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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Community Liaison and Assistance Activities


In this post our newest JWOC Programme Manager, Konthea Mean, tells us about the Home Gardens Project and the monitoring work of our Volunteer Community Facilitators in the field.

Seedlings are started by the group leaders in each village
During the first month  working as a Community Liaison and Assistance (CLA) Programme Manager for JWOC, I  am  really pleased with what I have learned and participated with the team. In this program there are 12 Volunteer Community Facilitators working with me, who are JWOC scholarship students. Three of them work on Saturday and the rest work on Sunday. We have been working in two villages - Duon Un and Ta Kam in Duon Keo Commune where we do the Home Gardens Project.

One of our beneficiaries, Hea, with bitter gourd 
There are 25 people in each village who join the activity and they all were trained by the expert on how to make a home garden. With one group leader in each village, we provided them 5 kinds of seeds: tomato, cucumber, string bean, bitter gourd and eggplant. However, most of them choose only two or three kinds of seeds to plant because their gardens are small.

To follow up and assist in the project, we set up a schedule to monitor their activities in each village two times a month. Because our team is divided between Saturday and Sunday teams, and everyone wants to get involved in both places, we monitor each village in rotation. As we do the monitoring process, we found our beneficiaries in both villages paid attention very well on their gardens. They applied all the methods they learned from the training to real practice. Their plants are good and now most of our beneficiaries are collecting the vegetables for eating and for sale in the market. 

Sopheavy is part of the JWOC CLA team and monitors the Home Gardens Project
During our monitoring we found there are some diseases and insects destroying the crops. To solve these problems we conducted research and discussed with the trainer to provide solutions to our beneficiaries. Up to now all those problems are solved and almost 90% of the gardens are successful.

One of our beneficiaries, Mao, is a 62 year old woman in Ta Kam Village. She planted many kinds of crops in her garden and takes care of them every day. Unfortunately one day, when she was cooking in the kitchen, there were a few cows got into her garden and ate all the crops. We encouraged her to buy more seeds on her own and replant, to make a fence around the garden and be more careful. This week we visited Mao and saw her smiling face because her plants are growing well and will produce vegetables soon. We really appreciate her for all her effort. 

Konthea and Mao in the garden
Even though the JWOC Home Gardens Project in these two villages is going to finish soon, I expect to conduct this project in other villages in order to help more beneficiaries in the rural communities to increase their gardening skills to grow nutritious food and improve their economic situation.
Healthy tomato plants
Healthy cucumbers seem to be the easiest to grow
Garden in Ta Kam Village with good fence to keep the animals out

 

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