Do Good Lab breaks ground in Central America with a partnership in El Salvador. Asociación de Desarrollo Comunal Sol y Mar, or The Community Development Association of Sun and Sea, is based in the district of Puerto Parada, where the Rio del Grande de San Miguel empties into the Pacific Ocean. ADESCOSYM is a community based organization whose mission is to improve living conditions by supporting socioeconomic and cultural development.
ADESCOSYM’s project is to build six chicken farms to promote its “Women in Action” program. The program aims to foster women entrepreneurship – empowering a group of 10-15 women attached to each farm for sustainable livelihoods. The women will come from seven local communities. The total amount needed to establish all six farms is US$10,000, of which the women groups plan to contribute US$3,500.
After the first batch of chickens is raised, each farm will sell to local markets, including nearby cities such as Usulutan. ADESCOSYM has a comprehensive hatching plan, broken down by weeks and ages of the broiler chickens (including when to provide the appropriate vaccines/vitamins). This demonstrates their ownership and knowledge of what is required to operate the farms. Income generated by the first set of chickens will be used to sustain the project into future hatching cycles.
Promoting female entrepreneurship is an effort to also lift a woman’s status in El Salvador. Women there make up over half of the population, yet there is pervasive sexism, violence against women, and poor economic conditions – all of which make life for women in El Salvador difficult and dangerous. In 2011, El Salvador had the highest rate per capita of feminicide in the world, with 129 murders for every 1 million women. Feminicide is the murder of women specifically because they are female. Out of 148 countries surveyed in the UN Development Programme’s Gender Inequality Index, El Salvador ranked 82nd. The country has a GII score of 0.44. A score of 0 means that women fare equally as men, while a score closer to 1 means women fare as poorly as possible. The GII reflects women’s disadvantage in three dimensions—reproductive health, empowerment and the labor market.
Starting up the chicken farm business for the “Women in Action” program will have effects far beyond the women in the group. A woman multiplies the impact of investment made in her future by extending benefits to her family and the community around her. For example, the project would increase a woman’s earning power, which would better afford her to keep her children in school longer. This in turn would improve the education levels of a population. A more educated population could lead to more preventative and better health practices, less violence, and so on. This is why a key development strategy for eradicating poverty is to improve the lives of women in the developing world.
Written By:Maria Caluag
Posted by Aezed Raza on Monday, September 23rd, 2013 at 10:37 am.