Transforming lives of marginalised women in communal areas through formation of SACCOs and utilisation of locally available resources

Date: June 29, 2015
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Leadership is all about taking responsibilities and making things happen even if the conditions are not favorable. There are so many leaders who are there and are doing important work who are not recognized but need to share their experiences with others. Use of locally available resources and indigenous knowledge systems can positively impact transformation of vulnerable communities . lives of marginalized women in communal areas can be transformed through formation of community based Savings and credit cooperatives and utilization of locally available resources through value addition. There are other roles that are usually recognized as for women and others for men. I development work it is important to note that service providers use local knowledge to bring both men and women on board in implementing gender related programmes. The involvement of men in cooking demonstration and nutrition issues has positively impact on nutrition of families since they are mostly the decision makers. Women can easily discuss and plan together with male counterparts on issues to do with nutrition because men are now understanding what is needed and how to convey the message. Women are getting support from men through their involvement. Bringing men into cooking issues is not easy but through experience and support from other stakeholders They are now actively involved and we call the lead fathers. The fact that they are part of the nutrition clubs they are successfully mobilizing other men to join in. Women were recognized as weaker than men when it comes to the issue of purchasing inputs for farming. Most women were used to rely mainly on their husbands because they are the bread winners. Women in communal areas usually owns small such things like chicken, groundnuts, small grains whilst important things such as cows and maize are owned by men. So promotion of what is owned by women would make them responsible and transform their lives. Through formation and registration of SACCOs women are economically empowered thus addressing the underlying inequalities that fuel the spread of gender based violence and HIV and Aids. The value addition programme gathers community wealth and wisdom on food, nutrition, gender and income. Through use of indiginous knowledge systems and locally available resources mobilised women groups have managed to register their groups through the ministry small to medium enterprise. They are now actively participating at community and national level on development issues. Instead of waiting for husbands or stakeholders to provide inputs for farming they are now able to buy enough using their savings. Other community members are benefiting from having access to loans from the SACCOs without facing problems of collateral security. More groups are being formed and other stakeholders have adopted the innovation. Women are now owners of means of wealth through collective sharing of resources and information. Communities can benefit more if we promote participation of both men and women through use of locally available resource. SACCOs and value addition has the potential to change the mindset of people towards donor syndrome.

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