The WISC (Women’s initiatives as social capital for building flourishing communities) project is financially supported by the European Union and coordinated by Cordaid for a duration of 36 months (Oct 2014 to Sep 2017). The project is implemented by STARS, APPRO and AWRC in Laghman and Urozgan provinces in Afghanistan. The overall objective is to build the capacity of women’s organizations and local authorities in Laghman and Urozgan provinces and create an enabling environment for initiating and building local structures and networking to support and sustain flourishing communities. In total 1,200 Women from local communities trained on vocational and small business training that contributed to their economic empowerment throughout the three years. Each year 400 women targeted within the five districts – two in Urozgan and three in Laghman. These women trained as mentors to work in their own communities.
The women in the targeted districts received nine months literacy course that enabled them to read and write Dari and Pashto words and sentences. They are now able to read sign boards and solve routine problems they encounter in their daily lives by knowing how to read and use numbers. In addition, health training sessions were held that helped women to improve their family’s hygiene and sanitation. The women are moreover introduced to the basics of peace building concepts, which they are able to apply daily at household or community level.
Finally, the project established Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Committees responsible for the small challenge funds (SCF) for the women in the two provinces establishment of a vocational network for the enhancement of women capacity building of Community Development Councils (CDCs) on management, leadership and community outreach them and training of local community individuals and organizations on peaceful conflict resolution. The objective of this action was to promote protection of women’s socioeconomic rights though utilizing locally built structures and Small Challenge Fund (SCF) to support (UADS 32) to establish for implementing small and mainly agriculture-related projects.
- Improved production and uplift the target women beneficiaries economically through provision of income source, introducing of improved/desired sheep breeds and marketing support.
- Improved literacy status and employment opportunities of target women beneficiaries through establishment of literacy classes and capacitating them in basic health issues.
- Improved the health status and nutrition through encouraging the communities in cultivation of protein/vitamin contained vegetables and establishing fruit orchards.
- Increased capacity of women to advocate for their needs and proposals at local and national levels
- Improved accountability by political structures to their female constituents
- Increased opportunities for women’s participation in protecting and promoting women’s rights and development
- Partners’ organizational capacity strengthened through WW support
- Increased awareness on civic skills and responsibilities and strengthened women’s roles and responsibilities in civil life.
- Increased women participation in decision making at community, provincial and national levels
1-Social and Economic Level impacts:
- 1200 women members of Shuras empowered to improve their social and economic position in their communities after receiving business skill training to gain knowledge of their rights and their leadership potential in their communities.
- Provincial technical committee regulators became on human rights active in the district and provincial level.
- Local organizations, authorities and civil society have gained better understanding of the rights that each citizen should be permitted and empowered to act to protect implementation practices.
- By engaging local partners and building their institutional capacity, the project moved toward long term sustainability right from the beginning. It is expected that with enhanced capacity approximately 20 – 30 staff members became the vanguard to promoted and protected human rights in their respective communities.
2- Policy Level impacts:
- The vocation training’s developed on economic right include programming dedicated to women’s development.
- A network of civil society actors established to continue advocating for the objectives of the project after its conclusion.
- Stakeholders from state and non-state entities in district and provincial level became changed agents in the way that policy and planning are undertaken with respected to women’s roles
- Training and awareness-raising on human rights and for members of local governance and local authorities leaded to the creation of space for dialogue and advocacy on disputed and provocative areas of policy for the first time
- Cord aid brought the successes and lessons learned from this project to national discussion forums and networks on women and rights.
- The activities included in the program are part of a long-term process aimed at increasing the number of women in decision making positions and improving.
Under Women’s initiatives as social capital for building flourishing communities (WISC) project, STARS successfully conducted ,local communities ‘vocational training, proposal writing and basic accounting training for 1200 women beneficiaries which contributed to their economic empowerment in 3 years of project duration in Laghman and Urozgan provinces.
Although, the action planned and proposed to cover 2 districts (Trinkot, Dehrawood) of Urozgan province but due to security risks the project was not implemented in first year in Urozgan and the last two years, only one district (Trinkot) was covered.
Due to security reason same in the Laghman province the action planned and proposed to cover 3 districts (Ali sang, Qarghaiee and Mehtarlam baba) of Laghman province but due to security risks the project was not implemented in the second year in Ali sang district of Laghman province and only two districts (Qarghaiee and Mehtarlam baba) was covered in the past 3 year of the project.