Looking to the Future

10:19 on April 20th 2012

Looking to the Future for the Village Voices for Development Project

pagivolt (visual aids) used to explain rights to villagers

While I have been busy over the last week bringing the Trust’s finances and paperwork up to date, and working on monitoring and future funding questions for Project VVD, the team have been in the field sharing their human rights training with villagers.

Four training sessions were set up to provide the training for the project’s radio listening groups. Only half the listening group members were able to attend in Ambovombe, but in d’Ambonaivo and Ambanisarika almost all the group members attended, and others from outside the group participated. Because most villagers are farming or tending cattle, participation in daytime activities is always a little unpredictable, so the turn out for these trainings was encouraging. The participants were given an explanation about the UN Charter and their human rights. They were also shown a film in which a young woman experienced a series of life challenges where her rights were not respected (she was made to leave school early to go to work, then made to marry to support her family who told her she had no right to her opinions etc ). In fact these sorts of issues are prevalent in Androy where women experience low status and are generally marginalised. This was followed by a debate during which the villagers were able to readily identify with the issues and understand the rights in question. They also debated what they would have done in this situation. Further training took place specifically on rights to information

discussion on rights between village particpants

and freedom of expression.

In parallel, I have been preparing monitoring exercises for the team to follow up on the radio programmes which have already been broadcast over the last two weeks, in order to gauge the reactions and collect comments. We will aim to gather feedback from villagers, the radio stations and local decision makers on a regular basis so that the project can learn lessons as quickly as possible and respond to issues and opportunities arising as the work progresses.

film about human rights shown to VVD village listening groups

I’ve also been talking to a UK partner aboutfunding opportunities and preparing a schedule for the ALT Mg team to use in country to target national donors. This is part of helping ALT Mg prepare longer term fundraising strategies for their  field programme. I have drafted a proposal for scaling up the VVD project and  begun to sound out  international donors/agencies in order to seek opportunities for future funding. Although we don’t yet have the results of the pilot phase its important to  look ahead to see who may be able to support a scaling up of the project if the outcomes prove positive as this can take many months of negotiation and preparation.

Debate about the human rights film – identifying issues


Meanwhile in the capital, Tana, the ALT Mg Director, Mme Hanitra, has been meeting with one of the funders (Swiss Embassy) and also with the UN and other national partners. She has also been meeting with Ministers to try and gain their support for the project in order to galvanise stronger participation at local level for future programming

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