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Elijah Astute, the dedicated leader of Bio-Green, an initiative aimed at helping refugees in Nakivale Settlement, Uganda, shared his inspiring story of hope and resilience. His community faces tough challenges, including a decrease in food donations despite a growing population. As of December 2023, the population comprised 171,387 refugees from Congo, Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Today, food security and livelihood are the key focuses of Bio-Green's mission.

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There are ambitious projects in the areas of permaculture, agro-forestry, and specific initiatives such as mushroom production, water management and clean energy solutions. Drawing from Elijah's experiences and his time with Morag Gamble during his Permaculture Design Course (PDC), he emphasised the importance of careful observation in defining Bio-Green's objectives.

Future plans include distributing seeds, establishing a permaculture centre, continuing to provide training for farmers, and capturing their journey in a documentary. They have already delivered over 20 training sessions, empowering close to 200 women and farmers who now form a network of food growers applying their new knowledge in their homes and gardens.

Elijah's interest in mushroom cultivation, sparked by an online session with Jessica Perini (Permaculture Australia Education Team). He learnt that mushrooms represent the potential for an alternative solution to improve food security and generate income. Jessica's article documenting Elijah's journey in Uganda highlights his admirable determination and patience - check the article here.

As Bio-Green continues its mission, there are opportunities for individuals and organisations to contribute and support their efforts. To learn more visit their fundraising campaign page GoFundMe: Permaculture Centre - Nakivale  and their Facebook page.

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