What We Do To Bring Prosperity To Widows Through Agriculture
1- Need assessment survey (any substance beneficial to the group)
We find out the needs of the widows?
Our M&E team does the Needs Assessment (A formal needs assessment survey)
Why is this important?
It’s important so that the group should claim ownership of their project(s) rather than we imposing our ideas (projects) on them. Many NGOs fail because they impose their ideas on the groups they want to help rather than use their ideas to empower them.
2- Distribute and demonstrate technics and technologies.
Identify lead farmers (those willing to use their farmlands as schools/demonstration farms and allow other farmers to come and learn on his/her (their) farms.
For motivational purposes, lead farmers are given a stipend so as to be readily available and willing to assist any other farmers who come later on to seek assistance. This stipend would be for either his/her transportation/or to buy whatever they would need.
Within the community, we also identify Community Based Facilitators (CBFs)
3- Within the community, we identify Community Association Trainers & Traders.
These categories are trained and encouraged as (entrepreneurs) to start in-put shops where they sell what the farmers need. They would also give advice to the farmers on how to use these products.
4- We also give training on expansion of what the CATTs are doing like encouraging them to bulk by buying and stocking from the small farmers, and identifying a bigger market or entrepreneur who does wholesale.
5- Post-Harvest and Agro Processing
We mobilize the women in groups to work together for the benefit of all.
The women are taught Group Dynamics (leadership skills, how to work together, book keeping) etc, they are advised that there must be coercion in groups (with a constitution) to satisfy credit institutions when they apply for loans or credit facilities to improve their businesses.
Also for funding, it’s internationally accepted that funders fund work with groups rather than individually.
6- PROCESSING: This will commence as more funding comes in.
7- Last but not least, (marketing), we teach them never to do business that would jeopardize their family situation. ie before selling their farm produce, their (families) children must have enough to feed on, kids must attend school, the family should have an acceptable standard of living with the money accrued from the business.