Recent Projects: Sustainable Development
PAKISTAN: Providing quality education in public sector schools
In Pakistan’s public schools, the education system still tends to follow a more traditional approach. Teachers don’t have the training to adopt modern techniques or enhance their teaching skills. There is usually no reward system for teachers who perform well, leading to a loss of motivation and job dissatisfaction among teaching staff. These schools have largely lost the trust and cooperation of their local communities.
Human Appeal launched a comprehensive project to improve access to quality education in public sector schools throughout Azad Jammu and Kashmir. We chose 772 state secondary schools as beneficiaries of the programme. Emphasis was placed on facilitating the personal development of students, improving the skills of teaching staff and developing community trust in public sector schools.
This initiative has strengthened links between the education department, teachers and community members, allowing them to all play valuable roles in reducing the educational dropout rate and retaining enrolment in public schools. This project was specially designed to foster the individual talents of students and polish their writing, reading and speaking skills through co-curricular activities.
Our 18 month project has:
- Benefited more than 89,799 individuals, including both teachers and students.
- Improved the quality of education in 772 public sector educational institutions by imparting value based, professional in-service training to 12,000 teachers.
- Developed 2,300 co-curriculum teachers through a process of ‘master training’.
- Improved the speaking and writing skills and developed the reading habits through co-curricular activities of 70,000 students.
- Enabled 3,000 magazines to be published by student writers’ clubs and 3,000 events to be organised monthly by student speakers’ clubs, developing the talents of individual students.
SYRIA: Improving access to clean water in besieged areas
There is an acute shortage of clean water in Syria, particularly in besieged areas. We decided to tackle this by drilling new boreholes and rehabilitating old boreholes to make them functional again in Rhaybeh and Juroud, Rural Damascus.
Our borehole drilling and rehabilitation project enhanced the access of needy people to potable water, and benefited a total of 27,598 people. We also involved the local community, and residents, beneficiaries and local authorities were all mobilized to help achieve the project goal. In Rhaybeh, we drilled 7 new boreholes, and in Juroud we rehabilitated 3 existing boreholes, expanding the water network in both locations.
SYRIA: Home Gardening Project
When the city of Aleppo was under siege, the civilian trapped inside experienced extreme shortages of food and clean water. Food prices increased dramatically and fresh vegetables became particularly expensive because they are mainly transported from rural areas.
Our Home Gardening Project aimed to increase the resilience of civilians under siege and improve and diversify food consumption. It also aimed to promote the concept of home gardening to people living in urban areas.
The project passed through three main stages; training on home gardening techniques, supplying agricultural inputs to beneficiaries, and following up on the farming process. Twelve training groups were formed, and each group received a full two days of training and follow up sessions including:
- One day on agricultural principles, where the fundamentals of farming and home gardening techniques were explained, such as soil, fertilising, irrigation, methods of home gardening, and seasonal farming.
- A second day on the physical practice, where attendees learned how to prepare the container and soil, the best pattern of seeds for each plant, symptoms of common plant diseases, ensuring longevity, and cooking methods.
After concluding the training, a gardening kit was delivered to each beneficiary, containing farming containers, seeds, plastic bags, soil, and a guidance leaflet. The follow up stage of the project was disrupted due to the increasing severity of the conflict. However, the project did manage to achieve two main outputs:
- 256 households in besieged Aleppo were trained in home gardening techniques, and are now capable of starting micro farming activities independently.
- 256 households have received home gardening kits
Since the project interrupted by the recent developments in Aleppo city, it could not achieve the expected impact from a nutritional point of view. However, it did make a remarkable impact on the psychology of beneficiaries. People were excited about the project, they felt that they could take matters into their own hands and change their circumstances. As the project’s beneficiaries were evacuated to rural Aleppo, this created an opportunity for them to invest in the agricultural knowledge acquired through the project.
SYRIA: Food for Orphans Project
The Syrian crisis has made orphans out of tens of thousands of children. Countless children have been forced to flee their homes alone, and children as young as 10 have taken full responsibility for their younger siblings. Others are being looked after by elderly grandparents who have little means to provide for them or by neighbours whose own households are already under enormous strain.
The orphanages in Syria often have gaps in their services, and for this reason, our project aim was to provide health meals on a daily basis to the children in our chosen orphanage. These orphans had lost either one or both of their parents, as some lone parents find themselves unable to provide any support for their children.
For 10 months, this project provided 3 healthy meals and clean, bottled water every day for 117 orphans in Idleb, Syria. All the children were between 3 and 11 years of age. Funded by ‘Orphans in Need’, the project was also able to provide cooked meals to 31 orphanage staff members and their families who live on-site.
PAKISTAN: Helping People Feed Themselves
District Tharparkar is the only fertile desert in the world. However, rainfall every three or four years is the only source of water. The soil of the Thar Desert remains dry for much of the year and is prone to wind erosion. High velocity winds blow soil from the desert, depositing some on neighbouring fertile lands, and causing shifting sand dunes within the desert. Since the drought in 2012, the region has been blighted by absolute hunger and poverty. 300 children died in the first six months of 2016 alone.
During the first phase of the project, Human Appeal gave local farmers the field training and tool and seeds necessary to grow vegetables at available land adjacent to their houses.
- We identified 25 male & female potential ‘master trainers’ from local farmers who went through 4 months of both theoretical and on-farm training, and were responsible for passing their skills on to one person from each household in the village.
- During the project 241 kitchen gardens were established in front of or near to each house, fulfilling the nutritional requirements of the local community.
- We provided 200 tool kits to farmers and ‘masters trainers’, and developed 0.5 acres of community farm for practical training and demonstrations.
- This project has helped more than 200 households become self-sufficient through the production of nutritious food. These households are also incorporating agro-ecological practices, including integrated pest management, composting and seed regeneration.
- The myth of single season vegetable cultivation was dispelled, allowing farmers to provide for their families throughout the year.
- 200 households were able to boost their nutrition with a vegetable-rich daily diet.
- Farmers cultivated carrot, radish, spinach, and cilantro seeds for household kitchen gardens on the recommendation of the Assistant Director of the Agriculture Extension Department.
Due to excellent results and lots of community interest, the project was extended for another 7 months so we could continue to support local farmers.
BANGLADESH: Maternal and Child Health Project
In 3 Unions of Satkhira District, Bangladesh, the infant mortality rate is very high. It stands at 54% of every 1,000 live births. Around 60% of women are delivering low birth weight babies in the project area, and this is primary cause of the high levels of infant mortality. Only 8% of deliveries are conducted by trained TBAs, and the rate of institutional delivery is 11%.
Most deliveries are carried out by untrained TBAs and close relatives. Due to the lack of equipped facilities and skilled health officers, antennal checkups are not carried out adequately in the project area. Maternal health care is not provided to pregnant women.
The target beneficiaries of this project are the marginalised women of the project area. They do not have the right to make decisions regarding healthcare during pregnancy, delivery care and post-natal care due gender discrimination.
Additionally, social customs and cultural norms also deprive them of proper healthcare and high levels of poverty means they cannot afford the healthcare they need. Literacy rates among the group are very low, meaning that there is little understanding about the importance of maternal health.
Our Maternal and Child Health project aims to:
- Identify 100% of the pregnant women in the project area.
- Increase antennal check-ups (at least 5 times) during the pregnancy of all pregnant women. Increase 80% delivery conducted by trained birth attendants in the project area.
- Increase of institutional delivery from 10% to 30% in the project area.
- Reduce maternal mortality rate at least 50% in the project area.
- Improve nutritional status of women in the project area.
With your support, we have:
- Registered 1,169 eligible couples and 294 new pregnant women.
- Provided antenatal care for 294 pregnant women.
- Delivered 129 babies at household level, conducted with the help of trained TBAs.
- Provided health services and awareness-raising training for 6,454 individuals, both male and female.
- Seen a significant increase in the birth weight of babies in the project area. 93% of babies were born above their normal weight and only 6.20% were below the normal weight.
- Trained and increased the skills of 26 TBAs in the area. The number of babies delivered by skilled TBAs increased by 100%. 260 deliveries were conducted by the TBAs.
- Increased the number of deliveries conducted by doctors or nurses at hospitals and clinics. 153 deliveries were conducted in hospitals/private clinics to ensure safe delivery.
- Reduced maternal mortality rate by 100%
BANGLADESH: Promoting Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Bangladesh ranks 142 out of 188 countries according to the 2015 Human Development Index, with the World Health Organisation suggesting that only 40% of the population have access to proper sanitation, with significant disparities between rural and urban areas.
The lack of WASH facilities in many villages means that water borne, vector borne and sanitation-related diseases are prevalent, and this affects the health, productivity and livelihoods of these communities. Women, children, youth and the disabled are particularly vulnerable.
Human Appeal has been working with communities in Amtola Union, Natrakona Sadar, Bangladesh to increase access to safe drinking water and introduce proper sanitation facilities in a sustainable manner.
Our project has:
- Provided 400 households (2,000 individuals) with access to safe water and sanitation facilities. 40 community latrines have been constructed.
- Encouraged people to adopt good hygiene practices in 20 disaster-prone villages. Through discussion sessions - using pictures, posters and flip charts as learning tools - 20 village-based women groups have learned about the necessity of drinking safe water and using sanitary latrines.
- Enabled 2,200 children to access WASH facilities in 12 primary schools.
- Raised awareness of the adaptations required to deal with the effects of climate change through Development committee meetings, where members can discuss existing problems regarding WASH and climate change.
- Enhanced the capacity of the beneficiaries to sustainably manage the WASH facilities in their own villages.
- Examined 50 existing tube-wells for arsenic; those found to have traces of arsenic are no longer in use and the WDC members are informing government departments.
- Held drama performances as an alternative way to raise large scale awareness in 4 villages to audiences of thousands. During the dramas, the audience can interact with performers, ask questions and receive answers.
- Held tea stall meetings to allow information to be disseminated in an informal and participatory way. 20 tea stall meetings were arranged in different locations and have provided the opportunity for beneficiaries to raise different concerns.
- Provided awareness-raising learning materials to local primary schools on hygiene and hand washing. School children are now washing their hands more regularly and are wearing footwear.
BANGLADESH: Women’s Livelihood and Entrepreneurship Programme
Women in Bangladesh have made important gains in the formal labour market over the past 25 years, but they are still most likely to be targets for exploitation and discrimination. Around 38% of women experience some kind of violence in the workplace, they earn on average 60% less than their male counterparts, and most have little education or training.
In order to empower Bangladeshi women from disadvantaged families, we have provided them with opportunities for development and entrepreneurship. 42 women have been trained in basic sewing and textile skills, and 10 female entrepreneurs have been taught to sew to a higher level of skill, allowing them to break into the lucrative medium-quality product market. All the women we worked with her introduced to potential business partners from the Momtaz Welfare Trust, and provided with the raw start-up material, equipment and support to start their businesses.
By helping these disadvantaged women to become self-reliant, we were also able to stimulate the local economy and improve the education of these women’s children.
NIGER: Child nutrition and maternal health
As one of the world’s poorest countries, Niger has high levels of food insecurity as a result of climate change, drought or conflict, and according to recent UNOCHA statistics 3.5 million people in Niger are food insecure. The country also suffers chronic malnutrition with 1.3 million children identified as malnourished in 2015.
The country also faces other issues such as high infant mortality rates, a weak education system, rapid population growth, and gender inequality.
As part of our child health and malnutrition project, we have worked closely with the government of Niger, the Ministry of Health and our local partner to strengthen public health structures through financial, technical and logistical support.
This project has taken place across 50 health clinics in the districts of Say and Goure. We have:
- Delivered training and built the capacity of 55 MoH staff to improve their knowledge of how to prevent and treat malnutrition in children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women.
- Delivered 6 sensitisation sessions in 425 villages across the 2 districts to 9,493 women and children to help them to identify and address specific risks in order to avoid growth faltering and nutrient deficiencies. These sessions also addressed how to prevent and manage illnesses for themselves and their children.
- Provided medical and nutritional supplies to health centres and treatment centres for severely malnourished children.
- Worked closely with the MoH and other international organisations (WFP, UNICEF) to organise logistical/transportation support to ensure that all health centres were stocked up on medical and nutritional supplies.
By improving health and nutritional practices and micronutrient levels through this project, we contributed to the government’s efforts to strengthen the resilience of health systems and communities. We also helped helped to reduce the vulnerabilities and improve the nutritional status of 9,493 women and children.
PAKISTAN: Long-term security for the vulnerable
Over 900 children have died in the past two years due to drought, food insecurity and malnutrition in Thar, Sindh, Pakistan.
After providing immediate relief in 2015 and 2016, we worked towards making communities self-sufficient in food production through the provision of sustainable agricultural systems. So far, 1,800 individuals are experiencing food security, producing food for themselves and fodder for their livestock.
We also implemented a household cultivation project for communities in Azad Jammu, Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and trained 1,000 people in the Bagh and Mansehra districts in modern farming techniques. These communities were given the latest agricultural tools and seeds to grow their own food.
We initiated a comprehensive project to improve the quality of education in 772 public sector high schools too for both girls and boys. Plus we provided professional training to 12,000 teachers and improved the child development of 70,000 children through co-curricular activities.
PALESTINE: Supporting life in Gaza
This year, with regular power cuts impacting on all aspects of life in Gaza, we provided an alternative source of energy by installing solar panels in homes, schools and hospitals. The project is benefitting around 10,000 people and is providing power in operating theatres during surgery.
We supported patients at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza by setting up a new children’s ward and maternity and childcare unit, serving over 200,000 women and children.
We also provided 250 fishermen with tools after their livelihoods were devastated in the 2014 conflict, and we set up the first applied accounting laboratory in the region. Now, young people looking for work experience can be trained in labour market accounting, business accounting, governmental and nongovernmental accounting.
BANGLADESH: Improving access to healthcare
In Satkhira District, south-west Bangladesh, an absence of trained professionals, lack of awareness around health issues and cultural barriers restricting women’s access to healthcare is causing a high infant and maternal mortality rate..
We helped ensure health workers and birth attendants had the training and resources to provide full maternity and childcare services in Satkhira, Sadar and Upazila in Satkhira District. Last year, almost 300 women used the health centres and over 1,800 sick children were treated. We also held awareness raising health education sessions across Bangladesh to change social attitudes and promote healthy motherhood through better use of health centres.