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Community Development « International Aid Services America

“I have learned a lot.”

Poverty and harsh climate in Seno Konjedge village in Niger means that Zenuba (age 24) and her two children are extremely vulnerable to food insecurity. It is estimated that 4.2 million people are in a state of moderate to severe food insecurity and more than 1 million infants are moderately or severely malnourished in Niger.  However, through her participation in IAS’s garden project, in which women were trained to utilize water effectively to produce their own food, Zenuba has begun to provide for herself and her children.  Zenuba participated in the gardening project as well as trainings and advocacy on hygiene and nutrition, also conducted through IAS.

“This year I have managed seven garden plots, growing lots of lettuce and cabbage.  I have harvested much more this year than last year, because I have learned a lot about different techniques and how to manufacture organic pesticide.  I have sold a small amount, but mostly it is for me and my family to eat at home.  Normally we eat only millet, so it is good to have green vegetables as well”,  says  Zenuba.

The mission of IAS’ work is to go ‘beyond relief and development’ and to work with communities and national partners to ensure sustainable change. Community development work occurs in close collaboration with state actors where possible to see that the legal framework and the priorities of the government are enjoyed by all citizens. IAS engages in humanitarian, development, and resilience efforts to promotes the health, development, and sustainability of the communities in which they work.  IAS works in countries ranging from extreme hostile contexts to relatively stabile developing countries. Accordingly, IAS applies different approaches from village empowerment projects to advocacy campaigns at national level in order to call for social accountability

Community Development Initiatives Include:

  • Developing gardening and sewing skills among women.
  • Training community members in agricultural skills including sustainable farming, composting, and gardening.
  • Teaching English as a foreign language.
  • Developing peace-building clubs and training religious leaders in peace-building.
  • Training community members in leadership, microfinance, entrepreneurship, and business planning.
  • Forming business support groups.
  • Teaching residents in a refugee camp how to make echo-friendly, energy-saving stoves.
  • Distributing fruit trees to people living in a refugee camp.
  • Promoting discussion groups for women focused on hygiene  and sanitation.

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