During a respite from a recent international development conference in Mbale, Uganda, I had a glimpse of a Jewish story that sounded like a Michael Chabon...
Check out today’s featured blog on The Huffington Post (Religion) page by Lifeline CEO Wayne Firestone about religious diversity and cooperation amidst the coffee farmers of Mbale, Uganda. We hope you will also enjoy the inspiring story of ClearWater Initiative founder Captain Ben Sklaver whose memorial will be celebrated next month.
Over the past couple of weeks, Africa has been featured in more global headlines than usual as U.S. President Barack Obama visited Kenya and Ethiopia.
While President Obama’s trip rightly focused global attention on key development challenges in Africa, including good governance and access to electricity, the media gave little coverage to the community-based organizations working on the “front lines” to improve lives at the base of the pyramid in a lasting way.
Asdefined by Service for Peace, community-based development organizations treat poor communities and their institutions as partners in the search for solutions to their development challenges, rather than simply viewing them as the target of poverty reduction efforts. Find out how Lifeline is addressing this cultural shift in Uganda. Read More:devex.com
CHC’s members dialog with Apac’s Director Justin Otai and Lifeline’s CEO Wayne Firestone offers feedback on future CHCs activities. One elderly participant asked if Lifeline could provide an additional borehole for their health clinic.
Later he emotionally shared his appreciation for the club and how much had changed in the time they have been together. “We are in a very different situation today as a result of our club. Now we have to continue to practice what we have learned”.
Otai and Firestone met with Centenary Bank – Lira’s branch manager to discuss expansion of mobile banking application that provides greater transparency and reliability for water user committee maintenance funds.
Last week Otai organized a meeting with over 100 participants from district and sub county government, health clinics, Parish Chiefs and CHC’s community facilitators to announce a goal of reaching 100 communities by October 2015.
During a recent visit to Haiti, Alliance gender and women’s empowerment specialists convened a 5-day workshop for partners working with women entrepreneurs in the household energy sector. This training with five Haitian clean cookstove and fuel partners was the first Alliance empowerment training held after the official release of our Empowered Entrepreneur Training Handbook. The goal of this workshop was to build the capacity of local implementers to enhance women’s participation in the clean cooking value chain through a training-of-trainers methodology. As part of the Alliance strategy to scale effective approaches that also increase gender impacts in the clean cooking sector, this Handbook is a tool for partners to scale adoption and social and economic impacts.
After attending this training of trainers, participants will facilitate their own trainings for women entrepreneurs in their value chains. During the workshop, the trainers developed a concrete plan of action for implementing the guidelines described in the Handbook.
Leonne Seizeme (International Lifeline Fund) facilitates a business training activity on customer care, highlighting the do’s and don’ts of customer service.
Alliance partner, International Lifeline Fund (ILF) works with women micro-entrepreneurs in Haiti to sell improved household stoves and plans to ramp up sales significantly in the coming months. ILF hosted and participated in the training as a way to further strengthen and empower the women sales agents it works with and to integrate gender best practices into its business model. ILF recognizes that women distributors have the ability to access hard-to-reach households, can utilize woman-to-woman marketing techniques, and are trusted promoters of household products. By sending four of its trainers to participate, ILF staff had the opportunity to hold deep-dive discussions, practice facilitating activities directly from the curriculum, and to test out different training facilitation techniques such as role play, interactive games, debates, and discussions.
The Alliance will use lessons learned from this training-of-trainers to continue to adapt and modify this model in order to ensure that partners have access to trainings to fully leverage the Handbook and training curriculum. As part of our plans to scale this training throughout the sector, we will hold webinars, conduct certifications, develop a training practicum, and monitoring tools for training. The goal of the monitoring and evaluation process is to create personal assessment tools to help facilitate the continuous growth and improvement of trainers and participants in the program.
Hand crafted by local Arizona teens 50% of funds help earn money for college scholarships throughThe Shine Project. Each bracelet also offers limitless power as 50% of the proceeds help impoverished communities in Haiti and Saharan Africa achieve a healthier life through International Lifeline Fund, a program dedicated to bringing clean water and fuel-efficient stoves to displaced residents.
Handmade in the USA
Recycled glass beads, gunmetal chain made in Canada
Pallisa District is located in the central part of the Eastern Region of Uganda. It is made up of three counties, 20 sub-counties and 1 town council. Its current population is 506,900 of which a mere 57 % has access to safe water.
Map of Uganda with Pallisa district in dark blue (map Uganda Ministry of Water and Environment)
These numbers also mean that around 320,000 people have no access to safe water in Pallisa district. It was therefore decided that ILF is to drill six new oreholes in the vicinity of health clinics.
After a courtesy call to the authorities, other stakeholder and to introduce ILF as an organization, it was time to pay an official visit to the authorities of Pallisa. It is not only important that people know who you are and what you do, but it is equally important to get a formal agreement to work in that district.
Now the ILF office is based in Lira and to drive to Pallisa in the rainy season takes up to five hours or more of driving, a lot of which on dirt roads. Passing through some wet spots We finally got there and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the chief of the district went remarkably fast. After that it was time for some chit chat with various people and explain to more people who we are and what we do and what we intend to do. People appreciate that in rural areas. The next day we headed back to Lira on the long and difficult road.
Next week the work will start in Pallisa seriously now, but a lot of logistical work still needs to be done in
“It is necessary … for a man to go away by himself … to sit on a rock … and ask, ‘Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?”
― Carl Sandburg
This is true for man and it is true for a growing nonprofit.
Over the past twelve months, we have taken measurable steps to lay a more solid foundation for Lifeline. If our philosophy to development is described as “bottoms-up”, then our approach to laying this groundwork can only be described as “top-down”. The top echelon of the organization sat down with the team and worked together side by side to beckon the best steps forward. Every single voice was heard and every opinion taken into account. A driller from Uganda was given the opportunity to speak his mind while a board member (who is a professor of Medicine from Georgetown) listened on intently. During this period of self–reflection, we were also faced with sudden and expected challenges that shook the foundation of the organization. However, the two things that have remained intact during this transformative process have been our united spirit and our unwavering commitment to Lifeline’s mission.