Project title: Livelihood improvement of women and disadvantaged households for development and consolidation of their organizations in Kavre and Dolakha districts.
Duration: 3 years
Intervention areas: 1) Kavre district, i.e. Banepa and Dhulikel municipalities;
2) Dolakha district: Bigu rural Municipality's former VDCs of Bulung, Laduk and Orang.
Main objective: The proposed three-year project will support the institutional development of two local organizations. The main goal is to consolidate these two organizations, promote their growth, improve their governance and upgrade their services through a capacity building component while also improving the skills and competences of their members and the livelihood of disadvantaged households through a series of activities including basic and financial literacy, the support of income-generating activities and vocational training, reproductive health and nutrition/food security initiatives.
Main institutional partner for project implementation in Nepal: Sarbodaya Nepal
Direct beneficiaries: about 1500 HHs
Institutional beneficiaries: two and self help groups of 2 districts
Sectors of intervention: Institutional development, women’s empowerment, literacy and financial education, income-generating activities, producers’ organization and micro-enterprise incubation, microfinance, reproductive health.
Total cost: NPR 2,36,07,889.00
Main Donner : Fondazione Un Raggio di Luce (FRL)- Pistoia, Italy.
I. Brief description
The proposed project will support the development and consolidation of two women’s self help groups and local organization and improve the livelihood of its members, with particular attention given to the most disadvantaged households.
The two Local organizations have different levels of capacity and human resources as well as different possibilities of growth and context-specific needs. The districts of Kavre and Dolakha have been devastated by the earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015 and thus the two Local organizations located in these two districts are struggling to help their members with house repairs and reconstruction, for which they received support from Fondazione Un Raggio di Luce through an emergency project.
In Dolakha, the Local organization is based in the village of Bulung, an isolated area where economic opportunities are scarce; the members are from Bulung and Laduk; the project will support its expansion in nearby Orang. In Kavre, the Local organization is headquartered in Banepa, one of the main urban areas of the district; the project will support its expansion in the rural and more marginal localities of Banepa and Dhulikel municipalities.
The project will support the organizational and human resources development and the institutional consolidation of the two women’s led Local organizations , promoting their growth and upgrading their services while also improving the skills and competences of their members and the livelihood of disadvantaged households. In order to reinforce the capacity of Local organization ’s members, the project will support a series of activities including basic and financial literacy, the support of income-generating activities and vocational training, women’s workload alleviation, reproductive health and nutrition/food security initiatives.
The intervention includes 5 components: 1) institutional capacity building, 2) basic Local organization members’ capacity building (literacy and financial education); 3) support for economic activities including training and inputs for income-generating activities, producers’ organization and rural micro-enterprise incubation; 4) a social program including reproductive health education and access to treatment for specific problems, creation or improvement of kitchen gardens and nutritional education, micro-projects aiming at alleviating women’s workload or initiatives aiming at improving hygiene and women’s health; 5) credit lines supporting context-specific objectives.
II. Specific objectives
A. Institutional development objectives
Governance, management, policies and services will be improved through the training of about 60 office holders, committee and sub-committee members and staff (on average, 20 to 22 office holders and staff and 8 to 10 committee and sub-committee members for each organization). During the project second year, a five-year business plan will be elaborated and Local organization policies improved or updated. The project will also strengthen the Local organizations ’ capacity to network with other Local organizations and access services; it will also improve the capacity of a number of office-holders to monitor activities, carry out needs assessments, compile data, write simple reports and documents. The staff and at least three Kavre Local organization office holders will learn how to develop project proposals. Governance will be improved thanks to a Local organization education program targeting the members and by requiring the board to follow transparent procedures with regard to decision making, reporting, holding elections, etc. Management will be reinforced through training and technical assistance; tasks and responsibilities will be defined clearly for every staff member and for office holders and committee and sub-committee members. A simple management manual will be developed.
As a consequence of the activities funded by the project (literacy, financial literacy, vocational courses, income-generating activities targeting new areas) and of the increased organizational and outreach capacity of the two Local organizations , their membership will grow significantly. Kavre Local organization organizational development and increased staff capacity will permit the Local organization to expand in a number of rural wards and target low-income, underprivileged households. In particular, the Local organization will target low-income households in three ward clusters: A) wards number 1,2,3 in Banepa municipality; B) wards number 12 and 13 also in banepa municipality; C) wards 8 and 10 in Dhulikel municipality. As a result of its increased outreach, the Local organization should be able to more than double its members by the end of the three-year project, increasing its membership from about 800 to about 1.700 members.
Objectives pursued through the project activities targeting Local organization members
The main objective of the project is the active promotion of women’s empowerment and gender equality and the identification of mechanisms that can help women and local communities reduce gender discrimination, violence, women’s workload, harmful practices such as early marriages and chaupadi. The objective will be achieved by strengthening women’s capacity as citizens and as social and economic actors through literacy classes, financial education and health education. Moreover, monthly meetings facilitated by social mobilisers and community resource persons will be organized in a number of rural communities in which women’s groups will discuss an array of problems and issues that impact on their lives in an attempt to change things for the better. In these same communities, micro-projects aimed at reducing women’s workload will be realized (repairs of potable water systems, grain mills, etc.) and kitchen gardens will be upgraded or created in order to improve household nutrition.
In previous years, the Local organizations have made available to increasing numbers of local women saving and credit services and improved the livelihood of a number of members thanks to the training initiatives for income-generating activities funded by FRL. Now, with this project, the Local organizations will be able to organize and support new activities such as a health education, empowerment activities for rural women and initiatives to improve the nutrition of poor households. Moreover, the project will provide the opportunity for an increased number of members to attend vocational training courses.
The project will:
1. Improve basic literacy among Local organization members: about 400 women will be literate by the end of the project
2. Provide financial education to about 400 women
3. Improve the nutrition of about 275 HHs through the creation/improvement of kitchen gardens
4. Provide training and material for income-generating activities to about 800 women/ HHs
5. Provide vocational training to 140-150 women
6. Provide reproductive health education to 275/women/HHs
7. Improve access to diagnosis and treatment for a number of SRH pathologies: estimated number of beneficiaries is 150
8. Alleviate women’s workload through micro-projects such as water/grain mills and repairs of potable water systems and other projects requested by women: 10 micro projects will be completed benefiting about 800 HHs.
III. The activities of the project
Project activities are grouped into 5 components as follows:
1) Institutional capacity building of two Local organizations ;
2) Development of Local organizations ’ members capacity (basic and financial literacy);
3) Income generating activities support program that includes training and materials, incubation of rural micro-enterprises, promotion of producers’ organization;
4) A social program that includes nutritional education and the creation/improvement of kitchen gardens, health education and prevention of violence against women, access to the diagnosis and treatment of SRH pathologies and the realization of micro-projects aimed at alleviating women’s work burden or, in special cases, micro-projects with a social and health objective requested by the women;
5) Credit lines to be used for specific objectives depending on the needs of the different contexts/Local organizations .
All activities are in line with the Nepali government sector policies and the development strategies of the districts.
Institutional capacity building. The institutional and organizational capacity building component aims at improving the competences of the Local organizations ’ organs, the overall governance and management of the Local organizations , their organizational development and the improvement or elaboration of various policies. The institutional capacity building program will be implemented through training events and technical assistance provided by the project officer and consultants. In some cases, the staff and the office holders will attend specific trainings provide by qualified institutions.
Capacity development of Local organization members. This component includes basic literacy and financial literacy classes. These two activities aim at strengthening women’s self-image and their capacity as economic actors participating in household decision making processes and are the pre-condition for women’s correct management of income-generating activities.
Basic literacy. Too many women in Nepal are illiterate, especially in rural areas where past efforts have not produced expected results due to lack of rigor and the inefficiencies that have plagued government programs. The project will organize literacy classes that will run for 3 hours 5 or 6 days a week during 5 months. A supervisor hired by the Local organizations will monitor the classes. By the end of the project, between 400 and 450 women will have become literate.
Financial education. Besides providing insights into the life of Local organizations and other financial institutions, financial education classes teach women how to draft a household budget, how to calculate expenses, how to establish saving objectives, how to evaluate in what situations taking a credit is advantageous and how to calculate the costs and the profit of an economic activity. Financial education classes run for 6 weeks 5 or 6 days a week, for 3 hrs a day.
Income-generating activities’ support program. This program includes: 1) training and some inputs for income-generating activities; 2) vocational training; 3) promotion of producers’ organization where the conditions exist; 4) incubation of rural micro-enterprises; 5) realization or upgrading of a Local organization project (for example, upgrading of a Local organization shop).
Training and inputs for income-generating activities. Based on previous experience training and inputs/services for income generating activities focus on seasonal and off-season vegetable production; goat raising, poultry farming, bee-keeping and honey production. However, the specific income-generating activities to be promoted by the project will be determined by the assessment that will be conducted in Kavre and Dolakha at the beginning of the project. The project will provide to trainees also some inputs (seeds, materials) or services (veterinary services). This activity will benefit about 800 households in the two localities.
Vocational training in Banepa municipality/Kavre. Based on previous experience, Kavre Local organization will organize vocational training for seamstresses and beauticians. Classes will be organized to teach basic and advanced skills. Trainees will pay fees corresponding to 50% of the training cost. The program will benefit 150 women in three years.
Promotion of producers’ organization and incubation of rural micro-enterprises. The project will sensitize Local organization office holders and members on the necessity for the different producers to collaborate for the sale and marketing of their products in order to have greater chances to access local and more distant markets. It will also identify opportunities for the creation of rural micro-enterprises and support motivated members that decide to make efforts in this direction. The project will also support a Local organization project on a sharing basis, for example the upgrading of the Kavre Local organization shop (if so requested by the Local organization ).
The social program. The social program targets the most disadvantaged and vulnerable households in a number of communities in the intervention area. The households of a given area are organized in a women’s or community group for the purpose of organizing training activities and monthly meetings. For each group, a committee of at least three women is selected and is assigned certain responsibilities; moreover each group is paired with a FCHV and from within the group a committed woman assumes the role of facilitator. The social program includes following activities:
1. Nutritional education and the creation/improvement of kitchen gardens is an activity particularly indicated for areas marked by food insecurity where inadequate household nutrition is widespread; if the usefulness of this activity is confirmed by the assessment that will be carried out at the beginning of the project, about 275 HHs will benefit from it.
2. A program focusing on health education (particularly reproductive health) and hygiene that will also improve access to health facilities and treatment;
3. A women’s empowerment program focusing on prevention of violence against women, workload reduction, elimination of gender discriminations and harmful practices; about 275 HHs will be targeted;
4. An initiative (medical camp) to be carried out in Kavre that will support access to diagnosis and treatment of gynecological problems; it is estimated that about 120 women will have access to a diagnosis; treatment for an estimated 60 women will be supported;
5. Realization of micro-projects aimed at alleviating women’s workload and micro-project specifically requested by women pursuing a social and/or health objective ; 10 micro-projects will be realized (6 in Kavre and 4 in Dolakha).
Nutritional education and the creation of kitchen gardens. In Jumla FRL/Sarbodaya, has been implementing this activity for the last 4 years; based on this experience, the activity will be replicated in the project intervention areas, if the initial assessment will confirm its utility. The project will provide training and inputs for the creation/improvement of kitchen gardens. As a result, the nutrition of about 275 HHs will be improved.
Education on reproductive health issues and hygiene, prevention of gender violence, elimination of gender discriminations and harmful practices. Modeled on a FRL-supported program that has been implemented in Jumla during the last 4 years, the activity consists in two monthly group meetings facilitated by community health agents, i.e. female community health volunteers or FCHV and by a “gender facilitator” respectively. FCHVs are trained and monitored by the program and besides facilitating monthly meetings focusing on health issues, they also conduct household visits in order to verify that a number of recommended practices are actually followed. Gender facilitators are selected among the women that show some leadership qualities and a commitment to change women’s predicament. They are trained by the project to facilitate discussions on a number of issues including gender violence, harmful practices such as chaupadi, women’s workload, etc. In the groups, women share their experiences and their problems, learn to look for ways to solve problems. Our experience show that it is possible to sensitize men and to get them to cooperate. The groups participating in this program are 7 in Kavre and 3 or 4 in Dolakha/Bulung for a total of about 275 women. The project will train 10 FCHVs and 10 gender facilitators; in some cases, it may be possible to train just one woman to play the role of both FCHV and gender facilitator.
Access to diagnosis and treatment of reproductive health pathologies. In Jumla, the synergy with the health district, allows us to facilitate women’s access to diagnostic services and treatment. In case of uterine prolapsed surgery, a solidarity fund established by our program contributes to the cost that families must bear for the operation (transport, post-surgery drugs, etc.). In Kavre, the project will collaborate with the district hospital and support a medical camp during which diagnosis and treatment will be administered. It is expected that 120 women will access diagnostic services and about 60 will be supported for treatment. In Dolakha, an arrangement will be worked out with the health posts and the district hospital in Charikot to facilitate access to diagnosis and treatment.
Micro-projects aimed at alleviating women’s workload and ad hoc activities requested by women. Globally, 10 micro-projects will be realized, at a cost for the project of about NPR 45.000/E 400 each: 6 will be realized in Kavre, 4 in Dolakha/Bulung. Micro-projects that can significantly alleviate women’s workload are water mills and the repair of potable water systems or small irrigation schemes. For communities and groups of households to be eligible for these micro-projects, they must be prepared to contribute toward the cost in kind, labor and/or cash. Other types of micro-projects expressly requested by women, can also be considered. Kavre Local organization , for example, has requested support for the production of re-usable sanitary pads.
Credit lines for specific objectives. The project will allocate to the two Local organizations lines of credit at zero interest that can be used to grant micro-credits to the Local organization members for specific purposes based on the needs and opportunities of the different contexts and on the stage of development of the Local organizations themselves. An agreement will be struck with the Local organizations at the
Implementation and Monitoring
There are different levels of management and project implementation. The agencies involved in project implementation are: 1) Project unit (Sarbodaya) based in Kavre and Dolakha; 2) Local organizations of Kavre/Banepa and Dolakh
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