Justine Namyalo, Friends for Habitat Environmental Initiative

School going children excitedly smile for the camera.

Justine Namyalo was just a little girl traveling by public transport in when the speeding vehicle knocked down and killed antelope and cattle. Those images have made her think about the impact that humans have on the environment.

Located just east of Uganda’s capital of Kampala is Mubende district, a rural place where community members and children face inadequate knowledge on environmental issues. While in Mubende one can find garbage stashed in trenches, causing flooding alongside contaminated water. Furthermore, much of the community cuts trees for charcoal, resulting in deforestation and poor air quality in the evening when they are burned. Justine Namyalo has created the Friends for Habitat Environmental Initiative to establish education on civic responsibility and environmental leadership.

Justine is taking a hands on approach to this project, teaching students, teachers and community leaders how to make trash bins, the process of starting a garden and the benefits of having a compost pile. Furthermore, Friends for Habitat wants to ensure that the wildlife has a safe habitat and access to resources to flourish and survive among the human population. She is creating a place that will assist in building a future where humans can live in harmony with nature. Justine will also organize sensitization workshops and trainings in land, water and wildlife conservation and management.

With a $1,000 seed grant, Friends for Habitat will be able to design training materials, purchase stationery, provide vegan meals for participants and organize a day trip to the zoo where students will be immersed in lessons and activities about the rich history and ecology of their country.

EAST AFRICA HUB GRANT 2015