1) More than a decade of the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone resulted in thousands killed, massive displacement of the rural population, and the loss of community, property, and livelihoods. Rural villages were deserted and destroyed, as did the food production capacity of these nations, resulting in widespread hunger and food insecurity. The physical and social infrastructure was severely damaged. As is the case in most civil conflicts, women and children suffered most in these wars. Despite the fact that war in both countries ended years ago (Liberia 8 and Sierra Leone 10), there is still widespread displacement and food insecurity, which is a testament to the extent of the destruction. Attempts to resettle the rural villages are slow moving because of the lack of resources for social rebuilding of infrastructure such as schools, health facilities, water and housing. The cities remain overcrowded, with high unemployment, poor sanitation, and a generally poor quality of life the norm. Food insecurity and poverty are widespread, particularly in rural areas.
2) The destruction caused by the massive earthquake that struck Haiti in January of 2010 will be present for decades. Even two years after the event that killed over 200,000 people, thousands are still living in tents. Less than ten percent of the debris has been removed. While the earthquake was confined to the urban areas of Port au Prince and its environs, hundreds of thousands of people sought refuge in the rural areas, causing severe shortages of food, housing, and other amenities. The rural people, who did not have much, welcomed, those seeking refuge and housed and fed them. Most farmers used their seed stocks to feed affected people. With the recovery and reconstruction efforts proceeding very slowly, many of those who sought refuge in the rural areas may be there for years, even permanently. Many see this as an opportunity to rebuild the rural sector as a way of stemming the rural to urban migration.
3) While AMI is not engaged in emergency relief activities, the organization is currently working these three countries in the reconstruction and development efforts. The focus is to train community development workers, farmers, and women and assist them in building functional local organizations to manage their development efforts. Additionally, the intention is to provide training in improved methods of production and small grants for seeds and tools.
4) Deliberate efforts are in place to ensure that women are included in the decision making and governance structures of the organizations. The microcredit programs are specifically designed for and managed by women.
5) In the four years that the program has been in process in Liberia and Sierra Leone, 22 community development facilitators have been trained, 18 community groups brought into the program, directly benefiting more than 3000 persons. Food production and incomes have significantly increased.
6) In Haiti, we are working with our partners to develop seed banks, distribute seeds and tools to farmers, and provide training and revolve loans to women for business.
Goals & Objectives
To work with local partner organizations in Liberia and Sierra Leone to:
1) Train 15 new community development facilitators by March 31, 2014.
2) Train 300 farmers in improved methods of food production and post harvest technologies by December 31, 2013.
3) Provide small grants for seeds and tools to 20 community groups by December 31, 2013.
4) Train 300 women in micro-credit management and business operations by March 31, 2014.
5) Provide grants for micro-credit revolving loan program to 15 women's groups by March 31, 2014.
6) Provide training for leaders of 20 community groups by March 31, 2014.
7) Train 40 women in business operation; provide capital for a micro credit program.
8) Provide training to 200 farmers in agro-ecological methods of production.
9) Train 20 additional grain silo builders and initiate a seed bank program in 20 communities.
10) Train 10 artisans in the construction of water catchment and storage systems for household use and irrigation.
To collaborate with local partner organizations to:
1) Select and train community facilitators.
2) Select communities and groups for involvement in the program.
3) Conduct baseline surveys of selected communities.
4) Train farmers using the Farmer Field School methodology.
5) Provide small grants for seeds and tools.
6) Train women in small business and micro-credit management.
7) Provide small grants to women's group for micro-credit revolving loan program.
8) Train group leaders.
9) Monitor progress and provide technical support.
10) Conduct participatory evaluation at three-month intervals.