Friday, September 25, 2009

"In Their Words"

"My children do not want to miss school these days because of the supplementary fruits given during lunch from their gardens at school"
Mrs. Viola Kato from Bunyama village commented

"We have registered an increase in school attendance especially for Agriculture class since our school joined project DISC, children have increased".
Mr. Kyobe John Agriculture teacher at St. Balikuddembe Senior School Mukono Said

"I did not know how goose berries taste but now I have tasted them today so I am going to have a bigger garden at home than the one at school"
. Nalweyiso Jovia a pupil at St. Andrew’s Primary School said during project DISC juice party in April 2009

"I have realized the juice made by hands tastes sweeter than the ones from this machine (Juice Blender). Now my children also need to know this"
Ms. Noel Nannyunja a teacher at Buiga sunrise pre-school said during the Easter Fruit and Juice party in April 2009

"My son surprised me with a “Luwombo”(traditional sauce made from steamed chicken in Banana leaves) dish he learned to prepare at Sun rise pre-school during the project DISC workshop"
Ms Nakiberu Flavia said in a meeting with DISC parents.

"I just want to thank project DISC and Slow food for thinking about the future. We re getting old and children do not want to produce food. Then who will feed them and their children. Thanks for teaching these boys and girls to control food production. At least now I know they will have food"
Mr. Eliazari Magala an elderly parent said

Monday, July 13, 2009

DISC Conducts Sensory Education Class at Buiga Sunrise Pre School

Report by Rogers Serunjogi, Project Assistant and Teacher Buiga Sunrise Pre-school Banda

Buiga sunrise Pre-School is one of the most active disc project schools and role models, the children rage with age from 3 – 6years old.

The Director of studies included a sensory education class in their lesson plans as requested by the project DISC coordinator; children were introduced to some of the fruits and vegetables they grow in their school DISC garden.

After harvesting some fruits, they made up a sensory education class including taste and smell lesson where students were given plastic cups covered with paper and then fruits in side to find out the smell of the fruit in a particular plastic cup.

How it was made….


· Fruits in variety

· Small plastic cups

· Paper

· Rubber bands

· And a sharp pencil

· Knife

Procedure followed

  • Fruits were cut in small pieces before students are introduced to the learning center.
  • Then pieces of different fruits put in different plastic cups.
  • Covered with paper and rap with rubber bands around to keep the fruits un-seen.
  • Then using a sharp pencil, small holes were created through the papers on top of the cups.
  • All the remaining fruits were kept away for the next step of tasting.
  • The children were called for briefing to the Learning Center.
  • Students started smelling on the cups to find out the type of fruit in a particular cup through the [paper holes created)
  • We made sure all fruits are ripe enough for the students to get the natural fruit smell.

After the smelling activity, Children were introduced to taste education and were given paper plates and a pencil to draw what they would like to taste. And funny pictures were received but we managed to figure out what they were meaning. So the already prepared fruits we remained with were brought back and supplied them to our children to enjoy the real taste. Believe me there are those who drew food on the plates which needed cooking. This group was taken to the Kitchen with recipes and they did prepare the food them selves under the supervision of Dembe catering group a cooking community for old women in Slow food Mukono Convivium.

We had fun, shout and Laughs at the event. This does not stop here, it goes on and on in as many schools and regions as we can.

You want to try this out? please do. Your students will discover and understand the real natural fruit smell and hear you will have known if all your students have a well developed sense of smell and Taste.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Project DISC Emphasize green school yards program

By Abdu Senkubuge School relation person, project DISC

“Here” and “there” in Uganda, forests are cleared for Industry and settlement and our clear question remains where have we left our green environmental site sence we Used to have in the beginning. Yes a solution is at least on the ground; and this can save up to 15 school compounds which have been severely degraded as a result of construction in the school perimeters. T
his is through an innovative program to replace degraded school yards with fruit trees of different types and varieties which can survive in local conditions. This program is an initiative to make our schools green, nutritious and productive not only to the advantages of the school directors and teachers but also to the soil, birds and all environmental aspects around the schools. “We appreciate the need for expansion of settlement areas as towns are growing but we should also appreciate the advantages of urban green spaces especially if they are made of fruit trees. That’s why I would like to thank the DISC project for teaching our children and teachers to plant and manage fruit trees in our school compounds” the Head teacher for St. Stephen primary school Mr. Kibuuka said. We pledge our full support to all of our schools for this noble cause to save the soil, land water and the atmosphere. The struggle starts with me and you. Just take a look at these children struggling to beautify their school compound at Buiga Sunrise pre School.

We Improve Food Security through School and Community Gardening.

Dear colleagues and members of the same philosophy, for those who may not be aware, the whole world is in a paradoxical situation of food production. For you who have read the 2008 slowfood world report on food and taste education activities know what am talking about. In some places Hunger is rampant and has become a permanent characteristic of some communities in Africa and some South East Asian countries, while obesity is the order of the day in other areas. What matters now is which situation is occurring in your community.

I know that the food crisis Vs the Credit Crunch temperatures are High right now and most of the families are food insecure but kindly allow me to officially and also honestly tell you what I feel can Change the Paradoxical situation which is also a great characteristic of Malnutrition in many parts of the world.

I appreciate the organizers of the great food meetings Such as the TERRA MADRE, and the Sustainable food summit to sensitize the public about basic food and nutrition facts. The Current Generation of young energetic people is able see some thing on the ground and have it done to bring about a positive impact how ever small it may seem to be. It is this very note that am presenting my case on the role of community and school gardens in ensuring food security in our communities. In any area, food remains a very important basic need that can lead to survival or collapse of any community. When things go wrong in the Garden, the whole house hold and hence community is bound to collapse and believe with me that young and energetic human resource in schools and community is the most critical and important asset any country can boast of. When this resource is better put to use, empowered and planned for through practical training, a country can easily be sure of sustainable development. This is also the case for Agriculture and food production. There is a serious need to pull more young, energetic and committed citizens of your area and build their capacity for sustainable food production and economic development. This work is already underway by such voluntary projects like our very own project DISC in Uganda, Project SPROUT in USA, edible school yard and the Kenya Central Rift valley school project and may others around the world. We are working tirelessly to improve the food security status of our communities and the challenge is with us all. You can also make a change by joining a network of such great Projects.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Project DISC and Slow Food Mukono organize the first Fruit and Juice party for school children

By Mukiibi Edward, project coordinator

On April 10th 2009, 164 children and 17 teachers were served with fruits gathered from local gardens in form of an Easter Fruit and Juice party for all the children Involved in the production of Clean, Safe and fair food. This Memorable Nutritional event took place at Jesus Alive Education Center our beautiful Hosts and one of the pioneer schools in the project. This one day taste education workshop was organised by the project DISC coordinator Mr. Edward Mukiibi who also opened the workshop with a fruit and Juice nutritional talk to the children and teachers. The participants were school children and teachers from the 15 coverage schools including 10 nursery and primary schools, and five (5) secondary schools from 2 sub counties of Mukono District, Ntenjeru sub county National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) coordinator and a member of Uganda Action for Nutrition (UGAN) Mr. Christopher Wali Magala also attended and other Organizers and Zone leaders like Irene Nakijoba also the Area youth councillor to the Sub county council, Noel, Abdul, Roger who also works as the project assistant and Betty the students representative on the Convivium committee.

“The major aim of this workshop is to improve on our Children’s knowledge of Nutritional value and tastes of different fruits in the locality and to give an overview of sustainable agricultural production and development in Ugandan schools” Edward said in his Briefing remarks.. In his closing remarks, Mr. Wali Christopher thanked the team which sat down and came up with such an Innovation to boost Agriculture, food production and Nutrition in schools which has been lacking in most of the schools curricular and reminded the schools, teachers, parents to actively participate in project DISC and Slow food Mukono Convivium activities and become active members of the Convivium. He added that this was just the beginning of the strong cooperation between Ntenjeru Sub county NAADS programme and Project DISC.

Students from Saint Balikuddembe Senior School, Kisoga say “This party and workshop especially the practical part on tasting and actual eating and drinking expanded our knowledge on fruits and juice preparation, preservation and Nutritional value of most locally available fruits and their management options” Most of the participants previously had only the class room knowledge of these Nutritional parameters and had just heard of the some wild fruits their grand parents used to taste but had never actually tasted them any where until the project DISC Easter fruit and Juice party came to pass. “I think project DISC is one of the many ways through which the Slow food Mukono Convivium empowers school children and teachers to manage their own Gardens and produce food to supplement their school Lunches and breakfast. So as we move towards commercial agriculture for development, young people like you and me should learn how to cultivate and get such beautiful fruits while taking a good care of our mother earth. I thank slow food because it has empowered us to fight Domestic Violence against our mother Earth through such projects” said Irene Nakijoba, the chief organizer and Area youth Councillor in her conclusive words.
At the end of the party the participants realised the relevance of food tasting and each group voluntarily shouted Cheeeeers!!! An innovative move from Buiga sunrise pre-school children guided by Noel their teacher. The children appealed to other schools to join the project and their parents to join the Convivium. Special thanks to our Dear School Head teachers, Children, Parents and teachers who made this possible, the Organizing committee, our Dear hosts (Jesus Alive Education Center Banda) Rorick Videos and Designs Uganda for the photo coverage and Ntenjeru Sub county NAADS programme.

Background to project DISC

The participation of students in food production does not only enhance their taste behaviours and nutrition status, but can possibly lead to social transformation. Social conditions are complex and therefore positive attitude towards cultivation should be built within children that will in turn help to reverse the existing food shortages. The fact is that Project DISC aims at engaging School Children and the local youth communities in real life production of Clean, Safe and Fair food through working with schools and communities.