November is for Needs Assessments.

Apologies for the radio silence! Team Blossom has been hard at work—and has made tremendous progress—over the past several weeks in the Bunambutye community. After much deliberation and planning with team members in Uganda and our Board of Trustees in the UK, we successfully implemented our Needs Assessment; we conducted over 80 individual interviews and four focus groups, accessing over 110 Bunambutye community members. These interviews and focus groups helped us learn more about life in Bunambutye directly through the community’s voices. Our team was inspired and enlightened throughout the process and we were heartened to discover the community’s aspirations, challenges, and goals. I have more confidence than ever that the Bunambutye community will shine during our training programme and beyond!

Our Needs Assessment interviews and focus groups also provide us with a rich source of data to inform the development of our robust training programme. We plan to use the community’s reflections to help us design a programme that aligns with the community’s values, beliefs, and expectations. Many of our initial ideas about training modules have been affirmed (the community wants to learn more about income-generating activities, agriculture, health, and collective action), but we have also learned about other training programmes and are considering ways that we can build upon this previous work. Needless to say, it has been very exciting and educative times for Blossom Africa!

This awesome accomplishment would not have been possible without our dedicated research team members: Jeremiah, Ezra, Aaron, Winnie, Ivan, Phaima, James, and Mubarack.

Blossom Africa Research Team

With only four weeks left of my placement (wow, time flies!), I now turn my energy towards designing a draft of our training programme. Fortunately, I am not left to tackle this huge undertaking alone. Over the past several weeks, I have strengthened our partner relations with key organisations in Mbale and Kampala, many of which have agreed to provide feedback and support as I develop the training. I am privileged and thrilled to learn from these experts in agriculture, health, microfinance, and advocacy as I design Blossom Africa’s foundational programming.

And finally, alongside of the Needs Assessment and training development, Aaron and Jeremiah, Blossom Africa’s two Ugandan volunteers, are making great strides on registering us as an official community-based organisation! This is a huge step for our on-the-ground team—and I believe the first of many great steps towards becoming an influential and impactful stakeholder in sustainable development.

All for now & stay tuned for more soon!