ACT team member Hanna Marie paid a visit to the incredible women who’ve been participating in the Community Development Project III (CDPIII) and witnessed first-hand just how they’ve been instigators in community-led – and owned – transformation.
We asked Hanna Marie to share her reflections on her southern adventures…
In early March 2022, I had the pleasure of visiting ACT’s CDPIII in the Gabès governorate. This was my first time visiting the region and I was excited to see what I would discover.
CDPIII takes place across a few different communities, working with women’s cooperatives of about 12 ladies each. In order to take part, participants must be motivated to work with one another.
When visiting the different locations, I noticed how committed to helping their communities they were. I learned that every person must take their responsibility seriously in order for the work to be done well – trusting one another is a crucial aspect of the cooperation between those involved.
At our first location, I paid close attention to how the work was divvied up among the ladies. It was wonderful; you couldn’t help but see their excitement to be learning more about poultry farming.
One of the women I spoke to told me that the project’s success was due in part to their use of modern technology that has made the breeding process more predictable. Take the temperature of eggs used in the breeding of chicken, which can be quite vulnerable – especially in the arid desert heat of Menzel Habib. With the use of a temperature regulating incubator, which ACT has helped to provide, this can be more thoroughly regulated.
ACT is grateful for and to our partners, Swisscontact whose excellent training – 12 days of practical, hands-on, training over a period of 3 months – coupled with the equipment, materials and supplies provided by ACT as well as involvement from the local CRDA have ensured this project’s success.
As a result, the group is able to handle far more eggs than would have been possible without such a machine. This larger output gives them two options: to share the additional income between themselves or to invest it for later on.
I left the women’s company caught up in the joy each had in of the success of their project activities. I was happy to learn that there was not only one of these cooperatives, but several. It was great to get the opportunity to go and meet them later in my trip!
When visiting the other groups of agricultural workers, I witnessed the same excitement experienced with the first group. Despite my limited language skills, I could understand that these women were well engaged in their work and ready to continue on, if given the opportunity. It is not hard to imagine the motivation that comes from seeing concrete results from the hard work they’ve put in.
Ultimately, I was most impressed with how these groups of motivated and inspiring women have found a solution that provides both an income for themselves as well as expanded opportunities for their families through poultry raising. By slightly modernizing the equipment of their chicken farms, they can now breed a far greater number of chicks and chickens than before.
That, combined with the women’s hard work, dedication, and ability to take charge and coordinate efforts, to me point to a brighter, more optimistic future.