Community Empowerment Training

Community Empowerment Training

Nicaragua_-_Magyolene_Spr_2017_Image_2017-02-03.jpegOn January 26th and 27th, CIEETS Matagalpa’s training continued the “Resilience to Climate Change” project, in which CIEETS works in collaboration with Lutheran World Relief in eleven communities that live on the coffee plantations in San Ramón-Matagalpa. I helped deliver the training with Lucrecia Mendoza Martínez.

The workshops developed are in accordance with the project’s focus, which is the strengthening of resilience in the face of climate change. Specifically, in this first session of the year, we worked on “Community Empowerment and Application of Agro-ecological Field Notes”, where the topic of community leadership was explained.  We reviewed the types of leadership that exist, characteristics of the leaders and what it means to be a promoter of agro-ecological practices.

In this last issue of becoming an agro-ecologist, we wanted to include a technique that allows them to keep a record of the farming they perform on their small pieces of land.  It is a simple tool to use – it encourages each member of the community to chart the main activities that they do on their land and begin to familiarize themselves with observing their plots and which activities have what results. Farmers then use this agricultural tool to detail and systematize their practices related to the conservation of their small plots, whether in the care of soil, water, forest resources and diversification of their plots.

In the evaluation at the end of the workshops, women farmers stressed that “they had never received training in this area”. This means that they did not have control of what they do on their land, because they did not know have any information. The vast majority had never studied any kind of agriculture (and some had not even finished or started school). 

All of their agricultural activities were done as an additional task of rural life – the efforts were focused solely around their subsistence farming and they had never sat down to write and record the tasks they performed.  In this class, they realized how much more efficient they could be on their small plots of land, how much they could improve their own resources and especially how much progress they have made in the last 4 years where they have implemented new techniques.

CIEETS is aware of what the climate change is causing in our Central American Region, we want to reach out to communities with simple, low-cost alternatives and above all to enable families to ensure their livelihoods on a daily basis. Techniques implemented with this project help families to produce fresh vegetables for themselves and their communities in the coming summer season and lack of rainfall. That is our commitment and we thank Global Ministries for working on this task hand in hand with us to assist the neediest communities

Magyolene Rodriguez serves with the Convention of Churches Christian Mission of Nicaragua. She serves in environmental education, food security, and conflict transformation. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.