Friday, April 27, 2007

The International Council of Management Consulting Institues-ICMCI Success Story

– ICMCI Success Story –
ICMCI Provides Blueprint for Establishing Self-help in Emerging Economies
and the
Efficient Use of Development Funds

Balancing Investment in People, Process and Technology


Building Capacity in Developing Economies

Presented by:

John J. Tracy CMC, (ICMCI Representative to UN)
Dr. Baldwin H. Tom CMC, (ICMCI Representative to UN)

Supported by:
Brian Ing CMC, President-Elect, ICMCI
Peter Sorensen CMC, President, ICMCI

The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes

New York Contact:
John J. Tracy CMC
c/o Tracy-Hayden Associates
P. O. Box 1100
South Orange, NJ 07079

Headquarters Address:
ICMCI Secretariat
Ambachtstraat 15,
PO Box 1058
The Netherlands

– ICMCI Success Story –

ICMCI Provides Blueprint for Establishing Self-help in Emerging Economies
and the
Efficient Use of Development Funds
Executive Summary – ICMCI International Success

The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) successfully crafted and executed a plan that bonds the national Management Consulting Institutes in 44 countries to the same Standards of Competency, Rules of Conduct, and Code of Ethics. This value of this unparalleled action to the international community assures that client beneficiaries of consulting services receive the same quality of performance.

ICMCI has also escalated professionalism by globally establishing the coveted CMC recognition, the Certified Management Consultant. All professional management consultants CMC’s have access to best practices, are trained in the use of the very important Value Chain, and trained to provide independent and objective advice.

ICMCI believes that an active indigenous professional management consultancy sector improves the value of development in a country. When experienced and indigenous management consultant CMC’s work together, development projects are ensured that local factors are taken into account and this significantly enhances the likelihood of an economic and successful implementation of development projects. We contend that the argument to support this proposition is straightforward.

Looking forward, ICMCI wishes to partner with funding bodies to enable improvements in the effectiveness of funded programs in developing countries by establishing indigenous management consulting institutes, as a key component in developing their own infrastructure, leading to teams of Certified Management Consultants.

Background – ICMCI and the CMC

The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) ( is an association of professional national Management Consulting Institutes founded in 1987 by seven developed country member institutes when it was officially launched at a meeting in Paris, France at the L’Hotel Lafayette. The Institute is committed to establishing and supporting consulting institutes, many in developing countries, and to provide each with the knowledge needed to operate competence based organizations committed to proficiency, quality and a strict code of conduct.

ICMCI admits to membership National Institutes of Management Consultancy who meet these criteria, satisfy a rigorous evaluation evidencing that they are fit to be both the national representative of ICMCI and to award the Certified Management Consultant qualification (CMC). This qualification is a single international standard that provides assurance to the international community of the competence and professionalism of identified consultants.

Since 1987, working primarily with volunteers and with little or no government or outside institutional funding, ICMCI has grown to recognize 44 National Member Institutes (2006) worldwide. ICMCI’s track record of inclusion has recently established National Institutes that meet the rigorous requirements in Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bangladesh, Korea and Brazil. Work is currently in progress in Thailand. The People’s Republic of China and Chinese Taipei were both accepted as Provisional Members of ICMCI on 25 June 2004.

ICMCI’s Mission and the Role of CMC’s

ICMCI’s mission (role) is to serve as the focal point for recognizing qualified national management consulting institutes and for certifying individual consultants. ICMCI’s responsibilities include providing the means to collect best practices from National Member Institutes worldwide, to align the certification process, and to oversee adherence to the Professional Code of Conduct and the Code of Ethics among all institutes.

ICMCI controls the world wide standard for the only internationally recognised qualification in management consultancy, the CMC (Certified Management Consultant) designation. The CMC qualification is competence based and its award is backed by a rigorous quality assurance process across all National Institutes (see This approach helps give credence to the notion that there can be, and are, assurances of international standards of competency and integrity that promote true reciprocity among Certified Management Consultant (CMC) members across the Member Institutes around the world.

Successfully carrying out this mission helps ICMCI create international recognition of the CMC so all beneficiaries of consulting services can avail themselves of the professionals in Member Institutes.

In support of this mission, ICMCI sends qualified management consultants to developing countries to train local management consultants and mentor fledging institutes.

The Role of Management Consultants

A management consultant is competent in the consulting and change management processes that can lead organizations to real benefits realized from consultation. The management consultant is knowledgeable of the importance of people, processes and technology in defined sectors and disciplines and acts professionally, at all times, in the client’s best interests. In particular a management consultant is objective, independent and possesses the integrity that regards the client’s best interests as paramount.

The Importance of Being a Certified Management Consultant

ICMCI is proud to be the only custodian of internationally recognized management consulting qualifications in the world today: the CMC or Certified Management Consultant designation. Few other professions have such a unified international qualification. This recognition is increasingly accepted worldwide. CMC certification has been adopted as the benchmark by many large international consulting firms and is often used as a criterion for selecting management consultants for particular assignments.

Certified Management Consultants are expected to be competent in consulting processes, proficient in understanding the sector or industry in which they consult, and competent in at least one discipline or skill (such as strategy, management, finance, program management, change management, coaching, logistics, Information Technology, etc.). The CMC qualification ensures that individuals have demonstrated that they have the requisite combination of skills needed to successfully conclude assignments.

In addition to professional competence, all qualified consultants must adhere to a strict Code of Conduct. Among other requirements, the code insists that 1) Client interests come first; 2) A consultant must have integrity, objectivity and independence and 3) Shall not behave in a way to undermine the profession as a whole, or individual parts. This Code of Conduct is reinforced within a Code of Ethics. (See

The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) is eminently positioned to improve the use of development funds by providing Certified Management Consultants (CMCs) and by aiding the development of indigenous management consulting institutes, worldwide.

ICMCI’s Mission as an NGO

The ICMCI Mission as a UN NGO

ICMCI will strive, with appropriate national and international support, to establish professional management consulting institutes in developing economies, and will work with other NGOs to assist them understand how the use of qualified indigenous management consultants could assist them achieve their goals for leadership, change management and development in the economy.

The role of management consultants in developing economies

Developing economies have ambitions and desires for fast and effective development. And where limited funds are available, and where an increase in the effectiveness of aid projects could be assured with the use of qualified management consultants, effective use of these resources are sought by benefactors and beneficiaries alike.

In developing economies, ICMCI has found a marked shortage of competent indigenous management consultants, which often leads to obtaining less-than-optimal results. This finding proves especially difficult for funded projects (or proposals for funding) where funding agencies (often fellow NGOs) seek assurances upon which they can routinely rely on the professionalism and integrity of their advisors. The situation is amplified when limited funds are available and where a critical few percentage points of improvement in the effectiveness of a project’s performance could be assured with the availability of qualified management consultants. Universal access to qualified management consultants who can achieve on-time, on-budget performance is a worthwhile goal for the UN and the consulting profession. To this purpose, the ICMCI NGO mission is targeted.

Although the achievement of goals may be limited, by among other factors, the quantity and quality of available support, one very significant success variable is the effective design and efficient execution of programs and projects. Effective design and execution is a value-creating circle. More effective use of resources creates more wealth and capacity in developing economies, and it demonstrates results to external support benefactors, which in turn justifies further support. Thus more support and more effective development can be achieved.

ICMCI’s key activities to support the NGO mission

For these reasons, the management consultancy profession and, in particular, the singular international organization, ICMCI, is prepared to assist in this significant value creation. ICMCI has established mechanisms to do so and it has resolved to use its experience in developing national management consulting institutes to assist in the development of new Institutes. This assistance could include, but not be limited to: direct project funded by a Member Institute; obtaining funding for such activities from other bodies (e.g. The British Council, The European Commission, The Asia Pacific Development Bank, multinational companies, The World Bank); individual ICMCI member volunteers; mentoring emergent new national Institute through to full ICMCI membership; and globally promoting the value of using independent indigenous management consultants to create the successful realization of projects that grant-giving and project-leading agencies seek.

In partnership with many others, ICMCI has previously used the following mechanisms to encourage or help establish new national institutes:
Supported a national government funded body in a developed economy to empower its own national management consulting institute to support another country’s development of its own institute;
ICMCI supported government and supra government agencies as part of those governments aid programs in funding the development of new national institutes;
CMC members from national Institutes, working in developing countries, used their newly formed contacts to initiate the development of a local institute; and
Governments and agencies in developing economies, recognizing the benefit and the high return from the investment (in an institute), used their own resources to acquire support from other established institutes to develop the profession in their own country.

The Value Chain – It’s Importance to Project Management

The Value Chain: The benefits obtainable

In all economies, especially in developing economies with external support, it is helpful to understand the Value Chain and how its importance extends from planning to the achievement of improvement goals. When each step in the universally accepted Value Chain is followed – from crafting an economic plan to benefit realization (and ongoing operations if the project results in a permanent facility) – higher levels of project success can be expected. The Value Chain is depicted below:

In principle, each step in the Value Chain (from economic development plan to benefit realization) should be taken and completed expertly in order to optimize use of available development funding. Just one poorly undertaken step can put at risk the entire scope of the eventual benefit of a funded investment. The range of stakeholders with a vested interest in program design and execution is shown across the steps of the Value Chain.

The Value Chain for a particular development must be supported, to some extent, by the infrastructure already in the country (financial institutions, political will, facilities already established to enable other developments to proceed or a pool of talented individuals). More specifically, certain professionals (such as engineers, bankers, accountants, project managers) will need to be involved to some degree at different points throughout the program. These professionals may come from supporting funding agencies, trans-national bodies, and international pools of expertise or from indigenous practitioners.

ICMCI contends that involving professional qualified management consultants with experience working and living in the particular country or region can improve the effectiveness of each step in the Value Chain. Thus management consultants can play a key role in increasing the efficiencies within each set of actions and the effectiveness of desired actions to reduce the overall cost of the effort and to usefully stretch the use of funds and resources obtained from development aid and financing.

Beyond the Value Chain: More benefits are obtainable

In presenting the Value Chain above, we did not mention the aspect of any ongoing efforts, i.e., that a project is only one aspect of a larger effort to establishing a new program or organizational entity. In such cases, there are ongoing operations of a facility or organization to be managed. We should also note that the same trained Certified Management Consultants (hopefully now including those from the developing country) are versed in building organizations, and in improving efficiency, effectiveness and economy of operations. Without doubt, a qualified management consultant can add value to each step of the value chain and more.

Current practice for the largest development projects is to use management consultants from developed countries. However, we would strongly encourage the simultaneous development of indigenous Certified Management Consultants to work alongside outside professionals. The former would be aware of local business practices, cultural norms (such as human resource practices) and resource availability (for instance, the supply of competent managers). ICMCI is aware that many funding bodies recognize the benefits and would wish to use indigenous consultants but they are not often present in sufficient numbers. ICMCI can help change the deficiency.

Although we have not quantified the scope of the overall benefit herein, the potential is huge, although specific benefits obtainable will vary from country to country. Assuming funded development programs total tens of billions of dollars a year even a 1% improvement in eventual outcomes through elimination of unworkable projects, cost reduction, earlier completion, improved effectiveness, elimination of duplication and benefits enhancement from projects would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars (and the 1% number is far smaller than the usual percentage impact of professional management consultants on projects.)

ICMCI contends that the potential is so large that instead of completing a detailed estimate, time and effort is best directed at improving the supply of indigenous management consultants in developing economies.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

African Action on AIDS Sucess Story

2007 ECOSOC HIGH LEVEL SEGMENT “Strengthening efforts for the eradication of poverty and hunger, through global partnerships for development”



AFRICAN ACTION ON AIDS, Inc.; B.P. 4340, Yaoundé, Cameroon; Tel/Fax: 220 54 86

AAA welcomes the thematic focus on “Strengthening efforts for the eradication of poverty and hunger, through global partnerships for development”. It allows us to emphasize that development happens when we go back to basics.
Back to Basics, is first a definition of development that leads to the concept of Minimum Common Humanity Level (MCHL) developed by AAA. It means, the minimum quality of life that makes the difference between human beings and animals. In this context:
Human beings drink potable water and not mud or other polluted waters
Human beings wash their hands because they know/understand the existence and actions of germs
Human beings have bowel movements in an organized latrine, not in the street or behind the kitchen
Human beings think, find solutions and implement activities that make their lives better
Back to Basics, is secondly a concept that removes human beings from low status of perpetual poverty, hunger, dependency, vulnerability to the high level of responsibility that leads to knowledge and the power to contribute in easing suffering through simple/small daily actions.

The Iron Triangle is one of AAA’s tools for development. It starts with:
1. Personal Responsibility: The realization that each individual has a major role in their own development.
2. Education: allows each individual to understand their environment and problems and be part of the solution, not a victim
3. Health: creates a healthy living foundation that sustains all other material and non material challenges.

The JUST KNOW Campaign
Based on the Iron Triangle Strength, AAA launched the JUST KNOW Campaign. AAA adopted the JUST KNOW Campaign in general, and placed its activities since 2006 under the theme: HIV/AIDS Prevention: Our Personal Responsibility. The objective of this campaign is to strengthen each individual at individual level, and allow each one to adopt life saving skills in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

We joined a network of more than 150 villages who already practice micro-finance which means that villagers are used to meeting and working together.

We decided to use rural schools existing in those villages as centres of excellence.

We chose one village where we were going to develop a model infrastructure for each school. Then:

We hand dug a well within the school compound. This well also serves villagers when the school is opened. The well provides clean water for cooking and drinking and is protected against sun or rain by a superstructure. Other activities like bathing, washing clothes are not permitted. Water is treated at the source by chlorination to kill germs.

We dug three pit latrines for teachers, boys and girls. The floor is cemented and strong, the hole is small. No one even a child can fall in. These latrines are covered to keep away flies and odors. Besides the top cover, there is a tube that goes from the pit to the roof to free them from smell. The path leading to the latrine is clean with flower beds on both sides.

We built a covered sink for hand washing, less than four meters away from the latrines. A water tank of 1000 liters provides soapy water for hand washing.

A Survey on hygiene and sanitation in schools preceded our action
Age: Sex: F or M School:
N° Question
1 Does your school have clean water?
2 Do you drink water in school? _____ If not, why?
3 If you do not drink water in school, what do you drink in school when you are thirsty?
4 Is the water in your school from CAMWATER? _______ If not, what is the source of the water?
5 If taps are present in your school, are the taps always flowing?
What do you do when the taps are not flowing?
6 Does your school have toilets?
7 Are the toilets always clean, if any?
8 Who cleans the toilets?
9 Do the students use the toilets?
10 Do you always wash your hands before eating in school?
11 Do you always wash your hands before meals in general?
12 Do you have restaurants/refectory/canteen/dining shed in your school? _____ If yes, are they clean?
13 Is there water near the canteen?
14 Is there water near the toilets/refectory/canteen/dining shed?
15 Are classrooms always clean? _____Who cleans classrooms?
16 Is the school campus always clean? _____Who cleans it?
17 Are you often ill? ____If yes, of what?
18 What is the Immune System to you?
19 What makes it strong and what makes it weak?
20 Give examples of illnesses that you believe are due to dirty hands and water
© African Action on AIDS

A Scenario was developed to help understand how germs cause most common illnesses that weaken the immune system: When a household does not have a latrine/toilet:
Members of the family, including those with diarrhea or worms have bowel movements behind their house;
Dogs, or other domestic animals eat these faeces and some of it gets on their nose and paws;
Domestic animals go into the house and bits of the faeces fall on the floor;
A child is playing on the floor of the house, and gets infested by these faeces;
Later the child starts to cry and the mother picks her/him up for comfort;
The mother then prepares food forgetting to wash her hands after handling the child;
The family eats the food and soon the whole family has diarrhea.

An Intergeneration Water Minder committee was created in the test village to ensure the maintenance of the infrastructure


Les villageois, autorités locales, représentants des parents d’élèves de l’école primaire de Bogso se sont réunis pour recevoir trois toilettes et un lavoir qui permettront aux enfants de l’école de Bogso de respecter les règles primaires d’hygiène, et ainsi renforcer leur système immunitaire.
A cette occasion, les groupes cités ci-dessus ont décidé de créer un comité d’eau qui gèrera, et les toilettes et le puits d’eau potable en construction. Ce comité est composé de la façon suivante :
Président : Le Directeur de l’école de Bogso
Vice-président : Un élève á designer á la rentrée
Secrétaire : Président des parents d’élèves
1er secrétaire adjoint : Alphonse Nguidjol
2ème secrétaire adjoint : Un élève á designer á la rentrée
Trésorier : Le Trésorier de l’école
Membre : Président du Conseil de l’école
Membre : Déléguée de GICPAB
Membre : Secrétaire de GICPAB
Membre : Maria Ngo Minyem
Membre : Ndouru Philippe
Membre honoraire : Chef du village
Membre honoraire : African Action on AIDS, représenté par le technicien chargé des travaux en l’absence de la présidente de AAA. La présence de AAA au sein du comité est d’un an.
Modalités d’entretien : L’entretien des toilettes et du puits constituera une ligne budgétaire de l’école comprenant : l’achat d’un sceau par toilette ; du savon en poudre qui sera ajouté régulièrement au réservoir ; du papier hygiénique ; la maintenance du puits. Pour assurer cette maintenance, l’école va collecter des fonds auprès des élèves, enseignants et villageois utilisant le puits. Les sommes collectées seront de l’ordre de 100 francs CFA par mois, payées trimestriellement.
En dehors des sommes ainsi collectées, le comité devrait faire des efforts pour trouver les moyens de renflouer le budget de maintenance.
Le mandat du comité d’eau devrait être revu á la fin de chaque année scolaire.
Fait à Bogso, le 28 juillet 2006 Signataires :

African Action on AIDS GICPAB Conseil de l’école Parents d’élèves

Indicators of people participation in their own development and the Importance of acknowledging it.

Indicators of people participation in their own development include:
Answering questionnaire
Learning about germs and how they make us sick through debates around the scenario
Learning about the link between the quality of life and AIDS prevention
Participating in building infrastructure including financial contribution of the village chief to finalize construction
Establish a water minder committee
Living the whole experience with pride
We give certificates to acknowledge their participation. This certificate acknowledges local and global partners in development.


Based on this case study, AAA therefore submits the following recommendation to ECOSOC:
1. Development project must transform local communities in agent of their own change.
2. Build the knowledge and the determination to participate and not to be taken care of.
3. Ensure that global partners support activities of civil society like the one described in this case study and ensure they are replicated in more villages as way to eradicate material and non material poverty.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ATD Fourth World Success Story

International Movement ATD Fourth World

Innovation Fair Presentation
At the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
Annual Ministerial Substantive Review (AMR)

Presentation Proposal

October 17th: Hear the voices of the poorest and excluded and learn from them.

The multi-media presentation will highlight the theme of solidarity among people living in extreme poverty through different activities such as the commemoration of The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17 every year. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1992, when the United Nations General Assembly designated 17 October to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was first celebrated in 1987 by thousands of participants at the Human Rights Plaza in Paris, France. Since its creation, 17 October has been a day for those living in extreme poverty to speak out and for all citizens to consider how they can contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty.
The Day provides visibility to those who are usually unseen and unheard by the rest of society. This visibility for local efforts is within the context of global challenge. Through its focus on respect for the rights of all sectors of society, the Day provides an opportunity to re-emphasize the basic foundation of all peaceful societies – respect for the dignity of every individual.
Rwanda: the initiative to reach the poorest.
There are two groups of Friends of ATD Fourth World in the area of Butare, in the south of Rwanda. Cyanika (district of Karaba), which currently consists of 176 poor households, was created in 1991 by the initiative of a Belgian doctor and people working of the rehabilitation health center for young malnourished children. The group had identified families living in an extreme poverty and came together with them to look for solutions to their difficulties and precariousness they faced. In this area, the population is made up to 45% vulnerable people (widows, the poor, orphans of the genocide of whom some are heads of households, and homeless persons). The group of Kiruhura was created in 2004 building on a starting point of the experiment of Cyanika. It unites more than 120 families. The main objective of the groups of Friends of ATD is neither to collect nor to distribute money to the poor populations, but rather to lead these populations to refuse a life of dependence. In each place, two mothers, living or originating from the community, were trained to do the work of “a welfare officer". They visit people most in need. They support them in various steps such as getting free care or benefit from the mutual health insurance company. These welfare officers spend a good part of the day to encourage families to come together, to work together, to support each other. They encourage each one to come out of their isolation. Many families live in a multiple isolation.
"Before becoming a member of the Friends of ATD, I thought that I was the only one living in misery. But I discovered that it was not true. My child sees how I am now open, and he also becoming more open. When there is a problem, I can go to see the welfare officers and I am sure that there will be somebody to understand me ".
To build solidarity each month the two groups of Friends of ATD Fourth World meet to decide the activities of the general interest of the group and the allocation of credits. Each member brings a small contribution for the cause of solidarity, which makes it possible to deal with the urgent needs. They decide together who must benefit from a building chest of solidarity. Often, it is a question of building or repairing a house, of building a cattle shed, of cultivating the land of a hospitalized family, of housing the orphans left by a widow. Each one brings its share: a tool, some material, food or encouragement. During these years, with the support of the ABR, a system of credits for smaller live-stock, seeds or animals was set up. Some families received hoes. Collective fields were obtained from the authorities and the fruit harvest is divided between the members.
The significance of the activities of the group can be summarized in two main points:

The collective work and solidarity is an important means of social security for all the members of the community
· Working together as a group or an association has given them social visibility and credibility. This allowed then to get support for farming from the authorities, to negotiate the access to employment and to credit for medical care in the Health Centre of Cyanika with NGOs and other structures, and to negotiate a better access to administrative services with local authorities.

With time, the friends of ATD succeeded in agreeing to give priority to the poorest among themselves. They identified several "categories" of the poor. First of all, there are the poor ones who have to beg to survive. They do not have land or cattle; they lack housing, clothing, and food. They often fall sick and do not have access to the medical care. Their children are badly nourished, and they cannot send them to school. They have priority because they absolutely need others to survive. Then, there are the very poor who are physically able to work on the land owned by others, even if they themselves do not have land and cattle. Then there are the poor who have land, they live by the fruit of their work and of their production, they can escape hunger, even if the food is not very nutritious, and they do not have any excess production to sell in the market. Their children do not go to the school, and very often they do not have the means to reach the healthcare. Lastly, there are the poor who manage. Compared to the poor described above, they have more smaller live-stock and their children attend the primary school.

October 17th in Rwanda

October 17th is celebrated in Cyanika since 1991 and Kiruhura since 2004. This day, prepared with joy, makes it possible to the poor families to meet, participate in the festival, to exchange ideas in public with other citizens and to feel like all the other people.
The Day is preceded by building sites of solidarity decided by each group (construction of huts, repair of roof, plowing of a field, etc) to support the poorest families. It is an essential step to reinforce the bonds within the community and to make sure that nobody is excluded from the "festival".
Often, this Day of the festival starts with a mass homage to the victims of poverty. Then, all the friends of ATD join their guests. Among these guests, often there is the mayor of the commune, the assistants, the priest, or the members of the ABR, the agronomists, the representatives of the dispensary, the school staff and the administrative services people. The celebrations continue with a meal eaten together.
Various events stress the importance of the solidarity around poorest. Friends of ATD use the occasion to point out what it means to live in misery, to see his/her children crying the whole night because of the hunger, to be not able to provide education for them for lack of means or to see them leaving. They underline the courage and the efforts of each one who lives with dignity and develop solidarity. When the authorities speak, they often to testify to their moral support, emphasizing how much they appreciate the spirit of solidarity which drives the Friends of ATD and which flashes back on all the community. Some promise to support initiatives.
This day of festival often ends in songs and dances, with people forgetting all the problems temporarily, being glad to be with the people.
For many poor families and the poorest, October 17 is one of the rare occasions in the year that allows them to be together, without the fear of other people, to freely address their messages to the administrative and religious authorities.
Several people said that "the presence of the guests, of the persons in charge raises our moral".
Some people in power stress that October 17th is one of the rare moments of the year when they can meet the poor equally, beyond their destitution and to be invited by them to share a meal and to exchange ideas. They can acquire new ideas being able to enable them in direct actions to fight poverty and misery.
For the Friends of ATD, October 17 is certainly a strong moment in the process of reconciliation, carried by the whole country. For them, that cannot pass only by the word. At the time of the genocide, the media so much propagated hatred and the word was at the origin of too many massacres to be enough in this effort to reconciliation. While being linked around the poorest of their community, they show the new ways to us to build this reconciliation. It is a big work to recognize these experiments, these engagements, and especially recognize that the poorest are craftsmen of peace
In 2004, the Friends of ATD in Cyanika sent a delegation to Kiruhura to support them in the preparation of their first October 17. In 2005, exchanges again took place between Cyanika and Kiruhura around October 17 in order for them to commemorate the Day together and to share their experiences, which included the organization of community projects throughout the month of October. Because of the country’s recent history, there is a distrust of words. One seminar delegate emphasized that “The sweat that I put into my neighbor’s field is worth more than any words that I could say.” He went on to say: “Solidarity is very important, because it enables you to break out of your isolation. When you join with others, when you’re together, you can do a lot of things. I now understand that solidarity enables you to discover your brains, you have peace in your heart, you understand that you’re like the others, and that you’re on the same level of equality.”
On every October 17th, the Friends of ATD in Rwanda receive testimonies and examples of solidarity from elsewhere in the world, particularly in Africa. These testimonies are shared with others the same day. The friends of ATD say that it is important for them to know that in other places, throughout the world, people like themselves are seeking out the most excluded and that together, they are looking for ways to testify to their refusal to give in to extreme poverty.
In 2005, members of the International Movement ATD Fourth World in the Central African Republic were inspired by this approach and worked all through the month of October on community construction projects, assisting very poor families to rebuild their homes which had been destroyed by flooding.

October, 17th, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Ending Extreme Poverty, a Road to peace

In 1992, the UN General Assembly declared the day the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Since then, a commemoration has been held at the UN, in the presence of high-level representatives from the UN, Government Missions to the UN, and NGOs.
In 2005 the UN General Assembly (A/RES/60/209) asked the Secretary General to undertake a review of the observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, to identify lessons learned and ways to promote the mobilization of all stakeholders in the fight against poverty. To support this initiative, a Steering Committee was established with members of civil society organizations, who welcomed this Resolution. In addition the civil society carried out a survey. Also, the International Movement ATD Fourth World, in consultation with the Steering Committee members, organized a seminar in Montreal entitled “Ending Extreme Poverty: A Road to Peace” in May 2006. Its objective was to identify the lessons learned and put forward recommendations to strengthen the impact of the International Day.

This year, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of this Day, the International Movement ATD Fourth World has launched a global campaign entitled "Call to Action -Ending Extreme Poverty, a Road to Peace" which will end with a large gathering in Paris and many other places around the world on October 17, 2007. Through this campaign, thousands of people in all continents are indicating their commitment to creating a culture of peace and refusing extreme poverty, while recognizing people living in poverty as the front-line actors in the fight against extreme poverty.

We would like this campaign to provide visibility to those who are normally unseen and unheard by the rest of society. We want to reaffirm their status as full and equal citizens, who are struggling to survive under difficult conditions, and who are making a contribution to society that is often overlooked. This contribution is essential to carry out the UN programme of social development, and particularly to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
You can participate in this ccampaign and show that everyone counts in the fight against poverty.
Please visit to sign the declaration online and show your solidarity in the fight against poverty. This appeal can be signed until October 17, 2007. It will be submitted to the United Nations and made public this day.


International Day for the Eradication of Poverty as way to hear the voices of people living in poverty

October 17: Poverty

• In poor countries as well as in the wealthy ones many men, women and children live in misery and poverty.
• Families are isolated, excluded, deprived of rights that any human being deserves such as lodging, clothing, health care, food, education, access to culture, participation…

October 17: Poverty

• Families living in poverty have no voice, their efforts are not acknowledged and they are forced to live under the weight of scorn and prejudices.
• Prejudices that destroy confidence: «By being told we are lazy so many times, we end up believing it”. These men and women remind us that it is not shameful to live in extreme poverty.
• It is poverty itself that is a true shame for our societies. Only the commitment of people will be able to destroy it.

October 17: History of the Day

• In 1957, together with the residents of a shantytown near Paris, Father Joseph Wrésinski, also born in a very poor family, founded the International Movement ATD Fourth World. Together, with the help of men and women, they searched for ways to end extreme poverty.

October 17: History of the Day

• 30 years later, on the 17th October 1987, 100,000 defenders of human rights, rich and poor and from all countries, invited by Father Joseph, paid homage for the first time in history, to the victims of hunger, ignorance and violence.
• They affirmed their conviction that poverty is not inevitable.
• They proclaimed their solidarity with those who struggle throughout the world to destroy poverty.

October 17: History of the Day

• In the centre of Paris, at the same place where in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed, a stone was laid that reads:
“Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure these rights be respected is our solemn duty”

October 17: History of the Day

• In 1992, thanks to the mobilisation of people living in extreme poverty and the commitment of friends, such as M. Perez de Cuellar, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, October 17th is officially recognized by the United Nations as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

October 17: The Day in the world

• Hundreds of communities, religious and human rights organizations gather their efforts to celebrate this day through events of solidarity.
• Each year, in different places, participants on this day choose to have a moment of silence to better understand the voices of those we never hear: people living in extreme poverty.

October 17: The Day in the world

• Public memorial services take place in sites that are significant in the history of the poor. Monuments in honour of the victims of poverty in North America exist in Rouyn-Noranda, Thetford Mines, Sherbrooke, and also in New York.

October 17: The Day in the world

• These moments are real occasions for people to meet one another: people living in poverty, activists involved in the struggle against poverty and other citizens, based on a common will to reject poverty.
• In schools, more and more children think about life and the hopes of the poor and search for ways of how they themselves can act.

October 17: The Meaning of the Day

• We do not speak on October 17th to ask for assistance or for assistance to be continued, but to propose a co-operation, a partnership, because the world needs efforts and ideas from all to promote peace, development and human rights.

October 17: The Meaning of the Day

On October 17 we are gathered:
• To witness the courage of the poorest
• To affirm our rejection of poverty
• And to remember that people living in poverty must be present everywhere the future of our society is being decided.


An Experience of Friends of the International Movement ATD* Fourth World


• Created in 1991 by Bernard Paternostre, a doctor in a healthcare center in Cyanika
• With the support of the Association Belgique-Rwanda1
• Among its members the association counts :
— 176 families in the district of Karaba
— 120 families in the district of Kiruhura


• To allow families to express themselves and share their difficulties
• To overcome the isolation in which many people live
• To start projects from the families’ proposals
• To make sure that families are partners in and jointly responsible for the projects
• To reach the most vulnerable


• A project is based on human rights
• Promotion of solidarity among members of the community to offer a form of social security and community development
• Everybody agrees to give priority to the most vulnerable
• Microcredits adapted to a very poor rural area


• Human investment:
— Two mothers have been trained to work as social workers to listen and encourage dialogue
— To make sure that every person have the chance of working for others
• To take the time to build trust and ensure that no one is left behind
• To respond to both the needs of the individual and the community
• To adapt financial interventions to support the efforts of people to break out of dependency



• Meetings: The group gathers once a month to decide
— the activities in the general interest of the group
— the allowance of credits
• Some examples of community support:
— Construction work on houses in need of repair
— Cultivating the land of a family in times of medical emergencies
— Taking care of orphans
— Social security fund: everybody contributes a small amount per month used to deal with urgent needs


• Credits of hoes, seeds and goats
• Credits granted by the decision of the meeting
• Creation of a collective reserve of seeds
• Building of a collective storehouse
• Repayment at harvest time in money or in-kind
• Cultivation of collective fields donated by local authorities
OCTOBER 17TH IN RWANDA: The International Day for the Eradication of poverty

• Organized by people living in poverty
• Political and religious authorities are invited to listen, discuss and learn
• Time is set aside for:
— Solidarity workshops: building a hut, repairing a roof, plowing a field
— Speaking out and being heard
— A meal, a chat, a dance

OCTOBER 17TH IN RWANDA. On this day people living in poverty:

• Are recognized as citizens
• Meet with people from different backgrounds on an equal footing
• Share their efforts and commitment to fight against poverty
• Work for reconciliation and peace in their country through concrete acts of solidarity
• Gain in political visibility and social credibility


A few statistics:
• 50 houses and 60 cowsheds rebuilt
• 242 hoes and 6589 kg of seeds given in credit
• 299 goats, 37 pigs and 48 rabbits given in credit
• 103 monetary credits given
• 31 grants given for secondary school

New capabilities:
• Overcoming isolation
• Personal development and dignity
• Empowerment and responsibility
• Reinforcement of community life and solidarity
• Political participation

Rotary International Success Story

Rotary International

To help alleviate poverty and hunger, Rotary members carry out thousands of service projects each year in communities around the world. They establish micro credit banks to help residents start their own small businesses. They provide seeds and training to help impoverished families grow their own gardens. And they provide low-cost shelter to the homeless.

Through community projects, many Rotary clubs are addressing poverty and hunger by:
Raising awareness of poverty and hunger
Breaking the cycles of chronic poverty and hunger, to reduce the number of poor and hungry
Strengthening the financial security and incomes of the hungry and poor
Providing direct and sustainable access to food, and creating social safety nets for the hungry and poor
Promoting gender equality and empowering women

Article about Rotary’s drive to eliminate hunger:

Rotary Clubs Reduce Pain of Hunger

By Tonya Weger
Eradicating extreme hunger and poverty tops the list of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. In addition, eliminating hunger is one of RI President Bill Boyd’s key initiatives.
Rotarians have been working diligently to answer Jeffrey Sachs call to service at the 2006 RI Convention. Sachs, the special advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and head of the UN Millennium Project, told Rotarians that by 2015 we should be making decisive progress against hunger.
According to Boyd’s appointed Health and Hunger Resource Group, hunger daily kills more than 25,000 people. Rotary clubs worldwide are fighting against hunger.
A sample of what some Rotary clubs are doing to combat hunger
The PhilippinesPoverty persists in the Philippines, despite recent attempts to boost individual incomes through land reform and other social welfare programs. In the city of Calauag, farmers have neither the technical expertise nor the equipment needed to make their farms commercially viable.
The Rotary Club of Calauag asked local government agricultural experts to help train farmers in modern sustainable techniques for growing corn and other profitable crops. With government subsidized seeds, club members led volunteers in helping more than 100 farmers and their families to make a profit on their crops.
Through grants from The Rotary Foundation and the Philippine government, the program has expanded to include a microcredit loan system, improved farm infrastructure, livestock training programs, and marketing assistance.
IndiaThe Rotary Club of Renukoot, India, operates a school for underprivileged children and, subsequently, provides nutritious meals for its students four days a week. Club members enthusiastically took part in the program, individually sponsoring food distribution for an entire day.
Their dedication attracted the local media, which spread the word to community members, who contributed by adding another day of meals and donating money for basic medical care. Additional food donations were made from an area banquet hall. The program flourished to the point where now Rotarians are able to reach out to the students’ parents via an adult education program.
IndonesiaTeaming with a local milk factory enabled the Rotary Club of Jakarta-Gambir, Indonesia, to embark on a project that for the next two years distributes milk once a week to 150 students in the fishing village of Teluk Naga.
Because of its partnership with the milk factory, the club is able to provide milk at a heavily discounted price. Additionally, it has contributed US$1,300 to get the program started.
BangladeshThe Rotary Club of Mymensingh, Bangladesh, with the support of the Rotary Club of Brisbane, Australia, and a Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grant, expanded a livestock and poultry development project. The effort boosted agriculture and livestock production, created fisheries, developed forestland, improved sanitation, and provided health-care and family-planning services.
A Rotary Community Corps, comprising 66 farmers and representatives of 16 villages, helps maintain community support for the project. Women received baby goats and tree saplings to raise for income. A credit fund aids farmers in purchasing supplies, with the request they pay the balance when their produce has been sold.


Additional Rotary club projects:

The local Rotary club, together with Educational Center No. 20, has planned to build a facility for the school to raise chickens that will provide poultry and eggs for consumption. This self-sustaining project has the dual benefit of educating children about livestock and increasing their daily food intake, both of which will enrich their ability to learn and grow.

A local Rotary club plans to establish a job awareness program that will enable people with disabilities to benefit from vocational training. The program will emphasize the value of the participants’ contribution to and participation in their communities. Over 100 people with disabilities will receive vocational training. The club will distribute training materials to Rotary clubs throughout Australia.

The local club would like to establish a vocational training program for children. In response to the growing unemployment rate of adults in Brazil, the goal of the project is to invest in children’s futures by providing them an opportunity to learn a skill that will guarantee them a job when they enter the job market.

A Rotary club project aims to improve the quality of life for families in the Ezbet El-Hagana district in Egypt which lacks essential services. The project will promote literacy and health education, as well as provide vocational training and tree planting to improve the living and environmental conditions of the community. The local Rotary club will collaborate with several local NGOs to deliver services.

The local Rotary club would like to supply goats to about 65 families within the community. Each family will be supplied with 2 female goats and 5 families will be supplied a male goat for reproduction. As goats give birth twice a year, it is expected that offspring will provide a continuous supply of food for the families. The club is working with Provadenic to train recipients on how to raise goats. The club will also contribute financially to the project.

South Africa
A Rotary project brings healthy, nutritious food to a community in the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa by helping to install hydroponic food tunnels. Hydroponic food tunnels, which have the ability to produce a substantial quantity of food in a short time, have been used successfully in many South African Rotary club projects. One thousand people will benefit.

South Africa
The Feedback Food Re-distribution project collects good quality excess food from food outlets and restaurants, redistributing it to social service organizations. Feedback meets beneficiaries’ urgent food needs while encouraging them to become self-sufficient in food provision through nutrition workshops and food production classes in vegetable gardening and food tunnels. This innovative project has an immediate effect on the welfare of low-income and HIV positive individuals. The local Rotary club is heavily involved in the initial stages of the project to ensure that the communities are able to carry out the project as it progresses.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

International Multiracial Shared Cultural organization Sucess Story

International Multiracial Shared Cultural Organization
4 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10016
“NGO Specialized with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations”
A Global Management Consultant Group. Representing Developing Business Cultures
Tel. (212) 532-5449 Cel. (917) 607-5449 Fax. (212) 532-4680

Annual Ministerial Review on NGO Success Stories:
Bridging the Indigenous and Diaspora links to meet Millennium Goal

IMSCO an NGO in the Economic and Social Council is committed in linking Diaspora peoples with their traditional homeland, families and wealth through wealth sharing as a way to the eradication of poverty, land hunger, shelter, birth and human rights. IMSCO works closely to assists people in obtaining a share of the wealth and getting it to market in order to generate funds for development. As well as building business culture infrastructures linked with natural trading partners in Western Diaspora communities.

Crude Oil Project to be shared between the Congo indigenous and Diaspora
IMSCO / UN NGO and FECONDE a local Brazzaville, Congo ONG has successfully lobbied the government of The Republic of Congo to supply the IMSCO team and family 5 million barrels of crude oil revolving each year to assist in the development, resettlement and aims of IMSCO the people of Africa and the co-owners of African land, culture and wealth will share the profits from the sale and marketing of this crude oil with their natural trading partners and Africans throughout the foreign Diaspora community. Assisting IMSCO in this historic landmark success story is the United States of America Department of State in Washington D.C., making Diaspora and indigenous partnerships possible. Expanding the partnership are the “IMSCO / Republic of Congo Establishment Agreement” signed in Congo in 1998 (via IMSCO website at,

This is Northern Congo, DRC: The absence of wealth sharing causes communities to turn against each other.

IMSCO links with an Independent Film Company to Promote UN Goals

IMSCO is pleased to summit the following project for the to the Annual Ministerial Review. A film clip on the following motion picture can be seen at:

IMSCO is introducing this motion picture to the United Nations to introduce how this innovative project attracts the corporation of major international movie stars as well as the public worldwide in coming together to help raise millions of dollars in awareness to assist the United Nations in carrying out the Millennium Goal.

Man in the Mirror, a movie that educates

Man in the Mirror an epic film made between 1970 and 2007 about the human struggle to find a natural sustainable place in society; is a pathbreaking motion picture by Frank Weston who produced, directed, wrote, and acted in this farsighted film.

The film stars Martin Sheen, who appears in nine roles. That is remarkable enough, but Michael Dunn appears in his first starring role. Moreover, the film stars one of the first black actor-comedians on network television, Johnny Brown.

Man in the Mirror, shot on location all over New York—from Wall Street, to Times Square, to Rockefeller Center, to Washington Square Park—captures a sense of what life was like in the New York of the 1960s, when there were hippies, war protesters, and civil rights advocates; when rock music was still relatively young; and when there was a revolution in drug culture and sexual mores. Each character faces a social or interpersonal issue of that era of American history—earning a living, street crime, hopelessness, wild street kids, police harassment, caring for the needy. The scenes are set against a New York backdrop that can never be recaptured, including Times Square at night with current film titles lit up on the marquees—a John Wayne western and Woodstock—and the news of the Southeast Asian war flashing around the old Times building, as well as a still-unfinished World Trade Center, reaching perhaps only half its final height. But the characters—from the dwarf street apple vendor, to the African-American blind panhandler, to a young woman who is tempted into prostitution, to a host of street people—break the old stereotypes of Hollywood films. (Evaluation by Prof. White, New York University 1997)

IMSCO supports the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), feeling certain that the above mentioned motion picture in which IMSCO played a role in the making, does support the MDGs aims. The film producers have committed a portion of the proceeds to assist the needy in building their business culture sustainable infrastructures and to bring attention to the social and economic issues in society that are not properly being addressed today. A project has already help millions of poor people change their way of thinking when it comes to generating funding. IMSCO does not see the stereotypical poor as being poor when indeed they do own the minerals and resources on the land. By aiding the MDG’s, IMSCO works to expand its birthright partnership projects between the Diaspora and the Indigenous peoples to enable them to design their own cultures and way of living.

This film has been submitted to Cannes Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival.

Institute of International Social Development (IISD) Success Story

“Strengthening efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger, through the global partnership for development” – the story of IISD’s path to success through Self-Help Groups and Micro-Credit
In least developed and developing countries, the problems of poverty, hunger and social exclusion are major concerns that are encountered in the endeavor to attain the Millennium Development Goals. They retard the growth and development of the economy and infect the social fabric of a nation like a disease.

The horrific spectra of poverty and deprivation all around inspired the founders of the Institute to contribute to the eradication of poverty and hunger and improve the quality of life. That led to the formation of Institute of International Social Development – an international NGO, based and headquartered in Kolkata, India, registered under the Indian Companies Act to enable it to function as a public limited non-profit organization with accountability, transparency and professionalism. The Institute’s inspiration was the founding principles of the United Nations and its slogan ‘One Earth One Family’.

The founding members of the Institute firmly believed that true sustainable development, progress and the eradication of all social ills like poverty and hunger can be brought about through the inculcation of intrinsic values at all levels and through the implementation of value-based grassroot level self-empowerment programs. To initiate the process, the Institute organized the First International Conference on ‘Values for a Better World’ in January 1997 within four months of its inception that was graced by Dr. Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations among numerous other luminaries.

The Institute also initiated projects focusing on functional literacy (Project Sushiksha), healthcare for women and children (Project Suswasthya), employment generation (Project Shramdaan) and also prevention and treatment of sex-workers for HIV/AIDS and rehabilitating them into the mainstream through education and skill development (Project HOPE).

On receiving the honor of Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC in 2000 and thereafter, with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) serving as the guideline for all development work, the Institute started gearing all programs specifically in tune with the MDGs. The Institute’s representatives at Kolkata, New York, Geneva and Vienna participated at various High-Level Segment and other meetings of the United Nations and shared their grass-root experiences with the representatives of the world body. The members also took away experiences and knowledge from the international meetings and interactions to implement them at the grassroot level for uplifting the poverty-stricken people to a better quality of life.
The Institute participated in the Tribal Handicrafts Exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from May to July 2005 and again in a separate exhibition from March-April 2006 where it showcased the crafts and art of tribal and indigenous people of India. Through various other related programs and exhibitions the Institute showcased and made presentations on the Handicrafts of India to the international community in New York to raise awareness and stress their importance in world culture.
The Institute’s endeavor to eradicate poverty and hunger took the form of a project in the remote area of Nanoor Block comprising of 24 villages in Bolpur Subdivision in Birbhum district of West Bengal, India. Nanoor is about 177 kms away from Kolkata and is situated 20 kms away from the Bolpur Railway station. The next phase of the project will involve other blocks of the Bolpur subdivision including Sriniketan, Illambazar, and Labpur.

Nanoor is a backward area of tribal artisan families living below the poverty line, the majority of who are from the minority section of the population. Lack of opportunities and ignorance had kept the talented population away from a decent source of sustainable livelihood. They were migrating to the cities for unskilled labor forsaking their generations-old invaluable craft skills.

The Institute adopted the Nanoor cluster of handicraft artisans excelling in Kantha embroidery (which is the art of making exquisite designs and stories through embroidery on cloth by the village women of West Bengal in India and Bangladesh) after in-depth studies of the cluster stretching over months that involved data collection and trust building with the target beneficiaries in the year 2005. There were more than 220 artisans in Nanoor who became the beneficiaries of the project. Overall, in the Bolpur subdivision, there were over 500 artisans who came under the project’s beneficiary umbrella.

Based on the initial study, it was determined that the creation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) was the best option for the artisan families to come out of poverty. The Institute had a series of Focus Group meetings on how to set up Self Help Groups with the artisan families and representatives from the local self-government. It was understood that the existing skills needed upgradation and training programs needed to be conducted to create market–centric products that would be acceptable to the modern consumers.

The Secretary General of the Institute, Rajyashree Chaudhuri, apprised the beneficiaries of the benefits of such team work in the form of Self Help Groups which included easy banking facilities and micro-finance facilities from various financial institutions at much lower interest rates than the local money lenders.

The Institute held group meetings with 220 artisans in January 2006. The Institute announced the formation of Self Help Groups and additionally, affordable group insurance schemes at very nominal premium rates and relatively sizeable benefits offered by Life Insurance Corporation of India. The insurance scheme also offered educational scholarships for their wards. All this was earlier researched and negotiated with the corporations for the benefit of the artisan families under the newly formed Self Help Groups by the Institute.

The Institute trained the artisans in the concept of Self Help Group, accounts maintenance and making of marketable goods to withstand the reverse pressure of globalization and the competition involved between machines and artisans’ hands.
With the formation of SHGs and their bank accounts every artisan started having access to bank interest and thrift and credit offered by the banks to the SHGs guaranteed by their collective fiduciary responsibility.

The Institute provided the SHGs with capacity building training on skill upgradation through designs and technical development workshops conducted by Master Craft-persons and Designers with substantial knowledge and access to modern global markets. The Institute also helped the artisans gain access to markets at the local, regional, national and international levels in partnership with other organizations in different parts of the world.
The artisans, due to their collective bargaining power, now dictate the price of their wares collectively instead of the previous practice of being at the mercy of the middle-level traders. They are able to avail all capacity building programs of the government under the Institute’s supervision for upgrading their production capacity and quality. They are now able to gather enough items to attend exhibitions in different cities and thus meet the buyers directly. Market exposure is educating the artisans to understand the tastes of the consumers and guiding them to make such items which cater to the market. The artisans, through their SHG Bank Accounts, now receive loans on affordable businesses from financial institutions. Working capital and contingencies are met with ease compared to earlier situations of falling into debt traps due to excess interest rates charged by private local money lenders.

Due to their collective nature, insurance companies have floated life and health insurance schemes with affordable premiums, which was a dream for them until recently. In fact, along with life insurance, educational grants are also available for the children of artisans.

The artisans have learnt to accept and exchange views with people from all over the world who are visiting the cluster to experience the lives of the artisans through the Institute, see the process of handicraft-making and plan international markets for them. Their income has increased three-fold in about one year from less than Rs. 300-500 (US $6.8 - $11.4) a month to Rs. 1000-1500 (US$22.75 - $34.00) a month. The increase was also helped by recent design development workshops conducted by internationally renowned designers who made them use their kantha craft as value additions to small items of utility in today’s world. The workshops were organized by the Institute.

Literacy and education is being welcomed by these artisans for furthering their development. The SHGs, comprising mostly of women, discuss social and family problems with their groups and solve problems collectively. Socially they are coming out of seclusion and improving their lives.

The ultimate goal of this project is to create a cluster with adequate enlightenment to handle and mingle comfortably with the global community without losing their identities and without forsaking craft practice as their source of sustainable livelihood.

Presented by: Institute of International Social Development
(NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the United Nations)
P65 Lake View Road,
Kolkata 700029, West Bengal

Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council Success Story

Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council Success Story

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council has always been aware that the condition in which people live determines their health, well-being and ability to engage in gainful employment. This is the road to eradicating poverty and hunger and it can be done through global partnerships for development.

In 1987, GOAC organized a program called Hope in Action (Helping Other People Everywhere) which assists those in developing countries. Dr. George Christakis was commissioned by the Archdiocese to make an extensive study of the health and nutritional status of the Orthodox in Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya. As a result, the Kenya Project came into being, a pilot program which sent a 25 member team of young adults to Laipipia, Kenya to serve as construction and medical teams in collaboration with the government of Kenya. The construction team helped build housing and water wells. The medical team was composed of two doctors, two nurses, a dentist, and five medical students who set-up clinics in the area.

The program was so successful that it evolved into the current Orthodox Mission Team Program. During the summer months, short-term volunteers who are doctors, educators, construction workers, engineers, carpenters and students assist communities with various projects around the world. They travel to Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon Chad, Albania, Poland, Slovakia, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Haiti, Guatemala, and Madagascar where they offer their expertise in establishing medical and dental clinics, construct schools, restore and build churches, help develop agriculture and build water wells. They teach, build, nurture and heal. They work in collaboration with the local governments and United Nations agencies.

In Calcutta, India they assist with medical outreach to needy children and adults and with education at the Orthodox orphanage which houses street children. Homeless children are fed daily and as well as impoverished families, the elderly and disabled people.
In Uganda, GOAC volunteer health professionals treat mostly tropical diseases including malaria, leprosy; TB and secondary infections from aids at the medical clinics they have established.

In Romania, GOAC volunteers offer seminars and counseling at the Protections of the Theotokos Infant and Mortality Center which helps prevent child abandonment and nurtures the bond between mother and child.

In collaborations with the International Orthodox Christian Charities, and Church World Service, nine women in Taybeh West Bank were trained in honey production, which they mastered so well that they became trainers of other women in other villages. The education and the needs of children were addressed as well by repairing and expanding the villages Orthodox School and building and equipping a library and computer center. The women purchased 19 sheep through donations and expanded their business by making their own cheese and yogurt . They hope to break into the European market.
In Guatemala, teams offer assistance in classroom activities and help with renovations and maintenance at the Hogan Rafael Ayou Orphanage which welcomes orphans and abandoned and battered children

These programs have been very successful in meeting the needs of people in difficult circumstances in economically underdeveloped countries with the help of global partnerships

Monday, April 23, 2007

Christian Children's Fund (Success Story)

Christian Children’s Fund

ECOSOC Special Consultative Status since 1985
MDG #5 – Improving Child Survival and Maternal Health Capabilities in India

Traditionally, in some areas of India, when babies were born, only women from the lower castes would be willing to cut the umbilical cord. Considered a demeaning job, families were unwilling to do it themselves. Often babies’ umbilical cords were cut using an iron knife, causing infection in the newborns. Tradition also prescribed putting ash, mud, dung or oil on the baby’s cut cord, which furthered the high rates of infection in babies. With no skilled birth attendants, women were also suffering and dying from tetanus or obstructed labor. In 1996, in 18 villages assisted by Christian Children's Fund (CCF), 41 infants died at birth and 24 mothers died from complications related to pregnancy or delivery.

After birth, for the first few days of life many babies were fed a water-sugar solution and cow’s milk, instead of breast milk. This would lead to infant deaths from diarrhea. This was the situation in a small corner of Uttar Pradesh, India, before CCF-India began its intervention to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates.

Something needed to change.

In Utter Pradesh, CCF began a project to ensure that more local women are trained as midwives, or birthing attendants, and that women have access to safe, affordable places for maternal health care and birthing. CCF opened a Safe Delivery Center and began training local women to aid other women in their communities. These measures are helping to ensure that each child begins life in a safe, clean and healthy environment.

Training Traditional Birth Attendants

Four years ago, a woman named Savitri’ had a friend die in childbirth. When CCF-India was ready in 2004 to launch its program to train traditional birth attendants in the area, CCF identified Savitri as the best candidate in her community to receive the training. And, knowing the pain of loss and the dangers of childbirth, Savitri agreed. She also demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting proper sanitation. In her village, she champions cleanliness and encourages others to follow good hygienic practices. Last year, Savitri won a cleanliness competition in Bhauthi and received a toilet, a rare convenience, from CCF as a reward.

Training complete, Savitri has attended more than 25 births at women’s homes in her village and neighboring communities. Savitri volunteers her services to the families in her community. She is willing to cut the umbilical cord herself and hopes it will gain greater acceptance throughout the community. She likes being a midwife: “It gives me great satisfaction, serving women and babies ... kissing the newborns, bringing them into the world. I am respected by the mothers, and the community, because of the good advice I am able to give.”

Alongside another volunteer, Savitri aids women in her home village of Bauthi. Through CCF, Savitri and the second volunteer learned about the signs of risky delivery and when to send women to the Safe Delivery Center or to the hospital. They also give advice to mothers on healthy practices and attend births.

Safe Delivery Center

The Safe Delivery Center in nearby Vinoba Nagar is open 24 hours. It includes a delivery room and an examination room and is staffed by an auxiliary nurse midwife, who is a CCF-India staff member. Community members come to the center for iron tablets, tetanus injections and other services. The nurse midwife also goes out to the community to teach families about health, safe pregnancy and more. The goal of the center is to increase knowledge about safety measures and treatment and provide high-quality services for women and their families.

As in the village of Bauthi, tetanus was a problem in Vinoba Nagar. Known as jamugo, the disease was thought to be caused by a small animal or evil spirit that caught the baby at the moment of birth. Awareness programs at the Safe Delivery Center helped dispel myth and the real cause of the disease, bacteria, was acknowledged. Armed with this knowledge, the community members felt more self-empowered and believed that they could, with the help of injections, fight off the disease. They began to come for injections and tetanus rates have since declined.

Most women from Vinoba Nagar do not want to give birth at the public hospital because it is too expensive. The Safe Delivery Center, on the other hand, offers health services at a lesser cost to those who can afford to pay. For those unable to pay any costs, the Safe Delivery Center waives all fees and offers free medicines. By training women in basic medical care and creating a Safe Delivery Center, CCF is helping to ensure that each child begins life in a safe, clean and healthy environment.

For more information on this and other CCF programs, please visit

Ellie Whinnery
Global Communications Manager

Young Women's Christian Association (Success Story)

ECOSOC Roster Consultative Status since 2005


Theme: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise

Over the years, the YWCA of Nigeria celebrates the World AIDS day. On such days, usually December 1, which is a day set aside by the International Community to reflect and reaffirm commitment to the fight against the menace of HIV and AIDS, the Young Women’s Christian Association carries her campaigns to strategic locations and places. The essence is to curb the menace of Human Immuno Virus and the Deficiency Syndrome in Nigeria.

In the recent time, Nigeria is rated the third country leading in global HIV prevalence rate. With this development, the YWCA of Nigeria and other governmental and Non-Governmental organizations and government agencies intensify efforts to reduce the menace of HIV/AIDS and possibly halt the spread of the Human Immuno deficiency virus in Nigeria. To this regard, YWCA of Nigeria finds the theme: STOP AIDS: KEEP THE PROMISE appropriate.

In preparation for the celebration, the organization approached agencies such as UNAIDS, Global HIV/AIDS Initiative for Nigeria (GHAIN), Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, National AIDS Control Agency (NACA) Family Health International of the USAID, some collaborators / partners for example the STOPAIDS Organisation, for material support. YWCA of Nigeria produced Fliers, Stickers and other materials needed for the programme, arranged vehicle for caravan and public address system, We got Protective materials such as male and female condoms, T-Shirts and face Caps and Campaign posters from some agencies.

Human Resources:
A team of 50 people including staff, National Officers and Young Women were mobilized to carry out the programme. The YWCA also sensitized some media houses of the event. The climax was a courtesy visit paid to a media house situated round the area where the programme was carried out.

The campaign team took of from the YWCA National Head quarters located at # 8, Moloney Street, Lagos and went through Obalende - a highly populated area in Lagos. From Obalende, the caravan moved to highbrow Ikoyi area of Lagos through Victoria Island to Lekki-Ajah -Epe Areas of Lagos. At strategic locations, the caravan stopped and held rally, gave information on HIV and AIDS and distributed Condoms to the people. The Ajah and Epe are suburb areas of Lagos with a teaming population of not well-informed people. Majority of the people in this area of Lagos lack proper knowledge of HIV and AIDS. The YWCA of Nigeria targeted this group, which are mostly market women, school children, motorcycle and bus drivers, and other people at the grass root level of the society.

At various points, the target groups were given sensitization talks in various Nigerian local languages. The essence was to pass on the message across to the grass root. The people were told what the World AIDS day stands for, the meaning of HIV/AIDS, ways of contact, ways of avoidance. Basically the ABC – abstinence, being faithful and use of condom was reiterated.

At the Epe market and motor park, thousands of people were addressed in a rally. The YWCA distributed materials:- fliers, information booklets, stickers, condoms, etc to women, school children who were returning from school, motor park attendants, bus drivers and conductors, motorcycle uses, passers by, etc.

The YWCA’s campaign and rally against the spread of HIV/AIDS on the World AIDS day culminated in a courtesy visit to a nearby media house – the Silver Bird Communications. The media house runs both Television and Radio programmes and specific programmes on HIV/AIDS.
The Staff members of both the radio and Television houses welcomed the YWCA caravan into the premises with excitement.

The team was introduced to the manager on HIV/AIDS programme, who commended YWCA’s activities on HIV/AIDS. After a brief chat, the team was taken to the newsroom. However, the YWCA activity on the World AIDS day was later aired throughout the day on the national Radio and Televisions. The Celebration of World AIDS day was a huge success.

The following were achieved from the programme.

- Sensitization of the populace in the Lagos area of the World AIDS Day.
- Educating the people on the HIV/AIDS prevalence in Nigeria.
- Warning the target audience of the dangers of indiscriminate sex, use of sharp objects, careless blood transfusion, etc
- Debunking the wrong impression people have about positive people
- Advice on where and how to get information, for example test on HIV/AIDS
- Encourage a good number of people to know their HIV/AIDS status.
- Encouraged the people to avail themselves of counseling unit in YWCA building.

The following gains were made:
- Increased establishment of network and partners
- More projection of the YWCA of Nigeria’s programmes on HIV
- More publicity of the organisation
- Increased link with positive individuals.
- A fulfilled campaign project.