Skip to content

We use cookies on our website to personalize your experience and improve our efforts. By continuing, you agree to the terms of our privacy policy.

Growing Trees and a Support System

Written by Charity Nalwoga
Ajambo Jofania from Busia 3 project
Ajambo Jofania has overcome more than the average farmer. Although she grew up in a farming family and learned to farm from a young age, she has had a hard time accessing the resources and support she needed to succeed. Born deaf and mute, Ajambo has struggled to communicate with others given that the majority of her village cannot speak sign language. After she lost her husband in 2012, Ajambo was finding it difficult to get the help she needed to maintain her farm and support her children.

“The first day we met Ajambo, she was by the roadside crying and looking for help on how to stop animals from eating her crops. We tried to speak to her but she just took us back to her house so we could speak to her son,” says Francis Muliro, a Trees for the Future (TREES) Lead Technician. Her son “Julius explained to us the challenges and we shared information on the TREES project and how his mother could be a part of it. This is how we were able to get Ajambo to join the project.”

Ajambo has six children, four currently staying with her sister in another village. Her two youngest live at home and 10-year-old Julius helps his mom communicate with TREES staff and other project participants. Julius has accompanied his mom to each farmer training and translates for her. A little over a year into the program, this mother-son duo have successfully transformed their farm.

“10-year-old Julius attends Forest Garden training with his mother and translates for her.”

Ajambo is growing enough to feed her family and is selling vegetables like collard greens and amaranth at market. Over the course of this year, she will continue planting more vegetables and fruits in her Forest Garden.

See also  HIV Patients Find Support in Their Farmer Group

“She is very happy that we can now use our garden to sustain the home.” Ajambo’s son shares with Muliro.

Her living fence (thousands of trees grown around the perimeter of the Forest Garden) is maturing too, which means the animals that plagued her crops before aren’t able to get to her valuable vegetables.

“Ajambo is happier, she farms with a more content heart and now has an attachment to her garden as it provides more for her,” says Auma Annet, the Lead Farmer of Ajambo’s farmer group. “She has more hope and is much more motivated to farm on her land than she was before.”

“Ajambo and Auma have formed a friendship since joining TREES.”

Ajambo has three years of training left. Over the next several years, she and Julius will continue to learn sustainable farming techniques and will plant even more trees and food on their land. Muliro says he also hopes that Ajambo will continue to find a community through training too.

“TREES technicians Bashir and Francis have worked with other farmers to help them better communicate with Ajambo.”

“Joining TREES has not only helped Ajambo improve her garden but also given her an opportunity to rejoin society and make new friends in the community through her farmer group,” he says. He adds that he and other TREES staff are trying to teach the group members a few ways to communicate with Ajambo so they can interact with her more.

Help bring life-changing training to farmers like Ajambo. Donate to Trees for the Future today.

Add Impact to Your Inbox