Apply to Join
Dec 11, 2009

Addressing Climate Change

Women Farmers in Sudan
Women Farmers in Sudan

As world leaders gather in Copenhagen to negotiate a climate change agreement this week, MADRE is emphasizing that the creation of any new policy is an opportunity to advance human rights. In particular, we are calling for world leaders to recognize small holder women farmers, including the women farmers we support in Sudan, as a crucial, but underrepresented constituency in addressing the crisis.

We are emphasizing that small holder women farmers are not only disproportionately threatened by climate change; they are also advancing practices of sustainable agriculture that hold incredible promise to confront climate change.

MADRE is providing women farmers in Sudan with organic seeds and training in sustainable farming. The women are learning techniques such as crop diversity and crop rotation to enhance soil quality, control pests and cool the planet by attracting carbon back into the soil. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “small-scale sustainable farms have been found to emit between one-half and two-thirds less carbon dioxide for every acre of production” than industrial farms.

In Sudan, climate change may bring a frightening 50 percent drop in crop yields within two generations. The effects of global climate change are already wreaking havoc in Sudan, where intermittent droughts and floods are destroying crops and livestock and making farmers’ traditional knowledge obsolete. Many of these farmers are women, who grow and harvest the majority of food crops in Sudan.

Sustainable agriculture is our best hope for feeding a growing population and restoring the stability of the climate. Worldwide, the vast majority of those who farm sustainably are women. Securing the full range of their human rights—as women, as workers, and as rural and Indigenous Peoples has always been at the heart of MADRE’s work. Now we know that these women’s rights are key to empowering them to enact solutions on which we all depend.

Oct 20, 2009

Documenting Memories

Copyright Miguel Macias
Copyright Miguel Macias

In July 2009, Miguel Macias, a MADRE volunteer and youth media producer, returned to Bogota to conduct workshops with the youth of Taller de Vida. For two weeks, Miguel worked with 15 students on writing for the web, photography, journalism, video, radio and Drupal (an internet content management system). The first week was mainly instructional, while the second focused on the writing and shooting/recording of the students’ stories. All of the content produced will be posted on Youth Radio, a youth media organization with bureaus across the US and internationally.

Many of the workshop participants were former child soldiers who had escaped from paramilitary groups and found Taller de Vida. Now, as teens and young adults, many are reluctant to discuss their ordeals. Through the workshops, they wrote stories exploring their pasts, often as portraits of themselves or someone they know. Yina, a young woman, wrote of the experiences of women and girls recruited into the male-dominated FARC guerilla army. Yvonne wrote of the importance of theater in her life.

Miguel left Bogota with plenty of finished and raw materials (writing, audio, video, and pictures). He plans to produce several of the stories into full web posts for Youth Radio. Telling and sharing their stories enables the youth of Taller de Vida to heal from the traumas of life as a child soldier.

Here is an excerpt from Miguel’s blog entry for MADRE on his experience working with the youth of Taller de Vida:

“Teaching these young students from Bogota I wonder about their memories. And I wonder about how those memories shape who they are…I still feel there is a story that needs to be told. There is a messy body of memories, history, experiences, opinions, years, interpretations, conflicts. And I want to deconstruct it. Understand how the consciousness of this conflict is built. And maybe then I'll feel that I gave something significant back to those Colombians who gave me their trust.”

To read more about Miguel’s experience, and to see a video that one of the students produced, please visit: http://madreblogs.typepad.com/mymadre/2009/10/storytelling-and-youth-media-in-colombia.html

Copyright Miguel Macias
Copyright Miguel Macias
Copyright Miguel Macias
Copyright Miguel Macias
Copyright Maya Bogdanow
Copyright Maya Bogdanow
Copyright Maya Bogdanow
Copyright Maya Bogdanow
Oct 20, 2009

Achievements of the Women Farmers

Copyright Zenab for Women in Development
Copyright Zenab for Women in Development

Thanks to MADRE’s support, the women farmers in the Al Qadarif region had a successful harvest, allowing them to pay back their entire bank loan of US$5,000. Local banks praised the women for this achievement. Because of these positive results, Zenab is now introducing women to a credit union, a benefit that they have never had before.

Another exciting result of last year’s successful harvest was that women farmers in the community of Walddaeef have begun the process of bringing electricity to their village. Fatima is optimistic that the motivation of these women to use their new income in productive ways, will lead to “a better life” for the whole community.

Finally, Zenab purchased an events tent and chairs with the income raised from recent harvests. They rent out these supplies to communities as another source of income for the women of Walddaeef.

Copyright Zenab for Women in Development
Copyright Zenab for Women in Development
Copyright Zenab for Women in Development
Copyright Zenab for Women in Development
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.