TRAVEL JOURNAL 1:
Our Trip to Uganda 2016
April 2016 – To us at Earthbeat Foundation, it is very important to encourage and support people with our Heartbeat Uganda project, as we collectively look for alternative business ideas. This includes vocational training as well as providing the necessary material and organisational support. What we learned on our trip to Uganda is that sustainable, modern agriculture (agro-forestry), goat breeding, craftsmanship and bee-keeping are solid options that the community could built on!
How can we end the exploitative and unfair structures of gold mining and offer the people true alternatives? That’s what we wanted to find out in personal talks and workshops with the community in Busia. And this is why in March 2016, the Earthbeat team packed the bags and traveled to Uganda…
The mild evening air greets us, as we step on Ugandan soil near Kampala for the first time. On the drive into the capital, I stick my head out of the window to absorb the mixed scent of flowers, wood fire, grilled meat and pollution.
Thanks to the donation of 1000€ through our Betterplace campaign as well as the Respect the Beautiful initiative, we were able to purchase a significant amount of supplies to support the community immediately. Urgently missing is clean drinking water in order to fight the chlorine danger, so we bought three efficient and ecologically sustainable water filters. Another serious health concern is AIDS, which is why the next item on the list were condoms. And goats. …goats? Yes! To strengthen and expand the existing goat breeding as an important income alternative instead of gold mining, we gave a new herd of goats to the mining community.
Initially, the plan is to buy the goats in Kampala and bring them back to Busia with us by car. But how are we going to handle a herd of 30 goats? Put them on the roof of the car? Have them on our lap? Stephen, our local Earthbeat employee, calms me down: We are going to buy them in Busia. When we finally arrive in Busia, we buy these adorable small goats on the local market and hand them over to the community.