India EFICOR Rural Community Development Project

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.

Shanti Nepal’s Community Health and Empowerment Programme in Nepal

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

Donate now to support our partner’s community health and education programme to improve the lives of these marginalised communities.

China Hubei Water and Animal Husbandry Project

Yunxi county is one of the national designated poor counties in Hubei province. Lack of accessible clean drinking water is a general problem which has led to poor sanitation and poor health. It also directly hinders the labour force and livelihood since obtaining water on foot consumes much of their time and energy. Meanwhile, some of the poorer households express an interest in animal raising but they need capital to start it off.

CEDAR helps installing a water supply system and conducting health training in one of the villages. CEDAR also provides subsidies for 70 poorer households selected from 3 villages to develop animal husbandry, aiming at increasing villagers’ income as well as raising their living standard. The subsidies are mainly used for restoring animal pens and purchasing animals.

China Gansu Integrated Community Development Project

Yongdeng is one of the poorest counties inLanzhou,Gansu, CEDAR has been partnering with Lanzhou City Christian Church to implement the Integrated Community Development Project (ICD) in four villages in Yongdeng since2007 in order to improve the livelihood of villagers and bring about a sustainable development.  Partner promotes the application of organic fertilisers and high quality potato seeds among the farmers. These techniques enrich the soil quality and structure, increase the yield and are eco-friendly. The project staff also encourage villagers to change their methods of animal grazing, using pens to keep the sheep, and choosing sheep breeds that can adapt to the local climate, which will benefit both the environment and the economy.

Another aspect of the project is that through the formation of a women’s handcraft group, in which the women make use of their spare time after farming to produce small handcrafted products, the women could receive sufficient income without having to leave their homes. Hence, women’s significance in the family and the community are recognised. The project also works on promoting micro-credit programmes and assisting women to establishing legal cooperative organisations to support greater productivity gains.

Wei Zhan-xiu lives in Huo Jia Wan village, located in a poverty stricken area in a mountainous region.  Throughout generations, villagers make their living by farming, relying on nature’s provisions to feed themselves and their families.  She has two sons who are now grown up and have a family of their own. Her eldest son and daughter- in- law live and work away from home.  She is left to live with her two young grandchildren. Although the couple work labouriously on their 20 mu of farm land, apart from basic food, they do not have any other source of income. Her husband Guo Shi-jun, who is over 60, has attempted to find employment elsewhere but his efforts were futile. Even though her grandchild has reached 2 years old now, they have still not paid back the loan they borrowed for the youngest son’s wedding banquet.

In 2010, Wei Zhan-xiu joined the handicraft programme in the village. Simply by looking at her handcrafted products, it is hard to believe that she is an amateur in using the sewing machine. In just four months of training, her technique has become superior by far amongst the women in the village! At one time during the women’s discussion, whilst exploring the art of handcrafting, she said: ‘I work slowly, but every bag I make, I won’t let any bag be remade.’ When her husband saw her enthusiasm towards her handicraft work, he willingly took up some domestic duties to ease her burden.

She even told CEDAR’s staff emotionally: ‘The help this project has provided our family is too great! This year, I already returned RMB400 that I borrowed from my son’s two aunties for his wedding! Now, my husband treats my sewing machine with particular care. When he hears that there is a slight problem with the sewing machine, he would rush over to repair, just like taking care of a child!’