Transformation Advocacy Network Uganda – TANU

I met Joel Odongo online via ecobricks. He could see how much plastic there is in Uganda and would love to be able to do something about it. But as with everything in life sometimes we have to do lots of groundwork before we can look at achieving our goals. And that has been very true of Joel. You can read the first post I did about him and the TANU youth centre here

One of the goals we have with working with them is to find a way of creating an income for TANU so they can support more young people to learn the skills to earn a living, support themselves and their families.

Now they have built there skills centre, they can start the real work they wish to achieve. Building the skills centre took all of there money, (thank you to those of you who helped with the last bit of cement) , so they are going to be baking cookies to sell locally. They have found this helps to get the centre known within the local village and is teaching skills – cooking, selling, money management and working together. All very import things to learn.

And this is where I need to ask for your help. To test the post between Uganda and the UK, back in the spring they posted a small packet of four purses they had made.

They are made using plastic beads, in traditional patterns, using traditional weaving techniques. They made linings with zip pockets, on the one treadle sewing machine they have – we hope to get more of them for them in due course.

The next purses they make will be with natural plant fibre weaving – which they have been learning to make.

But to kick start the whole process they need to be able to purchase the ingredients to make the cookies. For every £3.50 of ingredients they can make a profit of around £1.50 which will go to buy the supplies to make the purses.

If you would like to buy one of these purses they would be super grateful. I think £20 each would be a perfect amount ( plus £3.50 postage) You can order one using this link a https://donorbox.org/purses-from-tanu

Please let me know which one you would like – but please understand their is only the four in the picture.

The four purses
Inside

And if you would like to know more about the people who made the purses check out their letters

Determination

9th July 2021

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This was first published on The Watercress Queen page – we managed to get £60 to Joel And they managed to get the cement on time.

They have now finished the youth centre but do need on going support if you would like to donate we will pass the money on to them.

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What do you need if you want to provide a youth centre for young people, to equip them with skills for life, a trade they could use to earn a living, and a place to make friends?Here in the UK you need DETERMINATION. You would need to find a building to use, funding to pay for the bills and the running costs. Including wages for adults to work with you, and for any equipment you may need. What if you want to build that youth centre in Uganda?You still need that DETERMANTION. But how different would it be?Firstly save until you can buy your plot of land £3000 ish. Then start working together to make by hand the bricks that you need to build the centre. Not a quick process, as you need to make about 20,000 bricks, then fire them. Then you have to save up for the cement, the stones for the floor and tin for the roof. You have to have enough to pay the instructor who can help you build. You know this will take time, but you have determination. You have rented a couple of rooms so you can start working with the youth, some of whom are young pregnant girls, some of whom are orphans. All of whom are keen to learn and are determined to help themselves. Then covid hits your community again, and this time your landlady has said she needs the rooms back at the end of lockdown. What do you do?You build your youth centre!!! How amazing are these guys? Led by Joel (my friend), they got the bricks they had made to the right place, an instructor to guide them through the build. You dig the 20 ft deep hole for the toilet – 5 years worth apparently! And you start building. In contrast I have just packed my 18 year old off for a weekend camping trip with a group of teens. As they went with all the tech they can’t live without, fairy lights and one of the mums to put the tent up……The Ugandians are amazing and so so determined! But they have run out of cement – can we help? A bag of cement costs about £6, or UGX 29425.65. They need about 10 more bags. I have set up a donation link for them, if you are able to help them even with just one bag, they would be really grateful, there is no big funding pot they can apply to. The long term goal is for them to be self-sustaining and earn their own money. We have started on that plan, the build has had to be brought forward so caught us all on the hop.

https://www.facebook.com/4TANU

https://donorbox.org/cement-for-tanu-uganda

Where will we work?

To create a regenerative aquaponics farm in the way we would like, one that will serve all of the other parts of the plan, one that is there for the community and helps real depth of change, we need security.

We need to know that our work will survive far beyond us, will be there for the peoples that come after us, that the community will be there for the peoples to come.

 The last page is about being able to buy some land to put into trust to keep safe. So the trees we plant will provide oxygen, shade, food, and grow to reach their full potential. 

The aim is to do this as a community benefit society, offering a democratic share offer – one member, one vote.  There will be a management committee, to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. And as we aim to provide space for children, we will also run a children’s management committee so the children can be heard. 

We would welcome ideas and conversations about land / farms that are available. We would love to stay in the Forest, our friends are here, and there isn’t anything else similar for a long way. But land is very expensive here,  if we have to move we are open to it, but then the locals here would miss out again.

I really hope you are inspired to join us, if you haven’t already please fill in our survey, if you want to hear more, especially when we launch the share offer do fill in your email. 

 We need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the last two  pages of our working ethos, where?  – you can read the rest on our website ( open source development of the website brings community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Who do we serve?

Who are the people?

Well you if you want!

What do you need from us? What do you want from us? What can you share with us?

Could you be part of our community? 

Although we have target groups we would like to invite to work with us, to create a community we need all sorts of people, from all backgrounds, of all ages and abilities. 

You will be welcome to be part of the journey if that’s what you want or need.

The world and all in it needs healing more than ever right now, we can’t heal everyone or everything, but we can create a place where healing can start. 

Of course the biosphere has to be the starting point, as without it we don’t have a home, but the work to heal our home will heal us as well. Getting your hands dirty in the soil, harvesting food you have grown, learning a new skill, and most importantly making friends, all helps heal. 

And what if you  don’t need help? Then you are also very, very welcome, come and bring your self, your skills and your time and help others and the biosphere. 

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the eleventh  page of our working ethos, who?  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Life Skills

One of the things I hear so often is – that ‘it’ should be taught in schools, doesn’t matter what the ‘it’  is, that’s the line that everyone comes out with. 

But sadly that’s not what happens, when I was at school, we did learn some of the skills I have needed in my adult life, but not in depth enough, and I can assure you I have forgotten a lot of it since then!

I have gone out and re learnt to help me remember, and taken it upon myself to gain many more skills. Not everyone is able to do that, there are many barriers to access hands on skills, not all of them are obvious as barriers. 

We want to listen to people, find out what they would like to learn to help them, and find out what skills they can bring to share with the community. What’s your skill?

The list we have made as part of our working ethos is only a fraction of what we could do. And who knows what the long term benefits will be as our society changes, and we head towards a more regenerative way of living in our modern world. 

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the tenth page of our working ethos, life skills  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Plastic Transition

Plastic transition, what exactly is that? 

We are living in the plastic age, this stuff that has brought so many advances, our health care, for example, wouldn’t be the same today without plastic. But as we all know it has also brought so much harm to our world. Plastic transition is about finding ways to reduce our dependence  on plastic, to relearn how to use natural materials, and to look after the plastic that comes into our hands so it does not do any more harm. 

Not an easy job, but being part of the Global Ecobrick Alliance, connecting us to communities who are also on the transitioning path, we can learn, teach and share, and most importantly work towards finding answers. 

The next stage of this work here in the UK is to build upon the earth and ecobrick builds that have started to happen. Having somewhere to create earth buildings that sequester plastic/COand are useful to us is an important part of our work, and will allow people to learn how to make plastic they can’t avoid to be useful within their homes and communities. 

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the ninth page of our working ethos, plastic transition  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Compost

Composting – nature’s way of keeping the planet healthy. 

Just imagine if nothing ever broke down? We would be in a real mess…….

Our biosphere works in such amazing ways with processes to keep itself and us healthy and clean.  It does this by breaking down all natural materials, and reusing them in an endless cycle. 

When us humans get involved it becomes composting – and although it is super simple, if it is organic it will break down to feed the earth – we like to make it complicated!

Composting gets forgotten as something we should do ourselves. We chop down the growth in our gardens, pay for it to be taken away, and then spend more money buying compost wrapped in plastic…….

Although it is very simple to create your own composting, because of the way we live, we need to look at all the different techniques, so we use the best for our homes or communities. And composting can help rebuild our soils and space for other species to live, however small. 

As part of our regenerative work we will be running community composting, teaching how to compost, how to use different methods depending on the situation, combining methods, and using the compost to grow good food (we use decoupled aquaponics as well) and build soil health. 

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This pictures is page that explains our working ethos around compost  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Fish

Ever since humans have watched other species eating fish – birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and microorganisms,  we have got ourselves wet in the process of catching fish.

Then we learned how to trap fish to make it easier to catch them, then we learnt the amazing skills of breeding fish. 

More than any other animal the conditions have to be right for this to be successful. Fish react really badly when the water quality, oxygen and temperature is not right, at best they are sluggish, at worst they  die.   When we are talking fish, they can all die in a couple of hours!

Modern fish farming methods are increasingly becoming high tec, monitors for this and that parameter, all reducing the need for contact with the water and the fish. The skill of being able to use your senses to prevent problems before they affect the fish are being lost, so many young people starting to work with fish who can’t tell through observation that there is an issue. Did you know you can smell if water is good for the fish?

We have the skills and knowledge to share with communities to bring aquaponics into their community food growing projects.  It is really important to us that the right aquatic species are kept in relation to the space available.  We will have different models of different set ups to teach good husbandry  – which will produce good plant foods grown without stress to plants  or fish. 

Of course you do not have to eat the fish, they can just be kept as companions, fish bring healing by their presence. Good water energizes our food, good water keeps the fish healthy and happy.

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about. 

Sharing our working ethos, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

These two pictures are the two pages that explain our working ethos around fish  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

And our survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code 

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Aquaponics – what’s that then?

Aquaponics – What’s that?

Aquaponics is a food production system that combines aquaculture – raising fish, crayfish prawns etc – with hydroponics – growing plants in water – whereby the nutrient rich aquaculture water is fed to hydroponic grown plants

As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponic systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponic system is really only limited by imagination. 

Aquaponics is not new, it is one of the oldest farming methods, one practised by indigous cultures around the world for thousands of years. It is another one of those skills that has been forgotten. Our aim is to bring those skills to life in a way that will work to help regenerate communities. 

Imagine your local community farm being able to provide you with fresh and tasty vegetables and fish. 

Imagine your food being produced in a way that puts more back than it takes out. 

Imagine your food being climate positive, local and good for you!

And it goes without saying that our method of aquaponics puts the fish, their health and welfare at the very heart of what we do.  Teaching the skills we have lost and learning new ones along the way.  Our methods are chemical free, growing tasty nutrient dense food, I can’t wait for you to taste it!

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

These two pictures are the two pages that explain our working ethos around Aquaponics  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code 

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Why?

New Forest Aquaponics cic want to build a community owned farm.

Why?

My wake up call. 

I have always been aware of the damage we are doing to our biosphere, and ourselves, what I hadn’t quite been aware of was what was happening to our communities.

Whilst I had been busy working, and bringing up my boys, with my head in my own bubble of interests something had happened………..

I didn’t realize what that was till I had my stroke, when not one single person knocked on our door…….

We had lived on our road for 21 years at the time, and it was quite obvious that something serious had happened in our family, but yet no one even asked if we were okay. 

As I recovered and started talking about this to people, I  found that although people have lots of friends, most of those now are connected via social media or clubs and very few met with people who lived locally to them.

Now I know that that’s not true about everyone, some are lucky to have really good local connections, but others have even less and don’t even have the supporting groups on social media as back up. 

The intention is to create a place where people can come and find connection. And yes for many that will still be online, but we are setting up our own communication channels that will feel more inclusive,  the aim  to connect online with in person.

By looking at the bigger circle of how all of this connects together – food, community, lifeskills, and all of the ways these inteconnet and bring them all together we can start the work of real forward change to a community that puts back more than it takes out. That heals and nurtures, both us and our home, the biosphere. 

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the third page of our working ethos   – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. https://forms.gle/gHNjuYggDpJAnMTs5