Below you'll find the latest status on all live ITL projects. Just click on a project to see all of the available information. If you have any questions either on these projects or a previous project, you can email these to ITL@christian-aid.org
Access to justice - Afghanistan
Duration: July 2017 – June 2020
Focus: Working with Afghanistan’s two, coexisting legal systems to improve the provision of justice to marginalised citizens in Herat and Badghis districts. If successful, the project could enable the districts’ 300,000 women and men with access to a judicial system in line with human rights.
Bigger picture: It's reported that more than 80% of people in Afghanistan opt to take legal disputes to the local Jirga, the traditional legal system that often issues harsh punishment and excludes women. A recent study by the UN showed that across both modern and traditional judicial systems, only 5% of women’s cases resulted in punishment for the accused.
Community based human rights committees have been established across the majority of the 90 villages where they are planned. There have been numerous examples of where the CBHRCs have advocated for vulnerable members of the communities. You can read one of these examples in the autumn newsletter.
EqualiTea - Bangladesh
Duration: April 2015 - March 2019
Focus: Enabling 1,000 marginalised tea farmers in northern Bangladesh to join 'producer groups' and take advantage of a growing, high-value market opportunity – engaging directly with buyers and lobbying for more government support.
Bigger picture: Tea sales across Bangladesh are growing an average of 14% every year, while production is growing at just 3%. It’s one of the few crops that survives in Panchagargh’s sandy, acidic soil and in this region alone only 2,800 acres of the potential 40,000 are being used for tea cultivation.
Training in agricultural techniques for the 1,000 participating farmers is continuing. The project has completed its third year and is successfully supporting the groups of farmers. In a recent evaluation it was shown that average income for the participating farmers has increased by 50% since the beginning of the project. See a full project report in the latest ITL annual report here.
Coffee - Burundi
Duration: July 2014 to August 2019
Focus: Organising 6,000 small-scale farmers into cooperatives and enabling them to take advantage of the market potential of coffee, by improving quality and quantity of production and forging relationships with international buyers.
Bigger picture: Burundi has some of Africa’s best conditions for coffee growing, with its high elevation, rainfall and abundance of Arabica Bourbon trees. Coffee represents 70% of the country’s total exports but sales are still low compared to other countries.
The core work of the project has continued, with 6,000 farmers growing and selling coffee through cooperatives. An annual report for the project was supplied this month, which is currently being reviewed. Initial indications are that coffee productivity has stabilised and coffee quality continues to improve. The process of improving data collection from farmers is ongoing, with a number of suppliers, speciailising in digital monitoring, being reviewed.
Empowerment through maternal health - Burundi
Duration: December 2015 – July 2018
Focus: Working primarily with Burundi’s highly influential faith leaders, in five regions, to challenge the attitudes of religious institutions towards sexual health.
Bigger picture: With 90% church attendance in sub-Saharan Africa, the aim is to influence cultural norms across the country and empower women through improved access to family planning services.
The project has now come to completion. A full report on the impact of the project can be found in the ITL annual report here. The findings from the project are being shared at the International Conference on Family Planning in Rwanda in November.
Humanitarian spaces - Colombia
Duration: September 2015 – October 2018
Focus: Trialling ‘humanitarian spaces’ in Colombia’s most dangerous city, Buenaventura, creating a safe space, free from the influence and violence of gangs. Starting in one community of 1,000 people and then scaling up to grow peaceful areas across the city.
Bigger picture: Buenaventura is home to 400,000 people, 30% of whom live below the poverty line and face continual intimidation. There are numerous cities across the world with similar, complex sectarian violence that could benefit from the same approach.
The project has finished, and a final evaluation has taken place. The impact of the project will be feature in the upcoming ITL 10 year report. The humanitarian space is sustainable as now working by itself but will continue to require protection measures support.
Collective action for adolescent girls - Nigeria
Duration: April 2016 – July 2018
Focus: Tackling the culture of discrimination against women, and especially adolescent girls, in Kaduna state in northern Nigeria. This is being tackled through community groups with a balance of men and women, boy and girls, set up for the purpose of positively influencing cultural stakeholders, including faith leaders.
Bigger picture: By the end of this two-year project, an estimated 300,000 people (5% of the population of Kaduna state) will have been reached with messages promoting the rights of adolescent girls. The state is the third most populated in the country and is considered the most politically and religiously influential area of northern Nigeria. The hope is that approaches established here can be replicated across northern Nigeria, helping to build a wider culture that supports adolescent girls.
The end of project report can be read in the autumn newsletter here.
Conflict resolution - Myanmar
Duration: January 2016 – June 2018
Focus: Trialing a new approach to building peace across diverse ethnic groups in Kachin state, northern Myanmar, through the facilitation of ‘listening exercises’. The ultimate goal is to support the national peace process across the country.
Bigger picture: The national peace process focuses on reconciling the dominant Barmars with other ethnic groups, but neglects conflict between those ethnic groups. Despite the risks, ITL’s approach could prove critical in the success of the national process.
As the project comes to a close, there have been meetings to collect insights from representative from different ethnic groups. More than 100 ethnic leaders participated and shared their experience and learnings from the project, including panel discussions between leaders of different faiths. The meetings were successful and clearly demonstrated the importance of the project and the wider acceptance from the community. The impact of the project will be feature in the upcoming ITL 10 year report
Power to women - Sierra Leone
Duration: July 2015 – July 2018 (now extended)
Focus: Networking women across Kono and Kailahun districts to raise awareness of gender based violence and women’s rights locally and nationally, complemented by legal support to victims and their families. Working towards raising the representation of women and their rights in the 2018 national elections.
Bigger picture: More than 60% of people in Sierra Leone live in poverty, but women are particularly marginalised. Gender-based violence is prevalent and women hold just 13.2% of parliamentary seats.
The project is now complete. Read a full end-of-project review here.
Inclusive markets - Central America
Duration: October 2013 – March 2018
Focus: Working with 11 cooperatives across El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, enabling each of them to directly access markets where they can trade their goods (including hibiscus, cocoa, cashew nuts and shrimp).
Bigger picture: ITL projects across Central America focus on products that offer strong commercial potential for a large number of people. In Nicaragua, where 90% of people work on small farms, the opportunity lay in hibiscus and taking a share of the 35% of the market that was being imported.
The current political crisis began April 2018. During the last three months the national government has taken a hard position against local civil society organisations, which has been hampering the work of Christian Aid. Some work with cooperatives is ongoing.
Faith leaders championing women and girls - Zimbabwe
Duration: January 2017 – December 2019
Focus: The project is trialling the impact of partnering with faith leaders to tackle gender-based violence in Zimbabwe. Working with theological colleges, regional ministers’ forums and women's groups within the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), educating on gender equality and the biblical arguments that support it.
Bigger picture: In Zimbabwe, one in three women aged between 18 and 24 experiences sexual violence before she is 18. Given that 80% of men and women in the country claim to belong to a faith organisation, the project represents a significant opportunity to help transform the culture within the country.
At a recently held Gender & Faith working group meeting, gender based violence (GBV) research that was done by Christian Aid was shared – the network members showed an interest in adopting some of the approaches. A Gender Manual has also recently been finished – a guide for faith leaders around addressing gender issues with congregations.
Honey hubs - Kenya
Duration: April 2014 – October 2017
Focus: Trialing the use of primary processing honey ‘hubs’ across four districts in Kenya, providing farmers with a central resources where they can access processing facilities, training, buying and marketing services.
Bigger picture: Despite an underserved market for honey in Kenya, small-scale farmers struggle to produce enough good quality honey to sell. Beekeeping is an important source of income for thousands of people living in poverty-stricken arid areas however, Kenya only produces 25,000 tonnes of honey from its potential of 100,000 tonnes.
The Honey Hubs initiative, having finished ITL funding in October 2017, has now established itself as a commercial social enterprise with an aim of transitioning from charity funding into self-financing sustainability over the next two years. The initiative also aims to establish a farmer co ownership model similar to the successful Divine Chocolate company, previously funded by Christian Aid.