(last updated: September 2017)
Namibia / Several projects
A set of issues and solutions have been highlighted by communities in Namibia and it is proposed to develop projects and seek funding to address those. The main issues highlighted are:
– Gender-Based Violence in communities
– Youth unemployment
– Poverty in rural areas of different constituencies
– Loss of livestock due to lightning and/or drought
– High road accident rate
– Alcohol and Drug abuse amongst the youth
– Lack of community health centre
– Lack of rural community libraries
– Lack of Climate Change Educational Material Supply
Those projects will at different levels positively impact health and wealth of communities as well as environment.
Namibia / Access to water
While boreholes are available in many places, the distances and road accesses in Namibia make it difficult for remote communities to access water. Some strategic points for addition boreholes and pumps are being investigated in the desert Kalahari region of Bushmanland in North East Namibia.
This project will have a positive impact on health and wealth of the community through easier access to water for home use and farming.
Zambia / Pre-primary school
Support of a community member and a local NGO in the building and set-up of a pre-primary school to fill the gap of existing structure and allowing more children to go to pre-primary school in the village. Nurturing children is the future of communities. Those who cannot access pre-primary education will start primary school with a handicap compared to others. In many instances, those children are early drop-out as they cannot follow the teaching and this leads to poor literacy and greater unemployment. This will allow for equality of chances in education and future building and will create a positive impact on the community future.
Within a year from my first visit, the first classroom was there and the pre-primary was opened. There are still needs to build more classroom and support of the teacher.
Zambia / Protection of teenage girls through activities
The village faces a number of issues with teenage girls. Due to lack of better things to do, those young girls are exposed to alcohol, rape and prostitution when under the influence. A community member is keen to start activities such as netball and library to keep those young girls away from the shabeen (local bar). Support will be needed in assessing the type of activities that will be more beneficial and accepted by those teenagers, as well as implementation of such activities.
Malawi / After school support
Children in some places in Malawi do not attend secondary school due to the cost of boarding schools. However there are secondary school, without board, that could be attended (close to home). One reason why parents do not send their children to non-boarding school is that they cannot provide support at home and rely on the boarding school. I was asked to help in a small town in setting-up a place so that children can come and do their homework, which they do not do if they go home. Children not attending school is hindering their future and lead to poor literacy in the country.
An after school place, with some support for homework would increase school attendance and the education level in the area, in turn increasing the future wealth in the country.
Zambia / Fish farming
Along the shore of the Zambezi River, fishing is one of the major sources of income. Some local community members have shown an interest in setting-up fish farms in Zambia, to increase productivity. Fish farms already exist in Zambia, as well as on the opposite site, in Botswana, and a further assessment is needed to confirm need, feasibility, cost, sustainability, environmental and community impact.
Tanzania / Farming
Farming is one of the areas that is being developed in Tanzania for better sustainability of communities. It is hoped that in future we can be involved in supporting a local NGO that we have met in Tanzania, working to set-up farming activities locally.
Multi-countries / Dry fruit and jam
We have on occasion discussed the possibility to preserve fruits in-season via means of drying them or making jam. People generally like dried fruit and jam but cannot afford them. However, they are interested in producing those for themselves and never thought that they could. Small session in teaching those simple «recipe» would help food sustainability, reduce waste and improve well-being. We plan to perform those when in area where there is an interest, as the occasion arise.
This also helps with confidence and motivation on what that people can do for themselves.
Multi-countries / Promoting use of solar energy
In many places, poverty levels are high and access to basic needs is not always guaranteed. Basic needs start with water, food and shelter. The situation is not likely to improve as the world moves at an ever increasing pace and to keep with the flow of evolution, new needs become basic needs (and therefore expenses), such as mobile phone and internet connections. This in turn demands greater access to electricity.
Africa has a high solar environment and electricity can be generated through solar panels to support small usage such as telephones, lights and computer. This would improve community access to and use of new technology, allowing them to access further resources.
Other uses of solar energy include solar cookers and dryer, which can be built locally at little cost. Those would positively impact environment by reducing wood cooking, and community health and welfare by allowing fruits and vegetables to be better preserved and consumed more regularly, as well as create a positive economical impact for production.
A couple of communities in different countries have been identified so far that would benefit from the use of solar energy in their multiple forms.
In addition, lack of rain in the past years have adversely affected the production of electricity in a few countries. This led to load shedding of electricity, which primarily impact the most vulnerable members of the community. As a whole, provision of tools to use solar energy as efficiently as possible would improve living conditions to many in several countries.
Multi-countries / Computer classes
While computers might not be seen as a priority, I have met people who have one and lack basic office skills. Learning to use basic word, excel or powerpoint functions (on MS office or free softwares) would enable those people to increase their job performance (if only by saving time). The idea of train the trainer in some regions that I have gone to has planted it seeds and will be investigated when the opportunity will arise during a stay in those area.
Multi-countries / Cattle farming
Farming generates employment in the community and provides basic food supplies for the country, at reduced cost compared to import. Land in some areas is left unattended and presents good grazing opportunities for cattle farming. Following some requests, an assessment will be performed in different countries to confirm need, feasibility, cost, sustainability and community impact.
Multi-countries / Promoting cross-sharing solutions
Some of the issues and solutions highlighted by specific communities can be relevant to other communities, both within and outside a country.
With the knowledge gathered from each project, sharing with other communities and adapting to specific settings/constraints can and will be done.