Alumni contribute to sustainable development and local communities
Danida Alumni Activity Grants continue to support locally rooted and impactful initiatives, lead by teams of Danida/Denmark alumni around the world. Here we highlight projects that – partly through awareness-raising and educational activities, all delivered in partnership with local organisations – are leaving a positive impact in Kenya, Ghana, Nepal, Uganda and Mexico.
By Nina Vlemmings
Promoting Environmental Conservation in Baringo County, Kenya
Danida Alumni, local leaders and community members all came together in June to plant trees at Morop-Tarambas Forest, Baringo County. This group planted an astonishing 4,000 tree seedlings, issued 2,000 seedlings to farmers and an additional 2,000 to nine schools in the area. Twelve beehives were issued to two community conservation groups with the joint purpose of enhancing local biodiversity and environmental conservation as well as introducing an alternative source of income. As part of the awareness-raising effort, the day was concluded with speeches and entertainment.
A significant outcome of this activity has been the commitment by the Director of Baringo County’s Forest Services to honour the community’s request to adopt the ‘shamba system’, an indigenous system of food production, where agricultural crops are grown together with trees in forested areas. Since the event, the community has also been promised additional seedlings, whilst the forest station will dedicate space for a tree nursery in the area and also support the growth of the nursery in a neighbouring school.
In total, 250 community members were engaged in the event that was supported by the Kenya Dairy Board, The Kenya Forest Services and the Baringo County Agriculture Department.
School based disaster risk management training in Gorkha District, Nepal
Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake in 2015 holding its epicentre at Gorkha District, Nepal. The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.9, and four years later the rehabilitation effort is still ongoing. Strengthening the disaster risk awareness and response of local communities and organisations is one of the solutions to reducing the devastating impacts of future emergencies.
The project “School Based Disaster Risk Management Training”, lead by a team from the Nepal-Denmark Alumni Network in partnership with the local NGO Prayas II (a partner of Care Nepal), the Village Municipal Council and Community Action in Disaster Response (CADRE), aimed to respond to this need. The project delivered disaster risk management training and a mock drill of an emergency scenario to a total of 250 children across five schools with additional participation from the schools’ teaching staff. First aid kits were also donated to the participating schools and concerted efforts were made to revitalise and form school disaster risk management committees in collaboration with CADRE.
By delivering this training and engaging key local stakeholders as partners, the project has left a ripple effect in the wider community with key messages and techniques from the training programme being passed on to others in the area.
Science and Technology Seminar for Females in First Cycle Institutions, Ghana
Last year the Danida Alumni Network Ghana organised a pilot seminar for school girls, with the aim of generating interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and increasing the enrolment of girls onto STEM programmes. The success of this first event encouraged the organising group of Danida alumni to repeat the experience, this time attracting three times the number of participants – growing from 56 in 2018 to 160 girls taking part in this year’s two-day seminar at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
A post-seminar survey indicates that 91% of the participating students feel motivated to pursue science and 84 % intend to study Science in Senior High School. Approximately 88 % are interested in studying science at the tertiary level and 90 % of the students agree that science is for both boys and girls.
You can find more information about the event in the following online articles: “Science and Technology Seminar Series for Females in First Cycle Institutions Opens at KNUST”, KNUST and “Kumasi: 180 girls familiarise with Science-based courses”, Emmanuel Kwasi Debrah.
Honey Quality Assurance Workshop in the Volta region, Ghana
Honey production systems, global honey standards, honey quality and health benefits, the sector's key challenges and honey as a business opportunity was all discussed and explained as part of this one day workshop. This workshop convened 24 participants, which included beekeepers, consumers, consultants and Danida alumni.
Part of the group was also the Chairman of the Ghana Beekeepers Association and representatives from the Forestry Commission of Ghana, the National Board for Small Scale Industries and the Volta Regional Association of Beekeepers. You can learn more in this article.
Sustaining Young Adolescents in Schools through Menstrual Hygiene Management in Lira, Uganda
Building on the success and learnings of the project’s first phase last year, 215 pupils have so far been trained in menstrual hygiene management and the production of reusable sanitary pads. Importantly, senior male and female teachers have received training and up to date knowledge on the topic, whilst each school has also been supported to establish its own functioning health club and made a commitment to maintaining necessary supplies for continued training of their pupils.
The Danida alumni feel confident that, with limited monitoring of activities from their side, the schools now have the capacity to independently manage and deliver menstrual hygiene management activities.
Sustainable Waste Management through Innovative Technologies, a workshop in Gulu, Uganda
This workshop convened a variety of stakeholders for a discussion around innovative and effective approaches for sustainable waste management in Gulu. Panellists represented academia, private business and not-for-profit organisations, providing a platform for sharing diverse perspectives and insights on this important topic.
The seminar "Antimicrobial Resistance: snapshots of the Danish experience" delivered in Mexico City
Together with the Danish Embassy in Mexico, the Danida Alumni Network Mexico organised this seminar on solutions to antimicrobial resistance. It convened over 80 representatives from a total of 19 organisations across Denmark and Mexico and has set the foundations for strengthened collaboration between the two countries on this important issue.