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Nirupika Priyadarshani lives with her husband, her 20 year old daughter and her 13 year old son who suffers from a hole in the heart and has an incurable mouth disease. Because of his illness he is unable to attend school and Nirupika needs to be with him all day to care for him. Because of this, her family survives on the daily labour wage of her husband but labour work is inconsistent and hard to come by. With the health bills and other daily costs, every day is a struggle for her family. The Village2Markets programme works with Nirpika and 299 other people just like her in her village to identify ways that they can increase income and savings, despite their circumstances. It leverages the power of the entrepreneurial capacity of the village and better connects them to the market so they can start to stand on their own two feet.
WHAT WE ARE DOING?
We work through an approach developed by Palmera and our local partners called Village2Markets.
It offers a bundle of services to improve economic inclusion for all, focusing not just on the individual farmer, but the market systems in which they operate. It recognises that we need to go beyond teaching families how to fish for the poorest to develop thriving businesses.
Village 2 Markets leverages the opportunity created by this diversity and addresses market barriers through the collective efforts of all producers. As a result, the village moves from a web of shared poverty to one of shared prosperity.
Click here to learn more about the approach
WHY WE ARE DOING IT
In the villages of Rajaelegama and Ungalawehera, in the Polonnaruwa district over 47% of families lives under the poverty line. With 1,134 women and 680 men, the 1 in 4 families also have a member that suffer a long term illness or disability. In these villages, families are living hand to mouth. We have chosen to come to this village and launch the Village2Markets programme as we believe that through increasing income, increasing savings and reducing vulnerability, the village can stand on its on two feet, families can better provide for their children and improvement can be achieved in the health, education and well being of the whole community.
At the end of this 5 year programme, launched in 2016 and set to finalise in 2021, we will aim to achieve the following:
- 300 Families in the villages report they have substantially increased income
- 300 Families in the villages report they have increased savings
- 300 Families report they are now better able to provide for themselves and their children. The report they can better feed their children, provide education and attend to medical needs.
- 300 Families in the villages report they have reduced vulnerability
- 200 Women & men will have increased their savings & provided loans to women to manage emergency and livelihood needs
- There will be an established women empowerment structure through the Village Bank to break down barriers women face to access the market place and have a voice in their community
- 200 Farmers will have adopted innovative techniques in Dairy, Maize and at least 1 other sector
- 200 Farmers yield and income will have increased by at least 35%
- 200 Farmers will have a better understanding of their sector and have developed stronger connections with buyers
- 200 Farmers will have better access to existing and improved / new market services and can better access adequate financial services
- Collectives, group businesses or individual businesses servicing farmers will have been established
- Private sector will be better engaged with the village in the selected subsectors
- Most vulnerable will have been provided with basic assets to participate in the selected Subsectors
HOW YOU CAN HELP
For as little as $200 a farmer over 5 years you can support them to improve their income in up to 3 different sectors, improve their savings by being connected with a village savings bank and mainstream financial services and reduce their vulnerability. In doing this, income will increase and they will better be able to provide for their family.
The support does not only transform a family but helps transform a whole village, allowing the village to move from a web of shared poverty to prosperity.