Community Development in Ri local government area, Dhading district
Since 1998 NAFA has assisted a number of villages in the Ri local government area (Dhading district north-west of Kathmandu) with small scale development projects. These projects are carried out in partnership with the Hilly Region Development Club (HRDC), a locally run volunteer organisation based in Tawal, the largest village in the area. It is in the Ri area that NAFA uses a community development approach to improve the lives of subsistence farming communities.
Community development aims to improve the well-being of all individuals in a community, using a comprehensive economic, social, cultural and political process, based on community members’ active and meaningful participation in this process and the equitable distribution of the benefits of all development activities (adapted from AusAid definition).
NAFA’s community development work involves:
- Gaining an understanding of a community within a complex cultural, political and economic environment.
- Developing relationships and building local capacity
- Identifying development priorities and strengths
- Integrating projects across key sectors: health, education, environmental, economic
- Encouraging participation and ownership
- Strengthening partnerships through information sharing and negotiation
- Monitoring and evaluating project outcomes to identify change over time
- Extending the hub school in Tawal, (serving children from 5 villages), from Grade 5 to Grade 10.
- Funding the installation of water taps in Tawal village.
- Co-funding (with Ausaid) the construction of the Tawal health centre serving over five villages
- Subsidising three health worker salaries since 1999.
- Funding one-off ear, eye and dental health clinics for over 13 villages
- Supporting upgrading of health worker qualifications and technical skills in rural health, midwifery and pathology testing.
- Financial support for the installation of improved cooking stoves in six villages, that use less wood and virtually eliminate smoke in households.
- Financial support for the installation of a micro-hydro system providing clean electricity to two villages, and supporting the creation of a number of small businesses.
- Supporting the development of an agricultural cooperative aimed at diversifying crops, improving animal husbandry and encouraging savings through a locally run savings bank.