‘Regenerate the Soil (REGESOIL)’ Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Uganda

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“It is a profound honor for both the Unidos Social Innovation Center and the Regenerate the Soil (REGESOIL) project to have been selected as one of the four distinguished winners of the 2024 Ockenden International Prizes The recognition bestowed upon us by the eight-member judging panel serves as a tremendous source of encouragement. Their acknowledgment of REGESOIL as a significant agricultural endeavor, with a specific emphasis on its role in empowering refugees through ecological farming practices, further solidifies our dedication to nurturing sustainability and resilience within marginalized communities. With the Prize, we aim to expand our impact to additional zones within Nakivale, particularly those where newly arrived refugees are settled. We intend to collaborate closely with these communities to establish two additional regenerative Food Forests, thereby promoting biodiversity and enhancing climate resilience in the region.”
Paulinho Muzaliwa
Founder
What the Judges said

The judges said it is an important agricultural initiative organised by refugees for refugees, providing ecological farming instruction and the worms, training and support necessary for permaculture, a farming model that exemplifies self-reliance and self-sufficiency by improving soil productivity, yielding life-saving nutrition for refugee families dependent on what was poor-quality land. “The project also has potential for replication,” they observed.

Beneficiary views

“As a Permaculture student at UNIDOS, I, Sembanumwe Jean, hailing from Nakivale, express profound gratitude for the invaluable teachings on managing drought. Despite adversities, our recent successful harvest stands as a testament to the effectiveness of our learning. Your unwavering support is our beacon of hope. May your kindness continue to bless our journey. Thank you.”

“My journey with Permaculture, facilitated by the gracious efforts of UNIDOS, has been transformative. Moses Wanilonga from Kabazana A, I have witnessed firsthand the potential to elevate crop cultivation in our region. Despite setbacks like inclement weather, our determination remains unyielding. With renewed collaboration in the coming year, we aim to enhance our yields and extend this opportunity to others. With the support of UNIDOS, we aim to expand our knowledge and capabilities, aspiring to cultivate hectares using regenerative approaches.

“Glorieuse Nyendakumana here, a Single mother and a proud member of the Agro-Room Association, eager to share the fruits of our Permaculture knowledge journey. Thanks to UNIDOS, we’ve cultivated an array of nutritious vegetables, enriching our families’ tables and livelihoods. Though challenges persist, we tackle them head-on, leveraging our newfound wisdom. Through sales and sharing our knowledge, we’re making a tangible difference in our community’s health and prosperity. Gratitude fills our hearts. Thank you immensely.”

The Other 2024 Finalists, and Winners

Ockenden International’s four cash prizes recognise and reward innovative projects that deliver evidential self-reliance to refugees and/or displaced people, the cornerstone of Ockenden International since its inception in 1951. The four annual prizes are open to projects or programmes focused on Internally Displaced People (IDPs)/refugee self-reliance anywhere in the world. The other nine 2024 finalists (with the other three winners italicised) are: