The Foundation and CEFA set self-development as the objective of each project. Using traditional local activities and understanding their present means and knowledge as a starting point, the objective is sustainable development over time through the gradual inclusion of suitable processes that improve the local economy. The final objective is a product that brings health, economic and commercial benefits to the population, achieving the professional, managerial and economic autonomy of the operators through adequate training throughout all phases of the project.
The Foundation contributes to the development of projects with the annual donation of funds deriving from the asset yields.
Project ELECTRIFICATION IN IKONDO
The population of Ikondo is among the poorest and most abandoned in the south-west region of Tanzania, from which people desperately fled to the big city in the 1990s in the vain search for a better life. The CEFA arrived at the invitation of the local authorities and together agreed a plan of interventions: a connecting road to escape isolation, the construction of a dam, the provision of water and electricity to the village, the improvement of local agricultural production (corn, peanuts, potatoes and new cultures of soya and sunflower) with the first ever use of tractors in the area. The average family income began to improve: old huts were replaced with new brick houses, with internal light and water from the nearby fountain. A health care facility was set up and the first craftsmanship began (bricks for the houses, woodwork for doors and windows). Together with the village residents it was decided that five kindergartens should be built with improved school quality. As a result of the new kindergartens the existing primary school (700 pupils) saw its enrolment increase by 50%.
This qualitative leap raised the number of students eligible for secondary school from a handful to 40-50 each year. This led to the government opening a secondary school in a nearby location, making it possible for the boys of Ikondo to continue their studies despite the 10km distance on foot. Meanwhile, real craft shops emerged in the village, such as a carpentry workshops and a tailor’s workshop, as well as a corn mill and a crusher for sunflower oil, the profits of which will be used for the maintenance of the kindergartens. Even the elementary school improved, with the rehabilitation of the old mud and straw classrooms, the construction of toilets and, finally, the construction of a multipurpose library for students, teachers and families. It became the social centre of the village, a modern meeting place for all ages, where you can find families in the classroom for agricultural and health training courses, youngsters engaged with audiovisuals, adults immersed in reading or young students (even university students) using computers. After 15 years of coordinated and careful interventions, which had childhood and education at their core, young people from Ikondo no longer flee. On the contrary, in recent years we have been witnessing a return immigrant flow.
Project AQUEDUCT OF KIIRUA
A large aqueduct, an achievement that seemed impossible, now transports water over 70km from the slopes of Mount Kenya to an arid region, benefiting over 40,000 people from 16 villages, including the Kiirua Hospital and the vegetable and agricultural crops. The management of the aqueduct, according to Bersani’s basic principle of involving the local population in every intervention, was entrusted to those who had worked on its construction with the democratic establishment of a Management Committee.
In addition to the aqueduct, training activities were carried out in the sanitary field and in the improvement and marketing of agricultural products in the semi-arid areas of Meru Province, including: the creation of demonstration fields, training cycles on the techniques of different types of cultivation, on the rotation of the different crops, on the importance of fallow land, on fertilization with the leftover products, and on the development of the terracing.
Project AFRICA MILK PROJECT
In Njombe, Tanzania, CEFA promoted the establishment of a dairy cattle breeding cooperative. These, in the past, had many cows but had produced little milk, which was sold raw and caused diseases. The first step was to take stock of all the livestock and start involving more than 800 farmers through a cooperative aimed at providing services and support. We introduced some more productive cows that began to produce much more. The MILK CENTRE was built which had the function of collecting the milk from the farmers, pasteurizing it and then selling it. We made people aware of the importance of drinking pasteurized milk to avoid disease and thus it became an increasingly common food. Local operators were trained thanks to the collaboration of Granarolo experts: cheese makers, administrative staff, production technicians, and managers. Today, the dairy generates work and wealth for the whole surrounding community, involving over 5,000 people. Every morning it receives 3,200 litres of milk. Once a week, pasteurized milk at a low price is distributed to 69 schools in the district, reaching over 29 thousand pupils thanks to the Remote Support of CEFA supporters. The project is also supported by the HAPPY TAPPY project which, thanks to the transformation of milk caps, is able to give milk to the children of Tanzania. The project won the EXPO MILANO 2015 award for BEST PRACTICE in the category “Sustainable Development in marginal rural areas”.
In Kenya, the estimated number of children detained and in custody is around 15,000: the vast majority are accused of minor first-time offences. The project which has just started in Kenya, in the most populated counties of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyieri and Machakos, addresses 25 government custody facilities and aims to eradicate all forms of violence against detained children in custody. This is achieved not only by promoting structural reforms to free the Juvenile Justice system from violence, but also by involving local communities, reinforcing protection services and institutions that provide legal and psychological services, as well as rehabilitation, training, assistance and reintegration.
The Quiché Department is an agricultural area where there are serious problems of soil contamination and the poverty situation is extreme. The precariousness of employment and the climatic conditions that prevent production from meeting food demands have generated a migratory phenomenon as well as a high level of school dropouts and illiteracy. The aim of the project is to contribute to the improvement of living conditions and promote respect for the human dignity of the poorest and most discriminated population in the Quichè region.
200 scholarships have been made available to girls and young women of the communities to help them in their schooling. The girls were supported by 15 educational promoters trained in recreational-pedagogical and didactic subjects. In order to make women aware of their rights and their defense, training meetings on gender issues (women’s rights, reproductive health, right to education) have been carried out with mothers thanks to the methodology of the Theatre of the Oppressed.