Sustainable Village Initiative by Enactus Strathclyde

The Sustainable Village Initiative aims to support and develop a village in Ghana with YOUR HELP

  • £439

    pledged of £2,000

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This project received pledges on Fri 02 Dec 2016

WHAT IS ENACTUS?

Enactus is the largest student society in the world, spread in almost 40 countries, with 59 universities participating in the UK. It is a non-for-profit organisation which encourages students to engage in entrepreneurial behaviour to create projects that focus on empowering people in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, locally and abroad. WHAT IS THE SVI? The Sustainable Village Initiative (SVI) is a project run by Enactus Strathclyde in the village of Chiok Alonga Yeiri in Northern Ghana. It aims to empower the 600 citizens to live a more sustainable life through enabling them to farm also during the driest months of the year, and to financially benefit from the longer farming period. It started in autumn 2014, before the current team leader joined university. The first year was spent searching for a project partner and organizing the first trip to Ghana. The project partner is Revsodep, a charity whose support has been invaluable in facilitating communication with the village and on-site logistics during the trip that took place in December 2015. During this on-site visit, we were able to build a borehole that now provides fresh, clean water to the villagers, and enables two women who take care of the maintenance and who manage it to earn an income that allows them to send their children to school. Last summer continuous communication with the villagers made it possible to identify the need for farming during the dry months of the year. Hence, the project leader conducted some research, and discovered the possibility to implement a drip irrigation system, which saves 45% of water compared to a traditional spray system, which would help dramatically in combating this problem. From talks with the village farmers, it was decided that such a system will be built with bamboo plants by the villagers themselves. This is a much cheaper and more environmentally friendly way than working with a company that would use their pre-designed set, disregarding the irregular shape of the fields in the village. Empowering the farmers to work for a longer period of time throughout the year will also enable their wives to set up a cooperative for selling the produce in markets in nearby villages, further improving their financial conditions. Starting up the cooperative is one of the goal of the trip that we will be undertaking in January, as it is the possibility to mechanise the well. Mechanising the well would mean that the villagers will not have to carry buckets of water from there to the water tank, which is placed slightly uphill. By doing so, another village could be connected to the well too. While in Chiok Alonga Yeiri we also hope to start a social enterprise around Shea. Shea is a plant whose fruit is used to make Shea butter, increasingly used as a beauty product in the western world. Our aim is to connect unemployed western African women in Glasgow to high school-dropouts in the village, enabling them to save money to spend onto their further education, or to continue developing their own Shea business.