Women Economic Enterprise Development ( WEED ) Project 2017-2019
WEED project aimed at economic empowerment of women in four villages including Dehdai Kuhna, Shaikhabad, Qoltemor and Baba Qoshqar of Dehdadi District in Balkh province.A total of 40 women benefited from this project by working in 4 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) through processing dairy products including yoghurt, milk and cream. Although this project has started in October 2017, the donor has extended it until November 2019. CAFOD UK has funded WEED project. Under the extension phase, there will be two new SHGs in 2019 which will provide employment for 20 more women. After the completion of the pilot project, AWEC has learned that there are a number of challenges including the need for more in-depth training (literacy and numeracy), manual processing methods, and the absence of an appropriate transportation system that still exist in the SHGs in Dehdadi district of Balkh province. The literacy and numeracy training will enable SHG members to learn basic reading and writing as well as numeracy skills that can be used in their daily transactions which will help them to rely less on SHG leaders and become self-sufficient. Furthermore, the literacy and numeracy training will be conducted by three-part time trainers where each trainer will cover two SHGs based on the proximity of SH groups.
Interim Activities Report
Life of the Project: October 2017 to September 2018
Project Coverage: Dehdadi district of Balkh Province
Reporting Period: 01st Sept 2017 to 28 -Feb-2018
Through the project, women SHG will strengthen and income source for vulnerable families currently living below poverty line will increase through sustainable business operations, backed by comprehensive participatory market analysis. The direct beneficiaries of this project are 40 of the poorest women from the four Self Help Groups at Dehdadi district of Balkh province. The aim of the project is: Support the empowerment of targeted women in Balkh province through enterprise development.
According to the government policy, the project should be coordinated with Line departments before NGO starts it in field level. The project beneficiaries’ selection process has been coordinated and the set criteria for selection was oriented to the provincial stakeholders. During this reporting period coordination meetings held with DAIL executive officer, director of DoWA and head of BCCI. The project activities and coverage area made known to to all of them at the result of meetings a MoU signed for smoothly running and support of project activities by line department of government agencies in Balkh province.
For better implementation of the project in the field and to receive line Department support coordination meeting held with Mr. Zabiullah Zoben DAIL Agricultural Affairs Section Head, Ms. Freshta Niazi Family Economy section manager and Ms. Masuda Mawlawi Zada DoWA Representative, mostly they wanted to know the project implementation methodology and target, AWEC field office manager held orientation session to the participants and ask them to provide any suggestion and recommendation to be considered during the project implementation for further improvement. As Result DAIL Representatives promised to provide them support in case of any need after completion of Project and to introduce SHGs into up-coming projects in DAIL to provide more support for them and help them for sustainability of project and their business also DoWA and DAIL representatives promised to help these groups on registration brand for SHG products
Furthermore, according to project implementation plan a coordination meeting held with Dehdadi District Governor which the villages leaders were also present, during the meeting Project activities have been oriented to participants by Project SME Development officer, after a long discussion the village leaders introduced/recommended Baba Qushqar and Qul temor villages for the creation of two Self Help Groups.
Each SHG members were selected based on following criteria:
1. SHG members to be resident of Guzar/community.
2. Women to be needy or to be head of family
3. Have skill of Dairy Processing
4. To have commitment on being active member of Group
Establishment of SHG groups:
Based on Project implementation Plan two SHGs planned to be created at first six months of project and two others in second six months of project based on that, Two Self-help Groups (SHG) have been established in Baba Qushqar and Qul Temor Villages of Dehdadi district of Balkh province and their activities are going smoothly according the plan and it’s viable but we learned the location that we are going to select for the next two groups should have young and literate women that could process smoothly the system of book keeping and other financial process. During this reporting period they received the Tool-kits for running of their activities. Currently they are producing and selling their products in the market for more information please see the following product sell table.
Graph shows January & Feb it is the time that SHGs recently started their business.
According to SHGs income report and timely follow-up, their income and product quantity are good for starting that is done through their book keeping documents which were handed over them at the beginning phase of project and they were trained how to use them and report to the project team. whereas they are new and not familiar with the market and don’t have their selling channels. However according to the report from SHG members through weekly visit of project team from them in the field found that one of the challenges that currently SHG members are facing is not having transportation facilities which can be solved as their market improves this will be solved through hiring a male for selling their products and enough experience on dairy processing based on market demand that for this on the Job training through local Dairy Processing company designed that will solve their problem.Overall going smoothly and according to project indicator Each SHG must process 30 liters at being and by end of project amount to be reached to 100 for the time being SHGs are daily processing 50 to 60 liters of milk each day.
Milk, yogurt and cream were the agreed choice as per the concept note however, based on the need of community they discussed in their weekly meetings that may produce them if they get order from the community and added to the chart and will report for the next 6 months. Since December 2017 they started their products.
According to market analysis and daily visit of SHG members from market Dairy products, demand will increase during the spring and summer season, based on evaluation SHGs will be able to increase their products during the spring and summer more than the target set for each group.
The only challenge that will Group members face during summer and Spring is to keep chill the product due to hot weather, this challenge has been already solved when they have their products in group because Each group has freezer that keeps the product enough cold not to lose the quality, during the transportation it has been planned to move the products during the morning while the weather is little bit cool that will not affect products quality, to completely solve this problem SHG members has requested a van for transportation which is yet has not been approved or pending.
As now SHGs talked with some Ice Cream producers and received their verbal order for daily Milk and cream provision. Based on both villages SHGs report for the time being Baba Qushqar SHG products are concentrated on yogurt production that currently have request based contract with 5 shops in market that each shop daily receive 80 to 100 cans of yogurt and Qul Temor Village SHG concentrated on Milk selling that according to SHG members home received milk they have contract with two shops contract for providing milk form them daily based 50 to 60 liters per day.
Visit of SHGs by CAFOD:
Date:Nov 25th, 2017, CAFOD and AWEC with SHG & Community members
On Nov 25th, 2017 Ms. Fleur and Mr. James representative of CAFOD which was accompanied by AWEC’s Program Manager and AWEC’s field office manager visited Qul Temor SHG to see the current improvement of the established group and community participation and contribution for the group success. They were sincerely welcomed by SHG members and their male relatives. The community elders and group members’ family representatives were present in the meeting and they showed up their support for the sustainability of the group activities in the future. The representatives of CAFOD had questions regarding village security and other activities in the mentioned village, the community elders were answered all questions.
Lobbying for the SHG products at provincial level: For the introduction of SHG products and receiving NGOs and Civil society support, SHG yogurt product has been introduced to participants of EVAW celebration day by Department of Women Affairs in Balkh Province, in Lunch. Introduction of SHGs to Milk Producer Cooperative: SHG members had tour visit with Dehdadi District milk producer’s cooperatives to be able to provide enough milk for processing and producing their products.
Capacity building training to the SHG members: During this reporting period AWEC conducted the below listed training to the SHGs members.
Date: Jan 16th 2018, SHG management training, AWEC training Hall, Balkh
SHG Management training: on Jan 16th 2018 the said training conducted to the 20 Members of SHG in AWEC-Training Hall.The training washeld by SME development officer. AWEC invited Mr. Zabiullah Zoben Head of DAIL Agriculture Head Section, Freshta Niazi DAIL family economy officer and Ms. Belqis DAIL Press Officer to attend the training. 20 members of Qul temor and Baba Qushqar villages SHGs’ participated in the training. The training focus and considered the participants’ active participation and discussion method such as group work, role play and etc. according to the verbally pre-test and post-test evaluation the result of the training was positive, the SHG members learned what is the concept of Self-Help Group, purpose of SHG establishment and its management. As these training has been conducted to SHG members they now learned on how to do business and develop their business how ever most of the group members are not literate during the training they had group work and role play that tough them doing business methods.
Marketing and Market Identification training:
on Jan 18th 2018 Marketing and Market Identification training conducted to 20 members of SHGs that trainees learned how to conduct market survey for their products and techniques to identify market demand and quality requirement for their products. The training was composed of role play, group work for better understanding of training, in role play trainees learned marketing methods and product introduction to customers, that can help them to increase their production and add to the number of their customers in group works. Trainees learned
Date: Jan 18th 2018,Marketing training to the SHG members in AWEC training Hall
about market demand and pricing for their products, trainees also been knowledge to marketing different methods and each SHG has their own accounting book that Group Accountant who is literate is responsible for accounting activities of Group and She has to report Group Financial Status on each weekly meeting for all group members and the training ended with distribution of certificates to participants for both training's.
Accounting Book: Each SHG has almost 7 book through that they keep track of their business among them they have accounting books that filled on daily bases and each day after processing milk they will be able to count their day work benefits and expenses.
Exhibition Visit: Luckily women producer’s exhibition was running at the day of Marketing training, for better understanding and improving trainees’ knowledge regarding marketing activities trainees were taken to an exhibition where they visited other producers and talked with them about their business.
SHGs’ Saving: according to Plan, Passbook (saving book) for collecting SHGs’ members saving which has been prepared and submitted to two SHGs they accepted and implementing accordingly. Each group member is currently saving 20 to 30 AFN on weekly basis based on commitment that all group members had in their weekly meetings. Totally 12000 AFN has been saved per group yet including their Group memberships fees. To have documents from Savings of Group members AWEC prepared all group members passbook for recording their savings and over all book of saving has been designed for documentation of Group.