Trim The Footprint

Preface

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Climate change is a major issue, and requires solutions on an (inter)national scale, as well as locally and personally. Putting a considerable dent in our contribution to climate change will require important decisions to be made about our economic and social model. To achieve this, we'll have to work together and cross the hard boundaries. Beyond boundaries!

Hear me out on this one:
La Condition Publique (Roubaix), Esperanzah! Festival (Floreffe) and Irie Vibes Roots Festival (Kortemark) all have three tings in common: they are active in the socio-cultural field, they bundle their strength and don't only collaboratively shrink their carbon footprint but also start the fire that spreads awareness amongst their partners and visitors. It's time for change. #OnFaitCeQueOnPeut

This project is receiving support and funding from Interreg France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen, and focusses on ecology/ecological awareness, teaching and language. #Trimthefootprint

The four axis of the project:

Axis 1

By systemically communicating through our website, newsletter and social media we promote the expansion of the project outside of their intended target audience as well as the indivudual growth of each project as time allows. Through social media we strive to involve the audience with an interactive experience in the projects. Making use of a collective slogan and a logo, the project becomes visually recognizable and easily remembered. By inviting the staff of other events, we hope to spread out the reach of our projects; all the while utilizing the school system and power of education to estabilish a long term solution.

Axis 2

Each of our partners can apply to have their carbon footprint calculated based on the available statistics from the event in 2019 according to the caron dioxide (co2) prestation ladder. We’d also like to work together with every partner (as well as cross-event) to discuss what’s possible to reduce their energy usage, trash production, improve their mobility, and how to improve the availability of sustainable foods and water. We take pricing, communication and trustability as well as durability and sustainability in to account. This way, we don’t only shrink our own footprint but show ourselves as an example to other events to follow.

Axis 3

Festival visitors are approached in an attractive manner: the music is inviting and this makes room to explore other possibilities. This way, we hope to provide the necessary initiative for people to take matters in their lives into their own hands. By allowing ecological organisations the room and possibility to present their inner workings to the public, we stimulate the further development of their working. By inviting event organisers and local governers, we hope to spread the “ecological awareness-fire”, making it self-sustaining. We lower the barrier and bring governing agencies, event- and eco-organisations and the festival visitors together to initiate a string of long-term effects and changes.

Axis 4

We are aspiring to create a multi-lingual booklet that teaches the youth aged 10 to 12 about Food Waste. In this booklet, we publish around 5 recipes on cooking with left-overs, cooking with scraps/garbage in collaboration with a variety of local chefs. The booklet will be published both digitally as on paper, taking in to account the range of creative and inspiring methods to present the booklet. Our goal is to speak up in schools and offer a free copy of the booklet. If anyone wishes so, one of our partners can demonstrate the recipes in a school with the help of an interactive workshop. By making the step towards education in schools, we are looking to link the local’s lives with ecological awareness ánd make grounds for a sustainable project that can exist on in the future.


Project: Women Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

Achtergrond:

Gender- and social inequality are known constraints to economic growth. As evidenced by the Tanzania Development Policy Vision 2025, the benefits from poverty reduction initiatives are unequally shared with women and marginalized populations, which contributes to pervasive poverty throughout the country. Rural communities are very poor, in part because there are limited work opportunities for women, who are then unable to contribute to the household financially and rely on men to sell crops or seek non-farm income in the workforce.

Most women are not participating in work, or they are given domestic work like fetching water or caring for the youngest and oldest household members. In addition, cultural traditions such as FGM, women’s inferior role in marriage, and polygamy reduce women’s access to education, which keeps women out of the workforce. This lack of education prevents women from benefiting from development initiatives offered by the government and NGO because many women lack the education and exposure to try new things.

While some women in Kigamboni have engaged in entrepreneurial activities such as selling vegetables, selling batik or kanga to tourists and local people, or selling breakfast snacks and chai and food near the market, many women lack the exposure or skills to start their own business to earn income.

The biggest constraints for many women are lack of education and exposure to other women who are working. Therefore most women stay at home doing domestic work despite the fact that they are talented and could do something to contribute to their household income to reduce poverty. Self-employment also means both women and men have equal opportunities to work, therefore reducing women’s one-sided dependence on men for household income.
Through talking to some women in the Kigamboni community, we have observed two types of women who could benefit from additional skills to become an entrepreneur:

  • Group 1 - Unskilled Inventors: They have an idea of doing something, and some have tried to put idea into practice, but failed or get unexpected outcome/results because of how they do it.
  • Group 2 - Unexposed Observers:They really want to learn how to do something that can make them money, but they don’t know how or where to seek help.

Both groups of women would benefit from entrepreneurship training in a community-based format, learning from other women in addition to a trusted facilitator.

WEWE is based on the idea that women have valuable skills and insights to share with other women, regardless of their formal experience working in a business. WEWE would employ a similar model to other group-based development initiatives such as Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) used to help women save money or Community Producer Groups designed to help farmers share agricultural knowledge, market information, inputs, and labor but oriented toward a goal of entrepreneurial development, particularly for women. The WEWE project seeks to address the lack of education and exposure to business for women in order to help them build or grow entrepreneurial enterprises that generate income for their household.
The overall goals of the project are to:

  1. Provide women an opportunity to learn about different ideas related to starting and growing a business
  2. Facilitate the skill-sharing and group-based financing mechanisms necessary to help women start or grow their businesses
  3. Provide opportunities for women to earn or increase their income

In addition, the project aims to increase decision making roles for women within their households and to reinforce the fact that household gender equality is important in every aspect in life in order to reduce poverty

WEWE plans to build on the group-based, mutual aid model employed in agricultural development and microfinance efforts to bring a group of women together as a social development project. However, WEWE model proposes grouping both groups of women outlined above together to learn from each other in the group format, regardless of previous exposure to entrepreneurship.

Our plan is to facilitate opportunities for women from various communities and businesses to interact with each other in a group setting to collectively discuss business ideas, opportunities, constraints, and solutions. For example, some women have already started a business while some others have not, so those who have already started a business can help the other women by sharing their experience, including the ways they financed their business originally and any other lessons they have learned. While the WEWE group facilitators will provide some trainings themselves or will coordinate with other NGOs to provide skill-building training to the women (e.g., record keeping, learning about market prices, formalizing the business with the government), the group facilitators will work with the participants to determine an appropriate curriculum given the group’s self-defined learning goals.

While the goal of the WEWE groups is to help expose women to other women with the goal of helping them develop their own or their own shared business, we will not require women to have a specific idea in mind before they join the group. Some women may wish to participate and hear what others are doing first before developing their own idea, but they can still benefit from participating and can contribute ideas to other participants who have or are thinking of starting a business themselves.
Several aspects of this proposal are subject to further field testing through interviews or focus groups with women who fit the target population. However, the basic idea involves the following activities:

  1. Small groups in each neighborhood of roughly 6-12 members will meet regularly to discuss business opportunities, exchange ideas, and save money. Participants in the entrepreneurial learning circle will take turns hosting the other participants to learn about their existing business or to share ideas to improve the host’s existing business plan. Participants will learn about and from their group members’ entrepreneurial ideas, which can help them develop their own entrepreneurial ideas as well.

    Group composition: Ideally, we will have a mix of the two types of women (above). However, it may be difficult to create a perfect mix, and geographic considerations may outweigh the benefits of recruiting the perfectly mixed group. It may also be possible to form groups based on pre-existing groups or affiliations. For example, we could recruit women who belong to or are affiliated with existing groups (e.g., women’s saving groups, mothers of same-aged children).

    Benefits: Through peer observation and knowledge sharing, members can learn from each other and think of ways to develop or improve their own business ideas

  2. WEWE facilitators will also encourage members of the entrepreneurial learning circles to help each other with large tasks that require group labor on a regular, rotating basis. These tasks may include cleaning a plot of land to start a business, painting, working at a restaurant, or making a product to sell (e.g., food). other with tasks.

    • For members who already own or work at a business, the host can choose what they would like the group to help them. For example, if they visited a local restaurant, members could help cook or wash dishes. This would be especially beneficial for women who have not worked outside of the household since they can learn by doing instead of watching.
    • Structure/Timing: This can be done weekly or however frequently the members would like to meet. Group members in WEWE could choose to define a set list of tasks or let the host choose which tasks they would like completed when it is their turn to host. Groups can also choose if they would like to have one designated day for labor sharing activities (like Saturday).
    • Benefits: This component helps build skills and provides pooled labor for business owners to support their businesses and accomplish larger tasks better suited for a group work day than an individual. While some households have access to informal labor during times of peak labor needs through extended family or through purchases labor, not all women do. This component enables all WEWE members to benefit materially from group membership in addition to the education and exposure components through the learning circle alone. This method has been tested in rotating agricultural groups through the Women in Agricultural Value Chain (WAV) project, in which farmer groups facilitated a rotating labor group to help out with more labor-intensive tasks at key agricultural windows such as plowing, weeding, or harvesting. In addition to providing labor for more labor-intensive activities, this component also builds in a commitment mechanism to ensure all members have a chance to benefit from group membership with whatever tasks they would like help accomplishing to develop a sense of shared success.
  3. In addition to skill sharing and skill building activities, the WEWE groups will also provide a mechanism for women to participate in group savings through a ROSCA or Savings and Loan model to enable women to save the capital necessary to start or build their business. The group can create a shared savings accounts and develop whatever institutions they feel are necessary to ensure the funds are withdrawn only for business development purposes.

Due to the dispersed environment in Kigamboni, we will go house-by-house or street-by-street to educate potential group members about the goals and activities of the WEWE group as well as what they can expect to achieve as a result of participating to motivate them to join. Given the expansive geographic area to cover in Kigamboni, it will be helpful to recruit a local liaison in each [[neighborhood/community]] to help facilitate local recruitment in order to maximize the number of women who learn about the opportunity.

OR:

We will ask permission to community leadership to speak with the community and ask if they have names of women who currently own or work in a business. Then I will ask the women I meet to recommend other women who community leaders did not recommend.

It will be important for the group to develop a contract at the beginning during formation to ensure all members agree to the same goals and general rules. WEWE facilitators can help groups start this contract by providing a template and facilitating discussions about what some shared goals or rules might be, but the contract and participation requirements will ultimately be up to each small group.
Parameters of the contract may include:

  • Attendance/Absences
  • Rotating labor group rules (which tasks, how many hours
  • Minimum savings requirements
  • Rules for withdrawing money
  • Reasons for group dismissal

The WEWE project aims to affect the following outcomes:

  • Entrepreneurial activity engagement
    • Increased participation in non-household labor
    • Increased knowledge about business skills (e.g., record keeping, obtaining supplies, navigating government permits, if appropriate)
    • Increased market orientation (e.g., knowledge about prices, where to sell, where to obtain supplies for lowest prices, what technology to use)
  • Increased wealth
    • Measurable increases in cash or in-kind income
    • Increased savings
    • Increased ability to pay for expenses such as children’s school fees, sickness, large household purchase
  • Autonomy
    • Increased confidence, sense of self-efficacy
    • Increased role for women in household decision making due to more equal role in household finances
  • Women’s time allocation:
    • Greater leisure time relative to labor due to benefits of shared labor groups

Trim The Footprint @ Tanzania

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
15.b Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation

Vzw Greenforward is a non profit organisation who has been active for 19 years in West Flanders, Belgium. The organisation is based completely on the enthousiasm and work of volunteers. Every year, they organise the Irie Vibes Roots Festival, a low budget, open minded, family friendly and ecological aware festival that attracts about 2500 people. In their actions and activities, the organisation always tries to keep the ecological footprint as low as possible. Social engagement is an important aspect of the working of the organisation. vzw Greenforward strongly believes that music transcends prejudices, music unites. But it’s not just about uniting, words of beliefs. They want to make a change in this world. In 2018, vzw Greenforward received the Ovam Green Event Award.
Together with ngo WEEDO and the communities in Kigamboni, vzw Greenforward wants to start up the Carbon Free Project “Trim your footprint”. The project is not only about reducing the own co emissions, we want to increase reforestation and support the use of clean ovens in the region.

The WEEDO is the ideal partner for us, because it gives us the chance to combine both our ecological and our social commitment. Educating and empowering women can be a keystone to change the world.
In 2019, vzw Greenforward funded a banda where the women of Weedo can come together.

Also in the summer of 2019, vzw Greenfoward and Weedo joined forces and planted 150 trees in the region of Kigamboni.

Yet, we want to do more.
In cooperation with local communities, we want to plant a whole forest in the region. We would focus on native trees, but also on fruit trees, so the community can prosper directly from the project. The members of WEEDO can start an entrepreneurship keeping gard of the forest, watering the trees, selling the fruits from the trees,...

On a regular basis, both organisations have contact with each other. There a several skype calls and we keep each other informed about our actions. In addition, crew members of vzw Greenforward visit WEEDO yearly. Together, they talk to local governments, ngo’s and WEWE groups.

"If you educate a woman, you educate a whole nation"

(dr James Emman Kwegyir)

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