Food security, human rights and the strengthening of local alumni networks
Over the past three months Danida Alumni Activity Grants have spanned topics as diverse as food security, human rights and local network planning, as three further projects have been completed in Kenya and Burkina Faso.
A number of other exciting alumni activities are still to be delivered and additional updates will follow on these in due course.
Raising awareness of climate smart agriculture in Kenya
Growing deforestation and cycles of drought undermine the sustainability of food production in Kenya’s dry regions – exposing the communities in this area to food insecurity and part reliance on food aid.
In response to this complex challenge, three Danida alumni in Kenya organised the project ‘Sensitization on Climate Smart Agricultural Technologies and Dryland Forestry Products for Increased Food Security’ in Kitui County. This took the form of an open day that convened representatives from local communities in the lower eastern region and sought to raise awareness of this growing problem and what can be done to solve it. Potential solutions that the event focused on included climate smart agricultural and forestry technologies; sustainable use of forestry resources; integration of a commercial model in community development and efficient drinking and irrigation water usage.
The open day hosted 12 exhibition stands displaying a range of climate smart technologies and dryland forestry products. The Kenya Forest Research Institute and the Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust were amongst the exhibitors, along with technology service providers a financial institution and women’s groups.
In total, around 140 people benefitted from the event and, besides the local community representatives, participants included subject matter experts from the Kenyan Danida alumni network, county government officials and model farmers.
Planning meetings for the Danida Kenya Alumni Network
So far this year, Kenyan Danida alumni have met twice to discuss planning and organisation of the local alumni network, supported by two separate activity grants.
The first event was organised by the Network Coordinating team in February, gathering 19 local network members in Nairobi. The second convened 14 Kenyan Danida alumni in Kitui and was held in conjunction with the above open day on climate smart agriculture, and therefore also organised by the same alumni team.
Key decisions made during these meetings include:
- Moving from a Danida Kenya Alumni Network to a Denmark Kenya Alumni Network and therefore expanding membership to include all Kenyans, who have studied in Denmark, regardless of funding source.
- Create sector specific groups to allow alumni in industry, government and academia to exchange knowledge related to common areas of interest
- Develop local geographic communities of alumni within the country
Training school pupils on Civism and Human rights in Burkina Faso
A two day training course was delivered by Danida alumni in Silly Commune of Sissilli Province in Burkina Faso for twenty school students from five secondary schools in the area.
The programme, delivered by two trainers and members of the Danda Burkina Alumni Netowrk, provided a general introductions to both human rights and the notion of civism and citizenship before moving on to address education in these important topics, as well as looking at the role of the students themselves when it comes to their schools’ culture around human rights and civism.