Household Advisors Share Their Expertise
“Learn, do and share” is the refrain of the program’s cadre of Household Advisors. These women and men receive training in one of the sectors covered by the program, such as Agriculture, Revenue, Family Responsibilities, and Maternal and Infant Health. They receive a small stipend to encourage them to share their areas of expertise with their villages’ Savings Groups.
Sometimes the training is exactly what a particular group member needed to hear, and during area “Sharing Meetings” these individuals will get up to testify to the enormous role the Advisors have played in their lives.
For example, a Household Advisor knowledgeable in kitchen gardening moved Banda to plant vegetables during the off season, after he sells his millet crop. Now, instead of yearly hunger months, he has food for his family, some for their neighbors, and some to sell to cover household expenses.
Adama said her Advisor helped her with all the ins and outs of raising chickens, and she’s gone from having no knowledge in the practice to being the largest chicken seller in her village.
And Ountchedi and his wife got all their papers in order. They didn’t understand why they kept getting stopped and fined at police checkpoints when they traveled to the city for marketing or medical treatment. The checkpoints are aimed at minimizing the movement of violent extremists, and proper documentation is required. On some trips they were fined so many times they barely had enough money to get back home. Says Ountchedi, “I want to stress the importance of the advice I got from the Family Household Advisor. He informed us that it is an obligation for every adult to have an ID card, birth certificate, nationality document, and family record book, and told us how to apply for them. Now we travel in peace; the authorities can notify relatives in case of accidents; and our children don’t risk getting kicked out of school.”
West Africa Program
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