In April 2011 thirty eight adults coming from 5 states and other high school youth attended a 2 week agricultural training organised by CEDAR’s partner MFDC in Yangon. CEDAR Agricultural Consultant D. Armstrong has been a volunteer of this programme in past 4 years. This year training lessons were on making of compost, preparation of banana planting materials, planting in rotation and fallow principles, techniques on sowing small seeds in a plot and planting seeds of different sizes and a session on rice & demonstration of fertilizer & lime for rice.
After this 2 week training, our consultant and one expert on rice cultivation visited Pathein Township to make a field visit to 3 course trainees who came from the Irrawaddy Delta region which was previously hit by a super cyclone in May 2008. One of the course trainees W is looking after a group of people who are mostly Christian and have been told to move out by their non-Christian families. W supports the villagers in spiritual and practical ways through the establishment of a community and guide the villagers how to get better yields from the land. W already seen an improvement on his paddy land after following the teaching from last year course, that is to add lime in the soil. This year he got 30 baskets of rice from each acre of paddy land, an increased from last year 25 baskets/acre. W is very hopeful by using improved rice seed, in three years time he will harvest 60 baskets/acre of land. This year two youths from his area also joined the training. One youth Zaw has attained Grade 9 education level but he is a very good farm worker, keen to learn new techniques and willing to share with other villagers. Zaw is learning to make heaps of compost as organic fertilizer. He is also helping to propagate fruit trees and trying new ways to manage insects and pests by applying non-chemical natural insecticides. Zaw will like to start a small nursery, something he learnt at the training, after this year planting of the paddy field season. This way he can save some costs and at the same time can share his tree saplings to people in his community. CEDAR is delighted to witness how course participants benefit from the Agricultural training programme and ways that they are sharing their knowledge and fruits to people in their community.
Many poor people live in the rural villages back behind the forests of the Orissa states. These villagers come from different castes, tribes and have different religious beliefs. Conflicts among groups are always happened and worsen their impoverished livelihood. In 2008, the Hindu-Christian violent conflict there, resulted in causalities and economic losses. Even now, the community has not experienced real reconciliation. Bias and hatred piled up.
The local community is further marginalized due to their illiteracy which hinders them from learning new agricultural skills. Moreover, their villages are too remote and they only rely on oxcart for transportation. This makes them difficult in going out to find a job and work. It is difficult for the poor communities to access just and fair development opportunities and hence trapped in dire situation.
Hence, CEDAR partner Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief (EFICOR) launches a community development projects in twenty villages in Orissa. Villagers receive trainings on literacy, leadership, income generating skills and community health. Local self-help groups are helped with governance training for managing various issues in their communities on their own and thus enhancing sustainability in the development.
The impact of the project is growing gradually. Over 600 villagers from different castes and tribes have benefited. For roads construction is the most effective one, the transportation to the outer world is obviously improved. Most importantly, all the transformation in the communities are led by the local village leaders.
Calvary Commission of India (CCI) was established in 1983 and served the poor in Andhra Pradesh State. Since 1987, a children home has been established under CCI for the provision of accommodation, food, clothing, education and spiritual nurture to more than 170 children. Those children consist of orphans, street kids and children of Christian workers who serve in the poor communities. CEDAR has been sponsoring CCI’s children ministry since 1997.
Dhading is one of the most impoverished districts in the central region of Nepal. Most of the population is ethnic groups. Nearly 40% of its population lives in very poor and marginalized situation. They are mainly subsistence farmers, surviving by scanty means. There is poor sanitation with over 60% of the population in the district has no access to clean drinking water and very few villagers have toilets. Due to lack of basic health and hygiene knowledge and availability of medical services, child mortality rate is more than 10%. Villagers do not receive suitable medication when they suffered from commonly found diseases as diarrhea, gastritis and typhoid.
Our partner Shanti Nepal provides training and technical support to local clinics through implementing a Community Health and Empowerment programme. In order to improve medical services, trainings are given to local government health workers. Meanwhile, indigenous organisations and local churches are taught how to respond to local needs on primary health care and basic livelihood. Partner also supports small scale drinking water initiatives, antenatal and postnatal checking to pregnant women and teaches villagers about children nutrition and health. For the economic improvement, trainings are given to community development groups on techniques of planting, chicken and goat / sheep raising and handicraft. For improving the health of villagers, the programme actively promotes the importance of sanitation as well as building of toilets. Many villages experienced community transformation because of this programme.
The Kumal community is a good example. Several years ago, only 6 households out of 154 had pit latrines in the village. The level of hygiene and sanitation of the community was low. People practiced open-field defecation therefore wastes laid around and gave off offensive smell in the air. In 2009 partner setup an Environmental Sanitation Coordination Committee to address the environmental health issues of the community. The committee raised villagers’ sanitation awareness through cultural events and audio-visual media. Before long, villagers started to commit in building toilets. Shanti Nepal supported the community by providing materials and technical skill training on toilet building. Villagers then started to dig pits, make walls and collect materials for the toilets. Within 3 months, all 154 households in the community built toilets successfully. Community members have transformed from the poor habit of open-field defecation. Local rules are also developed to keep the village clean. Now the Kumal community can enjoy an improvement in sanitation and a clean environment.
With your support:
HK$250 will subsidise a household to build a toilet;
HK$500 will provide two basic health sessions for mothers’ groups;
HK$1,000 will provide four training sessions on livelihood skills to community groups
The actual literacy rate inBangladeshis around 42%. The existing government schools are far from sufficient to cover the needs of children and most of them are located in cities. World Concern Bangladesh initiated with several local Christian organizations in 1999 to respond to the village children’s needs for schooling. It aims to provide appropriate primary education support to over 3500 neglected, distressed children every year through the community-based primary schools mainly in the rural areas in the country.
CEDAR works in partnership with World ConcernBangladeshto support more than 30 schools with teachers’ salary and education material. Trainings for teachers and sponsorship to poor students are also provided in this project. Local partners select beneficiaries and teachers from target communities and they conduct home visits and regular parents’ day to maximize participation. Teaching on morality are conducted in about 20 schools every Friday.
SATHI conducts the project in a slum area at the outer skirts of Dhaka. There are 7000 families in the area who came from different parts of the country with different cultures and religions, mostly Islamic and Hindu. There is no homogeneity among the residents who do not have any sense to improve their community in concert. Other social problems like child labors, lack of sanitation, bullying & harassment, alcoholic and drug abuses and gambling are not uncommon in the area.
The project aims at emphasizing people’s ownership, community development and sustainability. CEDAR works with SATHI to encourage 1500 individuals to participate in the development activities which enhance their creativity and capability in decision making. They form self-help groups with their own leadership to set goals for the development of the area. Skill trainings in leadership, management and accounting are provided. By way of saving-based programs, the groups set up funds for small business or use in emergency. In addition, project staff conducts healthcare classes and leads discussions on justice and rights issues for the community.