New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

Issue 98

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CULTURE[image, unknown] Ideas for action

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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Community Development Trust Fund
P.O. Box 9421
Dar es Salaam
Tanzania
Telephone: 31471

AIMS
To support the rural population of Tanzania in their own efforts towards development. To act as an intermediary between donors in industrial countries and Tanzania's rural population.

METHODS
CDTF is a private charitable trust set up under Tanzanian law. We identify a wide range of small village projects throughout the mainland of Tanzania and finance material inputs which, in combination with the villagers! self help labour and supervision from the District Authorities, enable significant advances in the standards of life in the villages. The projects are often small and range from water supplies, clinics, school buildings and other elements of social infrastructure to funding grain stores, mills and small industries which can bring funds into the villages which are primarily cooperatives.

Projects are initiated in villages but approved under the district and regional plan. CDTF funds these projects by its own relations with a number of donor agencies. Our staff maintain contacts with both villages and donors to ensure that projects have the greatest chance of success.

SUCCESSES
Our targets are in the rural communities where we have been working for almost twenty years. Though we cannot claim a hundred per cent success rate CDTF believes it has made a very positive contribution to the very real advances of Tanzania's rural villages since independence. We are also proud of the reputation for honesty, reliability and dedication we have built up with donors.

FAILURES
The number of good projects we must reject.

FUTURE PLANS
As we expand we continue to work to improve co-operation and understanding between villages and donor agencies. We are also hoping to increase our activities in support of Development Education Initiatives by donors and other agencies in the industrial countries.

HELP NEEDED
CDTF is always keen to extend the range of donors with whom we co-operate. We provide direction and guidance for all voluntary overseas development agencies who are looking for projects to fund in Tanzania. We are also looking for support in the production of materials for development education.

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The Committee for Justice and Liberty
229 College Street
Toronto
Ontario M5T 1R4
Telephone: (416) 979 2443

AIMS
To develop and promote political, economic, educational, and social policies and action programmes from a Christian life-perspective.

To work with other organizations to defend the disadvantaged, encourage stewardship of human and non-human resources, and press for human freedom and responsibility in a pluralistic society.

METHODS
Presently our primary focus is Canadian energy policy and northern development. We have intervened twice at the National Energy Board concerning proposed pipelines through native lands, supported the Dene nation in defending their land claims in the Northwest Territories, and submitted briefs to three parliamentary committees based on our experience and research.

CJL publishes Catalyst, a quarterly magazine and Political Service Bulletin, which is an in-depth examination of a single issue or an upcoming election. (eg. proportional representation.)

SUCCESSES
CJL led two other public interest organizations in a successful Supreme Court battle (Marshall Crowe case) which set a precedent for allowing public interest concerns fuller consideration in determining government policies.

Within some circles, CJL is becoming known as an organization that `does its homework'.

FAILURES
CJL is not a full fledged member of the Canadian political scene. We contribute to many current events but we aren't recognized by the media as an organization that merits public attention.

We have failed to develop a strong, active, and diversified grassroots organization.

FUTURE PLANS
Build a stronger grassroots organization addressing local issues.

Develop an understanding of a just social policy for Canada, and promote such a policy in areas of housing, care and dignity for the elderly and disabled, prison reform, etc.

HELP NEEDED
Writers, people to popularize research, community organizers sharing their experience, stronger ties with other public justice groups, Political Service Bulletin distributors. Contact person Alan Engelstad.

 

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Organisation title
Smallholders Training Centre Brynoyre Farm
Talybont-on-Usk
Brecon
Powys

AIMS
To provide training in the practical skills of organic, small-scale farming and gardening to those intending to become smallholders and to train instructors.

METHODS
STC provides two types of training; a one year full-time course in practical smallholding and a series of short courses - from one to five days in length - in various specific skills. The long course is mainly designed for potential instructors who already have some knowledge and practical experience, although in special cases, mature beginners will be considered. Students on the long courses are responsible for finding their own board and lodging and must pay a course fee of $500. The short courses concentrate on practical skills in specific subjects such as sheep handling, lambing techniques, leatherwork and harness repairs, Working Horses, Planning a Farm Operation, Free Range Poultry Keeping, Smallholders' Machinery, Smallholders' Harvest, Concrete on the Farm and Soil Structure. Other subjects are added as demand dictates.

SUCCESSES
Most of the above short courses have been run successfully for the past two years, the students coming from all over the UK and from Canada and the USA. The two farms (10 and 45 acres) have been well stocked and equipped with appropriate implements and workshops which are very well fitted to offer the training described.

FAILURES
In spite of careful briefing before the first one-year course, we failed to convince the students that farming is extremely hard work, can be both unpleasant and boring, and that it demands a very high standard of self-sacrifice and discipline. As a result most of the students became disillusioned towards the end of a long winter. The second course is more promising, but we still find it difficult to get the point across during interviews.

FUTURE PLANS
In the long term we hope to be in a position to provide trained instructors for similar projects, as the need for general training in smallholding is recognised.

HELP NEEDED
The Smallholders' Training Centre is a registered charity, and needs to enroll 'Friends' who will give us both publicity and practical support. Anyone interested in attending long or short courses should send a large SAE to Sedley Sweeny at the above address, stating which course programmes are required.

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