Portland, Ore. – Vibrant Village Foundation has invested $9,552 in the villages of Divshi and Gadchincla, in the Western State of Maharashtra, India. Roughly 650 families live in these villages, the majority of whom are small-scale and tenant farmers, migrant laborers and landless women. Seasonal migration is a serious problem as many women leave their villages for up to eight months of the year in search of work. As a result, children are frequently uprooted and deprived of access to education.
Vibrant Village is partnering with Women’s Empowerment International Foundation (WEIF), an organization based in Alberta, Canada, dedicated to poverty alleviation and women's empowerment in Central and South Asia. With support from Vibrant Village, WEIF will build upon their existing village improvement initiative in Divshi and Gadchincla.
250 women will be involved in this one-year project, which aims to curb migration, promote food security and make possible a stable home life for children. WEIF is working with a local agricultural expert to train women in cultivating the most appropriate and profitable seeds for the region. The group will initially focus on marigold, papaya, gourds, spinach, coriander, and mango and lychee.
WEIF founder Nargis Jamal says, "Every dollar in the hands of a woman empowers her to create positive change for her family."
Each participant will receive seeds, saplings and drums for water storage. Women will also receive training in modern agricultural practices (i.e. soil analysis, crop rotation), marketing, leadership development and financial literacy. Through these agricultural activities, the goal is for each woman to increase her income and limit the need for seasonal migration.
“The hope is that, if these women can stay in their communities year round, their children will benefit from greater stability and more regular access to education,” explains Kevin Grubb, Vibrant Village Foundation’s Director of International Programs.