Today, after agri-preneurship and crop cycles training, Mrs. Chimutha’s average monthly income has increased to USD $200/month, and there is enough food left to feed the family. She is actively participating in a village savings and loans group, is paying for her daughter’s schooling, and is contributing to the building of their family home.
Mrs. Chimutha’s changed story is one of thousands encompassed by a five year Sustainable Livelihoods Project which concluded on January 31, 2018.
World Renew gratefully acknowledges the ongoing consultation and program support of Global Affairs Canada, who funded 75% of the project, to the tune of CAD $5M. World Renew would like to express our appreciation to our 265 supporting church congregations and 68,045 Canadians who contributed to raising the private match for the project ($1,870,354 over five years).
A one hundred page report by Alice Ng Bouwma of World Renew gets us deep into the weeds of what occurred.
Project participants in Bangladesh, Honduras, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania report increased and more diverse sources of income than they had before the program started.
Farmers are using enhanced growing methods which are resulting in more diverse crops with higher yields, adding more nutrition to their traditional staples, as well as improving income possibilities.
The project surpassed its overall goal for communities that developed participatory community action plans.
Tanzania met its target for increasing the role that ethnic minorities play in community action planning, and program participants from all five countries expressed great satisfaction with the quality of community governance.
The project supported the commitments that the Government of Canada has made to gender equality internationally through Canada's International Feminist Assistance Policy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project contributed to Goal 5 (Gender Equality) through its efforts to promote women’s rights, involvement in decision making, and access to development resources and benefits. It also developed each country’s ability to meet other SDG targets such as poverty reduction and food security. Both Tanzania and Bangladesh have, for example, established targets for decreasing poverty under SDG Goal 1. The gains that this project made in increasing and diversifying women’s income sources will directly contribute to larger poverty reduction goals.
In Bangladesh, 7081 women and 3752 men participated in the project.
To address food security issues, over 4,000 farmers were trained in sustainable agriculture methods, resulting in an increase of dietary diversity and also increases in available food.
4,462 women and 1,654 men are now members of 359 Village Savings and Loans groups. Each group has its own by-laws and conducts regular savings meetings. The groups have financed thousands of income generating activities, decreasing family and community vulnerability.
1,544 community leaders (852 women, 692 men) were trained in inclusive community governance. Now community planning processes better represent women’s concerns, and community members have tools to better access government financial resources. Two groups in Dhaka report plans to combat gender-based violence, and men’s and women’s groups in Northern Bangladesh show plans that aim to strengthen women’s economic power, ensure the rights of women and children, and reduce maternal mortality by ending child marriage.
2,146 women and 1,822 men participated in the project in Honduras.
“I believe that the most important achievement was to teach the women that they could create development in their own communities." -Sandra Salazar, Program Coordinator for MCM)
Four partner organizations were involved in the implementation: Alfalit, Diaconia Nacional, Harvest, and Ministerios Cristianos de Mayordomía (MCM).
1,176 farmers (586 women, 590 men) were trained and mentored in improved agriculture methods. Now they are growing and consuming new vegetables, including cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, and sweet chilies. The new vegetables are being sold in the market, too, which is evidence that harvests have increased, along with purchasing power in the communities.
Village Savings and Loans Groups in Honduras are called ‘rural boxes.’ Members contribute and borrow to start small businesses, like selling broiler hens, marketing baked goods, and small restaurants. Through the groups, 735 women and 331 men accessed low-interest rate loans!
Honduras is a country marked by ‘machismo’ - especially in the regions where World Renew and its partners are working. 1,465 community leaders were trained on the importance of involving women in decision-making. This translated into shared decision-making at the household level as well as greater involvement of women in community decision-making. A method was also created to address gender-based violence.
In Mali, 99% of farmers participating in the project reported increased crop yields! Of the 9,960 farmer participants, 4,424 were women, and 5,536 were men.
“Kassines might be one of the most important tools to fight against soil degradation in our area... It takes so much work to cultivate and dig zai holes... but with kassines we’ve now discovered a useful alternative.” -Ladji Douyon, farmer, Mali
Two partner organizations - ODES and ADEM - worked in 52 communities, and World Renew worked directly in 23 communities.
Farmers were motivated to implement new sustainable agriculture methods and increased their rice harvests. This increase resulted in fewer “hunger months.” Introducing kassines* increased land productivity and soil fertility. Women became master gardeners, using more organic matter and planting more diverse crops.
870 participants (845 women, 25 men) trained in regular saving. Women shared that they became more confident in their ability to manage their small businesses and to create a business plan and marketing strategy.
1,384 community leaders (915 women, 469 men) were trained in needs assessments and community planning, and 386 women were trained to serve in community leadership positions
*The kassine is a multi-purpose implement designed to be pulled by donkey or oxen. It is easily used by women, men or children and facilitates the use of different farm implements by small farmers. Kassines are shared amongst a large group or family (around 12 adults).
3440 women and 3338 men participated in Mozambique project activities.
“I learned vegetables provide essential nutrients that fight against disease and increase immunity in the body." -Lucy Chembeza, project participant from Ngofi, Mozambique
World Renew partners with two local organizations in implementation: the Anglican Church of Mozambique in Niassa Province and Igreja Reformada in Niassa Province.
5,277 farmers (2,538 women and 2,689 men) learned sustainable agriculture methods. They report substantial increases at harvest-time. New crops and improvements in vegetable production are contributing to dietary diversity and excess produce can be sold. These are wonderful visible, tangible benefits.
Women made up 63% of participants in Village Savings and Loans groups. They experience good synergy between the improvements in agriculture production and economic growth.
4,342 women and 3,173 men participated in Tanzania’s project activities.
World Renew’s implementing partners were the Africa Inland Church - Geita Diocese and the Mara and Ukerewe Diocese.
6,789 farmers (4,245 women and 2,634 men) were trained in farming methods that included using improved seed varieties, bio-fertilizer, crop spacing, crop rotation, farming calendars, and crop protection. The farmers were organized into farmer learning groups that also supported savings-based credit so that they could access financing for things like seeds and tools.
322 Village Savings and Loans Groups received livelihoods training in things like animal husbandry, tailoring, carpentry, and processing agricultural products.
556 women were trained for community leadership; these women then worked with 2,229 women and 1,579 men to help them understand the importance of involving women in community decision-making.
All in all
Valuable lessons were learned over the five years of this Sustainable Livelihoods Project. These are also detailed in the full report.
World Renew is deeply grateful to Global Affairs Canada and to all those who have supported World Renew’s program work along the way.
Thousands of stories have been changed through you!