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Community members in Mara trained on Saccos

 

 

Over 30 members of Mara Division Development Programme (MDDP) have been trained on formation and running of a Saving and Credit Co-operative Society (Sacco).

 

During the training in Narok town held on August 11, members of the Community-Based Organisation (CBO) from Mara, Narok County, were taken through the advantages marketing of their products through co-operatives. “It is difficult to sell your cows as an individual farmer, unlike when you sell as a group.  It is easier for middlemen to take advantage of individual farmers, but they cannot do that to a group,” said David Langat, a Narok County co-operative officer, as he elaborated on the enhanced marketing through cooperatives.

 

“We are ready to form a co-operative. We need to work together as a team,” said Wilson Kedienye, a community member from Mararianta sub-location. Participants were given a chance to raise questions that Mr Langat and Dr Kamau Githaiga, AAH Kenya country programmes manager, responded to.

 

The other advantages of a Sacco that the participants were informed about are easy access to veterinary services, ability to access loans from various organisations, such as banks.

 

AAH Kenya has in the past worked with MDDP on education and maternal health. Through the Mara Entrepreneurship and Market Development (MEMD) project that started in January 2015, AAH Kenya will build previous engagement with the communities and the county government. The two-year project, funded by Bread for the World (BftW), Germany,aims to develop an ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ in community members in the Mara area, in order to strengthen their resilience and capacity to lead their own development.

Press Release 

 

Need for concerted efforts to address challenges faced by refugees

 

 

 

As we commemorate World Refugee Day that falls on 20th June every year, we are reminded of part of the statement made by the United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon to commemorate the 2014 World Refugee day; “Most of the world’s refugees – 86 percent -- live in the developing world, compared to 70 percent 10 years ago. Most of these countries have kept their doors open to people in search of safety and have shown a generosity that is often well beyond their means. I appeal to all Member States and our partners in civil society to do their utmost to support the nations and communities that have welcomed the forcibly displaced into their midst."

 

This year’s theme “With courage let us all combine” echoes Ban ki- Moon’s last year’s message. For close to 50 years, Zambia has been one of the developing countries that has given a home away from home for many of these displaced persons. Most of these people have left their countries to escape war, persecution or terror.

 

Action Africa Help Zambia (AAH Zambia) with support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and working in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) through the Commissioner of Refugees Office has assisted many of these forcibly displaced persons i.e refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons to achieve a meaningful life whilst in the country.

 

With support from UNHCR, the Commissioner of Refugees office and other partners such as International Organisation for Migration (IOM), AAHI-Zambia has been providing refugees with basic services such as primary health care, education, food and shelter. 

In education, support to refugee pupils has been in the form of increased access to basic and tertiary education respectively; however, it must be acknowledged that provision of these services has come with a lot of challenges.

 

As this year’s World Refugee Day theme emphasizes on combining efforts, our appeal  to all stakeholders involved in the area of working to better the lives of refugees is  to work towards pulling our human and financial resources together to accelerate efforts aimed at improving access to refugees basic necessities and achieve greater impact.

 

We take this opportunity to commend the Government of Zambia for making tireless efforts in uplifting the living standards of refugees through its open door policy that has continued to open the country’s doors to refugees and creating an enabling environment for them to freely interact and feel at home.

 

One  other notable stride the Government  has made has been the commencement of the local integration programme with support from UNHCR and other  cooperating partners that is aimed at linking development to relief assistance and addressing both the needs of refugees and the host population.

 

AAHI-Zambia would also like to take this opportunity to thank UNHCR for rendering its support to the organisation over the years and appeals for more donor support to local organisations such as AAH-I Zambia working for this noble cause of uplifting the living conditions of refugees. 

 

Lameck Simwanza, AAH Zambia Country Director

 

 

See pictures for the WRD celebrations in Zambia 

 

 

 

AAH Zambia to empower SGBV survivors 

 

 

 

AAH Zambia in collaboration with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) will be carrying out poultry and gardening project to enable Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) survivors in Makeni Transit Centre, Zambia to improve their quality of life. In the first segment of the project, 20 SGBV survivors will be enrolled in the business skills training. The training will commence in August 2015.

 

 

The project aims to provide support beyond the counseling of survivors to equipping them with business skills and knowledge in poultry and gardening. At the tail end of the training, the project will roll out independent astute business women. The women will also be counseled on dispute resolution including court settlement; a course they have shied away from due to lack of money.

 

 

The training will provide an avenue to affected refugee SGBV survivors to recover from the traumatic experiences by moving them from harm’s way into financial freedom.

 

Proceeds from the first sale of vegetables and chicken will be ploughed back into the project and will later be used to set up a revolving kitty that will also benefit other refugees

Fish pond construction kicks off in the Mara

 

 

AAH Kenya is currently constructing a fish pond in Narok County, Mara Division. This is part of AAH Kenya commitment to work with the youth of Mara Division by exposing them to opportunities to not only enable them to produce more food but also earn more money; mainly by shifting their minds so that they can identify business opportunities beyond the livestock keeping.

 

This project will begin in two locations i.e. Leshuta (House of Love Children’s home) and Nkoilale with the hope to extend to other areas in the future.

 

See more pictures

 

AAH UGANDA SETS ITS EYES ON KARAMOJA

 

 

Between June and August 2015, AAH Uganda will conduct a study of the Karamoja sub-region in Northern Uganda. The exercise aims to identify existing prospects in the area and hopes to:

- Better understand the region; the people, culture, structure of ruler ship and other social issues.

- Pinpoint areas of AAH Uganda’s involvement in improving the quality of life for livelihood challenged communities in Karamoja region.

- Identify allies (partners) and areas to work together.

- Interest funding partners and donors with ideas for funding.

A decision will be taken in the second month to ascertain possibilities of establishing an office in Karamoja and recruit a liaison officer. 

 

About Karamoja

 

Karamoja sub-region comprises of Kaabong, Kotido, Abim, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Amudat and Napak. According to the 2010 Uganda Bureau of Statistics there are over 1.2 million people in Karamoja. It is the least developed region in Uganda. It borders the Pokot in northern Kenya and for a long time the two communities have warred with each other or cattle and other.  In 22 years, Uganda’s poverty levels has dropped to 19.7 per cent from 56 per cent while Karamoja in the same time period has a poverty level of 82 per cent. Other humanitarian and developmental indicators for Karamoja compared to the national ones are not good either, for example in the education sector the national literacy percentage is at 67 per cent while the Karamoja sub-region is at 11 per cent. With this assessment AAH Uganda plans to diversify its reach and target vulnerable communities like Karamoja improve the quality of life for livelihood challenged communities.

 

See more pictures

 

Inspiring story ahead of the World Refugee day.