We are happy to share that two of YMI’s newly approved TOF projects are successfully underway–both focused on improving circumstances in local agrarian communities through the introduction of sustainable farming techniques and skills enhancement that will serve to increase income and independence.
TOF 23-06 YMCA Agricultural School (YAS) in Bhagatpur, Cuttack, Odisha, India
This project aims to:
- Provide intensive classroom and field training to approximately 200 young farmers (one class of 15 – 20 persons per month).
- Introduce alternative farming practices to enhance family income.
- Curtail the migration of landless and seasonal farmers.
- Establish cooperatives of landless/seasonal farmers seeking alternative income sources for improved stability.
On 26 August 2023, an inauguration event was held to mark the opening of the YMCA Agricultural School (YAS) in Bhagatpur, Cuttack, Odisha, India). This project is being collaboratively managed by YMCA India in partnership with the Y’s Men’s Club of Cuttack. An occasion graced by the presence of W.H.C. David, Regional Director of North, East, Northeast Region; members of the Cuttack club, and YMCA India-Bhagatpur project’s chair and committee members, it served to baptise the training centre and was an opportunity to solidify project objectives and clarify budget matters.
The first instalment has been requested and will soon be released to begin the official training period.
TOF 23-01: Environmental Restoration for Adaptation (ERAP) project in Bamenda, Cameroon
The residents of the Northwest region of Cameroon are grappling with issues of rapid land degradation and climate change, stemming from harmful traditional slash-and-burn farming practices, extensive timber exploitation, and mining operations conducted by foreign and domestic companies. Deforestation and alterations to river flows for mining purposes have led to adverse and harsh weather conditions, including erratic rainfall, intense sun exposure, and strong winds. These conditions have resulted in property damage and a significant impact on agricultural productivity, leaving residents vulnerable to hunger, malnutrition, and waterborne diseases due to contaminated water sources. Regrettably, many locals attribute these negative consequences to divine punishment rather than recogniszing their own unsustainable practices.
On 16 August 2023, YMI disbursed the first instalment for the Environmental Restoration for Adaptation (ERAP)) in response to the project coordinator’s request. On 13 September, we received the first report, which highlighted a highly successful start marked by exceptional cooperation among all stakeholders. The report outlined the identification of 300 beneficiaries and their initial training in restoration and preservation. The funds have been judiciously utilised for the initial purchase of seedlings and planting equipment, setting a promising tone for the project’s future success.