Report On The Gayaza Tooke Project (Gatooke) Day 17th October 2015

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Early last year in March, the current Senior Six students (the then Senior Five students) were introduced to a Banana growing project. The project was majorly to build Entrepreneurship and teamwork among the girls, increase food security in the school and equip the girls with skills and the right experiences to start their own businesses at home. The girls would also be in a position to pass the skills acquired from the Project to the Youths within their communities.

The senior six classroom-pioneer garden

The Gatooke project was then born-the Youth Voice:

“Initially we thought that like any farm activity this was going to be horrible and we loathed the idea. However shortly after a visit to a very successful farm in Kiteezi owned by one talented farmer Mr. Muwonge we were inspired. The visit stirred a yearning and passion for matooke growing in some of our hearts”.

We were graced with a significantly adequate and clean training by another farmer
Mr. Kiwanuka from Kawanda research station identified by Dr.Semambo, Executive Director NAGRC, who took us through the baby steps of growing bananas and explicitly told us why each step is done. He also illustrated practically how it is done.

Consequently each and everyone of us would not help but learn the process and after that training we all knew the systematic way followed while planting Bananas and so we embarked on the one plant per child project, “Gatooke”.

The first event was planting the suckers. The major and most memorable event was digging the 4 feet wide and 4 feet deep hole to house the sucker until it grows. The sucker is covered fully with the top soil and given enough water. This method was new to many of us who had seen our grand mothers work in their gardens and we wondered whether our plants would grow. Many of us were so excited when our plants sprouted and grew within weeks. However, sadly some plants died and the individual students had to replant.

All in all, by June everyone’s plant had reached a substantial height and the need to weed, water, manure and consequently prune and thin arose. Then we came to realise that the strict measurements taken when setting up the garden and the rows and columns during planting was the true application of our Mathematics concepts. This garden then became our classroom thereafter and more applications were unveiled.

After going through all the days with the plants on the matooke odyssey we began to see the light. The plants started to fruit. Today some of our friends already harvested their bunch and enjoyed a meal with their parents while the rest of the harvest was taken to the school dining room to feed the school. It is such a satiable experience we can’t trade for anything in the world.
CELEBRATING OUR FARMING YEAR- FEEDING THE WHOLE SCHOOL

After all the events on that long journey, the S.6 students wished to have a grand celebration; to celebrate every sweat, every time and every memory. We resolved to prepare a meal for the entire school aided by our parents. This was meant to increase awareness of the essence of Agriculture to the modern and elite youth because Agriculture is still at the heart of the matter; it is the backbone of our economy.

Matooke being a traditional crop we hoped to seize that chance/opportunity to celebrate our culture, tradition, our heritage and the cultural diversity but also to follow the value addition that can be done along the way.

We joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Food day and on Saturday 17th October 2015 and launched the “Gatooke Project”. We stand for food security and conservation of traditional foods in order to enhance sustainability of our communities.

We congratulate the teachers who have also set up their Banana gardens and we smile whenever we pass the S.3/5 garden of 500 plants. Gayaza is set to be the greatest supplier of food to the surrounding markets and we hope that other value added products will be produced in the near future.
PROGRAMME FOR THE GATOOKE DAY CELEBRATION

Wednesday 14th October 2015

Harvesting the Matooke early in the week to allow it settle,

S.6 Students
S.6 Students

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Friday 16th October 2015

12 noon 

S.6 Biology class participated in the process of slaughtering the bull

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3:00-6:00 p.m

-Learning how to  peel the matooke
– Preparing the Luwombo leaves
-Preparing the food for cooking

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6:00p.m

-Lighting the fire stoves and start of cooking -Students

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10:00p.m

-Students retired to bed
-Support team takes over
5:00a.m

-Students wake up to rejoin the support team
-Preparing the cooked food and cooking the Luwombo Students

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Saturday 17th

8:00a.m

-All food was fully cooked
9:00a.m

-Arrival of Senior Six parents and other guests
11:00a.m

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Presentation on the topic:
“ YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP TOWARDS FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY OF A HOME” -Within the families


12:00 noon

-Arrival of Guest of Honor
-Preparation for Lunch in families -S.6 students
-Lunch

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10 11 14 19
2:00p.m

-S.6 Business Challenge -Presenters and Judging process.

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3:00p.m

-Speech from the Headmistress
-Speech from the P.T.A chairperson
-Introduction of the Guest of Honor
3:30p.m

-Speech by Guest of Honor

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-Cutting of the Tooke cake
-Launch of the Gayaza Tooke Club

23 24 27Announcement of the best business proposal
-Vote of thanks -M.C
-Mr.Ddungu

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4:30p.m

Closing prayer -Rose Ann

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