Co-valent supports vulnerable groups in 3 countries

OVO has been able to count on the support of Co-valent since 2012. The training fund for the chemicals, plastics and life sciences sector has supported three different projects in recent years. 


Years ago, Co-valent decided to use part of the sector's payroll for a sustainable society. Also internationally, with a focus on a better quality of life in vulnerable environments. Through OVO, Co-valent supported three NGO projects in 2020. 

 

1.    Sustainable water management in two river basins in Uganda via the NGO Join For Water 


With Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, Lake Edward and the Kyoga reservoir, Uganda has four huge lakes. Moreover, the country has great potential due to its natural resources. But due to chronic political inefficiency, Uganda is still among the poorest countries in the world. Because of inadequate management and global warming, the country also faces a problematic water resources. 
 

Integral water management is pressing o

The long-term consequences are incalculable: food insecurity, soil erosion, land degradation, floods, damage to infrastructure, etc. A policy based on the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is badly needed. The NGO Join For Water has been developing such a policy since 2017, putting IWRM into practice in two river basins: Mpanga and Upper Lake Albert.
 

The results

In 2020, Join For Water achieved the following great results: 

  • Almost 14,187 people have improved access to drinking water through innovative interventions.
  • Nearly 2466 people and children have access to sustainable sanitation at their homes or learning or working environments.
  • 23,500 trees were planted as protection against erosion of the river basin. Thanks to better planning, increased cooperation between stakeholders and the strengthening of their capacities, local water management has been greatly improved. 
  • Local people living around the 'hotspots' of small river basins are effectively applying the plans for sustainable land and water use. At least 44% are women.  
     

Preview

Much work has already been done in the Mpanga Basin. The main challenge now is to make ongoing activities sustainable and follow them up by 2021. Stricter planning and increased cooperation between all stakeholders should ensure better management of water resources. Agriculture, as an important economic activity, will receive more attention. An integrated approach is also planned for the schools: there will be ecological latrines with hand wash basins, a vegetable garden, and Join For Water is working on waste management.

2.    Quality technical and vocational training in Tanzania by the NGO VIA Don Bosco


Tanzania has a very youthful population: almost 65% are under the age of 25. Currently, the country has only 1 school with teacher training for technical and vocational teachers. With barely 220 teachers graduating per year, this school provides 2.2% of the 10,000 teachers needed in the country, resulting in a lack of quality vocational education.

Since 2017, the NGO VIA Don Bosco has been changing this by better preparing the most disadvantaged young people between the ages of 15 and 28 for the job market. The organization does this by improving the quality of education in the vocational training centers, the management of the centers and the guidance of the students towards the labor market. In addition, a new Teacher's Training College (TTC) is being established to meet the demand for qualified vocational teachers in the country.
 

The results 

 

  • Between 2017 - 2020, 5926 students, including 2437 girls (41%), were able to receive vocational training in one of the two training centers.
  • 2740 learners have graduated since 2017 and have successfully completed their diploma. 
  • Today, 36% of students find employment 6 months after they graduate - compared to 46% in 2019. This is largely due to the corona crisis and the presidential election. Many companies were forced to close or postpone hiring. 
  • The goal is to bring this rate to 55% by 2021. 


VIA Don Bosco is also putting a lot of energy into guiding young people into the labor market. The unemployment rate in Tanzania is about 10% and also affects young people. One of the reasons for this is the mismatch that exists between supply and demand in terms of technical skills. The Don Bosco vocational schools in Tanzania work closely with the business community and the government to respond to these opportunities. In this way the schools match supply with demand and create job security for their students. 

A concrete example is the establishment of a hardware maintenance course, where there is currently a shortage of professionals. Through a field attachment assessment, the training centers keep their finger on the pulse when it comes to employers' requirements. Last year, 86% of final-year apprentices passed the employment agency's test. It shows that the apprentices are enthusiastic, responsible, and ready for the job market and its demands.


TTC

In 2019, the Teacher Trainer College (TTC) infrastructure was fully completed. Due to the corona crisis, the legal registration and accreditation by the Tanzanian government was significantly delayed. Today that process is in its final stage and the first students will soon be able to register.  

Nevertheless, activities were already taking place. The TTC already offers technical training and short, tailor-made training courses for teachers. This enables them to provide high quality training to students. Last year, 64 instructors for vocational schools received such training. 

In addition, 20 female youths will soon start training in Telecommunications, Electronics and Computers. They will take their final year of pedagogical training at the TTC. 
 

Targets for 2021

By the end of 2021, 55% of the students should find employment 6 months after they graduate. In addition, at least 80% of graduates should feel "empowered" by 2021. Currently, that number hovers around 78%, despite the difficulties with the COVID 19 pandemic. This shows that students really feel supported thanks to their professional training.

3. Sustainable agriculture in Mali managed by the NGO SOS Faim


Successive political, economic and food crises and conflicts have made the Malian population one of the most vulnerable and poorest in the world. Food security is a priority in Mali. 75% of the population is engaged in agriculture, but revenues are extremely low. 

However, Mali's agricultural potential is colossal and could contribute greatly to the fight against hunger. Unfortunately, this potential is not being fully exploited, due to a lack of technical and organizational capacities, but above all due to a lack of resources.
 

Different tracks

With this project, the NGO SOS Faim has been improving the economic, social and agricultural performance of family farms since 2017. And it does so in several ways: 

  • Promote improved and sustainable production techniques, particularly the use of organic fertilizers.
  • Strengthen processing and marketing capacity through the construction of buildings for storage and processing and the development of digital tools for inventory management and marketing.
  • Strengthen access to financial services through the development of mobile banking services.
  • Foster the capacity of family farmers by organizing training on agricultural production, storage, processing and marketing techniques, cooperative management, etc.

 


The results

2019 was marked by a sharp deterioration of the security situation in Mali. This had a considerable impact on the implementation of some activities. Nevertheless, nice results were achieved. 

  • Cooperation with organic fertilizer producers was extended. 257 local farmers received training sessions in 2019 and were able to place their fertilizer orders.
  • Organic fertilizer was purchased for 209 tons, which was 80% subsidized. This organic fertilizer was used in both vegetable and rainfed crops. 
  • 55 women experimented with growing mushrooms. During the first year, they sold 50 kg of fresh mushrooms and 2 kg of dried mushrooms at an organic market in Bamako. Work continues on the development of a cultivation technique. 
  • 3 bioclimatic storage huts and 1 storage shed were built, good for storing 413 tons of agricultural products. 
  • SOS Faim supports the Platforme Nationale des producteurs de riz in their advocacy against rice imports when Malian farmers have large stocks. To achieve this, the NGO developed a digital system to collect information from farming families who grow rice. By 2019, data from 739 family rice farms has been collected and processed. Those results will be further supplemented by other surveys to provide an overall picture of the quantities of rice available at the national level. This will allow the Platforme Nationale des producteurs de riz to make an informed case for reducing rice imports.


In 2020, SOS Faim supported 5310 farmers, including 3777 women, in the storage of their cereal and vegetable products.