Updates from India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Uganda and Nicaragua
Our new affiliates and new FWOP Chapters are moving forward toward sustainability in many different ways. ‘Creative interdependency’ may be a good moto for the link between FWOP and our network. Empowerment local initiative, Enterprise development, Education for youth, and Environmental clean-up and preservation need to converge to promote sustainability for children, widows, young women, trash pickers, elders, and the poorest among us.
Nasik, State of Maharashtra, India
A-WOW (www.awownow.org) is focused on girl and women empowerment in nine countries. Recently, the Founder and CEO of AWOW, Carolyn Wright, was in India opening up a store in Nasik to market quilts and other products produced by widows in rural areas of the State of Maharashtra.
AWOW also conducts a Global Young Women Leader -Summit for women 18 to 24 years old in Dallas on July 24th to August 4th. One or more young women managing the store will attend. Planning is moving forward to establish an on-line store to market the quilts as well as items from Mexico, Indonesia and other locations.
Indonesia – Trash Pickers Create New Business Options and Schools for Their Children
XSProject.org ( http://xsproject-usa.org/ ) based in Denton and in Jakarta. There are some 450,000 trash pickers living in communities in a city of 13 million. In addition to creating schools, they are working on clean water projects to improve their family health. Solar Lamps from FWOP solar initiative will arrive in Jakarta in May to see how they may assist children to study in the evening.
Below is a statement of XSProject ‘s Mission, and a photo of the school they have established for the children .
Above is photo of the water project XSProject has created by selling items created from trash.
Ivory Coast FWOP New Chapter on the Move!
Ms. Marie Coulibaly, President Ivory Coast FWOP, will soon travel home from Denton. Her team received twenty solar lamps some months ago to establish a pilot project in the Capital of Ivory Coast , Abidjan and in a village in the western mountains of Ivory Coast . Recently, they distributed four lamps in Abidjan to experiment and see how best to establish solar lamps enterprises. Some NGOs have exploited people and trust in Abidjan is weak. Marie’s team has a group of young women ready to move forward. The solar charger for cell phones may suit urban Abidjan better. The four families who received lamps are becoming FWOP-solar lamp sales persons and promoters!
Photo of Family in Abidjan receiving a solar lamp from Ivory Coast FWOP team
Some six months ago, the President of Uganda FWOP, Kabann Ishmaels distributed 40 lamps in western Uganda. An affiliate of Uganda FWOP and FWOP, “ RUDEP” , in the Ntungamo District in western Uganda supplied funds for 400 solar chargers to power up cell phones. In April, these lamps will be handed out.
In 2012, UNTFWOP students distributed solar lamps to four single mothers with children.
Single Mother in Uganda with five children receiving a solar lamp in 2012
Nicaragua – Educational Center Goes Solar!
Harvest Initiative is a faith-based affiliate in Nicaragua focusing on education and community development. Field personnel from HI provided design and installation services for Opportunity International’s upscale Pacaya Lodge and Spa. The 20 kilowatt grid tied systems will provide energy for the 26 room eco lodge where students enrolled in sustainable tourism curriculum at the nearby Entrepreneurial High School will get hands-on experience in a working five star hotel. Harvest Initiative is pleased to have been involved with this major effort in asset based community development. Long term, 10% of the profit from the lodge will be directed to sustain that Entrepreneurial School.
Recently their partner built an upscale Eco-Resort, 20 minutes from The Colonial Town of Granada . Some 10% of the profits will benefit local projects that the Harvest Initiative support in education and in community development.
Education: The need for education in Nicaragua is overwhelming. 35% of all school age children are not in school. There are many reasons for this staggering reality. To meet that need Harvest is dedicating a large amount of time and resources toward primary and secondary education. The Christian schools founded and operated by their mission have grown from one school in 1999 with 15 children to three schools with a combined registration of 780 students.
Because the schools are located in very poor neighborhoods they are also centers of safety from violence and thus, the school is a place for the children to learn. Often the children come from very poor and even violent home situations.
At the San Benito school alone this year, two families with five of their students have had parents murdered, leaving the children in the care of neighbors and grandparents. In these critical situations the concerns of the staff at the school goes beyond education, and thus, the school attempts to provide food and medical assistance.
Community Development: Unemployment in Nicaragua is around 35%. This country abounds in resources but ignorance, greed, political division and lack of vision condemn a vast majority of Nicaraguan to subsistence living. In the cities this results in all the problems that drugs and gangs engender.
In the rural areas land disputes, alcoholism, and family strife bring misery to many. To address these realities, Harvest undertakes community development projects to help communities organize to remove obstacles to the use of their own resources. A community must become good stewards of what they have before they can wisely use help from outside.
One of the largest ongoing projects currently is the distribution of food under a program – Kids Against Hunger. Their team deliver 48,000 meals each month to 25 different ministries. Local churches, schools, and feeding centers with Nicaraguan volunteers prepare and serve the food to an estimated 3200 of the neediest children and elderly.
Over the years they have completed 12 water projects benefiting over 3000 people in 10 communities. Small business seed money is another development activity. This can be a loan of seeds and fertilizer to farmers or Valeria Lopez’s work in Managua with a ten member sewing cooperative. The cooperative pays decent wages to women, many of whom can no longer sew fast enough to meet the quotas demanded in the sweatshop factories that ring the capital.
Drawing on the strengths of their team, over the years they have worked also in bio-gas and wind energy, boat building, machinery importation.
Harvest is also working on the Atlantic Coast tribal area that covers to 19 communities along the Prinzapolka River Basin in Eastern Nicaragua . The area’s 22,000 inhabitants and comprise Nicaragua’s poorest district. The majority of the tribes-people live barely above a subsistence level.
Two special initiatives in the region need to be mentioned: Cleft palate surgeries improving children’s lives! And Teaching computer skills for a better a life!