Running with Mushrooms
Running with Mushrooms
How to be a refugee, with mushrooms & Rwamwanja Rural Foundation

How to be a refugee, with mushrooms & Rwamwanja Rural Foundation

Bemeriki Bisimwa Dusabe shares insight into the refugee experience, and how to leverage permaculture and mushroom farming for self-reliance

Today I'm chatting with Bemeriki Bisimwa Dusabe, Founder and Director of Rwamwanja Rural Foundation in southwestern Uganda’s Rwamwanja refugee settlement: home to ≈92 thousand refugees, most fleeing a decades-long conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwamwanja Rural Foundation (RRF) is a refugee-led non profit organisation, established to empower young people living with refugee status to fulfil their potential and transform their lives. 

They do this via permaculture and mushroom farming.

RRF’s aim is “to ensure these communities can restore local ecosystems, increasing climate resilience and biodiversity, while benefiting from regenerative agriculture activities that improve access to nutritious food. It brings together permaculture, Indigenous farming techniques, local languages as well as modern, affordable and easily accessible digital technologies to enhance reach and overall impact.”

This conversation happened during a mushroom-fuelled Uganda-Kenya roadtrip in October 2023, before Bemeriki showed us his permaculture garden and upcoming learning centre. More details in a full article (with pics!) at this link here.

We discuss:

🔅 The refugee experience
🔅 Permaculture practice and self-sustaining farming systems
🔅 Oyster mushroom farming and self-sufficiency
🔅 Why mushrooms work so well in the refugee context
🔅 Grappling with identity and multi-nationalism
🔅 Refugee as a status, not an identity
🔅 Integration with a host community
🔅 And more.

Just a note: In this episode, we discuss themes that some might find distressing, such as the refugee experience, war crimes and child orphans.

Please consider supporting the work of Rwamwanja Rural Foundation by:

  • Donation – Via Rwamwanja Rural Foundation’s website, you can donate towards a specific part of the foundation that interests you (e.g. transportation of waste materials to mushroom production site, or post-harvest handling and processing).

  • Volunteering - Spend time contributing to build RRF’s permaculture learning centre and engaging in knowledge & skills exchange. Find out more by emailing info@rrfug.or or .

Support, follow, engage and share the amazing work of Rwamwanja Rural Foundation:

Mush love



🙏This interview took place during Running with Mushrooms’ Uganda/Kenya mushroom road trip in October 2023. Thank you to Bemeriki and Rwamwanja Rural Foundation for having us, and for their patience while illness and work commitments delayed the release of their story.

🙏Thank you to Samantha Koches of Nourish All for introducing us to each other, andklfor the never-ending support of Running with Mushrooms and the organisations we’ve had the pleasure of speaking with in Uganda.

🙏Thank you to my husband, travel buddy and sound guy Michael Saal for the audio recording.

Running with Mushrooms
Running with Mushrooms
A series of mushroom chats sharing my research into global myco-culture. Come join Jess Jorgensen on a mushroom tour exploring how the 'shroom boom' is affecting people & environments, with bi-weekly podcasts about how to make sense of it all. Follow