The organization embarked on mobilizing communities into smaller manageable groups of 30-50 households in the communities of Central Province and ensured that they got involved in the following livelihood activity approaches;
Environmental protection 2007-2008
Through a school gardening and feeding programme the organization partnered with 200 schools in central province training them modern environmental friendly agricultural practices for gardening as evidenced in our schools, gardening is only undertaken at high school and college/university levels as agricultural science (which in some instances is optional) and not at basic school level.
According to the then Ministry of Education statistics, there were 1,716,017 girls and 1,736,574 in basic schools (Grades 1-9) giving a total of 3,452,591, 186, 204 girls and 230, 369 boys in high school giving a total of 416, 576 (Ministry of Education statistical bulletin showed), leaving about 3, 036, 015 from these statistics, it was evident enough that only 12% of pupils make it to higher level of education. Due to high levels of drop outs and non attempt caused by various reasons such as Economical and Social
Challenges only 12 % may be the ones who may have the opportunity to acquire these desired survival skills. Only less than 17% complete their secondary education with a potential of being employed formally in their lives based on academic qualifications. Without agricultural skills yet 99 % of their livelihood is in the rural communities is agro related such as gardening We therefore so it necessary to introduce gardening and environmental protection such as the planting of trees to grades 1-9 as well.
Global Environment Facility(GEF) -2011
DI is one of the members of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) one of the United Nations wing working towards investing in our planet as its motto.
In November 2011 sponsored by GEF, DI attended a regional Expanded Constituency Workshop (ECW) in Cape town-South Africa. Our role was to understand how civil societies would partner with Governments, UN bodies to acquire funds from GEF under funds for civil societies. Since then we have tabling to the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection on how to hold a stakeholders meeting on GEF funding and activities in Zambia.
Educations and Health-2005-2006
In Kapiri-Mposhi we encouraged communities to come up with self-help projects towards the construction of community schools and health centers. This came into being after realizing that most Orphans and Vulnerable children (OVC) were un able to go to school as their Care givers couldn’t afford tuitions and buying them uniforms and that the distances to the nearest school could be as far as 19kms (11.9miles).
These groups managed to mould bricks and were involved in the building of the classrooms and teachers houses. Working as a bridge between service providers and needy communities we linked these school projects to other organizations such as UNICEF who provided materials in form of desks, books, chalks etc. Similar initiatives were undertaken in health post constructions though not completed to expected standards due to limited financial resources.
Some communities in Kapiri-Mposhi live as far as 40kms (25 miles) away from the nearest medical centre causing unnecessary deaths to those who cannot afford transport for serious cases such as maternity.
As a cross cutting matter HIV/AIDS care and support groups were formed and are being sensitized on how to live a positive life.
Livelihoods and Agriculture 2006-2007
- We ensured that groups are democratically self-managed, financially viable and have sustainable projects
- Trained them on how to do a feasibility study, business plan, project proposal and how to run businesses profitably.
- Imparted with the knowledge of improved sustainable farming methods such as minimum tillage and conservation farming
- Linked them up to out -grower schemes and companies to provide Inputs and organize markets for their outputs at profitable prices.
- Introduced farming as a business not a way of surviving.
- Encouraged farmers to pay back loans not to consider it as a gift
Good Governance 2005-2006.
In Kapiri-Mposhi, DI has been highly involved in sensitizing the communities in matters related to gender, human rights and good governance to the extent that the organization was voted to Chair the Voter Education Committee comprising of all NGOs and government organization ensuring that the voter educators were trained and the elections were conducted in a free and fair atmosphere.
Disaster and crisis 2006-2007
During the “emergency restoration of 2006/2007” Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM) collaborated with Dialogue International by entrusting local community leadership structures to identify the needy households and distribute needed relief food. The food was distributed in a manner that was transparent to both the community, to PAM and other stakeholders and DI.
In Kapiri-Mposhi DI formulated a youth training program involving 900 youth groups of 20s on how to be democratically self manage, financially viable and sustainable projects. This involved how to carry out a feasibility study, formulating a business plan or project proposal and how to run businesses profitably through development of entrepreneurship skills. The organization also imparted life skills unto the youths and linked them to institutions that could support them with youth development funds, such as the government supported youth development fund, then under the aegises of the Ministry of Youths and Child Development now incorporated under the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEC).
In the last three and half years the organization capacity to deliver on its planned activities has been hampered by the following challenges:-
- Lack of adequate office space for the limited small number of secretariat staff with rentals being on the higher side.
- Lack of adequate operational fleet of transport as hiring of transport has been more expensive.
- Inadequate operational funds as DI depend on donor support and membership contributions which support less than 1 % of the budget.
The organization intends to roll out its programs to peri-urban and rural districts in Zambia and the African Sub- Saharan region with particular emphasis on programs and initiatives that are targeted at the following;
- Membership capacity building
- Harvesting of rain and surface water for social and economic benefit for rural communities (using concrete tanks, gutters, Iron sheet Roof tops and irrigation schemes.).
- Embarking on a Peri-Urban sanitation project
- Educate schools on the importance of tree planting.
- Encouraging conservation farming methods and natural resources preservation in readiness of climatic changes.
- Add value of neglected crops as to meet exportable standards.
- Alternative livelihoods support
- Backyard bio-intensive gardens
- Small livestock and local chicken rearing
- HIV/AIDS support, care, and awareness backstopping
- Farmer Starter Packs credit Facility
- Life skills training to OVCs
- Gender, human rights, and good governance advocacy
Construction and supporting community schools attended by vulnerable children who can’t be taken care by their guardians or parents