Seeing the Grassroots Movement
Here is a gallery of the GlobeMed at Northeastern interns working with our partner Kitovu Mobile LTD, based out of Masaka, Uganda. While there we worked on our Hygiene and Sanitation Project and toured their other departments. During our time we assessed local communities on where the addition of a new shallow well was most needed and would be the most beneficial. GlobeMed is a organization that focuses on a grassroots approach. This means they look at what problems a community has, what it needs, and communicates locally to address it and find a solution.
Think of change as a ripple, it can start small but slowly grow outward for a greater impact. In these pictures there are two different villages. One that has been formed into a Self Help Group by Kitovu (right) explaining the benefits of forming such a group.
Our grow interns are learning how this group of grandmothers make money. Income generating activities like raising tree nurseries were thought to them by our partner Kitovu Mobile.
Think of change as a ripple, it can start small but will slowly grow outward. In these pictures there are two different villages. The group on the right has been trained in microfinance by Kitovu into an independent Self-Help-Group and as a result received a loan to purchase a grain mill where they turn a profit. They are explaining to the group on the left the process of how to form their own Self-Help-Group.
Grassroots focuses on the relationship between aid givers and impacted communities starting with the question “what do you need?” instead of the statement “This is what you need.” Here one of our interns is surveying this village about their access to water to assess if they are in need of a new shallow well.
Our project with Kitovu is centered on Hygiene and sanitation. Through surveys we found that some families must walk two hours round trip to get water. This water tank, and many like it, was given as a way to address that problem.
This is the president of one Self Help Groups that we interviewed. GROW Intern: What was it like before Kitovu came?” President: Bad, lots of children got sick and pit latrines were not up to code. GROW Intern: “So what were the changes you made after Kitovu came?” President: “They taught us how to use pit latrines, how to build tip taps, and to wash hands” GROW Intern: “What were the biggest differences after?” President: They taught us that it’s important to boil water. Now there is much less sickness, this is good because when we are sick we can’t do work and children can’t go to school.
Here is one federation meeting we attended that focused on ways to raise money. A representative from Kitovu moderated the meeting. The federations first question was to the moderator was “What should we do?” to which he responded, “You must decide what is best for your area.” So first they had to identify appropriate ideas that would work in their area. Then they weighed the pros and cons, expenses, and profits. They finished by deciding on the cheapest to start with and once they had more capitol they could do the other three. The cheapest was to buy water drums to store water they could sell, the other three were rent out either pots or chairs for special events, or to buy a mill.
In our last week we attended another federation meeting where we used the data from our surveys to determine which village was in the most need of a new shallow well. On the left Stephen, a representative from Kitovu is assisting the self-help group write a formal proposal requesting the well.
Here is a picture of our interns giving the check for the shallow well to the village. It’s important to know that this well was given as a response to hours of research and identified need. We gave this as a reward for all their hard work in forming an efficient Self Help Group, but also as encouragement to keep doing better and improving their community. Grassroots is about giving communities the tools to empower themselves.
During the deliberations on who should get the new well, we eventually had to pick one village. Here are three women from the other village that did not get it. These women represent a community that has worked hard to keep its members healthy and strong, and are next on the list.