How raising livestock and repairing roads strengthens community resilience
We’re working closely with members of some of the most vulnerable communities in Africa to improve economic opportunity and support sustainable livelihoods as part of a holistic approach to preventing violent conflict and helping communities thrive.
Lack of economic opportunity often goes hand-in-hand with violent conflict. In the communities where LOST works, it can often be a source of tension among communities. Feelings of scarcity and lack of access to resources can often lead to conflict that sometimes becomes violent.
At the same time, armed conflict often interrupts civilian livelihoods. The presence of armed groups in and around a community can make it unsafe for farmers to access fields or for people to travel. In addition, insecurity in the region has severely limited access to basic infrastructure and social services that can support local communities and economies.
By investing in sustainable livelihood initiatives we are reinforcing the impact of community-based protection programs like the Early Warning Network and Peace Committee development in Africa
Over the next two years, we will work with at least 1345 communities on locally relevant projects that not only support participant livelihoods in the immediate but will have lasting impacts on the entire community. In each community, we help facilitate the formation of a local management group, made up of a diverse cross-section of the community. We then work with this group to identify needs and opportunities in their local economy, design a project, and provide business training to participants.
Already, several projects are underway. In some community, participants opted to begin with livestock. Along with training in business management, LOST provided the participants with a number of livestock as well as tools and shelters in which to raise them. Participants will breed cows and goats to be sold in local markets and to produce milk and cheese. Funds generated from the venture will then be reinvested into other participant business ventures through a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA).
Other participants have chosen to repair a local road, which connects their community to larger marketplaces nearby. LOST is providing the funds for pay the wages of local laborers who will then invest part of their income into their local VSLA, allowing other members to take out small, low-interest loans to invest in future business ventures.