Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!
18 November 2020
Post No. 170
The Week’s Contents
• Peace Appeal 2020 for the Horn of Africa Region
• “A la une” (Autumn Leaves of Action for the Upkeep of the Nature) Campaign, Note No. 6 – In Focus for Week Beginning 16/11/2020: African Organisations’ Restoration Work on Ecosystem Infrastructures
• The 11th Women and Children FIRST Development Day – In Focus on 19/11/2020: Coronavirus Talk Bubbles
… and much more!
• Peace Appeal 2020 for the Horn of Africa Region
This is an appeal to help stop the Ethiopia’s Tigray Crisis to draw in other countries making the Horn of Africa region and create further poverty and hardships while reversing the hard won 20 years of peace in the same region.
This November 2020 appeal, which is a variation of Light Projects, will introduce us to the Season of Lights, which is due to start in Mid-December. More explanation about this year’s Light Projects will be provided in due course.
For further information about the Peace Appeal for the Horn of Africa Region, please read under the Main Development section of this post.
• “A la une” (Autumn Leaves of Action for the Upkeep of the Nature) Campaign, Note No. 6
– In Focus for Week Beginning 16/11/2020: African Organisations’ Restoration Work on Ecosystem Infrastructures
We are continuing our “A la une” Campaign with the ecosystem restoration work carried out by our Africa-based Sister Organisations and other organisations in order to re-establish the structure and function of the nature for the damages caused to natural habitat and ecosystems; damages caused either by environmental events or human made behaviour or both.
Although it is quite difficult to get the exact picture about the damages to the nature in Africa during this turbulent time of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, it is worthwhile finding out how our African partners are doing in restoring the structure and function of the nature to close to its original condition in Africa. To do that, it is better to highlight the types of restoration they do and give some examples of these organisations.
• • Types of restoration work carried out by Africa-based Sister Organisations (ASOs)
There are ASOs that are involved in activities supporting the restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity as well as their infrastructures in Africa. These ASOs include:
√ Those that are helping in stopping the cutting of trees for timber or charcoal and wild fires
√ Those that are restoring destroyed or degraded rain forests
√ Those that are trying to reverse the impoverishment of soils and arable lands
√ Those that are running projects such as nurseries and reforestation by working on forest landscape restoration
√ Those that are working on water long term security to mitigate water supply and quality issues
Some of these organisations, especially those working on forest landscape restoration, are committed to AFR100, which a continental initiative under the Bonn Challenge which seeks to place 100 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands capes under restoration by 2030.
• • Examples of Organisations Working on Restoration of Ecological Infrastructures
One of the examples is APAF-Bénin (Association Suisse pour la Promotion des Arbres Fertilitaires de l’Agroforesterie et de la Foresterie). This is a sister organisation that works on the introduction of fertilizing trees by using natural regeneration techniques.
L’ONG-Centre de Production de Pépinières et de Formation du Togo, which is an organisation that CENFACS dealt with and which produces nurseries and runs training on the matter.
The above is just two examples. However, there are many organisations that work on similar restoration projects that we have not mentioned here.
For those who would like to know more about these organisations and their relations with CENFACS, they can contact us.
• The 11th Women and Children FIRST Development Day – In Focus on 19/11/2020: Coronavirus Talk Bubbles
As we informed you last week, we have changed the formula about the holding of our Development Day for this year. This is due to the coronavirus pandemic and second lockdown. To enable those who may be interested in being part of this year’s Development Day, we have put together the following items for them.
• • What is a Coronavirus Talk Bubble?
The idea of Coronavirus Talk Bubble (CTB) comes from the support bubble. What is then support bubble? From the UK government website (1), this is what it says about a support bubble:
“A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult or a household with one adult and one or more people who were under the age of 18 on 12 June 2020 in the home (known as a single-adult household), and one other household of any size.
This is called making a ‘support bubble’.
Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in a single household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household.
Once you make a support bubble, you cannot change who is in your bubble.
Continue to follow social distancing guidance with people outside of your household or support bubble. This is critical to keeping you, your family and friends as safe as possible”.
• • Forming a CTB
From this idea of support bubble, we thought that a household has women or mothers can follow this model of support bubble and talk about the coronavirus pandemic as we will not hold the Development Day in the way we are used to. Drawing inspiration from the support bubble, they can form their own CTB.
Everybody knows that discussions about the coronavirus pandemic have transcended all sections and members of society. Everyone talks about the coronavirus pandemic in the news, at work, at home, in the streets, through the social media platforms, etc. However, through the CTB the purpose is to formalise or structure these talks in terms of project so that we can together mark CENFACS’ Development Day in different way this year.
• • Coronavirus talking-points
People can talk about anything that matters to them. There is no guideline or a suggested model for the points to be made when holding a CTB. However, where people may run out inspiration, they may think to consider the following points for their discussion: childcare and protection issues, coping and survival strategies, common problems tha women/mothers and children face, recreational activities, work/life balance, health/home economics balance, etc.
• • Impact monitoring and evaluation
Participants to a CTB can routinely gather information on all aspects of their CTB. In other words, they can systematically collect and analyse information to keep regular checks on their talks, especially if they choose to meet often after the Development Day.
Likewise, they can assess what the CTB has achieved in relation to the overall objectives they set it up. This is to say that the time spent on talking about coronavirus is value for relief from health and economic pressure from COVID-19.
In proceeding in this manner, they will be able to measure the impact or at least the output from their CTB.
• • Learning and development
It is a good idea to learn and grow from your CTB. In this respect, CTB will not only be a meet-up or a talking-shop, but also an opportunity to create a learning culture and development process. Additionally, this would drive engagement for future talks to deal with the life-threatening and destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic or any other disaster or threat.
• • Sharing CTB experiences and outcomes
It could be better to share your experience or outcomes of the formation of a CTB in terms of both positive and negative aspects from it. This sharing exercise can help to get the effectiveness of CTB. In this respect, CENFACS would want to hear from you about your experience.
The above are the main items that will feature this year’s Development Day. For any queries or enquiries about them, please do not to hesitate to contact CENFACS.
At the end of the Main Development section of this post, we have appended a timeline of CENFACS Development Day milestones.
Wishing you a HEALTHY AND SAFE Development Day!
• Skills to Cope with Financial and Economic Pressure from Covid-19 and Lockdowns –
Skills Focus from Wednesday 18/11/2020: Survival, Coping and Transition Skills
COVID-19 and the lockdown that is attached to it have forced humans to navigate in their mind sets in the way of living life. In this navigation, humans (here CENFACS users) may need to develop a set of skills to successfully survive, cope and transition. However, before dealing with the above named skills focus; let us try to understand the meaning of skills.
• • Understanding skills development
Our understanding of skills development will be through the following selected definition given by Kenneth King and Robert Palmer (2) who argue that
“skills development is productive capacities acquired through all levels of education and training, occurring in formal, non-formal and on-the-job settings which enable individuals in all areas of the economy to become fully and productively engaged in livelihoods and to have the opportunity to adapt those capacities to meet the changing demands and opportunities of the economy and labour market” (p. 16)
From this definition, it is possible to argue that productive capacities can help us to survive, cope and transition during the unprecedented time of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns. What are those productive capacities or skills which enable us to do that? Let us look at them one by one.
• • Skills to survive, cope and transition
(a) Survival skills
These are the techniques use to sustain life during COVID-19 crisis and lockdown as they help us to remain alive in spite of a health disaster like COVID-19. Amongst these skills, they are those…
√ To access foods and drinks
√ To shield or self-isolate to protect our health and of others
√ To find shelter in a COVID-19 secure property
√ To better manage utility bills during the lockdown
√ To stay informed during the lockdown while following the evolution of the epidemiological curves of the coronavirus pandemic in our own local area, nationally and internationally
√ To access water and medicine
√ To secure income to help us fight COVID-19
√ To seek and earn help during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown
The above skills depend on whether those in need are based in an urban or rural area. In an urban area, one may need money to buy electricity from an electricity company whereas in a rural area one may use their human power to get dry wood to make fire.
(b) Coping skills
Coping productive capacities are efforts in consciousness or psychological mechanics to solve the health and economic pressure brought by COVID-19 and lockdown in order to reduce stress level and potential conflicts within oneself or with others. Through these skills, one can successfully manage COVID-19 and the second lockdown.
In the context of COVID-19 and lockdowns, coping skills can involve for example: occupy yourself with activities such as reading, walking, watching TV or movie, playing games, gardening, doing meditation, relaxation, etc.
CENFACS’ Triple Value Recreational activities which we offered during the first shock wave of COVID-19 and lockdown can help to break out the vicious circle of the COVID-19 lockdown. These activities can support their users to successfully cope with the lockdown pressure.
(c) Transition skills
They are essential productive capacities to manage change, to move from the situation of an open economy to lockdown, and vice versa. As skills to navigate transition, they can help to build resilience, self-reflection and self-belief.
For example, to move from working away (building office) to working from home, one may need transition skills to manage this change.
Briefly, Survival, Coping and Transition Skills can support us to cope with financial and economic pressure from Covid-19 and Lockdowns.
To further discuss this Skills Focus, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.
• CENFACS Charity e-Shop: OPEN FOR ONLINE PURCHASE BUT CLOSED FOR GOODS DONATIONS
CENFACS e-Store is online open for those who would like to purchase goods online. However, we are not taking any goods donations at the moment due to the coronavirus upsurge and the second lockdown.
We are following the strict restrictions and guidance regarding the control and surveillance of Covid-19 as well as the protection and saving of lives.
We have enhanced our sanitation and cleaning methods and practices as well as we update them following the latest information received.
We hope you are doing the same in the interest of public health.
Please keep your goods donations until the second lockdown finishes or until such time we are able to take them.
Many lives have been threatened and destroyed by the coronavirus pandemic. Those who managed to survive, they need help. We need help to help them come out poverty and hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
To purchase goods, please go to: http://cenfacs.org.uk/shop/
• Essentia Project
• • What is Essentia Project?
The Essentia Project, which is part of CENFACS Starting XI Projects for this Autumn 2020, is a sustainable development and poverty-relieving initiative that uses the tenets and attributes of the essential economy in order to help people and communities in need to escape from poverty and hardships while connecting them to essential activities and motivating them to use non-polluting solutions to resolve their long standing problems of poverty and hardships.
Through this essential economic project we can work together with local people to support them in their efforts to reduce poverty and enhance sustainable development.
• • How CENFACS can work with the community to develop and apply this project
Generally, many people use essential economy in their daily life without realising it until when the coronavirus pandemic broke out and the first lockdown started.
Through Essentia Project, CENFACS can go deeper with users in their use of the essential economy by focussing on essential needs, products, services and outcomes. CENFACS will work together with them to create their own Essentia Project to not only cope with the life-threatening and destroying effects of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, but also to make essential economy as a working model in their daily life.
Working with the community on essential economic model will bring many benefits to those making our community. These benefits include:
√ Developing essential household budget
√ Setting up essential expenditure and income accounts
√ Carrying out an inventory or management of essential household assets and liabilities, etc.
Through this project, we hope to approach poverty reduction from the perspective of essential economy during and in the post-coronavirus and post-lockdown era.
• • The balance between essential and non-essential economies via Essentia Project
The Essentia Project does not exclude non-essential economy or items. It just compliments them and works with users in understanding that there is a lot to gain than to lose in keeping and taking the essential economic drive in meeting their basic life-sustaining needs and in mitigating the impacts of the climate change in their daily life.
In fact, through this project users will be able to measure the weight of essential and non-essential economies respectively in their life. In doing so, this will enable them to decide which of the two economies provide most value for poverty reduction and the enhancement of sustainable development.
For those users who would like to work with CENFACS in developing their Essentia Project or applying this project, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.
• Peace Appeal 2020 for the Horn of Africa Region …
to Support the Victims of Insecurity and Displaced Persons
• • What this appeal is about
It is about supporting the victims of continuing insecurity and displaced persons who are fleeing fighting in Tigray which may expand beyond it to reach other parts of the Horn of Africa Region. This conflicting situation can lead to a decline of the security in the areas of fighting while increasing instability and ethnic violence in the Horn of Africa region.
This appeal is about helping to prevent the Ethiopia’s Tigray Crisis to create further poverty and humanitarian crisis for the innocent civilian people of the Horn of Africa Region at this already challenging time of the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn in the world.
• • What is said about Tigray
International aid agencies, in particular the United Nations, are saying that 10% of the population in Tigray is already relying on food aid and 7 million people there face food shortages. If this crisis continues, this can make the situation worse there as there will be an increase in the numbers of people needing assistance, uncontrolled diseases and desert locust infestation could spread in the region with humanitarian fall-out.
At this perilous moment of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, we think that it will be unfair and unjust for the innocent people of Tigray and others of the region to undergo such terrible and miserable life.
• • Poverty data that speak for the Horn of Africa with Ehthiopia’s Tigray in it
Writing on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme, Milorad Kovacevic and Admir Jahic (3) argue that
“The percentage of the population with a deprivation score of at least 33 per cent (that is, the percentage of population in multidimensional poverty) between 2007 and 2018 was 83.5 in Ethiopia”. And Tigray is part of it.
They also contend that
“The percentage of the population living below the international poverty line of $1.90 (in purchasing power parity terms a day) between 2010 and 2018 was 30.8 in Ethiopia”. Again Tigray is part of it.
Likewise, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and others (4) say that
“The percentage of the population who cannot afford the cost and affordability of nutrient adequate diet (that is, the proportion of people who cannot afford the cost of healthy diet) is 47.7 in Ethiopia”. This percentage includes Tigray as well.
The above data could be self-explanatory to predict the future if the crisis in Tigray is not stopped; a crisis which has started to go beyond control. Those who know the history of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa Region, they do not need complex data and analysis to understand what may happen if this crisis continues.
• • CENFACS’ role in making this appeal
Our appeal is not to interfere in people’s and communities’ ways and rights of running their places, affairs, countries or region. Our role is purely humanitarian one especially where lives have been already taken and a considerable number of people have been displaced. There is a growing number of risks (such as poor health, sanitation, violation of human rights, humanitarian crisis, etc.) if this situation goes on. This can expand in the entire region of Horn of Africa.
• • What CENFACS wants you to do: Provide a Peace-Giving Gift
CENFACS wants you to create a magic by providing Peace-Giving Gift to the victims of this insecurity without giving money. How?
We are appealing to you to try to do something about what is happening in the Horn of Africa Region, particularly in Ethiopia’s Tigray, so that the poor civilians can enjoy sustainable peace and internally displaced people can safely return to their homes by the end of this year.
We often argue that there are always some little things one can do to create a BIG change or simply to try to change a very complex situation on the grounds without sometimes giving money, although there is a say that Money is King. These little things include the following:
√ Talking to someone who has influence on what is happening on the ground can change life
√ Networking, campaigning, responding to a petition, and so on can make a significant impact
√ A phone call or a mobile phone text message or even a tweet or a video can save millions of lives
√ Raising your voice about the crisis in the Horn of Africa Region at a peace talks or rallies
√ Spreading the news in your social networks and contacts about the issue and the potential threat this may bring to the Horn of Africa
√ Having some thoughts about what is happening in Tigray and on practical ways of helping, as part of coronavirus lockdown activity
These kinds of simple things that one can do matter a lot for those whose life is at risk. It is not surprising if Professor Wangari Maathai said that
“It is the little things citizens do. That is what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees”. (Professor Wangari Maathai, Environmental Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
CENFACS hopes you will act upon this humanitarian November 2020 appeal and create the magic of Peace-Giving Gift without giving money so that the sufferers in Ethiopia’s Tigray can rediscover their way to sustainable and inclusive peace.
• • Contacting CENFACS about this Appeal
You can contact CENFACS to discuss or talk about this appeal at http://cenfacs.org.uk/contact-us/
Thank you for considering delivering on this appeal.
(2) Kenneth King and Robert Palmer (2006), Skills Development and Poverty Reduction: The State of the Art, Centre of Post-Basic Education and Training, Working Paper Series-No.9, University of Edinburgh
(3) Milorad Kovacevic and Admir Jahic (2020), Human Development Data Story: COVID-19 AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT – Exploring global preparedness and vulnerability, United Nations Development Programme, 29 April 2020
(4) FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO (2020), The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020: Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets, Rome, FAO. (https:doi.org/10.4060/ca 9692en
• Women and Children FIRST Development Day (WCFDD) Timeline: 2010 to 2019
Since its inception in 2010, the WCFDD provides an opportunity and scope to communicate CENFACS’ anti-poverty work/message and the need to develop new ideas and proposals, and improve practices to enable us to enhance the quality of life of multi-dimensionally-deprived women/mothers and children. The following are the milestones so far for WCFDD.
In 2010, the WCFDD was devoted to AWARENESS on SUSTAINABLE ACCESS TO & PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGIES
In 2011, CENFACS’ WCFDD tackled the challenging issue of BARRIERS TO POVERTY REDUCTION, with a special emphasis on one particular way of overcoming them, which is participation. Women & Children’s Participation was looked at within the context of Race in the Road to Poverty Reduction.
In 2012, our Development Day in Putting Women and Children FIRST went further with the sub-theme of participation as it was organised around the theme of IMPROVING WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S PARTICIPATION IN THE RACE TO REDUCE POVERTY.
In 2013, WCFDD at CENFACS extended and deepened the idea of more and better participation by focussing on Infrastructures for Women’s and Children’s contribution to poverty relief. The theme for 2013 was “INFRASTRUCTURES FOR A POSITIVE ECONOMY TO REDUCE POVERTY”.
In 2014, we guesstimated and compared the cost for acting to the cost for inaction to reduce poverty. The theme of COSTING DOING NOTHING FOR POVERTY RELIEF improves our understanding on an early prevention that helps reduce costs and avoid escalating or detrimental effects for poor Women and Children.
In 2015, WCFDD was dedicated to MAKING THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WORK FOR WOMEN & CHILDREN (W&C). This was the local community response from the W&C of CENFACS to the 2030 Global Agenda and Goals for Sustainable Development.
In 2016, The theme for our Development Day was ENSURING HEALTHY LIVES AND PROMOTING WELL-BEING FOR WOMEN & CHILDREN. This was the continuation of 2015 Development Day. Ensure-Healthy-Lives-and-Promote-Well-being is itself Goal no.3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. One day of development thoughts does not make the 2030 Agenda works as we need more times and days. But it helped to look at Goal 3 (G3) as both global and local concept, G3 as a practical response and G3 as Protection for W&C in the CENFACS’ Year of Protections.
In 2017, ENDING POVERTY IN ALL ITS FORMS EVERYWHERE FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN was our working theme for the WCFDD
In 2018, We thought ways of working together to come out of the linear model that consists of make, use and dispose goods and resources; to embrace the CIRCULAR ECONOMY
In 2019, We discussed ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY
• Note: For your information,
3W (What Women Want) is a CENFACS support network scheme to enhance the lives of multi-dimensionally deprived women/mothers and families.
PPS (Peace, Protection & Sustainability) is a CENFACS child and environmental protection programme to support multi-dimensionally vulnerable children, young people and families
W&CSDP (Women & Children Sustainable Development projects) – a CENFACS amalgamation of 3W and PPS projects
Help CENFACS keep the Poverty Relief work going in 2020.
We do our work on a very small budget and on a voluntary basis. Making a donation will show us you value our work and support CENFACS’ work, which is currently offered as a free service.
One could consider a recurring donation to CENFACS in the future.
Donate to support CENFACS!
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Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.
Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.
We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2020 and beyond.
With many thanks.