As an Assistant Technician at Trees for the Future, Christine takes full advantage of the opportunity to mobilize, train, and support the farmers in her community. In the two and a half years she’s been on staff, she’s played a crucial role in training and supporting the 3,000 Mount Elgon farmers enrolled in Trees for the Future’s Forest Garden training program.
Christine sat down with TREES Uganda Communications Officer Charity Nalwoga to talk trees, training farmers, and being a member of the Trees for the Future team.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am Namutosi Christine, from Busiu sub-county in Mbale district. I finished my primary education in Mengya primary school in Kapchorwa District and secondary in Manafwa District. All near Mount Elgon, where I currently live and work.
What experience do you have in agroforestry and community development?
I hold a certificate and diploma in Forestry, both acquired from Nyabyeya Forestry College. I also have a degree in organic farming.
Before TREES, I worked with a private tree nursery called Kigata tree nursery as a nursery supervisor. I then worked on a family farm as a supervisor in Amuru in Gulu district. And in June 2018, I started volunteering with the National Forestry Authority (NFA) in protecting a natural Forest called Zirimiti Natural Central Forest Reserve in Mukono District.
I started working with TREES in July 2019, through a local cooperative working in Khabutoola Manafwa district.
What inspired you to join TREES?
I am so passionate about tree planting and sharing the importance of trees means a lot to me. I was inspired to join TREES to get farmers involved in planting trees in their gardens and understanding their importance to both their land and the environment as a whole.
I want not only to sensitize communities living around forests about the importance of trees, but also those far from them. Working with farmers makes this easy because the agricultural industry is so large in Uganda.
What are your proudest moments as a member of the TREES team?
I am proud when I see a farmer making money – no matter how much – from one of the techniques that I helped train them on, such as composting. I’ve met farmers whose land was not yielding, but because of composting and other techniques we share, the land now yields.
Or finding a farmer that is better off than when I met them because of the seeds I shared with them. They have enough to eat and sell at the same time and can learn how to save seeds from the harvest to put back in the soil and produce more.
When not at work, what do you do in your spare time?
I watch movies or read novels, or I work out. I also like to play with children, or I go dancing and spend time with friends.