Two Schools in Dalarna fundraised more than 11 621 USD for IAS project with school lunches in Kenya. Many thanks to all the students for your great support!
Free Aid is a school concept where students at Söderbaumska School and Mosaik Free School together fundraise money by working at companies or at home for a day. Last year the students collected 7 946 USD for one of IAS projects in Ethiopia and this year they were determined to beat last year’s record. Carolina Sundin, principle at Mosaik Free School is proud to say that they did.
-We are very proud of our students who altogether collected 11 621 USD! The students have been very determined and they worked hard to reach the goal of beating last year’s record. The result was far beyond expectations, says Carolina.
Sponsoring school lunches
The students baked, cleaned, made the garden or worked at different companies. This year the money raised is channeled to IAS project in Tharaka, Kenya where Linas Food Basket (Linas Matkassse) together with IAS serve school lunches for school children. The students also organized a concert in the evening with music performances to which they invited family and friends and where the gate money went to the project.
-All parents know that children who are hungry have difficulties to concentrate. In Kenya 40 % of the country’s population lives in poverty, and many families are farmers depending on rain. When the rains fail and the crops die, it becomes extremely difficult for these people and they can barely feed their own family, says Mary Githiomi, Country Director, IAS Kenya.
School lunches will help children´s learning
When children are left out from breakfast and lunch, it’s hard for them to learn and concentrate.
-By providing children with school lunches, we make sure that they will continue their education. We have seen a major difference since the project started; the children have better health, they play more and they attend school, says Mary.
IAS is cooperating with different schools in Sweden to fundraise money for our projects. This spring we worked together with Åkerö School, Söderbaumska School and Free School Mosaik, all based in the north part of Sweden. Many thanks to The Åkerö School, who this year collected 1 730 USD.
If your school is interested to get involved with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Text: Rebecka Woods
Foto: Patrik Eriksson
Some years ago, Pader district in northern Uganda had a widespread alcohol abuse. It resulted in much domestic violence and many children dropped out of school. Abel Murungu is Community Development Officer at IAS and is one of those who worked hard to break the negative trend that´s been holding Pader in captive for so long.
-To start up a work in a society where alcohol was equivalent with food was tough. It was understandable that many saw this project as a mission impossible, says Abel.
Abel shows around in the village Puranga, outside the city of Pader, one of the areas that is severly affected by alcohol abuse. Much of the alcohol produced here is consumed in the districts of Pader and Agago, some of the places where IAS has worked with sustainable rural projects for several years. A quality survey showed that the effect of these projects was hampered because of alcoholism. Due to this need Action Against Alcohol (AAA) was started.
Abel points to a couple of bowls with molasses, sorghum, maize, and cassava, some of the most common products used for brewing alcohol.
-Much of the alcohol is brewed locally and sold on the local market. It is not uncommon that people start to consume alcohol as early as 07 am, says Abel.
Because it is mostly men who spend their days drinking, the heavy agricultural work falls upon women and children. Even the elderly are affected since they have to take responsibility for children who have been abandoned by their parents.
IAS organize campaigns to increase awareness
Through the AAA project, IAS has carried out several campaigns to highlight the bad consequences of alcohol.
-One alcohol-related problem here is children dropping out of school. When the parents consume alcohol, they don´t engage in their children’s education which results in children staying at home, says Abel.
Alcohol also has a direct link to the spread of HIV / AIDS, says Juliet Namukasa, Country Director IAS Uganda.
– Alcohol is associated with an increased number of sexual contacts, and a greater risk-taking. This contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies, especially among the youth, says Juliet.
Alcohol also increases the risk of domestic violence. Juliet refers to a study (note)showing that alcohol is behind as much as 40% of all violence that takes place at home.
– Alcoholism leads to both physical and psychological violence. Children who grow up in homes where there is alcoholism have lower grades, higher risk of developing depression and carries a constant feeling of being socially isolated, says Juliet.
Has helped over 20 000 people
The AAA project started in 2012 and has been conducted in the districts of Pader, Abim and Agago. From the beginning the number of targeted households were 450 but today as AAA has been integrated in other IAS projects, the number of people that´s been helped has increased significantly.
– All in all, we are talking about 20 000 people, says Juliet.
In addition to awareness campaigns, IAS has also engaged local politicians to raise the discussion about alcohol and how they can influence their village to help people stop drinking.
-We collaborate with both local politicians and the police. By talking about the negative effects of alcohol and at the same time highlight stories from people who have been helped, progress is being made, slowly but surely. There is a lot of work, but when I see all the families that have been rescued and see how individuals have been helped, I am so happy and I think it is worth everything. I am convinced that when we change the attitudes towards alcohol, tomorrow’s generation will also be rescued from alcohol abuse, says Abel.
(Note: The social effects of alcoholism (March 2012) –Promises Treatment Center)
Film & Photo: Håkan Björk
Text: Rebecka Woods
Read more in The Journey (PDF-2.6MB) produced by IAS UgandaPeople who´s been trained in post-harvest grain handling in Rolngap village in Aweil, Northern Bahr El Ghazal
October 7, 2015 | Posted in Civil Society Development (CSD), Countries, Humanitarian intervention, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Quality, South Sudan, Thematic areas | By Rebecka Woods
October 7th, 2015
Since December 2013, the conflict in South Sudan has devastated the lives of millions of South Sudanese and displaced more than 2.2 million people. IAS is on ground in Northern Bahr el Ghazal implementing a large development project on Life changing food security, water and community development. So far 23 000 have been reached but the goal is to help 25 000 people.
Over 90% of the people in South Sudan are engulfed in extreme poverty and major humanitarian consequences are widespread ; high rates of death, disease, and injuries, severe food insecurity, disrupted livelihoods and a major malnutrition crisis.
Rural communities in Northern Bahr el Ghazal are particularly vulnerable when it comes to food and water insecurity. Here is IAS helping people to grow food crops like sorghum, groundnuts and sesam.
-We want the communities to lead their own development process and therefore we train farmers on modern food production techniques.Farmers are trained on principles and practices in crop food production, post-harvest handling and storage of cereals and grain legumes, says Zaitun Ragota, Programme Manager IAS South Sudan.
-This training is very important because it equips the beneficiaries with knowledge that help in preventing or minimizing post-harvest crop losses, says Zaitun.
Improving hygiene and sanitation
Another component of the project is Water, Sanitaton and Hygiene (WASH) which includes new boreholes and construction of mini water yards. Each community who receives water are also educated in two levels of training. The first level is in hygiene and sanitation practices.
-Northern Bahr el Ghazal has a long history of communities practicing open defecation in respect to their cultural norms and beliefs. This results in bad sanitation and that diseases are spread. However, training in hygiene and sanitation has been very effective in changing the mindset of the communities, says Zaitun.
IAS has so far drilled 11 new boreholes, rehabilitated 20 broken boreholes, constructed 3 new mini water yards and constructed latrines in three schools.
Promote girls education
The second level of training is on common cross cutting issues which includes gender, early marriages, child protection, HIV/AIDS and girls education.
-Through trainings on cross cutting issues IAS creates awareness on the dangers of early marriages and through girls activities we advocate for girls to remain in school. An important aspect of this is access to water. Girls are the prime water collectors for the families and often have to walk many hours every day to collect water which gives them no time to attend school. But by reducing the walking distance to the water points girls return to school and finish their education.
Women, men and children are all very positive and excited to IAS interventions, says Zaitun.
-All have been actively involved in the implementation of this project and share the feeling of owning it together.
Text: Rebecka Woods
Photo: Zaitun Rogota
September 2nd 2015, Dijibouti
Djibouti is ranked as one of the world’s poorest countries and imports more than 90% of its food requirements. Last year IAS started a project here in sustainable farming, aiming to increase potential yields and decrease the dependence on imported food products.
Recurrent drought in the region has made life difficult for the people of Djibouti and the life expectancy here is less then 60 years.
People in Djibouti are from a nomadic background and don´t have farming traditions apart from that which relates directly to raising livestock.
– We saw a need to introduce sustainable farming practices such as composting to increase potential yields and decrease the dependence on imported food products, says Matt Johnson, Country Director for IAS Djibouti.
By working with 3 local farming associations at least 35 ‘lead’ farmers have been trained in ‘large scale’ composting practices for farming and gardening.
– Using materials they already have free access to, a farmer can provide enough compost for about 1/2 hectare, says Matt Johnson.
Use of the compost on the farms increases soil quality and therefore the yields.
– It also decreases water usage by making the soil more absorbent, says Matt Johnson.
Local farmers enthusiastic
The local farmers and officials are very enthusiastic about the project, which has been featured in the local newspaper and on television.
– In the next year we hope to do five composting trainings in five different locations. As part of the on going relationship with a local farming association, IAS will develop the cultivation of Moringa for both animal feed and income generation for women, says Matt.
Future trainings will also include the use of drip irrigation kits.
Text Rebecka Woods
Photo: Lucy Johnson
April 22th, 2015, Ethiopia
When the new IAS well was drilled in Idiola, Ethiopia, the life of Uka Golicha was completely changed.
Access to clean water save lives, in many aspects. One of them is of course on a health-related level; clean water reduces the risk of having water-borne diseases, like diarrhea, typhoid fever and cholera.
In Oromia/Borena region of Ethiopia, 700 kilometres south of the capital Addis Ababa and on the Ethiopian/Kenyan border, clean, fresh drinking water was difficult, if not impossible, to find – until IAS team came to drill.
‐ People travelled an average of four hours round trip in order to obtain water – water that is still not suitable for drinking. The significance of the newly drilled well in my community is great and I ́m so thankful, says Uka.
In a country where the average citizen earns approximately 1,100 Birr a month (the equivalent of $60), towns in this region that rely heavily on agriculture for their daily sustenance are in even more of a desperate situation. It is not just the basic necessities that are lacking in this area, such as clean water, electricity, sanitation, and roads. The lack of water also means the loss of their livelihoods.
Recognizing this incredible need, IAS is embarking on a holistic approach to transform the Oromia/Borena region.
Job creation for the women of Idilola, as well as methods that would help farmers in the region improve crop yield, are a few of the ideas IAS is considering to engage Oromia/Borena in a manner that will go beyond providing the basics and will transform lives.
October 29,1014, Horn of Africa
More than 13 million people so far have been affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa. IAS is on ground distributing water, food and other necessities to 30,000 people in Ethiopia and Kenya. Thanks to this, many lives have been saved. The work is however far from completed.
The rain in March did not come which had led to severe consequences: harvests was destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people now lack basic necessities such as food and water.
– When the rain didn’t occur both humans and animals lacked water, which has led to the death of people and animals because of dehydration. The situation is serious and especially for women, children and elderly, says Ketema Kinfe, Country Director for IAS in Ethiopia.
Challenges delay the implementation work
The IAS team focus on distributing water, food and other supplies to the villages where the need is the greatest. However, they face several challenges on a daily basis.
– A problem is that electricity is often lost and it can take several hours before returning. Since the distribution of water depend on electricity it creates delays and we can’t hand out the water as fast as we would like, says Ketema.
Another challenge is the distance. There is no gas station in the villages, instead the teams must often drive long detours to refuel, which also causes a delay in the distribution of water.
Breaking a vicious circle
Women are the most likely to be responsible of fetching water and the drought forces them to walk long distances to the nearest well. Since they lack food the women return home exhausted and as a result they are not able to care for their children and give them the food they need. Often children are forced to leave school because they are needed at home.
– It becomes a vicious spiral. But by providing families with food and water, kids also can continue school, says Ketema.
IAS ambition is to target help where it is most needed. In order to quickly meet people’s needs for water IAS transport water to schools and hospitals with trucks. Even food packages are distributed to the most vulnerable areas. IAS also drill several wells in order to contribute to long-term solutions.
– We are also working hard to educate and create awareness about hygiene and sanitation in the villages to prevent infections and diseases, says Ketema.
Your help is needed
The situation is very serious and people need your help. If you want to participate and contribute, you can donate a gift and mark it with the “Horn of Africa”.
Thank you for your gift!
Text: Rebecka Woods
Photo: Håkan Björk
Two schools, the Mosaik freeschool and Söderbaumska school, Falun Sweden, have together collected 65 000 SEK through the Swedish campaign Operation Dagsverke. For every SEK collected SIDA will tenfold, meaning almost 700 000 SEK will go directly to one of IAS project in South Sudan, a project which aims to reduce poverty for 10 000 people.
–Our school has for a long time been involved in Operation Dagsverke which means that students are helping other students, says Carolina Sundin, principal Mosaik freeschool.
Students from age 10 to 15 has been working for a day with different things to collect the money, some has been working for companies and others has been helping out at home.
– Some of our students also arranged a charity concert in Lugnetkyrkan and stood with collection boxes. Around 50 students from both schools were performing and even SVT reported from the gala, says Carolina.
Writing love letters
The younger students has been writing love letters which will be sent to the children and their families in the project. The love letters includes a greeting and some small gifts like a toothbrush, toothpaste, pencils etc.
-The response from the students are very positive. This is a day when they do something for someone else and they can see that their work gives result.
SIDA adds up ten times
–We have been using Operation Dagsverke for a long time in our school and this year we wanted to give our money to IAS. It´s an organization I know well and I know that their projects are well anchored among the people on ground, says Carolina.
For every SEK collected SIDA will tenfold, meaning almost 700 000 SEK will go to IAS project in Bahr el Ghasal in South Sudan. The goal of the project is to reduce poverty, helping 20 villages including 10 000 people with strengthening their societies and to involve them in their development process.
– We are very gratetful for this gift which we know will reduce poverty for a lot of people, says Andreas Zetterlund, country director IAS.