LSO Experiences in Gender Equality and Women Empowerment: LSO has implemented a number of projects in gender equality and women empowerment in Afghanistan with more than USD 1.7 million since 2010. The projects include 1) operating Women Protection Center (WPC) in Bamyan and Daikundi, 2) Promote advocacy skills and capacity of Musharikat coalition, 3) Engage youth in elimination of violence against women and 4) Handicraft (embroidery) training for widowed and vulnerable women.
Currently, LSO operates the WPC in Daikundi and Bamyan provinces since 2014, with aim to expand access of VAW Survivors and those who are at risk of violence to life saving and appropriate legal, health and social services as per the WPC Regulation. Key results under this sector are:
a. Resolved and reintegrated more than 1,000 cases of violence against women and 155 accompanying children back to their communities/families through comprehensive legal aid, psycho-socio-counseling and mediation and other appropriate services as per regulation,
b. Raised awareness of more than 10,000 individuals (6,500 female & 3500 male) through public awareness programs on women rights, gender equality, EVAW law and human rights,
c. Resulted in LSO Advocacy at a time on stopping child marriage in Daikundi province where underage marriage was practiced in the past immensely. The information can be found at: http://www.musharikat.com/success_history/docs/Child_Marriage_e.pdf,
d. Supported implementation of WPC monthly coordination committee meetings with representation from 13 government and non-government partners including court, prosecutor office, police office, health, labor and social affairs, education, justice, Hajj and Religious Affair, AIHCR and AIBA,
e. Contributed in prevention of violence against women (VAW) through community outreach, reached and enhanced awareness of more than 10,000 individuals (5870 female & 4130 male) through public awareness programs on women rights, gender equality, EVAW law and human rights; of individuals benefitted, 60 percent of them have indicated their support with concept of WPC and women rights.
LSO Experiences in Education, Capacity Building and Peace Building: LSO has been implemented a number of projects in education and peacebuilding sector with donor funding and self-contributing funds since 2011:
1. English, Science, Math and Computer Projects: This project was implemented in Daikundi, Urazgan and Bamyan provinces between 2013 to 2018. The purpose of projects was to enhance ability of rural youth to get required competences for their active participation and success in job market and universities studies at capital cities of Afghanistan and abroad. The project results are:
a. 2,435 individuals (80 % girls) graduated from math and science course in Daikundi and Urazgan provinces, out of which 70 percent got admission with public universities inside and outside Afghanistan and 5 percent of them successfully placed on job,
b. 1,000 youth (540 girls and 460 boys) have successfully completed a two-year Advanced English and Computer program, out of which 700 individuals got scholarship to major universities in Afghanistan.
2. Advocacy for an increased and institutionalized dialogue between communities and local authorities: This project was implemented in Nili, Daikundi province from Jun 2017 to April 2018. The overall goal of this project was to strengthen mutual relationship between targeted communities of Nili and government institutions to boost the service delivery efforts at local level. The project results are:
a. Strengthened capacity and awareness of 223 individuals (110 male and 113 female) of five community leaders and Guzar Assembly members on government roles and responsibilities, good governance, peacebuilding and social safety,
b. Enhanced citizen sense of responsiblities and close cooperation with muncipality have resulted in a 50 % increase in muncipality annual revenue from Safayee collection in 2018.
3. Promote government accountability, transparency and elimination of corruption: The project was implemented in Shahristan, Nili and Meramor districts of Daikundi province with total budget of $50,000, from 1st July 2015 to 31st January 2016. The goal of the project was to raise citizen awareness around the damaging effects of corruption and promotes the accountability and transparency among the local government officials. The project results are:
a. Reached and engaged 1500 youth in outreach awareness about the negative effects of corruption on the life of communities,
b. Established and supported a youth community network in 25 communities to oversee the government’s services delivery and hold them accountable.
4. Capacity Building Project Support to DoWA: this project was implemented in Daikundi province from 2012-2014. The project aims to build institutional and human resource capacity of DoWA, and equip and support the resource center of the DoWA. The project results are:
a. Five DoWA’s staff capacity was build in human resource, finance, operation and resource management as well as English language and internet,
b. Established a resource centre (RC), and build DoWA’s capacity to manage the resource center.
LSO Experiences in Agriculture and Environmental Protection: LSO has been implementing a number of projects in agriculture and environmental protection sector since 2011. Below is the list of projects has been implemented:
1.Plantation of Trees Completed by LSO and Local People: LSO completed this project through mobilizing volunteer community people in Zarghab, Geroy Bom and Sare Saj villages of Shahristan district, Daikundi province in 2013. The project purpose was to enhance the green coverage and rangeland of targeted communities through plantation of trees in high lands and hills. The project achievement are:
a. Planted and grown 10,000 almond trees out of which 6,540 plants survived in a land of 10 hectares that enhanced green coverage and produced good income for the surrounding communities,
b. Rehabilitated and enhanced absorption capacity and prevention of erosion of soil from raining/ spring water in 10-hectare land on the areas in which 10,000 almonds planted; in turn, it potentially reduced possibility of flood, landslide and avalanche which in the past had negative effects on people’s life during winter and spring seasons,
c. Aside from environmental benefits of plantation, the areas green coverage built on the beauty of landscape of the targeted communities which become safe home for both its human inhabitants and wild life.
2. Construction of Road Project in Mountainous and Hard to Reach Areas: This project was completed with a total of 200 workers per day in kind-contribution of community from Uzmok (Zardsang, Shalige and Amij villages) of Shahristan District continuing to the Center of Daikundi Province, Nili, from January 2012 to 31st December 2012. The purpose of project was to connect the targeted communities to center of province to access public transportation and government services because previously there was no road between these villages and Nili. The project results are:
a. Construction of 15 Km road that connects five hard to reach villages with Nili, the capital of Daikundi province,
b. Reduce the transportation cost of local shopkeepers, farmers and businesses to reach to provincial market through a short cut road.
As result of completion of this project, LSO has been appreciated by the Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development and Afghanistan Intellectual Social Council’s and the local communities.
3. Rehabilitation of Degraded Land and Livelihood Improvement by Planting Indigenous Wild Almond and Wild Cherry Species: this project was implemented in five villages of Waras District – Bamyan Province, from June 2014 to Jun 2016. The project aims to improve forestry, green coverage and livelihood of people by enhancing awareness of communities on benefits of forestry and convincing community for protection of forests, mobilized community for extension of forestry within the deserts to ensure avoidance of floods and training community on managing properly natural resources for environment protection by planting various kind of none fruit plants. The project achievements are:
a. Established and facilitated the Natural Resource Management (NRM) Committee from youth and communities for protection of natural resources in Waras district, Bamyan province,
b. Constructed 300 watersheds in 10 hectares of land where 75 KG wild almond and cherry seeds planted and grown in the areas, out of which, 80 percent of plantation survived in the next year,
c. Strengthened the biodiversity of areas and increased spring water and underground water resource, and reduction of soil erosion that resulted in protection from land degradation and flash floods and changed climate of areas positively in Waras District, Bamyan province,
d. Rehabilitated 10 hectares of land with wild almond and cherry seeds in five targeted villages to 500 households with population of 3,000 individuals (1700 female and 1300 male).
4. Band-e-Amir Northern Plateau Proposed Protected Area Landscape Management: this project was implemented in Band-e-Amir’s Northern Plateau, Yakawlang District, Bamyan province with a total budget of from March 2017 to Jun 2018. The purpose of this project was to conserve and recover the biodiversity and environment of northern Band-e-Amir by development of the capacity of local communities to actively engage in development and management of the target areas as well as providing facility for local rangers to improve their capacity to manage and conserve the natural resources and wildlife in the target areas. The project achievements are:
a. Improved capacity of 30 members of Community Development Councils (CDCs) through 3-day training workshop on landscape management, forest management and biodiversity,
b. Enhanced awareness of 590 individuals (310 females and 280 males) on wildlife management and biodiversity conservation,
c. Enhanced youth engagement and established a community association, represented by key members of 24 community councils in two districts of Bamyan province,
d. Construction of a ranger station in northern Band-e-Amir, Yakawlang district, Bamyan province;
5. Resilient Agriculture and Livelihoods Initiative for Socio-economic Empowerment (REALISE): The project’s main goal is, to increase residents resilience shocks and seasonal constraints for their food and livelihood security. The project supported 6599 people (2849 male and 3750 female) across 35 CDCs, in Beekeeping production, Training para-vets, Strengthening and diversifying integrated demo farms, Extension worker training seed production,Vocational Training centers, Value chain Development. The project achievements are:
a. Importance of women roles in social affair and community development have been accepted and recognized by targeted REA communities,
b. Women feel they have more confidence and other social benefits after receiving and using small assets like wheats, potato, vegetable seed and tools. These items have also improved their own and family nutrition as they have foods and vegetables for consumption and sale. They are also have recognised and explored more possibilities and opportunities to improve their livelihoods.
c. Farmers access to, and lessons of, higher yielding wheat and potato varieties have been built on from demonstration plots to improve their incomes and production. They have also made in contact with DAIL representatives who trained them and also donated land for the demonstration plots.
d. Community men and women also have access to and use small-scale infrastructure such as protection walls, water canals, culvert, and reservoir/ storage structures which have allowed them to not only increase their production but reduced their unpaid care work. This infrastructure has been handed over to the Community Development Committees (CDCs) for management and maintenance.
d. Two associations have been supported and strengthened their capacity on potato and honey value chains. The licence of potato association has been renewed and obtained from ministry of justice. They have worked further on production and marketing, developed their business plans and strategies.
e. Groups of farmers (Food Security Networks, FSNs), women (Self Help Group, SHG and Reflect Circles, RCs) have built on their capacity in multiple domains (example awareness of rights and women’s leaderships) so that they can engage more strongly in decisions, planning and policy making at community, district and other levels.
f. Women and men engaged in advocacy at local level and had small successes including connection to the fresh drinking water, repair of road and bridge.
g. 82 people (41 women and 41 people with disability) attended the vocational training centre by the end of December 2019 from the vocational training canters (it will continue up to Mar, 2020). The skills they have obtained will enable them to generate more income and find jobs locally,
h. REA staff have more developed stronger relationships and engaged more strongly with people with disability and internally displaced persons following training provided on Human Rights Based Approach.