Livelihood:

FICH always conducts inclusive assessments through gathering and analyzing data on local assets, resources, and incomes plans. FICH meet with community members to comprehend local needs and create a collective plan of actions.

FICH’s livelihoods programs tackle the root causes of poverty by addressing problems of Access and unitization of available resources especially for women, production, access, and income. The activities are tailored to meet community or individual specific needs and are designed to boost agricultural production, value addition, startup equipment, support micro-enterprise initiatives, and enhance a vulnerable community’s access to sustainable sources of income.

In designing livelihood program with local people, our strategies are specific to support families and individual improving from conflict and vulnerability, seeds and tools for agricultural recovery, value addition skills and equipment, livestock and veterinary services where needed, small business assistance, and other programs that help families recover self-reliance.

STRATEGY IN LIVELIHOOD

Skills trainings:Beneficiaries are equipped with  technical skills  in production and value adition to increase individual and group knowledge and skills to generate income. After training, beneficiaries are encourages to start making and producing products for mass selling as a group to different markets. Markets for these products are always readily available at household, institution. For example during the  soya flour production training, beneficiaries were also introduced to basic business management skills to facilitate successful operation of the expected business.

Linkage to existing finance institutions:  To address the need of access to financial services and promoting a saving culture, FICH links beneficiaries to reputable financial institutions operating within the project’s geographic area and negotiates for the loan acess which enable beneficiaries access small business loans and also  faciliates formation of Village Savings and Loan Association were they access group loan for both beginers and existing entrepreneurs.

Group Formation: Beneficiaries are mobilized to form groups and work together, have one strong voice and improve their bargaining power. The groups enable beneficiaries to access youth friendly loans without assets for collaterial through Village Savings and Loan Association. It also helps beneficiaries to contribute start-up capital jointly in order to make a relatively easy start.

Business Formalisation:To help beneficiaries run their business in a broader market and be able to sell many products, FICH facilitates the registration of groups in order to access bank account with the groups name.

FICH livelihood programme provides employment opportunities for women and youths in the access of jobs through business start-up and creation in addition to positive behaviours change in community development.

KEY LESSONS LEARNED IN LIVELIHOOD:

  • Social Norms and Cultural Barriers: There are barriers in the local cultures and social settings in communities that do not permit women to freely participate in projects. Married women are prevented by their relatives from interacting with men, which makes it impossible for them to participate in project work. It is therefore important to address and mitigate the cultural and social barriers at the beginning of the project implementation. The community as a whole and in particular the husbands need to be included in the sensitization and orientation activities to get their buy-in.
  • Community Ownership: Involvement of local leaders, interest groups, religious leaders and civil society organizations in programmes implementation is fundamental to project success as it reinforces community ownership of the programmes.

Access to Finance: Source of business capital is an obstacle to starting a business for some of the potential young entrepreneurs. This should be taken into consideration during the planning stage. FICH should envisage the different options on how the beneficiaries will get funds to start businesses in line with the skills acquired.