What We Do
WOMEN LIVELIHOOD AND LEADERSHIP
T he heart of Amar Majuli's community work in Majuli is our work with ‘Rengam’ Women Weavers Cooperative members. The goal of Rengam is to provide its 140 members and their families with sustainable livelihood in the fields of handloom and eco-tourism while maintaining their rich cultural heritage. Since Rengam's inception, Amar Majuli has been supporting the cooperative's members through a capacity building process including professional trainings; skills development; guidance and assistance in formal meetings; exposure visits; and facilitation of their connection with reliable national and international fair-trade market partners, while protecting their rights and ensuring their independence. Beyond being a source of income and of independence, the Rengam cooperative is a platform for emerging women leaders and collective action.
THE WOMEN BICYCLE BANK
IMPROVING WOMEN'S MOBILIZATION
T he lack of public transportation coupled with the remoteness of the villages severely limits the mobility of women on the island (a simple walk to the market or the hospital can take hours). To address this challenge, Amar Majuli facilitated and supported the establishment and operations of the first women Bicycle Bank in Majuli. The innovative bicycle bank, located in two flood affected remote villages, was initialized with the goal of improving women’s mobility and independence Women living in these villages can purchase a bicycle with a comfortable loan through the Bicycle Bank. The Bicycle Bank is based on an economically-sustainable model and is now owned and run independently by local women. Throughout the year we support and train the bank management and organize cycle learning camps, cycle races and cycle rallies to encourage more women to participate.
The women’s cycle bank model is inspired by the Ant trust Assam
FROM SUBSISTENCE FARMING TO SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
O ver ninety-percent of Majuli's inhabitants depend on subsistence agriculture, a sector which is acutely vulnerable to the environmental hazards and is characterized by general low productivity. This situation is aggravated by a general lack of awareness to possible existing solutions and very limited access to technological innovations and.
To that end, we work with famers in order to improve food security and to ensure the conservation of the village’s soil and water. Our action strategy includes the establishment of unique “community demonstration plots”. Which were set up in different flood-affected villages on the island and are used to demonstrate sustainable and innovative technologies in the field.
T he community demonstration plots are equipped with drip irrigation system (donated by Netafim), which were introduced to the island. The demonstration plots are a place for the learning and sharing of practical knowledge by experts, volunteers and local farmers. Throughout the process, the famers face seasonal challenges, learn and practice environment- friendly techniques and sustainable innovative technologies, therefore improving their food security. The organic agriculture training program runs in a unique partnership with Farm 2 Food Foundation: An Assam-based NGO who does exceptional work in the field of organic agriculture and entrepreneurship.
Every year during the monsoon season (July – September) Majuli island is flooded. While the floods are considering to be a blessing for the fertility of the soil, their effect on the lives of the local community can be devastating. Most of the communities we work with live in low lands near to the river and therefore are severely affected by the floods. During the monsoon session we shift the core of our work in order to deal with the pressing needs caused by this harsh time of year, relating mainly to health and sanitary problems and to the lack of access to clean water.
AND YOUTH LEADERSHIP
A mar Majuli has helped bring together a group of local youth volunteers from different communities on the Island, in order to identify their needs, raise awareness of ongoing problems and develop strategies to address them. While supporting the most vulnerable parts of their society, this process also improves the personal skills and capacities of the group members, and promotes citizen-engagement as well as employment opportunities.
Ssupport the meaningful initiatives our volunteers do:
- Vegetable gardens for widows
- Renovation of poor widows’ houses in the villages
- Renovations of ruined bamboo schools
- Access to clean water filters.