Sarah Begg

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Recommended reading: http://www.practicalaction.org

Posts by Sarah

  • Connecting people to nature – 5 ways knowledge protects our planet

    June 5th, 2017

    World Environment Day is the largest global day for positive environmental action. Here at Practical Action we want to create a sustainable future for everyone on our planet. To achieve this sharing knowledge is key.

    To celebrate, here are 5 ways knowledge really can protect our planet:

    1. Krishi Call Centre – By simply dialing 16123 farmers across Bangladesh can call to receive the solutions, information and answers they need to solve their pressing challenges. Our call executives help farmers to farm in ways that will not cause harm, now and in the future, to our planet. Advice is given on a range of topics from pesticide use, organic farming , fisheries and many more!

     
     
     


    2. Podcasts in Zim
    babwe – Through the power of voice, our field staff work closely with communities to strengthen their knowledge so that they can farm in sustainable ways, use clean energy solutions and use natural resources appropriately. Podcasts are delivered in local dialects, so that even the most hard to reach communities can learn how to protect our planet, and use natural resources sustainably.

     

     

    3. Portals – Online communities really can create action – our infoportals, and more specifically our “info bosques” portal, are full of great resources, dialogue and learnings promoting the approaches, techniques and methodologies which are kind to our planet.

     

    4. Technical Information – Our e-library is a fantastic collection of technical document, briefs, guidelines and how to guides that are free of charge to use, download and share. It is a rare collection that can really teach field staff, technicians, community workers and even students the best practices and approaches to connect, and protect our earth.

     

     

    5. Join the community – this World Environment Day, why not get involved? Join the movement online, through Twitter, through Instagram and share why the environment is important to you! We certainly think it is important, tell us what you think!

    This World Environment Day why not use knowledge to connect with the environment? Have a read of one of our technical briefs, explore our app or join the online movement #WorldEnvironmentDay

     

     

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  • Story of Kopila Chaudhary — how knowledge transformed my life

    March 20th, 2017

    The gift of material goods makes people dependent, but the gift of knowledge makes them free”, these profound words of E.F.Schumacher still hold true today. In fact, they are the foundation of Practical Action’s last mile knowledge service, Practical Answers. Knowledge sharing, skills development and capacity building allows vulnerable communitieMushroom farmings across the globe to improve their own livelihoods and thrive in future years to come.

    Meet Mrs Chaudhary, a mother to five. She lives in the far west rural region of Nepal. This area has a past. The 17th July 2000 was a milestone in Nepalese history, the day the Government of Nepal abolished the Kamaiya systemthe abolishment of bonded labour. Kamaiyas were freed, Mrs Chaudhary was freed. Yet, life remained difficult. These families were sent to live in Mukta Kamaiya,­ communities of freed bonded labour set up by the government. Life remained difficult for Mrs Chaudhary, although she had been re-housed the promises of rehabilitation had not be fully fulfilled. Wage labour was essential if she was to support her family and change her livelihood for the better:

    “The government had provided us four Kathha (approx. 14,500 sq.ft) of land with some money to start our new life as a freed Kamaiya, but it was insufficient to fulfil the daily needs of the family. I along with my husband worked as daily wage labour for 15 years but still struggled to make ends meet for our family and fulfil our children’s basic needs. Many organisations came to us in past; they sympathised on our situation and showed us hopes and inspirations but almost to no effect.”

    Gyanodaya Community Library and Resource Centre (CLRC), supported by Practical Answers, is located in the area. Owned by the local community, staff knew that the Kamaiya community must be supported through the gift of knowledge. Social mobilisers encouraged individuals, like Mrs Chaudhary, to join their training and learning sessions. These participatory trainings focus on income generation activities and diversification; key skills to improve the livelihoods of these vulnerable communities. Sceptical at first, participants of these sessions are now thriving commercial farmers specialising in agribusiness. Mrs Chaudhary is one of them. Social mobilisers from the CLRC Mushroom farminghad encouraged her to participate, sharing the benefits that neighbouring communities had gained since joining the training. During the training, she learnt how to write business proposals to apply for government grants:


    “Surprisingly, I got a grant of NPR 40,000 (£300) along with some machinery for mushroom farming and now I have started commercial mushroom farming. I was able to produce 50kg of mushroom. With the money, I am building another tunnel to grow 200 more bags… CLRC has built hope on us to change our lives”

    Knowledge sharing and skills development for individuals, like Mrs Chaudhary, enables vulnerable individuals to improve their own livelihoods by their selves, to grow and prosper without handouts. Knowledge empowers. Knowledge empowers women like Mrs Chaudhary to be business women supporting their family, community and growing their own confidence day after day after day.

    Did you enjoy this story? If yes, go to our Mother’s Day site  and meet other inspiring women just like Mrs Chaudhary!

    Want to help women like Mrs Chaudhary this Mother’s Day? Our Practical Presents Charity Gift shop offers some amazing Mother’s Day gifts that are designed to transform lives. More information here

     

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