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Empower people to participate in local decision making
Raising awareness on social issues: Human Right, Gender and HIV/AIDS
Raising the community’s awareness on Human Rights is essential to enable participation in local decision making. READA uses two methods: we raise awareness of Human Rights during meetings at village or commune level. Furthermore we liaise with external service providers for them to deliver more in depth training sessions on Human Rights issues to Community Councils (CC), village and group leaders, village volunteers and any other relevant stakeholders.
Gender equality is promoted through all our activities. About 60/65 percent of our beneficiaries are women and we ensure they get the opportunity be involved in discussions, take on leadership roles and develop new skills.
READA mainstreams HIV/AIDS into its activities in order to raise awareness and help minimize risks. HIV/AIDS issues are also addressed with staff members in order to ensure they clearly understand the implications of HIV/AIDS and are able to disseminate knowledge within the community. HIV/AIDS campaigns are also organized in the community once a year on World AIDS Day, this is a great opportunity to inform on causes, prevention, care centers etc.
Self Help groups
With the support of READA’s project staff, poor families form into Self Help Groups (SHGs). Each group defines its own structure and formulates a process for identifying problems and determining potential solutions. The aim is for SHG members to gain skills in group management and leadership (planning, recording, facilitation etc.) as well as to start building an effective community structure. Project grants are distributed to individuals through the group and grants repayment are then managed by the group. The SHGs are also used as safety nets: group members are encouraged to save an agreed amount of money every month; this small capital belongs to the group and can be borrowed against in times of needs or for investment purposes. This has proved to be particularly beneficial for costs such as health care as people can borrow from their groups instead of incurring high interests through borrowing from a local lender. Our project staff supports and assists the SHGs to build capacity through ongoing follow up and coaching.