Do you remember Teopista from Uganda? Teopista featured in Project Compassion in 2009. Thanks to you, she is now self-sufficient and hopeful for the future.
Teopista works closely with the local Caritas organisation. When Caritas Australia staff caught up with her recently, she said: “Everything I have is from Caritas!”
Since she began participating in the Caritas Lugazi Sustainable Agriculture Project, supported by Caritas Australia, Teopista’s life in Uganda has moved beyond the struggle to feed her family to one where she produces an excess of fruits and vegetables, her family’s hygiene and health has improved, and she’s able to provide well for her children.
In 2009, Teopista and her husband added to their family of seven children by adopting twins, Waswa and Nakato, 12, after their mother abandoned them. Since this time, villagers often bring children in need to Teopista. Being of only modest means, this is hard, but her loving nature means she has taken an extra two children into her care.
Providing for her family
Teopista’s small plot of land (approximately a third of an acre) earns an income and provides food for her large family, with the children helping when they are not at school. Here, they grow a variety of crops and fruits including bananas and cabbages, plus the land provides space for a dairy cow and a small number of pigs.
An upstanding member of her community, Teopista’s status was greatly boosted by her achievements in the program and locals encouraged her to run for council. She was elected and served one term but declined to run again as she was “too busy”. However, Teopista always has the thoughts of others in mind, often giving away home-grown oranges to community members who are suffering from illness.
Teopista recently constructed a bio gas plant which provides gas to her home for cooking and lighting. She says “this is so the children can now do more homework”. This plant is fed by manure from the cow; the slurry is then used for fertiliser on her farm.
Teopista also earns an income by making and selling portable stoves for 5,000 or 10,000 UgSh (AUD 2 or 4), depending on their size. She then uses this money to buy raw coffee beans which are then dried and sold for a small profit.
“I like to work hard because this is what Caritas has encouraged us to do. My main problem is that I have only a very small farm,” she said.
Although it is only a small plot, Teopista certainly makes the most of the land by applying all the practices learnt through the Caritas Sustainable Agriculture Program.
Thank you for supporting Project Compassion. Although the spotlight is no longer on Teopista and other individuals who have featured in previous years, we include their stories because we remain committed to their wellbeing, and are dedicated to sustainable and long-term changes.
Read more about Teopista and her life before Caritas
Watch a video of Teopista's story
Learn more about Uganda
Learn more about Project Compassion