Charlie 6: Community Integration

7th March 2015

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This week, we were in full flow as we undertook numerous tasks to understand the problems and complexities which are specific to Majjige Halla Farm.We began by attending a women’s group which was already in place. The objective of the group was to provide microloans to women in different villages in the surrounding area by working in collaboration with one of India’s banks. This month they were discussing which villages were interested in purchasing sewing machines through the microloan scheme.

It was encouraging to see that there was scope for similar groups within other sections of the three hundred strong village as reflected by the relatively high turnout. For example, our intention is to initiate a youth group and another women’s group within the village, both of which can be used for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (W.A.S.H) activities to be continued after we leave, as well as being a platform for our partner organisation, Coorg Organisation for Rural Development (CORD).

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Charlie six celebrated a local festival at the temple area which was full of colour, music and an extremely vibrant atmosphere. It was a great opportunity for the volunteers to become more trusted by the community, even if some of our dance moves were less than impressive!The team then came together and demonstrated great interaction and diversity during our household surveys. Each volunteer had a role; whether translating, explaining or observing. This exercise bonded us as a team, as well as within our community.

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This process of collecting and understanding information on Majjige Halla Farm’s sanitation took us all the way through to the end of Friday, where the product of all our time and effort was a professionally compiled report, which we can now use a marker to track the progress of the Raleigh team’s efforts over the coming months.

Our peer to peer committee led on a W.A.S.H session at the small village school. A small skit and some germ-based games resulted in foundations that we hope to build on in the future with the younger members of the community. This younger section of the village is something which we see as key to our success in fulfilling our WA.S.H based ambitions.

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As I’m writing this blog we’re putting the finishing touches to a cross-cultural food exchange with the women of the village; which if the previous week’s fortune is with us, will be a great triumph.