Today we headed to Luwero to visit Grace’s farm which we will be partnering with to support the IGNITE businesses. This was a unique opportunity for the women as they are not usually able to travel outside of Kampala. They were inspired by the sustainable farming practices and encouraged to see a women managing a successful farm on her own. From the piggery to the banana plantation to the free range chickens, we were blown away by the incredible work being done! It was very reassuring to see the local Ugandan’s running such a successful farm and knowing that the women would have access to the products for their own businesses.
One of the most exciting parts of the day was arriving to see all the workers prepared and eager to begin learning the Eco-Coal process. A 20 ft. pile of agricultural waste, a 15 lb. bag of cassava flour, 5 pre-made presses, and a 55 gallon drum were all ready to go when we arrived! The locals gathered all the material and Neal, our Oklahoma coal master helped prepare the drum a week before we arrived. All we had to do was explain the process (Thank you Avery!) The plan is to have the workers on the farm make the coal to sell to the women at a low price. A few of the women will then sell this in the market at a higher price along with other produce from the farm. This is a win-win process because it provides jobs for the farmers, improves the women’s income, is better for their health and helps reduce deforestation (hence the name “Eco-Coal”).
After enjoying one of Grace’s juicy pigs on a stick (Sorry Rafael…), the women went around and with tears in their eyes shared what they had learned and how inspirational Grace had been to each of them. They sang and laughed the whole way back to Kampala.
After the barrel cooled, we watched the workers complete the charcoal process and we rejoiced as we successfully held our first batch of Eco-Coal! The Lord so clearly prepared the way for us and we are blown away by the numerous blessings and grace that have been poured out over our trip!