Archives for February 2014

Titukuke Rural Community Development Association, Creating a Culture of Education in Zambia

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Updated submitted by Gertrude Soko, Director of Titukuke Rural Community Development Association

Here are some recent photos from the Titukuke day care trust school. We are running a pre-school, grade one and grade two classes at present. We have also introduced adult education in the afternoons for parents and guardians of our pupils so that we develop a culture of appreciating the importance of educating the children . It had been difficult to find children in large numbers because most parents do not see the value in taking children to school. These parents pay 20 Zambia Kwacha per month about 4 Dollars. The teachers get 60% whilst the school gets 40% of the total proceeds. The school has also introduced basic computer lessons to the grade ones and twos so that they are prepared at a tender age to appreciate and use ICT
in their lives.

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The other pictures show the income generating garden aimed at helping meet the cost of paying the school staff who are failing to raise enough funds from the pupils. The pupils pay little fees this year due to failure to meet full fees last year. Some of the pupils do not pay anything due to their vulnerability. There is need find sponsorship for these children use none payment is affecting the school negatively. We give thanks to The friends of Titukuke in The Netherlands-SSTZ for the construction of the school, irrigation equipment, solar energy, the garden materials, school materials and equipment as well as financial support to
enable us reach this far.

 

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Click here to learn more about Titukuke Rural Community Development Association in Zambia

 

Spread the Love With These Donation Gift Cards From Globalgiving.org

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Sample gift card. Choose from 5 Village Earth projects to support and customize your message.

Need a last minute gift for that special someone? These donation gift cards from Globalgiving.org are a great way for your both to share your love around the globe. Choose to support one of 5 Village Earth’s Global Affiliates featured on the site. You can either print-out your personalized card or send it via email anywhere in the world!

Order your gift card today by clicking on one of the projects below and then choosing the “Gift In Honor” tab.

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Below are the Village Earth Affiliate Projects eligible – click the graphic to learn more and donate. 

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From the slums of Phnom Penh to possibly studying in the US… Empowering Youth Cambodia

EYC Star Students

“I would do the preparation class anyway”, said Keo Yary, an EYC student in 11th grade, when asked if she would attend this class even if there was no lure of a possible scholarship to the US. Yary is one of five lucky EYC students who have been selected for an excellent program created by EducationUSA Advising Center under the United States Embassy. The program is called the Opportunity Fund, and it aims to prepare youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to be able to access higher education in the United States.

The five students are Keo Yary, Ho Andy, Chon Sreyroth, Luck Chamnab and Ear Serivichara, and they are from Aziza School, Impact School, and Youth School, respectively. Now seven months into the program, the students were not at all “randomly selected”. There was a rigorous testing and interviewing process where the students had to demonstrate not only good English skills, but also strong academic skills, general knowledge, and leadership skills. And it is with good reason that the students are carefully chosen – the program invests a lot in them.

Three times a week the students attend class for two hours, where they learn advanced English and also learn about culture, food, and general knowledge. In addition, the students meet every Sunday morning to discuss the book that was assigned for that week’s reading.  Later in the program they will learn about scholarship applications, how to write an essay for college applications, get help with the passport application, and more. The program aims to fully prepare the students to apply for college and scholarships to study in the US.

But there is no guarantee of admission to a US college. And each student not only needs to be admitted, they also need to find a way to fund the studying.  But as Keo Yary said, she is happy to do this class no matter what – nobody can take away the knowledge she gets from the program.

Good luck to them! (by Annette Jensen)

Village Earth Welcomes Affiliates From The Cheyenne River Reservation & Zambia

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We are excited to announce the addition of two new Global Affiliates: “Mni” (which means “water” in the Lakota language) based on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota and Titukuke Rural Community Development Association based in Petuake Zambia. (Both of which are eligible for 30% match on all donations made on Wednesday, February 12th – Show Your Support Here!)

Mni - Cheyenne River Reservation

The Mni Restoration Project is focused reversing global climate change by advocating for global watershed restoration. At the local level, their plan is to take action by constructing thousands of small water catchments at all elevations along Reservation streams and watercourses. This will slow rainwater run-off, increase ground water infiltration and capture eroded soils, creating ideal conditions for reforestation and natural plant resurgence. Trees and vegetation will hold the water on the land, direct it into the ground and, through evapo-transpiration, release it back into the atmosphere. Reestablishing the small water cycle allows the moisture to return to these same lands as gentle rainfall and the process repeats. The sacred water cycle upon which all life depends is mended. A balance is attained.

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Titukuke Rural Community Development Association (TRCDA) was established in 2001 and registered in 2005 by Gertrude Soko and a few other rural community-based citizens who wanted to identify the options that could help alleviate the numerous social and economic hardships that the rual citizens were facing. The organization started mobilizing communities for health and social change in all areas of human development which saw the establishment of clubs for women, youth and widows as well as the establishment of community schools for children and women. The organization is run using bottom-up approach where by the AGM elects area representatives and board members from among themselves.

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Maloca – Empowering Indigenous Kamayura of Brazil to Document and Protect Culture

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Kamayura filmmakers using equipment provided by Maloca

By Luminita Cuna, Director of Maloca

In January 2014, Maloca director visited the Kamayura community in Mato Grosso state and discussed with the community the project to protect the Kamayura culture through new technology. The idea to document and record the Kamayura tradition by the Kamayura people themselves, using modern technology, existed in the village for a while, however, due to lack of resources, the Kamayura were unable to start this process. Now, your generosity will turn this community-generated idea into reality.

Everybody was excited to learn that the fundraising for the equipment started. The Kamayura identified a few people that would take a very active part in the project, once it starts, and that would carry it forward. Furthermore, we discussed creating a Kamayura Memory House (Casa das Memorias) in the village. This micro project would be an essential part in creating Casa das Memorias in the Kamayura village, a cultural point where the Kamayura traditions are collected, stored, and shared.

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One important thing that our donors need to be aware of is that the process of discussing and planning with an indigenous community is very different than what we imagine and it takes longer than one would expect. There are a lot of one-to-one discussions in informal settings ( on the way to the river, coming back from tending the manioc garden, around the fire waiting for the fish to cook). The discussions have to take place according to the community’s ways/rules, and following their own timing. These preliminary talks, which sometimes are very repetitive, have an important role, as they help interested community members to really understand how the project works (including fundraising over the internet). When people have enough information, the chief calls a general meeting in the center of the village, where facts and information is presented to everybody.

While in Brazil, Maloca contacted Brazilian film makers and identified potential candidates to visit the village to provide training (filming, editing) to the Kamayura. We are in the planning phase, both with the community and the film makers, and it looks like the summer of 2014 will be a good time to have the first training session.

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This  project will buy a good HD video camera for the Kamayura community. As prices are soaring in Brazil, the camera will be purchased in the US. The camera will be handed to the community personally by Maloca director, during the upcoming Summer 2014 trip. The months of June to September are the best for starting this project because this is the time where all the important rituals of the community take place, it is their “holiday season”.

We are continuing our efforts to raise funds to purchase external hard drives (where all the films will be stored), and hopefully another camera.

Village Earth Affiliate “Eco-V” Sri Lanka reflects upon its successes in 2013

Thank you 2013…..we had a great year! with new initiatives and successful results!

We had a great successful year in 2013. Paapedi 2013 the bicycle journey for Climate Justice was a very successful campaign we had for Climate Change mitigation and adaptation work. Also we got involved with Good Market (https://www.facebook.com/thegoodmarketcolombo) and started “Nature Kids” a very unique programme for kids to get connected with Mother Nature.
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Nature Talk before Nature Walk
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During Nature walk
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Some Nature kids with animal flags
Also we started two educational stalls at Good Market under the kind sponsorship of Dilmah Conservation. One on Eco Education and the other on Conscious Consumerism.

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Eco Stall
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Eco Stall and Consumer Voice Stall
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Reading about food and health on consumer voice stall
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Sugary drinks and conscious consumerism
I personally completed two important training programmes. One on Consumerism (Consumer Association of Penang, Malaysia) and the other on Climate change leadership with former Vice president of USA Mr. Al Gore “Climate Change corps” in Istanbul, Turkey. Both programmes were very helpful for me to get more confidence and also loads of information was passed down to various working groups of ECO-V. I also attended a conference in Malaysia on “Interfaith Dialog for Peace and Sustainability” with the kind invitation from Seva Lanka (a NGO for social development work in Sri Lanka) as a Climate Change and sustainable living campaigner. It was great opportunity to participate at People’s Forum of The 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo.  Also I was invited to be at prince Charle’s B’day party held in Colombo during his CHOGM visit to Sri Lanka.
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In Istanbul
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People’s Forum, CHOGM 2013
We had many international volunteers who visited and helped us in our activities. ECO-V won a grant from Kate Stork memorial Awards, UK for our “Nature Kids” programme and it’s the second award from them we won. Thank you for KSMA Awards! We were able to continue our great work with kids at Good Market because of you. Then Nature Kids won the “Environmental Impact Award” of the annual award ceremony of Good Market! This is what we call ripple effect for positive change!! One start leads for something else…
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Kanchana and Uvasara with Impact award at Good Market
Having our own training center is the long term plan for ECO-V and we have been working towards it always. Dhanushka from Udawalwa is One of our youth leaders we trained for last 5 years under various programmes (starting from friends of Pelicans, then KSMA youth trainee, kelani nade yathre and Paapedi 2013 yathree). After kelani Nadee yathra he decided to start a farm in his own land as a post journey project. We were thrilled and guided him to start a permaculture farm which we can develop as a training center eventually. The year 2013 was a successful year for him as he able to build a natural building, a toilet and basic accommodation facilities. Thanks to Journeys For Climate Justice in Melbourne who is our partner organization for both journeys we had who sent us International volunteers to work with his team and him were able to get exposure to more wider world.

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Dhanushka and team making compost
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Dhanushka’s team
Also I started a small permaculture plot very close to our office and trying to develop it as an educational center and make it more sustainable for ECO-V future work. Also we started selling extra vegetables (after sharing the harvest with neighbors and friends) at Good Market and willing to join with them under participatory Guarantee System (3rd party organic certification).

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Eco Garden of ECO-V
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Harvest of Eco Garden
We started a very special programme for students at School for Deaf. It’s called talking through Nature which is still in progress. We managed to create a butterfly garden with all native plants and our volunteers did more shramadana work (sharing work) with these differently able children at school. I still remember their exited faces when they saw the first ever caterpillar reported on a herb that they planted.
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Volunteers involved in painting walls of Butterfly Garden area
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Students and volunteers working together
We continue to teach about nature for them using this space. Our face book page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/119363511453200/) exceeded 2000 members which is very helpful to spread the messages of our work among volunteers and also helped us to raise funds for our work.
So thank you very much for all of you who were with us in 2013 and we very much hope that you will continue to stay with us in year 2014 in this journey.