OVER 1,000 needy women in Gulu and Amuru districts have received grants, oxen and ox-ploughs to help them expand their farming.
The items were donated by the Community Action Fund for Women in Africa, a US-based organisation.
The fund was started two years ago by individuals in the US whose objective was to support and rebuild the lives of women in conflict areas, by the programme officer, Evelyn Gloria Piloya disclosed.
While giving out seeds of native trees to women groups in Oroko, Palaro sub-county in Gulu district on Friday, Piloya said their aim is to encourage planting of tree species resistant to drought.
She said they had three nursery beds which would raise about 150,000 seedlings of the native trees in the rural areas.
The trees include teak, mahogany, Musizi and fruit trees. â€œWe are encouraging the planting of native trees in the community because they are good for wood and timber,â€ Piloya said.
Under a microfinance support to the women groups, Piloya said the organisation gives sh500,000 to each of the 30 women groups to boost their village savings and loan association. She said this encourages a borrowing and saving culture in the community.
A total of 20 oxen with ox-ploughs were given to five women groups, while six other groups got 100 hand-hoes, goats and seeds in Lamogi sub-county, Amuru district.
According to Piloya, the organisation is also encouraging and promoting functional adult literacy in Bardege, Palaro, Oroko, Cwero and Omel in Gulu district.
The adult learnerssaid they want to study and sit for primary leaving examination together with their children and grandchildren so that they can pursue secondary education.
Emma Lamwaka, 60, of Gwayi village in Palaro sub-county hailed the initiative.
â€œWe are growing more simsim, groundnuts, cassava and rice for home consumption and sell some to boost our household income,â€ Lamwaka said.
Margaret Adoch of Ribbe Aye Tekko women group in Lamogi sub-county said the 17 women in the group had embarked on rearing birds and animals to help pay their childrenâ€™s school fees.
Adoch added that being widows, they were empowered to take care of their children without begging from anyone.
The disabled women of Lacan-Kwite womenâ€™s group in former Cwero IDP camp, Paicho sub-county in Gulu district, said through village savings and loans associations they had united and work hard to improve their livelihood.
1,000 Gulu, Amuru women get oxen