In September 2022, AVA got a grant from the consortium of Uganda Biodiversity Fund (UBF),
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Nature Uganda (NU), and Ecological Christian
Organization (ECO) to restore and conserve degraded areas in identified villages in Butoole
Parish, Kyangwali Sub-county, in Kikuube District. In this project AVA planted 4,506 seedlings
on identified private pieces of land of 3 landowners.

In February 2021, National Forest Authority (NFA) of Uganda allocated AVA100 hectares of
degraded forestland to restore and hand it over after three years. In April 2021, AVA received
another grant from USAID through UBF to contribute towards maintaining biodiversity in and
around Bugoma Central Forest Reserve (CFR). AVA restored 111.8ha of degraded forestland
near Kyangwali Refugee Settlement using indigenous seedlings, and the work was finished by
July 2022. AVA also distributed more than 17,000 indigenous seedlings to families living in 5
villages living along Bugoma CFR. In this project, here below are some of the achievements:

  1. Using indigenous species to do restoration
  2. In addition to buying seedlings AVA has also put in place a nursery bed with indigenous
  3. In the process AVA has managed to get 13 endangered species of Bugoma CFR which
    have been planted in villages or in Bugoma forest in a variety of numbers
  4. The distribution of seedling was not limited to restoring the forest; AVA also distributed
    seedlings to more that 17,000 people, in the 5 villages bordering with the forest; AVA
    also distributed mosquito repellent seedling in one village
  5. Using the services of people from the five villages living along the forest plus the services of refugees
  6. AVA managed to establish good working relationships with the communities with which
    they are interacting despite the sensitivities relating to ownership and use of land in the
  7. The work of promoting biodiversity was not limited to the physical planting: AVA also
    trained community leaders in and sensitised community members about promoting and
    maintaining plant biodiversity.

    Through this project AVA created a nursery bed and a botanical garden at Kyabarongo next to
    Bugoma CFR

URDT Institute is a vocational training institute focusing on enabling 70,000 young people
between 18-35 years to have dignified and fulfilling work opportunities. URDT uses the Satellite
Approach to train youths for three months in collaboration with artisans and agribusiness
practitioners in selected occupations under agriculture, construction and tourism, including soft
skills. AVA was selected to participate in this training. Besides having its own youths, it
oversees the work of other artisans in and around Kamwenge. It has mobilised, verified and
selected artisans and so far two cohorts of youths have been trained since 2022. The areas in
which the youths were trained include: nursery bed management and vegetable growing,
tailoring, knitting, handicrafts, hair dressing, welding and metal fabrication, motorcycle repair
and maintenance, and carpentry. The training includes assessment and certification by the
Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) which gives the trainees the possibility of going on to
upgrade in their areas of interest.

Pharm-Bio Technology and Traditional Medicine Centre (PHARMBIOTRAC) belongs to
Mbarara University of Science and Technology aiming at promoting research into and use of
traditional medicine. In April 2021, AVA also co-organised a week’s training with
PHARMBIOTRAC on the use of medicinal herbs at Businge, Kamwenge. As a follow-up to this
training, 30 people under the supervision of AVA have formed a group called “TAMBIRA
AMAGARA” (save life) to grow medicinal plants. AVA is the only one in the area focusing on
threatened species with potential health solutions.

In August 2019, through the contacts of Kamwenge District, AVA chosen to participate in the
Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (DRDIP) under the name of ‘African
Volunteers Association AVA participated under the formation Musheija Water Shed. The
project is being funded through the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) under the name ‘African
Volunteers Association Indigenous Nursery Irrigation Vegetables’. AVA mobilized community
members and started clearing the bush on AVA land of around 8 acres on which the group is
going to do its work. They agreed to start clearing the bush. The implementing partner
ADRITEX in this project is putting up a green house for raising seedlings.

Between February-August 2019, AVA carried out a research project in 7 villages selected from 7
parishes bordering with Kibale National Park in Kamwenge District using a grant that it received
from USAID and World Conservation Society through Uganda Biodiversity Fund (UBF). We
were aiming at promoting coexistence between humans and plant biodiversity. A model on such
existence has been developed and a soft copy of this can be sent on request. We also documented
the plant species that are still abundant, those which are declining, and those which are
extirpated, that is missing in a given area but most probably available in another. From that grant
we also established a nursery bed. A database has been developed on this and can be accessed by
registering online on the link below.

In this project, among others, AVA others met 162 people in focus group discussions, 663 in
community meetings, and 150 in end of study meetings. AVA also found out that in the areas
they visited, 47 plants were extirpated (not existing in those areas). AVA succeeded in bringing
to its nursery bed one of these plants known in the area as omufurura (Gouania longispicata),
and is in the process of propagating it. Through this project AVA created a nursery bed at