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With regards to other questions or suggestions

• We are very aware of the many studies on African small holders; we hold conversations with the girls about sustainable agriculture and try to ensure that girls are introduced to the locally available resources to help them further their knowledge. As part of our curriculum girls get to meet with three guest speakers; in the past such resources have included a local agriculture radio host, agriculture representatives from the local National Agriculture Advisory Services office and USAID, as well as the Kabarole Sustainable Agriculture Trainers Network, and other successful farmers in their communities. Thanks for the recommendations of locally available resources… we are going to check to see if any of these organizations would be willing to participate in the curriculum as guest speakers!

Women’s rights as a whole is a very prominent section of our curriculum. Topics include healthy relationships, domestic violence, reproductive health resources (ranging from birth control to abortion rights), and asset ownership. Land is a particularly challenging issue for the girls we work with and the core reason for developing our land lease model. In Uganda less than 7% of land is owned by women; this is a key part of the reason we source land for girls as the vast majority do not own land as it has been passed along to a brother or owned by a husband, and they are thus omitted most agriculture training programs. After sharing out their savings, girls have been able to purchase their own land assets with money earned through passion fruit farming, and are provided with mentorship and guidance as to how to protect these assets from male influence for independent ownership.

Regarding the feedback on the desirability and viability of proposal:

• As mentioned in our amended proposal, our program and curriculum topics were designed directly by the girls via rapid prototyping sessions and HCD focus group discussions. Attached in the supporting documents are the materials we used to conduct these sessions, as well as examples of our curriculum. The curriculum has gone through various iterations based on girl feedback and final exam, assessing learnings, results, and individual feedback. We’ve added new lessons, edited existing lessons and re-trained Peer Facilitators to ensure the highest quality of teaching. After final exams are conducted and scored each group meets with our Peer Facilitator, Program Manager and Program Director to discuss what the learned, liked and what improvements should be made.

Our biggest challenge is attitudinal change among the girls; our approach is holistic and integrated and often times at project outset a girl might not understand how all 3 components work together: attendance of agricultural training, life skills, and savings is required for program participation. We’ve had experiences where some girls only want to attend the agriculture lessons with goals of increasing their income—however not learning how to save, budget, or responsibly spend money in the process. We’ve overcome these challenges with an improved orientation process to set expectations of program participation and by ensuring that trainers can best articulate why it’s important for a girl to work hard in her farm, save part of her income for future investment or providing financial assistance to family as well as how to manage her earnings and savings.

• Our goal is to build a girl’s skills so that are not dependent on purchased seed and chemical inputs; the program theory is that they are provided these as assets and resources to launch their own agribusinesses and provided the knowledge to uptake improved farming and overall business practices. After the 6-month growth period, girls begin harvesting and they take 100% ownership over their farms. We find cooperatives setting savings minimums (such as 20% going into a reinvestment fund) that they pool together for continued maintenance of their farms. In addition to this farm start-up bundle, lessons are provided on tiered intercropping for land maximization, sustainable water use and irrigation using recycled water bottles, local fertilization and pest control methods such using available inputs such as chili and ash, and nursery establishment and seedling grafting so that girls are able gain the knowledge to be independent farmers post graduation. Previously KadAfrica Experience cooperatives have utilized these learnings and chosen to intercrop with onions, chilis, beans and/or cabbages to increase their income generated; we have had a girl go on to set up her own seedling company where she earns $100+ every month selling various horticulture seeding in her local community.

• We have not found that girls are pressured to join by the families or local leaders; during our recruitment process approximately 70% of girls present at a recruitment event decide to join, the other 30% feel that the work and time commitment is not for them. As described in our amended proposal, we initially overlooked the family and community engagement element of our program and were encouraged by girls to include it as a way to foster their participation and success. Girls are required to have guardian’s sign a permission letter and obtain a written recommendation letter from their local community leader, but we’ve seen it’s ultimately the girl’s decision if she wants to continue learning throughout the program. Our intention behind signed permission slips from parents and community leaders is for girl safety—before putting this check in place we had an incident where a girl explained that she was struggling to maintain her crop because her husband was hiding her hoe. He did not believe she was participating in a passion fruit program and thought she was cheating on him with another man. This made us recognize our lack of family orientation as a program design flaw. Additionally, permission from community leaders is to confirm that a girl lives within a 30-minute walk of her cooperative plot; this is for safety as we cannot have girls walking long distances with assets, fruit, or money as it puts her at risk. We have a 15% attrition rate, with girls choosing to leave the program because they were not interested in the lessons we provided or did not want to be farmers. More often we’ve seen families pressuring girls not to attend classes so that they can prioritize their household chores over learning. In these cases, our Community Engagement Manager visits the home to discuss with their families how the girl and also the family can benefit from her participation and they work together to come up with a mutually beneficial way forward.

Thank you OpenIDEO for the great feedback. We have updated our proposal and supporting documents. As well as provided feedback to the reviewer comments below. These are divided into the different sections of your review, and we have done our best to have bullet points correlate to the comments and questions.

Regarding the feedback on the KadAfrica Experience being a bold way of answering the challenge question:

• The KadAfrica Experience Program is 100% girl powdered. All components of the program stem from the girls’ own visions, which KadAfrica has brought to life. Upon establishment of this project, we conducted human-centered design focus groups with over 1500 girls, within our district, to better understand what drives their decisions’, the type of supportive elements to develop in order to address girls’ needs and desires making them empowered young women and entrepreneurs, and ways to involve their families to support them throughout their participation. The information gathered through these focus groups dictated the development of the KadAfrica Experience Program. We are constantly revising our curriculum and training methods to better suit their needs based on their input. For example, a previous cooperative asked their Peer Facilitator what are the best ways to get safer water in their homes, realizing this critical life skill was not a part of our existing curriculum we then created a lesson on safe water management.

More importantly, we want our beneficiaries to feel empowered from their participation in KadAfrica, which will also increase program retention rate. Our life skills and agriculture curriculums teach the girls transferable skills they can use beyond their program participation. Lessons are complemented with greater business components such as creating a business plan, calculating profit and loss, understanding available markets, and supply and demand. Sixty-four percent of graduates have noted they want to take these skills and apply them to other ventures after graduation; approximately 15% have opened hair salons, started shops selling quick moving consumer goods, or even childcare facilities. Others have decided to continue with passion fruit farming or other agriculture ventures such as growing chilis or rearing goats. Further, we emphasize to girls why passion fruit is an ideal crop to grow as it grows upward along a vine, it leaves room for farmers to grow ground dwelling crops like onions, cabbages, or chilis within their passion fruit farms for additional income or subsistence farming.

KadAfrica’s goal is to give a vulnerable population the opportunity to gain knowledge and resources to make healthy life choices while being economically empowered.