Archive for Uncategorized
Content was provided by Swiss-based GHNI Geneva, the operational seat of GHNI’s international field programming.
Feature Film Include GHNI’s Trafficking Prevention Efforts
GHNI is honored to be included alongside other organizations in the upcoming movie release, #standwithme. Learn how you can take action against slavery and make a tremendous impact on ending poverty!
Section One: Focus Countries
50% Malnutrition in Rural Ethiopia
Villagers in Megaladi Village find their solution! Vegetables Help 28 Families!
“It’s great when you experience success sooner rather than later. Although we have been working in Megaladi for a couple of years, we have only recently started a new initiative of collective farming through our Agriculture Committee. Many people from the village are excited and encouraged by the early results.
“Now approximate 50 people, representing 28 households are engaged in our irrigated small vegetable garden program. Most of the land is covered with tomatoes, potatoes, and a variety of root vegetables. We have been working hard in the community to show the benefits of TCD and it is good to finally taste some degree of success through your help and this new initiative.”
Turkish Minority Poor Want Education
Books to Aspiring University Students. A Volunteer Doctor Gives of Himself.
“With the help of many of you, Dr. K was able to deliver 50 sets of University Test Prep Books to poor Zaza students in the community where we usually work. This is a very important test that is the only metric used for deciding if and where students can go to university. It was a lot of books. Dr K shared how education is an important part of preparing for the future and that we (and you!) will be wishing the best for all of these students.”
Nepal Suffering from High Human Trafficking but One Village is Changing This!
“As most women are uneducated in the village, they are vulnerable for human traffickers to easily make them their prey. Therefore, realizing the importance of education, we have started teaching them how to read and write, appointing one volunteer who is teaching five days a week one hour in the evening. Now, from 4pm to 5pm, these women are getting adult education in their old age.
“As the women showed interest to learn to read and write, there was no place where they could be gathered for classes. The village worker taught a group of men how we could develop our own community by our own resources. Then we started collecting locally available resources to build one classroom. People gathered locally available grass, bamboo and wood to build the hut. Within 15 days we completed this hut with the active participation of the people. Now we don’t have any problem gathering the people for TCD lessons in the village.
“This small act of community participation in the development of society has shown that if community can stand together, then there is nothing which couldn’t be achieved. This has boosted the morale of the people in the village.”
Diarrhea Decreasing, One Village at a Time
“Aisha, Blessing, and Amira are three small girls, amongst several other children in Dogon Gada who suffered incidences of diarrhea within the past year. Our Transformational Community Development (TCD) Worker and our school teacher discovered that the children have not been practicing hand-washing as they had been taught in the past. So they began to teach hand-washing again within the village and in the primary school.
“Within the quarter, the trio of girls had become diligent in washing their hands, particularly before meals. This prevented them from suffering from diarrhea like they used to. Their parents are very grateful for this TCD teaching because the children are healthier now. Not only that, but they no longer spend hard-earned money on medications.”
Indian Tribals Suffer From Alcohol Abuse and Boredom
“Jharla is a poor farmer from Dhokar Jhara. Most of the time he would drink and not do work. But after seeing other farmers who have learned from Transformational Community Development (TCD) about income generation, Jharla also decided to do second crop for additional income. He has planted potato and mustard.
“When I talked to him about this change, he was very happy and said, ‘This income will be enough for me to buy clothes for the family for whole year.’ ”
Recovering From the Violence, One Family at a Time with Education and Micro-Loans
“We succeed to find 12 ladies and we started swing training December 7. This training will take 3 weeks. After that, we will do testing to see how they doing. Everyone who pass the test, we will give her a sewing machine. We will write a contract with them and continue following them after training. Every lady will pay back a fixed amount each month. Through this amount, we plan buying new sewing machines for a number of other women so we can expand the circle of our service.”
Villages Mostly Overlooked in Development
Villagers Multiplying Education as Lessons Empower Community
“The new computer centre in Bendall is up and running! Our local Transformational Community Development (TCD) worker writes about this and the Health Lessons he has been teaching:
‘The female students have finished registering for the first course, which will teach Microsoft Word. Their lessons began on December 1st. Meanwhile, 5 male teachers who are under 28 years old are also learning computer skills, as well as 12 boys who have never used a computer before. These will be regular students at the centre.
‘The men who benefitted from the TCD lessons are already teaching their families about the health lessons, such as disease prevention. One of the men who attended the lessons, Elan*, is 38 years old and has 4 children. During the health lessons, he learnt how to check blood pressure and afterwards he went and bought a sphygmomanometer so he can check the blood pressure of himself and his family.’
“This is good news! High blood pressure is a particular problem in the area and it is exciting to see locals taking the initiative after their TCD lessons and teaching their families what they have learnt.”
*For purposes of security and well-being, “Elan” is a pseudonym of the person being helped by this project.
Water is a Crisis in Most Rural Areas but Village Unites and Solves Problem
“Last year we helped repair two water pumps in Saneba. In order to ensure community ownership in this sector, we created a Water Committee to ensure the follow-up and management of these pumps. The water committee has been doing a stellar job since.
“The water committee has come together to establish a fund that people who use the pumps pay into each month. A few months ago one of the pumps required another repair. However, this time because they owned the pump, they were able to pay for the repairs themselves.
“Inspired by what is happening in Saneba, one TCD participant, Claude, from the village of Pana (3km from Saneba) talked about how he shared the training with people in his village. Members of the community united and were able to raise the necessary resources locally to repair a further three wells! He was so excited about the training he received and how he has been able to use it to impact his community.”
Slum Families Transformed
“We have been conducting a training for eight women in Camba Berua for the last two years. These eight women have been diligent week in and week out, and have consistently progressed with our professional trainers. They have all begun small businesses using the skills they have learned not only as tailors but as small business owners and all the responsibility that brings (finances, sales, etc).
“This past December we held a graduation for all the women who faithfully attended the sewing program. During the graduation ceremony we allowed each woman an opportunity to speak and share their experiences in the sewing program. In the speeches, the women talked about how they had doubted themselves in the beginning or they felt like they wouldn’t be able to learn something new or wouldn’t be able to really contribute to the family financially.
“But now they all have a sense of pride, a new skill, and are contributing significantly to their families. These eight women have gone from thinking they were incapable of much to realizing how much capability they have. This is what real transformation is about, giving people the knowledge to succeed and encouraging them along the way.”
Culture Clash Amongst Syrian Refugees
“Living among her friends and fellow Syrians, Sabeen*, a young mother needed help. She asked for assistance but her friends would not assist her because she didn’t wear culturally appropriate clothing. She insisted she was part of their culture even though she chose not to dress this way. This highly troubled her.
“Later, she was at the hospital with her young daughter and talking with the nurse. She told her the problems she had faced. The nurse told her of GHNI. The woman was hopeful and asked if GHNI would help her even though she didn’t dress for the culture.
“The nurse smiled and said, ‘Yes, they will help you.’”
*For purposes of security and well-being, “Sabeen” is a pseudonym of the person being helped by this project.
Section Two: Feature Article of the Month
Reconciliation Bring Hope and Change in Attir, Kenya
By, Jeff Power, GHNI US Partner Development Team
We’ve all heard the powerful expression, “Love your neighbor.” It’s not ultimately a religious or philosophical statement, but rather a statement of need – it’s what NEEDS to happen to change the world.
In that sentiment, we’re thrilled to announce — GHNI is beginning a Transformational Community Development (TCD) program with Attir Village in Kenya, a village that used to be enemies of a village that graduated from our TCD program this past summer: Gambella Village.
If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll recall that Gambella Village (of the Borana tribe) was brutally attacked in ’09 by Attir Village (of the Turkana tribe). Eight of Gambella’s men were killed and thousands of animals were stolen. It was tragic, almost ending Gambella’s existence.
We urged Gambella and all other Boranas NOT to retaliate, to help end the cycle of violence, and they agreed.
Tragedies always have the power to become life-changing opportunities if we’ll let them.
After the attack, our GHNI-Kenya team joined with the regional government to help facilitate peace between the tribes in that area. It worked! For the last two years Gambella and Attir have been on truly friendly terms, with their children learning side-by-side in the Gambella Primary School.
Attir has watched Gambella’s transformation. And they’ve opened themselves to learning. As a result, Attir committed themselves to forsaking banditry and learning how to truly transform. And we have committed ourselves to helping them.
And here’s some additional great news – Gambella’s leaders are joining in to help teach them, too.
News Behind the News content was provided by Swiss-based GHNI Geneva, the operational seat of GHNI’s international field programming.
We welcome comments to Field.Reports@ghni.org
Content was provided by Swiss-based GHNI Geneva, the operational seat of GHNI’s international field programming.
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IRIN reports the obstacles which confront children attending schools in Chin State, the poorest in the country, near the border with Bangladesh. Just getting to school is a problem on account of the isolation of villages in rugged mountain terrain, where roads and bridges are frequently swept away in heavy monsoon rains. For rural children, the chances of getting any secondary education are low, as virtually all secondary schools are located in the nine townships.
GHNI was recently invited by one of the Government Ministers of Chin State to start our sustainable work amongst the rural poor there. Education will be high on our agenda.
Some Churches Fight HIV/AIDS
Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia differ from the rest of the country in that they are largely populated by ethnic Melanesians, of whom many are Christian in contrast to predominantly Muslim Indonesia. Some of the Christian churches, of which there are more than 45, are keen to join in the struggle against HIV/AIDS, which has a higher than average prevalence in these two provinces. One evangelical church runs a shelter for patients undergoing treatment, supplying the good nutrition that is an important adjunct to the free antiretroviral drugs supplied by the nearby government hospital. Another crucial role of the churches is to combat the stigma and discrimination encountered by those living with HIV. (more…)
In recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we are excited to announce the launch of www.AddressSlavery.org. AddressSlavery was created to raise funds and awareness for the prevention of human trafficking by collecting and selling high-quality, gently-used garments and accessories.
AddressSlavery was birthed by former GHNI staff member, Jessica Marchand, who recognized the value of beautiful special occasion gowns that often get worn once and then stuck in the back of a closet somewhere. Jessica tells us, “I thought, ‘how many times do ladies really wear those bridesmaid dresses, engagement photo-shoot garments, or gala gowns? Yet we pay hundreds of dollars for them!’” She devised a plan to help free some storage space in our homes while helping to free slaves across the world.
The funds raised will support villages being helped by GHNI’s Before I am Taken initiative to stop human trafficking in poor rural villages. As part of our Transformational Community Development program which aims to train villagers to solve their own issues of poverty, Before I am Taken incorporates human trafficking awareness and prevention training. Eradicating poverty through this method is arguably the most viable solution to the problem of slavery today.
All funds raised by the sale of AddressSlavery products will be used to help fund an annual grant. The grant will be awarded to a GHNI-sponsored village seeking to eradicate inequality and prevent human trafficking. (by way of: school tuition for impoverished girls, micro-loans for rural village women, fair-wage opportunities for boys/men at risk of becoming enslaved, etc).
We invite you to visit the on-line store, www.AddressSlavery.org, where you can purchase products or donate items. Also, please feel free to e-mail AddressSlavery@gmail.com with any questions/suggestions that you might have.
What began as Disaster Relief for Syrians fleeing to Jordan has become an on-going project for the GHNI team in Jordan. Despite the hardships, the team is often rewarded by the gratitude of the Syrians. The GHNI Jordan team shares about one such instance:
“Working with the Syrian Refugees in Jordan is a work in progress. We are having many teams that are visiting homes of the Syrians and working with the children. There are many Syrians still fleeing to Jordan. This has become a never-ending work for us at the office.
“With supplies and support coming in from many countries, we are able to make many home visits and work personally with the Syrians who have fled from their homeland. Our plan is to continue this work as long as there are hurting people who are needing a little hope in their lives.
“It was evening and the little room next to the meeting was full of little children from Syria. We played and told them stories while the meeting was in progress with their parents. After that, they were all given gifts from a Western organization. They were so excited to receive presents especially during the time of Ramadan. It is tradition to give children gifts but many parents from Syria are struggling to get something nice for their children. With the boxes, the parents felt happy that their children received something nice.”
The living conditions in the village are particularly difficult. For example, before GHNI, there was no potable water within the village for drinking or irrigation. The villagers have seen other organizations attempt to help; all have withdrawn before any significant change happened. Even the government has given up on them.
Abandoned in one of the hidden reaches of the world, the village has had hurt piled on top of hurt. Understandably the people in Megaladi are a little standoffish and wondering, “When GHNI will abandon us, just like the rest?”
So, what makes TCD different than the other organizations that there is now hope of transformation in this community?
The answer is community ownership and community participation. GHNI didn’t impose a formulated solution to their water problem, but asked the community to identify, prioritize and solve their own problems.
Working together, with GHNI’s help, the community identified a previously untapped water source. Working together the people of the village, armed with shovels and motivation to work hard, prepared a pond whose water can be used for irrigation. Now fifty men and women are working together to build terraced farmland for cultivation.
Together they have accomplished more than any of them imagined possible and slowly the people are warming to us and are beginning to trust us.
Still, many challenges face the people of this village. Read the full story…
From the desk of Phil, GHNI National Leader for Indonesia. Phil and his wife, Tiffany, are Americans dedicating their lives to the Indonesian people since 2010 and 2008 respectively—
“It was one of those nights that make us love what we do despite the many challenges. Sitting on Haji Ero’s front porch of his traditional Makassar wooden house, sipping on local tea that’s almost too sweet to drink and talking until midnight about things that really matter in life; this is when the conversations get really good. This is why we live in a third world country, eating less than desirable food and traveling on motorcycles to remote villages on roads that can hardly be called a road. On this particular night, we were sitting on Haji’s front porch, drinking our tea when Daeng Tola wandered over from the other side of the village and sat down with us.
“Daeng Tola and his wife Daeng Baji were one of the poorer families in Batu Ampara, living in an incredibly modest house built out of rattan and wood. For years, Daeng Tola had tried to support his family from his fish pond harvests, but it just wasn’t cutting it. Several times in the past year his family had gone for days without food, and he’d had enough. He finally took a risk that not many people in his village would be willing to take and went to the city looking for a job. He had found a job selling bakso (Indonesian meatballs), working for a man who had several bakso carts and several employees. For more than eight months he had learned the bakso business, earning enough money to support his family.
“Now, sitting on Haji’s front porch, Daeng Tola’s eyes gleamed as he told me the ins and outs of his job, how much he loved making his customers happy and how he loved cooking the most delicious bakso he could every day. He told me how he really loved his job, and how during the past fasting month he had earned almost $100 USD selling bakso. He was providing an income for his wife and small daughter and he was proud of it.
“As long as I live, I’ll never forget Daeng Tola’s next words,
‘My dream is to one day having my own bakso business just like my boss. Someday I’ll be able to earn enough money to buy my own motorcycle and my own basko cart and then I’ll be a real business man. I’ll make enough money so my family will never be poor again!’
“As Daeng Tola shared his dream with me, I couldn’t help but think about our micro-credit program we had started in the slum area of Camba Berua and what a success that was, helping 8 women start their own small businesses. ‘What if I told you that we have a micro-credit program available for entrepreneurs with great business ideas?’ Daeng Tola’s jaw almost dropped into his tea. I explained that if he put his ‘dream’ on paper in the form of a business plan, he could potentially qualify for one of our small business loans. We gave Daeng Tola a small business loan application and he almost ran home to talk to his wife about the new opportunity.
“Six weeks later, Daeng Tola’s business plan was approved for our micro-credit program, allowing for him to get a motorcycle, a small bakso cart and all the necessary materials to start a bakso business for under $700 USD. Because of Daeng Tola’s example, two other young guys have started their own successful bakso businesses through the micro-credit program as well.
“For the past two months, Daeng Tola has been incredibly successful in his bakso business, earning enough money for him and his family to have a home in the city and to pay back his micro-loan every month. Now every week, I get to sit on Daeng Tola’s front porch, drinking tea that’s almost too sweet to drink and talking about things that really matter in life.”
Ola Negele, Kenya
GHNI Kenya shares the story of Mama Asha, a member of the Women for Change micro-entrepreneurship group in her village. At one time she may have wondered how she would take care of her five children but not today!
“Three years has passed since GHNI come into this village to bring real transformation and restore hope and help to those who are hopeless and helpless. Transformational Community Development (TCD) is the key to transformation in the villages we are serving.
“For the ‘Women for Change’ group, micro-entrepreneurship has been the major tool of transformation. Among a few women in the group, GHNI set up a chicken coop project which really generated big income for them. They hatched and grew 200 chicks, and all together they now lay 200 eggs per day. The women sell the eggs at 10 shillings per egg, generating a total income of 2,000 shillings per day ($25 or €20). When they save that money at the end of every day, they end up earning 60,000 shillings as profit at the end of the month. They share the profit among their 12 members, which enable each member to receive 5,000 shillings per month (about $60 or €45), doubling the average family’s income.
“Mama Asha is one of the beneficiaries of ‘Women for Change.’ With her other small business and a boost from the group she was able to take care of her five children who are school age. She is now happy to share the story of her success to many other poor and desperate women who need help just like her. She is so grateful to GHNI for that massive support.”
The youth in this village cluster of rural Nepal are rallying for change in their community. GHNI leaders in Nepal tell us the impact they are having on their community.
“BT Village* was neglected by the government as well as non-governmental agencies because it is in a remote area. But since GHNI chose to work with the community for its transformation, there has been a lot of tremendous change in the lives of community people.
“One of the teachers in a government school there has started to work for the community ever since we met him. He has formed a group of young people to knock on the door of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to try to get electricity for the remaining households in the village. They hope that NEA will allocate the budget for it soon.
“RG Village* is another example how the youth initiation can eventually bear fruit. This village, which was earlier filled with garbage as well as open latrines, has changed its face ever since a certain man attended our TCD Training. He learned about starting a seed project, then united the young people in the village to work on sanitation. Previously, visitors in the village had to cover their noses while entering the village due to the garbage thrown haphazardly in the street. Now they can walk without having difficulty.
“People in the village have also become more conscious about personal hygiene, says this certain man. If he hadn’t taken TCD Training, RG Village would never have seen a sanitation campaign.”
*For purposes of security and well-being, “BT Village” and “RG Village” are pseudonyms of the villages that are being helped by this project.