationship where social, environmental and economic needs/actions by the youth depend/complement each other. we have built thcapacity of 200 youths in scalable climate change adaptation and mitigation actions as Active Citizens who are championing Urban farming and restoration of social green spaces, usage of locally available resources to promote urban Climate Smart Agriculture approaches like a recycled domestic waste as organic manure, city waste such as polyethylene bags, broken plastics, that are used to set up 90 vertical and horizontal vegetable gardens and grown on rooftops, verandas, and compounds with less alteration of the land-based environment.

13. Example: Please walk us through one or two concrete examples that show how your solution will solve the problem you’re trying to address.

Beneficiaries are involved in the project as trained Active Citizens who are championing the restoration of green spaces and urban farming in the Ghetto communities and lobby Kampala Capital City Authority leaders to scale up urban biodiversity initiatives in ghetto communities. we involve 30 ghetto youths as Green City champions in the setup of 3 green spaces and are volunteering as facilitators in urban farming, climate change advocates and urban recycle innovations. They are also involved in the Ghetto Go Green Community Awareness Raising caravans where we move in different busy public spaces such as markets and playgrounds to create awareness on scalable environment smart actions. (ii) We have supported 30 female youths to scale urban Climate Smart Agriculture approaches like organic manure using domestic waste, recycling of polyethylene bags, broken plastics, to set up 90 vegetable gardens on rooftops, verandas and compounds with less alteration of the land-based environment

14. Marketplace: Who else is addressing this problem in your environment? How does your proposed project differ from these other approaches?

With reference to changemakers.com, I have noticed that KITALU is addressing this problem in Tanzania. However, the Ghetto Go Green project in Uganda differ from these other approaches because we blend the non-edible trees with edible vegetables in all our gardens and most especially at the green spaces. Hence, we promote green beauty, cool green spaces for relaxation with multi-colored flowers at green spaces in the Ghetto communities and we also grow high-value nutrient vegetables as a source of income when sold and as a source of food when not sold for the beneficiaries in the same locations. Through this we are promoting biodiversity with other micro and macro-organisms such as bees, insects Promote Green Beauty in the Ghetto and Green Enterprises for better urban youth livelihood using vegetable farming with recycled waste.

15. Awards & Recognitions: What awards or recognitions, if any, has the project received so far?

In 2019 the project attracted one year grant from DreamTown worth 50,000 USD in 2019 the project won a 6 months grant from British High Commission worth 11,000 British Pounds

16. Financial Sustainability – funding breakdown: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating an estimated percentage that comes from each source.

Grants or contracts ___60% Earned income___30% individual donations or gifts ___10%

17. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge? How would you invest the prize money to leverage your work?

We see ourselves as the leading value chain network of organic fresh vegetable production and supply that are grown in urban communities from recycled facilities. Our impact is to reach households in the already earmarked 13 vulnerable communities with an organized network of vegetable gardens as a beacon of hope to the most vulnerable youths especially women. We envision a network of green spaces in the ghetto communities where we are promoting Green Beauty in the Ghetto and Green Enterprises for better urban youth livelihood using vegetable farming with less alteration of the land-based environment. We envision a green economy whose core trade is urban grown vegetables by the most vulnerable and a green microfinance that is able to extend financial support to the most vulnerable individuals to set up vegetable gardens. We see ourselves blending technology such as the “Go Green mobile app” with over 10,000 daily users as our clients who order online for fresh green vegetables.

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Photo of Alberto

Congratulations on this great initiative to integrate young people