Introducing the seminar participants and the awards funded.
- One of the early awards was a study trip between Jatan Sansthan (Jatan) and the Southern Region Offices of the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). Jatan is a grassroots Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. Jatan work with the rural populations of the Rajsamand and Udaipur districts in Rajasthan. The scope of their work covers health, education, employment and participation in democratic processes. Their target demographic is youth and women. FGAE is a volunteer-based, charitable organisation. The Southern Area Office are based in Hawassa in the southern part of Ethiopia. The scope of their work is to ensure access, choices and service provision of integrated, comprehensive, quality gender sensitive sexual and reproductive health programmes. FGAE work with the underserved and vulnerable population, focusing on youth and women.
- The Marlborough Brandt Group (MBG) in Wiltshire, England made an application for funding to assist a project for community development in Gunjur (The Gambia) through young people in Wiltshire and the Gambia exchanging business ideas. In the Gambia (in Gunjur and surrounding villages) the project was managed by the Gambian partner NGO TARUD (Trust Agency for Rural Development) whose work includes health education, women’s literacy, early childhood education, water and sanitation, women’s livelihoods, a micro-credit scheme for business entrepreneurs and (through collaboration with the international NGO Disability Africa) and an inclusion programme for disabled children in Gunjur.
- Crofting Connections (Scotland) formed a partnership with NECOFA Kenya School Gardens Initiative, which works with rural schools and communities in the Eastern Rift Valley. This partnership echoes a wider global movement to raise the profile of local small-scale food production all over the world. Crofting Connections is a partnership project between Soil Association Scotland and The Scottish Crofting Federation. It works with over 150 schools in the crofting counties of Scotland, many in remote areas, to introduce the study of crofting past, present and future into the curriculum. The aims of the project are to deepen the connections between children and young people in crofting communities through place–based learning and to introduce pathways to meaningful local employment for those wishing to remain in or return after studies to their local communities. Crofting Connections is a member of the Learning for Sustainability network. Network for Ecological Farming in Africa (NECOFA) is a community-based NGO promoting Ecofarming – ecologically and socially sustainable Land Management. It works towards empowering communities to sustainably access education, health, food security and social dignity. NECOFA Kenya has activities in Nakuru, Baringo and Makueni counties and works with rural community groups and schools. It has very similar aims to those of Crofting Connections in relation to preparing young people for work in their own communities.
- Delegates from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda attended a rainwater harvesting Symposium held in Addis Ababa hosted by the university. Samwel is with the Neighbourhood Initiative Alliance in Kenya; James is with the Rain Foundation and Aidenvironment based in Uganda and Belay is with the University of Addis Ababa.
- Community Energy Malawi are a small dynamic, able, committed and enthusiastic team who have ambitions to successfully implement Malawi’s first community owned renewable energy mini-grid by working in partnership with the communities they have built up strong working relationships with. Community Energy Scotland (CES) is a registered Scottish charity and social enterprise with a core membership comprising of non-profit community groups from across Scotland. Their mission is to build confidence, resilience and wealth at community level through sustainable energy development. An exchange was undertaken where several of the CEM team visited the Island of Eigg to facilitate knowledge exchange and skills transfer on the development and maintenance of community owned, renewable energy, mini-grids.
- The Kwa Muhia Environmental Group is a group of residents who wanted to solve some of the problems in their village, so in 2011 they formed the Kwa Muhia Environmental Group. The group works on four main projects – managing waste, selling water at water shops, encouraging people to use fuel efficient stoves and education and awareness; their ethos is to encourage social inclusion and sustainability. The group’s over arching aim is to become a model ‘green’ village setting an example for others to follow.