Community Savings Meeting
ArtCorps Artist Naphtali Fields is busy digging into her work with Salvadoran grassroots organization AGROSAL. Although AGROSAL is a grassroots organization that works on agriculture and livestock initiatives in El Salvador, it also has gender and savings initiatives. So what exactly do gender and savings have to do with agriculture? A lot.
According to the 2008 World Development Report on Gender in Agriculture, women make up the majority of the agricultural workforce worldwide and are responsible for producing the bulk of food that is consumed locally. As a result, women are the principal agents of food security and household welfare in rural areas. Yet, women face incredible challenges in maximizing their agricultural output and income. These challenges include:
- lack of rights, such as property rights, which makes it riskier for women to invest in new technologies;
- discrimination, which reduces women's ability to make household decisions;
- lack of access to financial services, which makes it difficult for women to invest in inputs such as fertilizer, heartier seed varieties and vaccines for livestock. Investments in agricultural inputs can boost output and therefore increase income.
As a result of these connections between agriculture, gender and financial services, AGROSAL has both a gender campaign and a community savings program, which complement their agricultural work. ArtCorps Artist Naphtali Fields is working to bridge the existing gap between these two initiatives and strengthen both through theater.
Naphtali has begun to meet with the key leaders and community representatives that she will be working with throughout the year. These community leaders include:
- 8 people from the citizens' group Ventana Ciudadana
- 5 representatives from the youth association
- 20 women leaders from community savings groups
- 4 AGROSAL community promoters
- 14 AGROSAL volunteers
- 15 students
- 9 teachers
By collaborating with these 71 community leaders, who come from many different areas of civil society, the work Naphtali does will be enriched by a variety of perspectives, allowing the project to gain local traction.
Stay tuned for more project details!