I would like to report about work shops which were held at 2 Sub-county offices.
- Workshop at Sub-County Office
The purpose of this workshop is to disseminate intervention package and get extension officers (EX officers) involved even more to the project.
The counties of Uganda are divided into sub-counties. Mbarara district is divided into 17 Sub-Counties. The figure below shows Sub-Counties in Mbarara and Staff distribution map and black marks indicate the location of our cooperative farms. At the present, there is a lack of extension staff who are in charge of livestock in Mbarara. They make up for work each other especially around central part. There are Veterinary Officer (VO) or Animal Husbandry Officer(AHO) in respective area. We held 2 workshops at Kangongi Sub-County (EX officer: Monica) and Rubindi Sub-County (EX officer: Lonard).
In workshop at Kagongi Sub-County Office, firstly Monica explained milking hygiene of intervention package. Fortunately, Alice who works at Bubaare Sub-County Office came all the way at this day and she explained mastitis. In addition, we made a movie about One towel for One Cow method to make that clearly understandable, then we showed it to the participants. We consider the movie went over well, because they were looking at that with fascination. After that, I explained udder stimulation (pre-milking and clean teats) which affects milk yield, though it might have a little difficult content.
EX officer (Mr. Agaba) from UCCCU (Uganda Crane Creamery Cooperative Union) and 4 intern students (Vet students) from Makerere University joined to the workshop at Rubindi Sub-County Office. Firstly, Dr. Lonard explained milking hygiene and EX officer from UCCCU gave presentation about good quality milk and then intern students explained mastitis. There were lots of participants and Qs and As at this day, therefore the workshop was a hugely success.
An international student (Yuuki Umehara) from Rakuno Gakuen University has been joining this project since October 2018. She is a fifth-grade student in veterinary department. In this workshop, she introduced about Japanese traditional ball game which is called Otedama. She made it from Kitenge (Traditional African fabric). Most participants looked very excited to see this Japanese traditional game for the first time.
I also feel that there are some favorably change to this project team members since she joined. Her bright personality might build a good relationship with farmers and other staff.
We held some workshops at various places such as milk collection center so far. The difference of workshop at this time from others was that EX officers gathered participants by themselves and the workshop was held at their responsible area. That means participants who know them very well were able to listen to their presentation. Although it might be easy for me to give presentation to participants unilaterally, it doesn’t provide any sustainability for them. Additionally, there are not a few barriers between foreigner like me and local people. That is why giving presentation by EX officers such as this case would be significant effect.
What I realized again through this workshop is the importance of supporting and encouraging independence towards EX officers. I consider my role is that giving them a boost to act more proactively and work behind the scenes. I know that easier said than done, but I would like to devote myself to them.
I consider that EX officers, intern students and UCCCU officer could get to know each other through this workshop, though they usually work in different area. This would have become a great opportunity for them. Finally, I also hope the workshop would become something that brings people together and community place for the future sustainability.