1) Environmental Rehabilitation, education/advocacy
Among the activities/achievements:
Currently, VoCDA is working on Environmental rehabilitation and Bio-diversity conservation with UNDP/GEF/SGP and French Embassy in Adamitulu-jidokombolcha district.
Some of the achievements are;
– Promotion and protection of natural trees at every level including groups, communal, family, and institutions,
– Seedling development and planting of more than 250,000 seedlings at schools, communal lands and privates lands,
– In the area of environmental education, such activities as mass awareness, environmental lectures, have been facilitated and/or conducted at our alternative basic education centers and on different community trainings and workshops,
– Distribution of energy saving stoves, about 550 so far distributed,
– Organizing poor women on ornament making and income generating activities to minimize pressure on environment, through diversifying income sources.
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a. Project Objective:
Improve household income through petty trade activities and reducing women’s burden by supplying grinding mill.
b. Women’s Empowerment and Income generating activities:
So far in the intervention areas more than 3,500 women organized in credit and saving and self help group (SHG),
. Credit and saving service (in the form of cash and kind or goat/sheep supplying),
. Installation of grinding mill to minimize women’s workload or burdens in the rural areas,
. Self Help Group Formation approach for the poorest women,
. Livestock (dairy) heifers supply to women,
1.2.1 Program Achievements/Activities
a. Regarding Credit and saving: This activity was undergoing in both rural and urban centers since 2004. It has more than 400 women members with a capital of 200,000.00 Ethiopian birr. They have already developed their own bylaws, opened bank account, and legally registered with Regional Cooperative promotion and expansion office. The association or cooperative have all kinds of administrative body (committees) for the management of their association day-to-day activities. Some of these women have received goats in the form of credit from VoCDA’s on other projects. By now the groups’ are working by their own through cooperation with the government line staffs and their leaders.
b. Regarding Self Help Group Formation: In this approach, we have organized more than 3,100 the poorest of the poor women groups, in Bulbula town and surrounding 7-peasant associations (rural areas) and Dodota district 4 rural areas. These women groups organized into 110 SHGs and 9 CLAs. Some of these women group after being organized into CLA they have accessed seed capital from other donor sources; by now the groups have their own saving capital amount 980,600 Ethiopian birr.
Background to SHG approach: Women Empowerment is the central objective of the project whereby the identified women groups’ life expected to be changed. Empowerment as set out in the objective parts which will be based on awareness and capacity building leading to greater participation, to greater decision making power and control and transformative action will have positive impacts in the life of the women. As a result, of this approach; the social status and self decision making of the women improved. The intervention believed to change the life of the women through enhancing economic making capacity of women, women’s business skill and experience improvement, women’s literacy level and health matters improved.
The practice that is presented is a “Community Development” approach. The very poor members of a community are organized to form Self Help Groups. The entire community plays a role in selecting the poorest households among them using criteria that they themselves develop – aided by a facilitator. 15 to 20 members from these poor households and from the same socio-economic background form a Self Help Group (SHG). Meeting together each week and a weekly saving by the poor members are two basic practices. During their weekly meetings women’s are supported by community facilitators, where one facilitator expected to support 4 to 5 women groups (SHGs). The meeting together gives each member a new identity. The poor women who have thus far been voiceless and powerless leading to a sense of hopelessness, soon realize that they are no more alone. They start seeing a new meaning and purpose to life. They start sharing their problems in the group and social issues are discussed. A new relationship of trust and togetherness develops in contrast to the former state of loneliness. The process of “Social development” is initiated.
The weekly saving – however small it may be – brings in a financial discipline in the members. Once they have made a commitment to save and start at it, they push themselves to work more and raise more resources to keep their commitment. It develops in them the attitude that says, “I can do it” from a fatalistic state. This triggers the “Economic development” process.
A lot of Capacity Building inputs are provided to the individual members as well as the groups and their leadership qualities are developed. The whole process is slow and no spectacular results are seen immediately.
Pertinent to this subcomponent VoCDA has been undertaken different Household food security augmenting activities or projects in different rural kebeles and semi-urban areas of the country. To this end livestock development for commercial milk production and supply, small scale irrigation development, improved maize and wheat seeds supply and capacity building for farmers on modern farming has been the major. All this activities were done with an intention to enhance the food security at household level.
a. Regarding Livestock (dairy development): One of the main causes of food insecurity in Ethiopia is Environmental degradation and law agricultural production as a result of erratic rainfall and backward farming practices. For this fragile ecosystem locality’s adoptable and modern way of animal husbandry/dairy enhancement project has been undertaken by VoCDA in the locality. The projects were financed by Helvetas-Ethiopia and Dan Church Aid Ethiopia. Accordingly, we have undertaken the dairy project with animal forage and other environmental development activities in the area to enhance HH food security programs. These projects were being undertaken since 2006 to 2008/9 in three Peasant Associations with more than 110 beneficiaries, comprising as family member more than 400 persons.
The beneficiary in addition to getting Borena heifers in kind were able used milk for both household food consumption and marketing. On top of this, VoCDA has constricted milk selling center for the intended target groups. Currently, the milk center serving the locality community as milk selling and buying centers. As a result of this center construction the locality milk producers’ milk selling price has improved and saved from exploitation by the individual traders found in the locality.
b. Small scale irrigation development: small scale irrigation has been constructed for about 120households heads in Ambagoda-sdade peasant association of Arsi-Nagelle district West Arsi zone of Oromia region. The irrigation was 60hac of land. By now the farmers are benefiting from the land by irrigating their farms with different vegetables and crops.
As a result the locality targeted HH food security has been ensured and livelihoods enhanced. The project was executed from 2008 to 2011 and was financed by Dan Church Aid Ethiopia.
c. Capacity building and inputs supply: in this regard more than 450 farmers have been benefited through improved seeds supply and capacity building trainings on modern farming methods. This project was undertaken in four rural kebeles of Arsi-Nagelle districts and Adamitulujidokombolcha of Oromia Regional states.
2.3 Non-Formal Basic Child and Adult Education
2.3.1 Project Components
– Basic Child Education service for uneducated rural children’s with special attention to girls, and
– Construction of elementary schools (centers) and already existing school capacity building,
a. Basic Child education: It has been possible to create educational opportunity for 1,350 children on average since 2003 each year in non-formal education centers established by VoCDA and the community. These include children who have no access to participate in formal education program of 7 Peasant Associations of rural areas in two districts.
This pilot level operation has proved to be successful, as participation rate has always been on the increase, mainly due to its nature of calendar flexibility
Regarding educational quality, there is a preference for the centers to the formal education; there are many rank students in formal schools that have their backgrounds in the non-formal education centers.
However, there are high capacity problems to reach out the most vulnerable locality found in far rural areas.
d. Construction of Centers: As one of educational objectives of VoCDA is to make educational opportunity/services available for all school-aged children at their vicinity or kebeles, we are constructing eight schools/centers in seven PA’s since 2005. These schools will be handover to government at the end of the project life according to our agreement with Regional education Bureau. German Development service and Action Aid-Ethiopia finance the education projects.
e. Non-formal Adult education: As of this component, so far about 710 women have been embraced in 6 rural kebeles of Adamitulujidokmbolcha woreda. The targeted women are able to read and write their names and make some calculation regarding their incomes. This program was started by the fund obtain from the dvv. International (IWEP) program in 2009.
3. Future Engagement plan
As of our current locality need assessment survey reveals and factual problems on the ground show us the following areas are propriety areas;
1. water supply, hygiene and sanitation education,
2. Household food security through income diversification just already started with Dan Church aid and others,
3. Educational equality development through additional calls rooms constructions and furnishing the existing classes, and Adult literacy class promotion,
4. malaria and HIV/AIDS prevention expansion works among others,
5. women income generating activities, capacity building and empowerment especially through SHG approaches,
6. Destitute Children’s house based sponsorship promotion program,
7. non-formal skill training for young/adult men and women on catering, hotel and tourism, beauty-saloon and embroidery, etc,