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CSRL Skills Development for Self-Reliance 2023

Help rural Ugandans obtain the skills they need to improve their families’ long-term livelihoods.
Raised toward our $50,000 Goal
56 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on July 08, at 11:59 PM CDT
Project Owners

Skills Development for Self-Reliance

The recipe for sustainable livelihoods includes many ingredients.

Iowa State University’s Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) and its Uganda Program (ISU-UP) use the power of education to develop responsible global citizens and thriving local communities that benefit from food and financial security, healthcare, civic participation, social inclusion, and environmental stewardship.

One key set of ingredients in achieving our mission is skills development for self-reliance. Several ISU-UP projects focus on helping Ugandans be self-reliant.

Community Income Generation Innovations (CIGI)

Soap making

Most CIGI participants enter the project after they (and their formerly malnourished child) graduate from a Nutrition Education Centre. The income mothers receive through their chosen craft helps them continue to have and provide nutritious diets for their babies, children and families, alleviating relapses in the nutrition program. Mothers and other participants use part of their income for school fees, home improvement, and savings for food and financial security. The craft projects include basket weaving, soap making, book making, jewelry making, leather working, and tailoring.  

Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP)

Youth farmer


YEP trains Ugandan youth (young adults between 15-35 years who are either in or out of school) on the many facets of agricultural entrepreneurship. Gaining enhanced knowledge in learning practical skills in crop and livestock management, marketing, and leadership, participants grow towards self-reliance and enterprising adulthood.

Vocational & Life Skills Training Program

Hairdressing project


The vocational training program addresses an outcome of the global pandemic; a sudden increase of young mothers in their teens (13-19 years). The program supports these young mothers in improving their academic knowledge and life skills and provides training that enables them to engage in an income-generating vocation. Participants learn hairdressing, tailoring, culinary arts, or agriculture. Gathering together for these skilling projects, they gain additional support, knowing they are not alone.

School and Home Gardening Projects

School gardening

The gardening programs work with young students– the next generation tasked with feeding the world. Pupils enrolled in school garden projects and clubs get hands-on experience learning best practices in local food production while earning funds for school fees and scholastic materials. Participants take pride in the ingredients they help grow for the school lunch programs and the agripreneurial skills and produce they take home to their families. Moreover, they come to realize that agriculture is cool while earning an income!

Currently, we cannot accommodate the number of mothers and youth who wish to develop their skills.  

With your help, we can assist more individuals in obtaining the knowledge and boost they need to provide for themselves and improve their families’ long-term livelihoods.

Every contribution makes a difference! Be part of the first $25,000 contributed, and your donation will be doubled!

Choose a giving level



Every dollar makes a difference. And every donation can help individuals to obtain the skills they need to become self-reliant.


DIT Certification

Similar to a diploma, apprentices can certify their skills through the Uganda Directorate of Industrial Training which conducts testing and awards certificates. This smooths the pathway from training to employment.


Culinary Kit

With a frying pan, charcoal stove, cooking oil, wheat, pastry board, and utensils, each program graduate could be ready for business.


Produce Production

This donation level can cover the costs of training, planting materials, tools, and land preparation for an individual to get started in commercial fruit and vegetable production and marketing.


Salon Services

This donation can provide a participant with skills in hairdressing, manicure/pedicure, and cosmetology.



Our existing programs can't accommodate all of the motivated, entrepreneurial, individuals who want to be involved. Your donation can help broaden the training and skilling programs available. For example, a donation at this level can cover the costs of a welding and metal fabrication apprentice.


Livestock Enterprise

This donation level can provide an individual with the training, materials, equipment, veterinary supplies, and certification to start a small livestock and poultry enterprise.



Crafting soap, books, baskets, jewelry, belts, and bags requires a broad range of inputs for participants to get started. Once they have developed their skills, craft group members are able to pool a portion of their profits to replenish their supplies. Your donation can guide them to self-reliance.


Tailoring Shop

Your contribution can convert twelve participants into cooperative business owners through training, certification, startup materials, machines, and their first three months' rent at the market.


Support an entire class!

Donating at this level will enable more than 50 mothers and youth to graduate from the skilling program of their choice!

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