West Africa Initiative
WEST AFRICA INITIATIVE
More than a decade of the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone resulted in thousands killed, massive displacement of the rural population, and the loss of community, property, and livelihoods. Rural villages were deserted and destroyed, as did the food production capacity of these nations, resulting in widespread hunger and food insecurity.
With over 40 participating communities, the eight year program has realized a number of successes including food secure communities during the recent Ebola virus disease outbreak. One notable indicator of success and sustainability is local ownership of the methodology whereby communities that received training now assist in organizing and training other communities using their own resources, independent of AMI. In the over eight years that the program has been in process in Liberia and Sierra Leone, 22 community development facilitators have been trained, 40 community groups brought into the program, directly benefiting more than 10,000 people. Food production and income has significantly increased.
Goals & Objectives
1) Develop the organizational structure of group cluster and the Village to Village Federation (V2VF). The clusters are groupings of 3 to 6 farmer’s groups based on geographic proximity, designed to promote and facilitate collaboration between and among groups. The V2VF is a national Federation of clusters.
2) Group members develop plans to access safe water and improved sanitation. Water and sanitation surveys of the 40 villages in the program indicate that 22 do not have access to safe water and 6 do not have latrines.
3) Improve nutritional status of community residents through promotion of home gardening.
4) Improved community food security through improved post-harvest handling of crops.
5) Increase in groups’ assets for community development.