Amatheon Agri Commits to Uganda Schools (allAfrica.com)

Improved access to quality health and education services remains a top priority for the government, but when they can the private sector is also playing its part.

Question: Congratulations on your latest success, but the obvious question whenever joint venture deals are announce, must be whether the family is still committed to the business in Uganda or is this phased pull out?

Through its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, Amatheon Agri Uganda Limited, an agricultural company, has charted out its own plan to support government efforts.

Nancy Akumu, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Amatheon Agri Uganda Limited said last week, “Our underlying aim is to make our farming communities more productive which is something we shall always endeavor to achieve.”

Despite the registered successes over the years, persisting challenges in the health and education systems have prevented attainment of key national and international targets.

In 2014, the firm conducted a baseline socio-economic survey of its surrounding communities. From the survey’s result and key social development needs highlighted by the District Local Government, sub-county leaders and the local communities, Amatheon selected its CSR projects.

The prioritised projects were education, improved access to health care facilities through empowerment of Village Health Teams (VHTs), provision of agricultural training and social support through youth engagement in sports.

Akumu said their the company’s social investments will continue to focus on projects that make a significant difference and have the potential to transform lives of the communities in which it operates.

In June 2015, Amatheon Agri supported education by providing school furniture to Wii-Anaka Primary School in northern Uganda. The school received 130 desks, teachers’ chairs and tables for grades 1-7. “With the provision of furniture, we want to establish a more supportive and motivating learning environment and further improve the safety of students. Over 300 students will have a safe place to sit, complete their assignments and hence increase chances to improve their performance,” Akumu said.

Amatheon also plans to enroll its VHTs program in Alero Sub-county, Nwoya District. The Village Health Teams will be trained and provided with bicycles for effective implementation of the programme.

“Riding a bicycle is much more efficient and convenient than walking, since the high majority of Village Health Teams previously walked when providing health services to patients in rural areas. Bicycles will improve the overall outreach capability of the VHTs. Our contribution will increase monitoring, supporting and responding to the health care needs of our local communities. This will lead to an enhanced emergency response and hopefully contribute to saving precious lives,” Akumu said.