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Village Life - On the borders

Kevin Ellison | Massachusetts, Uganda

Aryoaryo is the local potter of Amor Village. Clay soil is one of the few resources found in abundance in this region of Uganda and is extracted extensively. It is used to make bricks for housing and other structures, and spun to make clay pots and other vessels. However clay is often over-extracted and the resulting damage done to soil is contributing to extensive erosion and soil fertility loss.

All members of the Amor Village community of Eastern Uganda suffer from some level of food insecurity. Knock-on effects such as poor nutrition, lack of funds for schooling and lack of infrastructure are endemic. A deeper cultural and health issue at play within the community (and throughout Uganda) is the prevalence of multiple sexual partners, young marriages and multiple wives contributing to a tremendously high birth rate and a generation of people killed or suffering from AIDS/HIV. The resulting instability within many communities has resulted in many orphaned and marginalized children left to fend for themselves. However, despite these emmense challenges, meals, homes and love were offered up without hesitation to all visitors.

The person hosting me during my stay in Uganda runs a primary school and non-profit foundation in Amor Village named Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation. It's mission is to "enhance knowledge and skills within rural communities and to promote the exchange of information and best practices through education, mentorship, advocacy and strategic partnerships for social, cultural and economic development. We seek to break the cycle of poverty and empower communities to take charge of their own development."

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