People & Parks (formerly CECOP)
Through the People & Parks programme, Soft Power Education’s expert programme staff provide the tools and know-how that empower communities bordering Murchison Falls Conservation Area to design, develop and implement their own income-generating projects.
We train community members to develop and maintain sustainable and environmentally friendly projects such as bee keeping, goat rearing and tree planting. Through viable alternative livelihood options, communities can build themselves and their children a sustainable future while at the same time helping to conserve environmentally threatened habitats.
People & Parks began in 2010 after research into the challenges and needs of Buliisa District as a mechanism of supporting local communities and the work of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. People & Parks also reinforces messages about the importance of education, thus complimenting our Buliisa District School Infrastructure Programme.
Environmental conservation trainings
Rural Ugandan communities rely heavily on natural resources, with rapid population growth resulting in ever increasing pressure on these resources. People & Parks sensitises communities living in close proximity to areas of significant natural importance on conservation issues, such as the impacts of poaching and deforestation, and on sustainable natural resource management.
Community driven initiatives
In communities where poverty is rife and opportunities few, pressure on natural resources increases. People & Parks delivers an empowering capacity building programme and small scale start-up grants to enable communities to practise sustainable diversified livelihoods.
Where we work
Characterised by sandy soils and a harsh climate, Buliisa District is located within Africa’s Great Western Rift. Bordered to the west by Lake Albert and the east by Murchison Falls Conservation Area, livelihoods were traditionally reliant on fishing, hunting and timber harvesting. Today, however, fish stocks have been depleted, wild animals hunted to extinction or near extinction and forests reduced to fragments of their former sizes.
Pressure on natural resources continues to increase due to population growth, with Buliisa District having a higher than national average fertility rate (6.2%, PRB 2012) and having also experienced a large influx of migration both from the Democratic Republic of Congo, with which it shares a border, and from the formerly troubled region of northern Uganda.
Among opportunities for the population of Buliisa District are involvement in Uganda’s nascent oil industry – for which the largest concentration of prospective wells are in Buliisa – and the growing tourist market in and around Murchison Falls National Park.
People & Parks is funded by donations from SPE volunteers and by specific donations where available. Click here if you are interested in donating to the project, or email the Project Manager for more information.
We are always looking for interested, passionate and keen skilled volunteers to integrate into People & Parks activities, particularly those with knowledge of environmental education, entrepreneurship and agriculture. If you would like more information about volunteering for People & Parks please send us an email.
Community Development Programme
Based at the Amagezi Education Centre (AEC) and led by the AEC staff, the Community Development Programme (CDP) is aimed at educating communities in sustainable life skills and maximising the potential of the education centre.
Replicating the P6 Pupils’ Project‘s ethos of offering practical and interactive learning in a stimulating environment, our community programmes are open to the entire community. The AEC acts as an inspiring community centre with opportunities ranging from agriculture lessons to ICT to art and craft.
CDP offers several art and craft apprenticeship schemes through the Endowoza Arts Centre, ICT/Library skills classes for secondary pupils, English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) classes, an agriculture project involving parents of the pupils taking part in our P6 Pupil’s Project and a tailoring project. Click on the links below for more information:
- ICT/Library for Secondary Pupils
- Teaching English as a Foreign Language Project (TEFL)
- P6 Parents’ Project