In the early 1990s, the creation of The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Southwest Uganda forced the migration of the indigenous Batwa people from their ancestral forest where they had lived hunting and gathering for millennia. Formerly (and derogatorily) referred to as “pygmies,” the Batwa knew nothing of agriculture, and their exile resulted in increased oppression, food insecurity, extreme poverty, and poor health outcomes for these already marginalized people.
With no hope of returning to the forest, the unkept promises of compensation and land from the government continues to stifle the Batwa’s progress. DIG has come alongside the Batwa and other trusted partners to better prepare them to nourish themselves and their families where they are now.
DIG’s primary mission is to enable vulnerable communities to meet their own needs and improve their well-being through nutrition-sensitive and regenerative agriculture and it is hard to find any community more vulnerable than the Batwa.
This project has the singular aim of empowering the Batwa to become self- reliant so they are able to support themselves and their communities through sustainable, climate resilient agriculture initiatives. Since 2016, in collaboration with community leaders and local stakeholders, DIG has been providing experiential training in regenerative agriculture, nutrition, improved cooking practices, and record-keeping.
By prioritizing with Batwa communities in Southwest Uganda, DIG’s programs are filling a food and nutrition gap.
These vulnerable households are learning to produce food in their home gardens that meet the micronutrient needs for their entire family. The gardens also create pathways to markets, income-generation, and a way out of extreme poverty.