Royce and Jean Abbey Agricultural Vocational Scholarship


Brian Ahmed, PDG Ian Knight OAM Rotary Club of Werribee Rotary Foundation Royce and Jean Abbey Scholarship Committee 

Christopher Ochaya from Uganda, was the recipient of the Rotary Foundation “Royce and Jean Abbey Agricultural Vocational Scholarship”. We had the pleasure of meeting him on the 4th February 2017 when we picked him up from the airport to begin his 3 months Scholarship program in Victoria and NSW. Chris runs a model farm (Tamarind) in Uganda teaching locals to grow food. This skill was lost to the community through years of war. 

Our responsibility was to arrange his program and assist him where required to assure that Chris had every opportunity to gain the knowledge required for him to make a difference. We understood what the Scholarship Program wanted to achieve. It was a challenge how we could make this happen in such a short time. The first week with Christopher gave great confidence that we could make a difference and by the end of the 3 months program. We achieved all planned and more. 

The program involved many individuals, Rotarians and Friends and could not have succeeded without their moral and financial support. More importantly, it is the ongoing support that cannot be measured. 

The program had to be regularly monitored and altered to make sure Chris was able to get the full value out of visiting each farm as circumstances vary from farm to farm, eg flock changes, breeding times, harvest times. 

This scholarship program included chicken farming, vegetable growing, pig raising, goat farming, day seminar re growing sustainable timber in Otways, rice growing and dairy farming. 

It was also important to understand the needs of Chris and his community, so we could train him in the farming systems that would give him the most benefits. During the program it was very clear that everything we could hope to achieve could not be possible without quality, reliable water. This International project needed to include financial support to build the infrastructure. 

Chris attended and spoke at the District 9800 Shepparton Conference. Because of his enthusiasm and inspiration many people, including the Rotary Club of Werribee and The Rotary Foundation have contributed $30,000 financially to this project in Uganda. 

This demonstrates what can be achieved from a Rotary Foundation Scholarship. 

LEFT: digging the bore.

TOP: the water flowing.

RIGHT (Below if viewed on mobile): water flowing through hose into water carriers 

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