It began in 2007 with a simple idea in a sixth grade pubic school classroom in Molalla, Oregon, USA.
The previous year, 2006, the teacher Becky Bryan, read a story to her class about a boy named Ryan who raised $1,200 for a water well in Africa. The students wondered together why they couldn’t also raise money for needy children in Africa. Becky was a dear friend of Paul and Pam Hunter. She told the classroom that she had friends who worked in Africa. Would they like to have a visit from them to investigate what they could do in a significant way to bring some change in Africa? They said yes to the visit and yes to raising funds. During the last three weeks of school that classroom collected $2,600 for a water well in Uganda!
The following year, the sixth grade class of 2007 also wanted to do something significant, but they didn’t want to copy the idea of the previous class. Instead they choose to raise money for three high quality dairy cows to be given to worthy recipients as a means of providing income and development for a few Ugandans.
Doing something significant in the world and living for something which goes beyond self can be contagious. Following the pattern of Heifer International, NGM gave 10 cows away until the birth of their own dairy farm in 2013. Paul and Pam Hunter purchased a small plot of ground as seed for the farm. That land was fenced and prepared for dairy cows. In December of 2013, due to the generous donations of some farmers in America, 10 high quality heifers were purchased and transported from Western Uganda to the NGM Farm. Additionally, other donations were given for the purchase of adjace
Progressively, the farm developed as animals, staff, and buildings were added. However, it has been a long and challenging journey since the farm began. Mismanagement, theft by managers and employees, sabotage by surrounding villagers, and a lack of constant supervision eventually resulted in the liquidation of the animals in 2017. An alternative use of the land was established. One thousand eucalyptus trees were planted in April of 2017. These trees are are fast growing and will ultimately be sold to the Umeme Utility for electrical poles.
This transition from cows to trees theoretically reduced the maintenance and sabotage risk. The trees will be thinned in 2019 and the two year old trees will be sold for construction poles. New seedlings will take their place. The remaining trees will be harvested between 2022 and 2024. During this five to seven year period, the maintenance should be minimal and the return should make the farm self sustaining as well as provide capital for future investment and/or provide funds for Uganda operating expenses.
Currently NGM employs Alice Kabonge, a tree farmer with over 40,000 trees, to supervised the development and maintenance of the NGM Farm.
If you would like to contribute in this effort, please write a check to NGM and mail it to 29940 South Dhooghe Rd, Colton, OR 07017. Please designate your donation for the NGM Farm.
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