Training new Forest Gardeners, supporting them as challenges arise, and checking in on their progress throughout the life of a project is no easy task. That’s why Trees for the Future (TREES) has passionate people like Lead Technician Bashir Mulondo making our impact happen every day in Mount Elgon, Uganda.
Alongside passionate team members like Christine Namutosi, Bashir leads training and support for farmers in the TREES Mount Elgon 1 project group. Overseeing operations serving more than 3,000 farmers, Bashir applies his passion for rural communities to make an impact at scale.
TREES Uganda Communications Officer Charity Nalwoga got to catch up with Bashir about his life, his family, and making a difference through the Forest Garden Approach.
1. Tell us a little about your personal background.
My name is Bashir Mulondo, I am currently the Lead Technician for TREES’ Mount Elgon 1 project. I was born into a family of 25 children from Masaka in central Uganda and grew up as an orphan after my parents passed when I was young. Today, I am a happily married man with two beautiful children, whom I treasure.
2. Did you work anywhere before TREES? If so, tell us a bit about your professional background.
After attaining my degree in Mass Communication, I went to work for a local non-profit organization that worked to alleviate poverty and empower people through social and economic programs. Then I worked as a Research Assistant with the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), a government think tank in Uganda.
3. What was your inspiration to join TREES?
Having grown up in a farming family, I have always had a passion for changing peoples’ lives through agriculture. After all, if it was not for farming and agriculture, perhaps I would not have completed school. That made TREES the right organization for me to be a part of.
4. What is your favorite part of your job?
Getting my hands dirty with the farmers. I like being practical and TREES is all about practicality. I like to see how easily farmers can grasp the concepts we share in our trainings and then apply them in their Forest Gardens.
5. What has been your proudest moment as a member of the TREES team?
I was working on a project in Lira in northern Uganda, an area that was really hit by rebel insurgencies. Farmers had lost hope, and communities were traumatized by the atrocities they had witnessed. It was a challenge for TREES staff to help rebuild the rural communities where we were working, because many of them were ready to abandon farming. I am proud that through our project in the region, farmers were able to restore their farms through the Forest Garden Approach. We helped them increase food production and realize a sustainable vision for their farms.
6. When not at work, what do you do in your spare time?
When I am not at work, I like to spend time with my family – especially parenting – and I also like to watch football.