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Amigos Worldwide is a development charity based in Barnstaple, North Devon. Its Ugandan base is just outside the capital, Kampala. Amigos supports Ugandans to work their way out of poverty with dignity. Through an integrated approach involving education, vocational training, conservation farming and clean water, thousands of Ugandans every year are lifting themselves out of poverty.
The charity's vision is for every person in Uganda to be thriving; the charity's mission is to create lasting solutions to poverty and hunger in Uganda.
- 1 Amigos' Works
- 2 Kira Farm Development Centre
- 3 Partners
- 4 References
Amigos works through churches in rural communities delivering training in conservation farming, vocational skills, providing child sponsorship and access to clean water. Amigos has been operating in Uganda since 2000.
Amigos was conceived after three friends visited Tanzania in 1997 and were struck by the level of poverty. Three years later Amigos was born and focussed, initially, on educating AIDS orphans in Uganda. Slowly the vision grew into a fully integrated programme which now supports Ugandan communities to work their way out of poverty.
Rural Community Development
Amigos works with local communities, providing three years of training in environmentally friendly farming techniques to increase crop yields. The charity works with the local community to provide resources where appropriate such as tools, seeds, and livestock.
Amigos constructs boreholes, shallow wells, rainwater harvesting tanks, BioSand filters as well as providing training in sanitation, hygiene and combatting open defecation. In 2018, Amigos had enabled 24,517 individuals to receive clean water.
Amigos delivers practical workshops covering areas such as savings, financial management, marketing, risk management and credit management.
Amigos’ 2017 Christmas Appeal was successful in raising over £20,000 to purchase bicycles for farmers. Working with the UK bicycle charity Re-Cycle, Amigos trained young people in bike assembly and mechanics at the residential base, Kira Farm Development Centre. In 2018, a total of 200 bikes were assembled by students at Kira Farm Development Centre, and distributed on a lease-to-own basis in Gulu and Lira.
This innovative, short-term, programme improves food, income, health and access to clean water for the whole family. The programme is delivered through local churches and provides the orphaned child with a school uniform, academic materials and a school dinner. In addition, caregivers receive training in conservation farming and business skills. This tried and tested approach ensures the household has enough to eat, a surplus to sell and income to set up small businesses and pay school fees.
Once a caregiver has been trained by Amigos, their average annual income increases from £335 to £1670.
Within three to four years the caregiver will have the finances to keep all their children in school, which means they don't need to rely on charity and Amigos can move on and help more children.
In 2019, Amigos partnered up with builders’ merchants company RGB to donate old tools to then transport to Kira Farm Development Centre to train the trainees.
Kira Farm Development Centre
Kira Farm Development Centre is set on 22 acres of land. The site is located approximately 30 kilometres north of Kampala in Gayaza. It is a place where the broken are made whole, the bruised are healed and the hopeless find faith. Kira Farm is a catalyst for change - emotional, material and physical.
One Year Course
Every year Kira Farm takes in 40 young people, many of whom have been orphaned and burdened by the horrors of war, HIV and hunger. At Kira Farm they are enveloped in love, strengthened and encouraged until they are in a position to learn.
During the one-year course at Kira Farm, students acquire vocational skills alongside new conservation farming techniques. Upon completion of the course, the students also acquire the tools they need such as a sewing machine or a carpentry kit to set themselves up in business.
Throughout the year, the trainees complete courses in character development, conflict resolution, biblical discipleship, health and hygiene, and nutrition.
Vocational Training includes:
- Bike repairs
- Conservation farming (or Farming God’s way)
- Gender equality
- Conflict resolution
- Health and hygiene
Students at Kira Farm Development Centre are trained to make and invest in simple technology that would have impact.
- Tippy taps – handwashing devices made from local materials. A small hole is drilled in the lid of a jerry can and tipped using a stick and rope activated by the foot making it hygienic.
- Energy saving stove – students are trained in building energy efficient mud stoves which use 50% less wood than a traditional three-stone fire.
- Solar lamps.
- Sanitary towels – the tailoring students produce re-usable sanitary towels that have a lifespan of three years.
- Plastic bottle construction – re-using plastic bottles in construction.
The development centre is also available for visitors as accommodation. It provides a variety of accommodation ranging from single occupancy, family lodges with self-catering facilities to unique eco-lodges for larger groups.
These are mostly based in Barnstaple such as Philip J Milton and Company PLC and Toptown Printers.
Amigos has teamed up with charity partners Alongsiders, Farming God’s Way, Re-Cycle, Tools with a Mission, and Work Aid.
Since 2010, Amigos has built a reputation for running innovative tailor-made trips to Kira Farm Development Centre in Uganda and in recent years has specialised in secondary school educational trips. Visitors are given exposure to the projects in action. Schools involved are primarily North Devon based including:
- Braunton Academy
- Pilton Community College, Barnstaple 
- The Park Community School, Barnstaple
- South Molton Community College
- Hockerill College
In 2015 a tree was planted in Kira Farm in memory of a Park School teacher ‘Miss Bluett’ who was a dedicated supporter of the charity.