Women's Contribution to Sustainable Rural Development
Women's Contribution to Sustainable Rural Development. Project Awarded by UN-HABITAT in 2002
In 1991, volunteered women in Deir El Ahmar, Lebanon, decided to contribute in the development and reconstruction of their country after twenty long years of hard war. They began in their own town, a rural area in the Bekaa valley.
They prepared a socio-economic study about the area to focus on the most important problems and needs. The resources were their own contributions and the income of their own handicraft sales.
In February 1994the organization got a legal status, registered in the ministry of interior No81/AD. The organization have a double mission:
- To take care of human capability
- To establish the center whose goals are to serve the community on a long term basis The mission is the Sustainable Rural Development
Deir El Ahmar is a part of the Bekaa valley in Lebanon with a population of 55000. Even though the land is very fertilized for agriculture and very rich for tourism (is situated at 15 km from historical monuments of Baalbeck and at 30 km from the popular forest Cedars of Lebanon), still the people of the area are faced with a critical economic situation (the income per capitais 5o$/month and the immigration level is very high).
The community faces many problems and needs. An integrated development program covering all sectors such as health, education, agriculture, tourism is necessary.
The lack in water for irrigation is a principal problem to be solved and a priority for farmers. The woman was only a housewife and man was supposed to get income alone. It was a hard and long job to make difference and to prove the role of woman as income generator and decision maker, but the competence and the strength of the rural woman in the area helped in the witness of implementing the initiative. Volunteered women members from the area but living in urban towns organized continual activities for fundraising to ensure the contribution of W.A.D.A. in every agreement.
- Help and support for rural women, the principal target group that is able to make difference in the society.
- Protect the Environment and Care for Human Health through an Awareness program
- Promotion of Eco-Tourism
- Establish a community center serving all the strategies ' The rural development center' is decided to serve many sectors of the society. The municipality offered to the organization a land of 15000m2
Scouts, organizations serving children, schools, municipalities were involved and contribute in the decision making to solve the solid waste problem in the area. The "International Poster Competition" on population, environment and development announced in 2001 by UNFPA and the success of 4 youths of the region prove the impact of awareness.
The municipality have many priorities and limited budget to execute the projects. People of the region prepared the basic study for the development of Eco-Tourism and mentioned the historical monument of their area and the natural and the cultural richness. Methods and Notes for every session were provided for every participant and used as reference.
Awareness programs are supported by brochures distributed for each target group.
Deir El Ahmar. Bekaa Lebanon
Category: Social Cohesion