- Many of the students on Kira Farm come from isolated rural areas, where medicine is either unaffordable or unavailable. So promoting well-known, verified forms of herbal medicine is a valuable way that students can be empowered to manage health and well-being in communities. Anyone can grow these plants, and use them as prevention and treatment for a number of common ailments.
On Kira Farm we grow Artemisia (Artemisia annua), which has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years in the treatment of Malaria and various other illnesses. The many (over 30) active compounds in the plant make it incredibly bitter, but dried and drunk as a tea, it treats malaria incredibly effectively. Many of the students who have come down with Malaria have opted to be treated with Artemisia rather than going to the clinic for treatment. They arrive dutifully for their four cups a day of bitter green tea, and some have even said they feel an improvement within hours of drinking it. There are now more than 140 Artemisia plants on the farm, and the hope is to harvest and dry the leaves to sell them.
The students were taught in W.A.S.H (Water And Sanitation Health) classes how to prevent the spread of diarrhoea, and how to treat intestinal worms using the seeds of the Paw-Paw – a common fruit that the students love to eat. Another plant grown on the farm is Roselle, (Hibiscus sabdariffa), which makes a popular deep-red, tangy tea. This can be used by the household as a healthy drink, or aptly the flowers can be dried and sold to generate essential income. This tea has been shown to reduce blood pressure and hypertension and is a great source of Vitamin C. Dark-green Comfrey leaves are used to feed chickens and goats. If ingested, it is toxic to humans, but has been used for centuries as an external way to treat strains and sprains. Highlighting the importance of education, after using it personally a Kira student showed another injured student how to crush the leaves and hold them onto the area with a bandage. The Farm also grows small aloe vera plants to treat small cuts, minor burns and other skin problems.Amigos is working to bring self-sustainability, dignity and hope to the young people in Uganda through investing in vocational training, educational opportunities and holistic life-skills.