GLOBAL WOMEN'S WATER INITIATIVE
Global Women's Water Initiative is highlighting the work of the East African participants through our weekly blog campaign: Women and Water on Wednesdays. This week highlights "Ex-commercial Sex Workers Transforming Lives and Providing Clean Water in a Women’s Prison in Kenya". A special report from the field from our partner Catherine Wanjohi from Life Bloom who introduced the Biosand Filters to a women’s prison in Kenya.
"The Biosand filter training was attended by 18 prison warders both male and female and 18 female inmates. They learned how to build their own Biosand filters for the prison. The inmates were happy to receive their certificates—some said it was their first time to hold a certificate in their hands."
Read more about Life Bloom and all the other Teams!
The final phase of the Women, Food Security and Climate Change Training Program will be held in April in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), India. WEA's partner on this training initiative, Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group is an organization deeply committed to using a rights-based approach for improving the food and livelihood security of small and vulnerable women farmers in the flood-affected plains of Eastern U.P. Under the leadership of Dr. Shiraz Wajih and Dr. Seema Tripathi, this training holistically builds the capacities of vulnerable women farmers through its emphasis on organic farming, diversifying their food production and connecting women to advocacy tools and campaigns to drive change in their communities.
Many participants have shared their successes:
Soma and Thumpa in West Bengal have guided women farmers to set up 20 nutrition gardens, as well as install improved cooking stoves that reduce carbon emissions
Manju Devi in Bihar has continued her training on organic farming practices and is encouraging others to plant multi-purpose indigenous trees. "My goal is to see women stand on their own feet and improve their self-reliance," says Manju who has set up her own organic kitchen garden as a demonstration site.
Kusum Lata in Uttar Pradesh has developed her Advocacy Action Plan to ensure that rural women have job cards registered under their names. This enables them to get fair wages under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act that provides 100 days of employment to rural households willing to do public work-related work, including water conservation and reforestation.
NORTH AMERICA PROGRAM
Since our November 2011 Advocacy Training, WEA's North America Program team has been working to facilitate advocacy collaborations, integrate learnings, plan our next steps, and strengthen the foundation of our work. Over half of the advocacy projects from the Advocacy Training docket – which represent requests from our Indigenous colleagues for technical support – have been assigned to advocates, and several more are currently in the preliminary dialogue phase. And, as we continually strengthen our capacity to work with Indigenous peoples' movements for environmental justice, we're beginning a consultancy partnership and training with the Catalyst Project, a center for anti-racist political education and movement building based in the Bay Area.
We're especially excited to announce that Angela Mooney D'Arcy (Acjachemen) has begun working with the North America Program as our Advocacy Fellow. You can read more about Angela on our blog.
SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA PROGRAM
The Sub-Saharan Africa Program (SSAP) at WEA emerged from the efforts of Global Women’s Water Initiative (GWWI), which addresses issues of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
The SSAP seeks to partner with Africa-based organizations that are promoting women’s leadership, fostering economic self-reliance, and enhancing networking opportunities for women in order to support holistic and women-led responses to climate change and environmental degradation. We recognize that networking remains a critical tool for women and girls to break the cycle of dependency and to engage in development at all levels. To this effect, the program seeks to strengthen regional environmental networks to support a more visible and vigorous women-led environmental movement.
In its foundational stages, the SS Africa Program seeks to partner with local groups in Liberia and Sierra Leone to coordinate its first capacity-building training. This year long program will focus on women and water issues, climate change, entrepreneurship and leadership.
Finally, WEA welcomes two incredible young women—Priscilla Ankrah, Research Fellow and Nancy Djembe, Program Intern to help the SSAP grow.