Oct/Nov 2004

1st November 2004

DORS Training programmes:

Forestry training and market information, income generation (livestock development)

Forestry Training and Income generation Training

DORS organised two forestry trainings sessions and a marketing training session from 14-25 November. 47 villagers from 14 villages (12 Townships) of Hanyuan County participated in these training sessions. Four forestry experts from the Forestry Bureau, Agriculture Bureau and the Science and Technology Bureau in Hanyuan were invited to contribute to the training. The training's content included skills training in managing chestnut trees, Sichuan pepper trees, fruit trees (apples, pears, cherry and grapes), walnuts trees, from establishing nurseries for those trees to planting, pruning, grafting, disease and pests control to harvesting and storing of the produce.

Trainers had access to multi-media equipment such as projectors, power point presentations, and forestry video shows, etc and also conducted practical sessions in nurseries and orchards, where villagers had a chance to put in practice the different techniques they had learnt in the classroom, for example: grafting, pruning, etc. Once again these supervised practical sessions proved to be very popular.

The villagers were tested for their understanding before and after the training sessions. The average test score was 20% before the training started and after five days of training, we were pleased to note that the villagers' average test score increased to 80%.

As the participants came from 14 different villages (where DORS has previously implemented forestry projects), the problems they meet with their forestry plots vary according to geographic conditions and climate together with their villages' economic conditions. We therefore spent time before and after each training session, to answer their different queries either individually or in groups. After each day's of training, a simple test was conducted to verify the villagers' level of understanding for that day's of training. For the illiterate villagers, DORS staff conducted oral tests and explained the content of the materials that were distributed.

These participants are to return to their respective villages and conduct training sessions for villagers who have not participated in these training sessions but who do have forestry plots. The two forestry training sessions cost RMB 20,000 (GBP 1538). These were the second training these villagers have attended as part of the MRDF Forestry Training Project.

The villagers also received a one-day training session in marketing their produce in addition to the 5 days forestry training. This is the first time DORS held such a training which was tailored to the villagers' specific needs, using examples that were familiar and useful to them.

Income generation

On 30th and 31st October, two sessions on income generation training were conducted in Shashu Village and Moduo Village. This training sessions, conducted in these two villages where DORS projects have previously been conducted, aimed to build villagers' capacity to maintain and strengthen their economic development after DORS projects have finished. It was conducted by a local villager Chen Juchang from Shirong Township with specialist skills in pig raising, and by the head of the Hanyuan Animal Husbandry Bureau: Zhang Zhongxuan.

Before conducting the training, villagers were surveyed on what they saw as being the most suitable income generation methods and what sort of training they would like to participate in. Based on villagers' views, the training focused on livestock raising, in particular pig, cattle and goat raising.

Completion of small infrastructure projects in Baikun Village and Zhongpu Village

In October, Baikun Village and Zhongpu Village completed the final component of the Integrated Community Development Programme funded by Kadoorie Charitable Foundation which supported the development of small infrastructure for particularly poor households. After discussions and meetings in the villages with both the whole village and the participating households, it was agreed that DORS would provide funds to buy construction materials and transport of these materials, and also provide technical assistance and advice. Materials were therefore bought and transported to the villages; the participating villagers contributed labour and some of the transportation. In total, 24 particularly poor households in Baikun Village and Zhongpu Village and RMB 38,083.50 (GBP 2930) were expended.

DORS news and information

In early November, DORS volunteer Katie Maher represented DORS at the Second NGO Communication Conference held in Xichang, Liangshan Prefecture. This was a valuable opportunity to meet up with other non government organisations working in the Liangshan Yi autonomous region, to learn what other organisations are doing, and to discuss matters of common interest. Conference topics included education and poverty alleviation, vocational education and employment, and Yi cultural concerns.

Rita Bonomally met with Sherman Tang and Yin Chuntao of Partnership for Community Development to explore the possibility of working together on one of their projects.

Thomas Li finished his six month traineeship with DORS in November. Thomas plans to return to university to undertake further studies in community development.

Applications for a new Project Officer and Trainee were opened in October and candidates have now been shortlisted.

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