Danish Uganda Friendship Association, DUFA, is a Danish civil society organisation.
DUFA is an international association that works to promote intercultural understanding and cooperation between Danes and Ugandans. Members are both Danish and Ugandans living in Denmark.
The association works both in Denmark and Uganda. At the moment, the 3 projects in Uganda:
- Plant and Health Project (PHP) in Aduko,
- Women Development Project (WDC) in Gulu and
- Computeraid Project in Lango region.
DUFA was founded by Danish farmers.
Danish Ugandan Friendship Association was founded in 2000 by a group of farmers living around Ribe in Western Jutland. They had hosted young Ugandans who stayed in Denmark as exchange student in agriculture.
Vanilla sale to fund scholarships
Some of the members travelled to Uganda and came back with Ugandan vanilla, which they sold to raise money to support education of some children in Uganda.
New members and new board
The vanilla sale gave a lot of challenges, and as a follow of that the board wanted to withdraw. Because of that the next AGM was conducted in Copenhagen in Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke. A number of men and women with Ugandan background participated together with former and present employees in MS that were working in Copenhagen. They elected a new board. The first chairperson was David Okwera.
The first Plants and Health Project
The association approved the first draft for an application to Projektrådgivningen (now CISU) to establish the Plant and Health Project in 2002. Projektrådgivningen approved the application later the same year.
The Plants and Health Committee
DUFA established the Plants and Health Committee to monitor the project. Most of the members of that time have continued their dedicated work ever since while new members have joined them. DUFA and Plant and Health Project (later Plants and Health Cooperative Society) has since conducted 2 more projects with support from CISU.
Internships with PHCS
The Plants and Health Committee conducts interviews with and guide students who want to stay with PHCS for a period to gain experiences with working in a farmers’ association in Uganda. Up to now PHCS has hosted 2 students from Development Studies at Roskilde University, and 6 from International Nutrition and Health at METROPOL, Copenhagen.
Women Development Centre
In 2008 DUFA initiated a project with a new partner, The Mothers Union in Gulu. This project has supported the establishment of the “Women Development Centre” where young girls are taught to sew to gain an income. A second project supported the formation of women groups and a network between them.
Bønner og Cassava, Teaching material for Danish Children
In 2004-5 a working group in DUFA developed a CD and a teachers’ book about nutrition and health in Uganda meant for class 4-7 in the Danish Folkeskole.
The Computer Group – Genbrug til Syd
The Computer group started with sending reconditions computers to organizations and schools in Lango region. Later Ugandan government stopped the importation of recondition computers. After that the group started sending hospital equipment and school furniture. The group’s southern partner is Lango Development Initiative. The activities of the group are funded by the DMCDD -Danish Mission Council, Development Department, under Recycling for development. The group has been working together with MultiCenter Syd which is a production school for renovating and packing of the equipment.
Over the years DUFA has established a number of annual traditions.
- AGM Annual General Meeting
- Summer party
- Mushroom collection tur together with Dansk Vandrelaug and Danmarks Naturfredningsforening in Roskilde where the participants’ payment goes to PHCS.
- Information day where all DUFA projects are presented and the latest project information are given.
- A classical music in December in Kingos Church where the collection goes to Women Development Centre.
Participation in CISU’s activities
DUFA is a member of CISU, and the members often participate in CISU’s meetings and courses.
Danish Microfinance Centre
DUFA is also a member of Danish Microfinance Centre where members also have participated in meetings and training.
From Farmers’ groups to Farmers’ Federations
Finally DUFA has been a participant in a project below Global Focus since January 2016: From Farmers’ Groups to Farmers Federations’ – Capacity building of Danish Civil Society Organisation Work with Development and Consolidation of Farmers’ Associations. DUFA has a representative in a reference group that monitors the project. As a member DUFA has participated in writing a chapter to a book about the subject, and DUFA will also participate in writing a guide book and identifying good indicators for progress in the development of farmers’ associations.
DUFA’s mission statement:
Dufa strives to:
- Build bridges between Uganda and Denmark
- Promote intercultural understanding and
- Promote everybody’s right to form their life in dignity economically and socially based on equality, democracy and sustainability.