food-for-thoughtMore images: Click for SlideshowA one-year gardening project between schools in Devon and Uganda in conjunction with Growing Devon Schools Partnership (GDSP).

One of the longest running and most successful DDE projects involving school linking between Devon primary schools and schools in three districts in Uganda. The project is successfully teaching children about the importance of sustainable food production.

The key aims of the Food for Thought programme are to provide: 

  • A direct, positive link between pupil s and teachers in the link schools
  • A 'Window on the World' for pupils, beyond their schools, in both countries
  • Practical experience of growing food, with all schools in both countries running organic/sustainable food-growing school gardens
  • An education programme to enrich pupils' le arning experience in both countries

A crucial aspect of the programme is to give pupils in Uganda the skills to be able to feed themselves and their families using sustainable methods - and to make them proud of being farmers.

Food for Thought works in rural schools in the Mubende, Tororo and Gulu/Amuru Districts of Uganda – plus one special school in Kampala (the capital). The partner organisation in Uganda is the Kulika Charitable Trust, which has a very strong programme on sustainable agriculture and provides Key Farmer Trainers, small scale farmers trained in sustainable agriculture, to work with teachers and pupils in school gardens. This work is vital. Without good food-growing skills, these rural young people face an uncertain future. Key Farmer Trainers work in the schools at least one day each month for a period of three years and are paid £17 a day by Food for Thought. They train pupils with confidence because they have proved on their own farms that the methods work!

Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda's economy. Over 80% are farmers. Young people in rural communities have little choice but to work the land on leaving primary school. Food For Thought was established in 2001. In 2013, the programme was working with over 20,000 pupils in 45 schools in Uganda teaching them skills to be successful sustainable farmers, as well as providing a 'window on the world' through their links with schools in the UK.

For the linked schools in UK, the Food for Thought programme enhances their school curriculum in a variety of subjects including citizenship, PSHE, Science and Geography as well as literacy, DT, Art and Food Technology. 

The British Council 'Connecting Classrooms' Programme provides grants for projects between link schools, including funding for teachers to make exchange visits.

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