Capacity building and empowerment of community and local leaders
Since our inception, we have focused on capacity building and empowerment of community members, especially their leaders, in order to ensure the sustainability of our projects, so that communities lead their own processes of change and sustainable development projects.
From before starting the projects, the involvement of the community members is fundamental, to be able to carry out the initial coordination of the project, besides helping us to organize the whole community, so that they are prepared when our technical team arrives.
There are two key groups that we train and empower so that they lead the process and involve as many people as possible:
Drinking Water and Sanitation Committees (CAPS in spanish)
Promotors of the Healthy Families, Schools and Communities Methodology (FECSA)
Drinking Water and Sanitation Committees
We train CAPS in the following topics:
These topics are taught in a theoretical and practical way during the execution of the project and are of utmost importance to guarantee the sustainability of our projects.
Once we finish the project and leave the community, the CAPS members should have sufficient knowledge and skills to: manage, operate and properly maintain their drinking water and sanitation systems.
We try to guarantee and maintain communication channels to continue providing technical assistance to these committees. We also visit them 6 and 12 months after the end of the project to apply a sustainability survey to the CAPS and evaluate the level of compliance with their rules and functions.
We have had experience with committees that have achieved significant savings and contact us to support them in training processes, distribution network extensions and rehabilitation of their water systems, where they cover the total cost or make significant contributions.
The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA) developed a methodological strategy for environmental education for integral sanitation, called FECSA, which stands for Healthy Families, Schools, and Communities. Many social organizations have implemented and adapted this methodology to contribute to the sustainable improvement of personal health through environmental sanitation and hygiene at the family, school, and community levels.
People from the community who want to be trained as FECSA promoters and who demonstrate a strong interest in ensuring health and hygiene in their communities are recruited on a voluntary basis.
The main topics taught are:
Once the FECSA promoters are trained, they create work plans to disseminate what they have learned to the rest of the community members and to carry out awareness-raising, cleaning, fumigation and other activities.