School dropout hopes to find consolation in modern farming

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School dropout hopes to find consolation in modern farming


Ssekalega checks on his cabbages planted in a mandala garden in the backyard. PHOTOS/MOSES MUWULYA


Aged 15, Aloysius Ssekalega dropped out of formal school while in primary four after his parents failed to raise school fees.

This ill-fate, as Ssekalega, who wanted to be a medical doctor, shares, left him worried over his future. “I“I wondered how I was to survive without a sustainable life skill,” He shares.

His father, he says, was also haunted by failure to keep him in school and kept assuring him that he would resume school but this was in vein.

But with the introduction of the mobile Farm in Ndagwe sub-county, Lwengo District,Ssekalega,who stays with his parents in Kanyogoga, had his worries stopped.


Spinach,one of the crops Ssekalega grows in his mandala garden. One of the skills he has learnt from the Mobile Farm School training where he has just studied for a few months before closure of the training center over Covid-19

The Mobile Farm School project is youth economic empowerment program tailored to offer modern farming skills to youths for youths who drop out of formal education, mainly over vulnerability.

The project has, since its inception in 1998, seen many youths get livelihood through modern farming.

And like the former trainees, Ssekalega, who has just trained for three months, is already optimistic that farming will be a consolation, upon completing the three-year-training.

“Because with barely three months of training, I am already seeing a green light after putting the little skills so far learnt in practice,” His mandala garden at the back of his parents’ house is proving this right.

Mandala gardens are ones which are circular with inner patterns having created by paths and plant beds.

Positioned at the back of his parents’ house, the garden, which has crops like cabbages, tomatoes, watermelons and green papers; which are all flourishing, despite being a dry spell, is already a source of income and food for him and the household.

Her mother says they no longer spend on ingredients but instead pick from the garden.

His father, shares similar feelings, saying this is going to be a livelihood solution for himself as well as improving food security at home.

“With the effort, passion and commitment he is putting on his mandala garden, I know he will get the best out of the training, because it is one with learning a skill and putting it in use in another,” The father says, before thanking Kitovu Mobile for the intervention.

The catechist says, when his son dropped out of school, he had his esteem lost because he could no long feel worth telling Christians at his church to keep their children in school.

“I was always smart, this had also ceased because I saw no sense in being smart when my child is not in school,”

But he says he is now happy that his child went back to school, and learning practical skills which he does devotedly.

Kitovu Mobile is indebted for the generosity of Kindernothilfe’s support that has seen us create this impact among the vulnerable youth