An article by Sara Pieraccioni


Africa Mission – Cooperazione e Sviluppo (AMCS), is an NGO founded in Piacenza, that has been operating in Uganda since 1972 with locations in Kampala, Alito (diocese of Lira) and Moroto, in the Karamoja region where most of the projects are concentrated. In particular, projects are underway in the water sector, with drilling and rehabilitation of wells; on public health; in the field of agricultural and livestock sectors, with a veterinary laboratory and an agro-pastoral schools; and in the socio-educational area, through recreational activities in the Youth Centre of the Moroto compound, addressed at children aged 3 to 16.

Since March 2020, to respond to the pandemic emergency, AMCS has carried out awareness-raising interventions for the prevention of Codiv-19 through commercials and radio programs of two broadcasters that cover the entire centre-North-East of the country, distribution of information brochures in the health centres and creating courses for the production of liquid soap and reusable masks. The rehabilitation of wells was encouraged with the restoration of 148 sources to ensure clean water and reduce gatherings. In 45 primary and secondary schools in Karamoja, sanitation awareness programs are being carried out, restoring wells to serve schools, activating committees for their care and management, creating courses on the use of drinking water and hand washing, on the correct use of latrines and on the management of the menstrual cycle with the production of reusable sanitary pads.

After the difficulties caused by the lockdown in May, the situation is finally unlocking at our agricultural centre in Alito. The SAY project (funded by AVSI) has been launched, and it includes advanced training courses in horticulture and animal traction, poultry production and management, village veterinary operators and operators for the management of tractors. The courses will run over a period of 4 months and will involve 116 girls and boys starting in October. The project took its first steps as early as July, in a still uncertain situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. The first objective was to reach as many young people as possible, so to inform them of the impending start of the project. Various communication channels were used:  advertisements posted in churches, parishes, sub-counties, awareness in the villages by facilitators, word of mouth through old students and other ways of dissemination of the project employed by the Diocese of Lira.

In August, the selection was started through interviews (oral and written) at the training centre: a process spread into 7 days in order to avoid gatherings and follow the guidelines of the Ugandan Ministry of Health for the prevention of Covid-19. More than 200 young people participated, proving to be able to read and write in a fluid and exhaustive way; 100 of them received letters of admission to the courses.

In September, activities planning meetings were held, meetings were had with local authorities to request the necessary permits for the reopening of the training centre, and the rooms and dormitories were prepared, ready to welcome the students. In October, the courses were finally started welcoming the children in the centre.