We don't do charity. In any village, in any project, at any time.
But, since 1992, when villagers wanted a partner to support their development, we’ve been there. Government pitches in with the highest quality staff and through adapting government programs to fit rural needs. Villagers provide much of the labour and indigenous expertise. Everyone contributes, and every contributor feels total ownership of the project.
"I've never seen an apple except on the chart at the Lingshed school."
12 year-old child from Dipling.
Since our Seeds for Change project in 1992, the Women’s Coops have been the heart of our village work. In 3-year partnerships, women determine their own needs, build their self-confidence and enjoy learning how to learn, create village-based micro-enterprises, work with the men to improve education and health for all and diversify their agriculture. Just a few things the Coops have achieved include:
- Rose to the challenge of climate change by growing drought resistant and more productive crops which improve nutrition for everyone.
- Used greenhouses to introduce vegetables to remote, high altitude villages, improved nutrition and enhance village economies.
- Built their own solar-heated schools, creches and women’s learning centres.
- Started tree plantations, even above 4000m altitude.
- Supported Youth Leadership Programs for their kids.
- Started their own solar lights industries.
- Improved their herd health, which in turn improved nutrition.
- Helped us test education materials, program frameworks and new crops, becoming ‘barefoot researchers’ and establishing an experimental farm above 3800m.
"When these kids start Class 1 they are so far behind."
School headmaster on the impact of malnutrition
and lack of child development programs in remote villages
Recent surveys show a rapidly growing disparity between nutrition and development between city and village children. Innovative, collaborative HI projects has an 18 year track record of success:
- Villagers have worked with us to construct solar heated creches, develop a creche worker training program and test locally-grown nutritious meals for just-weaned children.
- Women helped us develop family planning and child health information; the only such information in local languages.
- Helped us research and start a district-wide program for disabled children and their families. Today there is a Paediatric Handicapped Unit at the District hospital, we support an Ability Network, helping disabled adults earn an income and have branched into mental health services for all.
- We’re helping the government build greenhouses at residential schools; nutrition improves while kids maintain their farming skills.
- Many Voices One World gives children their own voice, and allows them to talk to other kids around the world.
- Winter Camps are turning the long cold winter into a time of games, leadership and learning the traditions from their elders.