Our new affiliates and new FWOP Chapters are moving toward sustainability in many different ways. ‘Creative interdependence’ may be a good motto for the link between FWOP and our network. Empowerment initiatives, Enterprise development, Education for youth, and Environmental clean-up and preservation must converge to promote sustainability for children, widows, women, elders, and the poorest among us.
Nasik, State of Maharashtra, India
A-WOW (www.awownow.org) is focused on 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 will also conduct 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.
FWOP New Affiliate – Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, XSProject is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of poor families living at Jakarta’s trash picker communities. XSProject believes that breaking the generational cycle of trash picking is the best way to a better life for the trash picker communities. We focus on three areas of greatest need:
- XSEducation Scholarship Program: Provides the children of trash pickers a K-12 education.
- XSProject in the Community: Addressing the medical, vision and dental challenges of the families along with vocational training for young women and mothers and micro-financing opportunities.
- Consumer Awareness: Educating consumers about the environmental effects of trash on poverty and the world.
XSProject’s Mission: To raise awareness of environmental damage and poverty through education, making innovative products using consumer waste, and by creating new income opportunities for Indonesia’s socially disadvantaged.
Below is a photo of the clean water project XSProject has developed for the community from sales of our “upcycled” products made from consumer trash.
Ivory Coast FWOP, New Chapter on the Move!
Ms. Marie Coulibaly, President of 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 lamp enterprises. Some NGOs have exploited people in Abidjan and trust of NGOs 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!
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. These lamps were handed out last month.
In 2012, UNTFWOP students distributed solar lamps to four single mothers with children.
Nicaragua – Educational Center Goes Solar!
Harvest Initiative: www.cosechanic.com 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 www.pacayalodge.com. The 20kw 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.
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 biogas and wind energy, boat building, and machinery importation.
Harvest is also working on the Atlantic Coast tribal area that covers 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!