Distribution of school uniforms and shoes
A ceremony was held at the Temporary Learning Center in village Kamal Khan Lashari, district Khairpur to distribute school uniforms and shoes. To reward regular attendance and punctuality of students, 104 girls were provided with school uniforms and shoes. The parents, community representative, volunteers, and district Khairpur team were present at the ceremony. In the new academic year, 129 girls have enrolled. Parents were delighted to see their children being rewarded on their full attendance; this helps motivate them to continue this practice.
Kitchen Garden phase I has launched in district Mardan
Kitchen Garden Program has launched in district Mardan for the first time. OSDI agricultural expert and district Mardan team arranged demonstrative training on land preparation, and sowing of vegetables seeds. The training was successful as 13 beneficiaries prepared unutilized space of land in their homes for the first time. The vegetables sown in this season include green chilli, bitter gourd, sponge gourd, okra, and egg-plant. The low availability of vegetables in the focus communities due to scarcity of water further contributed to the success of the Kitchen Gardens.
Three-day school based de-worming Phase II in district Khairpur
A three-day school-based de-worming campaign was organized in the focused villages of district Khairpur. 750 children were inoculated in 10 focus schools of Ranipur and Sobhodero focused villages. In this regard, anti-parasitic medicine for children in the form of syrup Zentel was given by the health team. Water-borne and oro-fecal contamination causes abdominal worms and leads to problems such as anemia, vitamin A deficiency, malnutrition, slow mental, and physical growth of a child that ultimately affects the overall health of the children and their school attendance as well. Health and hygiene sessions were also conducted to increase mass awareness regarding importance of personal hygiene, sanitation, and oral & physical health. At the end of the activity, milk packets were also distributed among children in all focused schools. Parents, teachers, volunteers, community representative, OSDI district team & health staff and other health officials from different organization attended the program.
Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program Continues in Shikarpur
OSDI took the Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program to village Malhee in district Shikarpur under the Chief Minister’s Initiative for Hepatitis Free Sindh. OSDI launched this program in 2010 and till today 6482 individuals have been screened while 6292 individuals have been vaccinated in total.
In a two day camp in Malhee, 461 people were screened and vaccinated; out of these 224 were male and 237 were female. 40 cases turned out to be positive in total. 13 Male and 4 female patients were vaccinated against Hepatitis B; and Hepatitis C treatment was given to 8 male and 15 female patients in the local hospital. The results of the test were taken to District Headquarter in Shikarpur. OSDI has facilitated the campaign in terms of screening material, logistics, and qualified human resource
Kitchen Garden Phase IV
Under the Food Security Program, Kitchen Garden Phase IV has been successfully implemented in district Matiari and Khairpur. 61 families from Matiari and 60 families are from Khairpur have prepared their land for Kitchen Gardens inside their homes. This is the first time village Mulko Wahan in district Khairpur has also been included in the program. Under the supervision of OSDI agricultural expert, females in a household are trained to prepare land & provided with seeds, fertilizer, and pesticides where necessary. In this season include okra, bitter gourd, spoung gourd, bottle gourd, brinjal or egg plants, and beans have been cultivated.
Kitchen Gardens have helped families utilize empty space inside or near their homes and put it to productive use. Usually, the seasonal vegetables grow over the period of four months but several families were growing vegetables up to six months. Kitchen Gardens assist families by reducing their monthly food expenditures by up to PKR 5,000 over four months, and by improving their daily nutritional intake in the form of home-grown healthy vegetables
Pilot Poultry Project
Poultry Farming Project has been successfully implemented in the village Mari Mohammad Khan in district Matiari. OSDI has initiated this project in collaboration with Mahvish and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation with the aim of enhancing incomes of poor vulnerable household with an additional PKR 100 per day. In its initial phase, 80 families have received 27 hens and 3 roosters each along with proper cages and one month of feed. To facilitate egg collection and transportation of eggs to the market place, educated youth from the same community have been hired. Once collected, the eggs will be delivered to the retailer shops in Hyderabad/ Karachi regions daily.
Livestock Development Project Phase V Successfully Implemented
The fifth phase of Livestock Development Project has been successfully implemented in all focus districts. A veterinary doctor along with Community Representatives from each village went to successive cattle markets for livestock purchasing. Each beneficiary has been provided with 4 male-goats for fat-fattening & income generation, and one female goat for asset creation & herd increase to 38 families in district Mardan, Khairpur and Matiari. 19 families in Khairpur opted to purchase 2 oxen for fat-fattening along with one female goat for herd increase. Livestock Development Project has started with four families for the first time in district Shikarpur. OSDI appointed veterinary doctor is in charge of regular health check-ups, de-worming, and immunizing the animals. Our field staff regularly monitors health and weight of the livestock. The male animals will be sold after fat-fattening on Eid-ul-Azha so that the beneficiaries can make a profit.
Farmers Cultivate Sugarcane with Record Profits
Seven farmers cultivated sugarcane crop for the first time in 2012-2013 under the Livelihood Assistance Program in district Khairpur. The farmers harvested a record production of over 520 mounds on average, generating high revenues and savings that would not have been possible had they cultivated their usual crops. On average, these 7 farmers made a profit of Rs 9,348 with OSDI’s assistance. This bumper crop enables farmers to pay off their loans and invest in assets. Based on the tremendous success, an additional 11 farmers have been financed to cultivate sugarcane in the coming year.
OSDI adopts non-functional school, regular classes commence in village Jamal Hajano
OSDI has adopted a non-functional school in coordination with Education department, Government of Sindh in village Jamal Hajano, district Matiari. Over the last decade, this school had deteriorated in terms of quality of education and children attendance. After adoption, regular primary classes run by educated youth in the community have started again since February. Lessons range from English, Urdu & Mathematics to Sindhi & Islamiat. At the inauguration, stationary items such as pencils, color box, text books, and copies were distributed amongst the enrolled students to rally their motivation.
School Renovation and Expansion in district Matiari
In Mari Mohammad Khan, OSDI assisted in adding 2 classrooms as well as renovating existing building of the Marvi Fellowship School. Nearly half of the capital cost was borne by the community and the contractor also contributed in terms of extra steel, sheet, & concrete which were required for the construction. To supervise construction, a committee consisting of OSDI staff and community representatives was formed to purchase material and monitor labour work. The zealous response of community to send their children to school is an indicator that people understand the importance of education and are willing to contribute to improve capacity in the existing infrastructure.
Pakistan Day Celebration in Shikarpur
Pakistan Resolution Day was observed with great zeal and zest in OSDI’s school of district Shikarpur. The Program was started with the recitation of Holy Quran and national anthem; students participated in parade, marching, and flag hoisting to celebrate this day. To foster healthy competition among children national songs, naat, sindhi poetry, and speech competition were arranged. Students were shown photographs of Pakistan’s historic leaders so that they can learn about them. To make the day memorable sweets was given to every child and the winners of the competition received trophies.
Pakistan Day celebrated in district Khairpur
To highlight the significance of Pakistan Resolution day, a program including theater, quiz competition, speeches, and a presentation on the life of Pakistani national heroes was arranged in village Kamal Khan Lashari, district Khairpur. Pigeons were also released to show the message of unity and peace. Children wearing white and green dresses presented a small play on Pakistan Day as well. A great number of children from all the schools run by OSDI actively participated in the event. To raise importance of personal health, a hygiene awareness session was also conducted. Medal and trophies were awarded in an award ceremony to the position holders to appreciate the efforts in organizing this event.
Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program – Mass Screening in district Shikarpur
OSDI has been facilitating the government’s Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program by organizing mass screening, vaccination, and follow-up treatment in all its focus villages. A two day camp was arranged at village Old Zarkhail in district Shikarpur in which 476 patients were screened. Out of these, 426 patients were vaccinated against hepatitis B whereas 51 patients took the ELIZA test through blood sampling to confirm presence of the virus in positive cases. The results of the test were taken to District Headquarter Shikarpur. Dr Shaukat Memon who is the focal person for Hepatitis in Shikarpur visited the camp and briefed the community on the causes of Hepatitis as well as prevention and treatment options available at the district hospital. District health team, community representatives, and OSDI appointed health staff ensured smooth management of the campaign.
Primary School Girls in village Kamal Khan Lashari sit for exams for the first time
97 girls in village Kamal Khan Lashari district Khairpur sat for government administered annual examinations through OSDI’s Temporary Learning Center. Successfully setting up the first girls’ school in this village, effectively running it for a year, and preparing the students for final exams with victorious results has been a great achievement for OSDI. Assistant District Official Education (ADOE) Khairpur monitored the examination schedule and a teachers’ team was sent to conduct papers. 47 girls from Class 1, 2, 3 took written tests for English, Mathematics, Science, and Islamiat subjects; and another 50 girls enrolled in the nursery class appeared in oral and dictation exams. The parents are happy to see their daughters getting an education and getting promoted to a higher grade. Government officials also appreciated the effort to increase female literacy levels in poor communities of Sindh.
Providing Access to Safe Drinking Water
With the help of PCRWR, water boring was done to conduction water quality tests at multiple sites and on multiple depths in village Pir Bux Bambhro, district Khairpur. After exploring a number of locations, a site was identified at 50 feet depth with acceptable Totally Dissolve Solutes (TDS) levels as per parameters set by WHO and PCRWR. Community was under severe distress in order to get clean drinking water; the people have to travel a great distance to get water as there was no viable option in the village. After identification, a motor, hand pump, and water tank were also installed to supply safe drinking water to the households in the village.
School-based De-worming Program - Phase II
School-based De-worming Phase II was organized to cater school-going children in all the focus villages of district Matiari. In a two-day activity, OSDI’s head office and district teams, including a doctor, paramedics, field staff, and village Community Representatives gave de-worming medicine to 750 children and provided awareness sessions on health and hygiene.
To evaluate the progress of weekly health and hygiene sessions done by OSDI, a small quiz was also conducted. In order to motivate children to practice the same guidelines at home, small kits consisting of tooth brush, mouth wash, milk packets were distributed at the end of the program
Appointment of Community Representatives in All Focus Districts
It has been 3 years since we started Organization for Social Development Initiatives (OSDI) to carry out much needed research on poverty alleviation in an effort to build a model for sustainable development in rural Pakistan. We have come half way by successfully implementing programs that aim to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty for nearly 20,000 individuals in 15 focus villages across Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Under the Livelihood Assistance Program, we have financed small-holder farmers to cultivate various crops over using modern techniques, agriculture experts, scientific know-how, and continuous training and guidance. Over seven cycles of financing, we have witness a doubling of crop yields and a 100% loan repayment rate. Under the Community Development Program, we have mobilized communities to identify gaps in Education, Health, Water & Sanitation, and worked with them to implement sustainable solutions. Lastly, under the Food Security Program, we are imparting skills and assets to communities that will improve their daily nutritional intake and also serve as safety nets in times of socio-economic shocks.
OSDI is now shifting focus on our exit strategy to make each community sustainably self-sufficient by gradually transferring assets & ownership of resources, and empowering community representatives to manage each project.
In light of the exit strategy, Community Representatives for each project in each village have been identified and appointed. Their profiles are being evaluated so that OSDI can transform their families into model citizens in the village and empower them enough to manage projects for years to come. Over the next year, the Community Representatives will be organized into Village Communities who will be made responsible for management and monitoring of programs.
A general meeting was conducted by Manager Programs to highlight the role and responsibilities of community representatives and to elaborate on the importance of emphasized to introduce coordination between the community and OSDI. During the meeting, souvenir bags with notepads, calendars, and stationery were presented along with ajraks to the community representatives to symbolize their new designation.
Bi-Annual Field Staff Training
This year OSDI’s bi-annual field staff training was organized to build capacity by developing Tools for Successful Implementation of Sustainable Development Projects. The in-house training workshop took place from January 29, 2013 till January 31, 2013 at OSDI’s head office in Karachi. The three-day training was conducted to enhance skills of our field staff and equip to communicate upcoming plans for OSDI’s program. All participants received a certi¬ficate at the end of the training session and the best performers were rewarded to increase motivation and energize OSDI staff.
Water Drainage Pipeline in Khairpur
To improve deteriorating sanitation conditions, OSDI has installed water drainage pipeline for the benefits of community in village Pir Bux Bambhro, district Khairpur. A 108 feet long pipe was installed to drain stagnant water away from the common sitting area of the community. Also a small cemented tank was constructed for livestock animals so that they can drink water from a separate place away from the communal area. The community contributed in the installation of drainage system, volunteering through their plumbing skills and paying for 30% of the project cost.
Successful Implementation of Agriculture Phase 7, Rabi Season
Agriculture Phase VII has been successfully implemented in all four focus districts of Sindh. This time OSDI introduced has modern techniques to ensure maximum yields for the small holding farmers. For example, crop rotation and crop diversity have been implemented to increase land fertility, generate more income, and to decrease risk of bad weather & low production. OSDI’s dedicated agriculture expert is supervising and supporting cultivation of various crops in the four districts including desi sindhi wheat, maxi wheat, chickpeas, sugarcane, grams, mustard, barley, fodder, and canola seeds. Furthermore, intercropping of canola, wheat, and sugar cane on the same land by OSDI’s farmers ensure higher chances of increasing income from agriculture.
Kitchen Gardening in Matiari
42 households in district Matiari have been taking 3-4 kilograms of spinach every three to four days from the kitchen gardens they have cultivated inside their homes with OSDI’s assistance. Each season of vegetables lasts over 4 months and helps these households save Rs 100 to 120 per week. These households are fulfilling nutritional requirements and also promoting this practice in their neighborhood by sharing vegetables with them.
Campaign to Minimize Negative Effects Of Cold Weather in Khairpur
OSDI did a campaign to minimize negative effects of cold weather on livestock by providing multi vitamins that build immunity. With the assistance of OSDI’s appointed vet, 27 animals were injected with Ivermectin, an anti parasitic agent to kill worms present in the Gastro Intestinal Track (food passage). Farmers were also given training on livestock feed suitable for the winter to keep animals safe from the cold.
Safe Blood Transfusion for Hepatitis Patients, district Matiari
A preliminary mobilization campaign was launched to rectify anemia so that Hepatitis positive patients can be treated in village Jamal Hajano district Matiari. With the objective of completing the recommended specific treatment for Hepatitis, a stepwise estimation of Complete Blood Count (CBC), blood grouping, and cross matching along with screening tests was done for both voluntary blood donors and the recipients of blood at Tehsil Head Quarter Hospital Hala. Safe transfusion was made possible to seven hepatitis patients under the supervision of doctors, paramedics, and OSDI health personnel.
Kitchen Gardening Phase III in Shikarpur district
In Shikarpur district, Kitchen Gardening Phase III has been implemented in 20 households. Spinach, tomato, cauliflower, bitter guard, and turnip were cultivated in kitchen gardens inside the beneficiaries’ homes under the supervision of OSDI’s agriculture expert and community representatives. These vegetables are expected to produce food for a minimum of four months. For this phase land had to prepared again as the heavy rains in October destroyed the previously cultivated vegetables.
OSDI, in collaboration with Jubilee Insurance Limited in Sindh
OSDI, in collaboration with Jubilee Insurance Limited, organized a two-hour session on “Micro Health Insurance for Low Income Families”. To attract the community towards the informative workshop, a medical camp was also conducted in the focus communities. These sessions happened over a period of three days, where a visiting doctor treated 424 people in district Shikarpur and 500 people in Khairpur. Community members were eager to learn about potentially signing up for the micro health insurance policy and actively asked questions in the session.
6 day Teacher Training Program
The teachers in OSDI schools attended a six day Teachers Training Program in Hyderabad with the support of Sindh Education Foundation. The content was designed to impart training on early childhood education, health education, and primary curriculum development. OSDI organizes regular skills development and capacity building trainings for its teachers so that the quality of education improves in its focus communities.
OSDI facilitated a de-worming activity in Khairpur, Sindh
Under the Livestock Development Program, OSDI facilitated a de-worming activity with the collaboration of the Khairpur Department of Husbandry, Government of Sindh. OSDI hired a veterinarian doctor who injected a dose of de-worming medicine with the help of drench gun to 26 young goats. This will help prevent worms that germinate in the body of animals. These worms can lead to a variety of diseases in animals such as cough, diarrhea, dysentery anemic condition, weight loss, de-hydration, shock, heart attack etc.
Medical camp in Sukhio Mirjat, district Matiari
OSDI set up a medical camp in the focus village of Sukhio Mirjat, district Matiari. A visiting doctor and lady health worker hired by OSDI treated 25 patients in one afternoon. Common symptoms and diseases detected during the camp were fever, cough, high or low blood pressure, Hepatitis, and body pains.
Ultrasound camp in the Basic Health Unit in village Jan Mohammad Vandhiar, district Khairpur
OSDI has set up an ultrasound camp in the Basic Health Unit in village Jan Mohammad Vandhiar, district Khairpur. A visiting professional sonologist Dr Shahzad Dayo along with lab technicians and medical equipments rendered their services for the camp. 37 patients have been screened so far and their blood samples were collected as per the requirements of Hepatitis B & C screening tests. The medical staff of Basic Health Unit (BHU) and Primary Health Center (PHC) provided assistance in the activity. Community Representatives proactively participated and were supportive throughout the camp.
A joint effort of OSDI and District Health Department Matiari against Hepatitis
District Health Department in Matiari and OSDI organized a seminar on Chief Minister’s Initiative for Hepatitis Free Sindh. OSDI provided financial assistance in order to increase awareness regarding Hepatitis and its treatment facilities among rural communities in district Matiari. Dr Zahid Memon appreciated OSDI continuous efforts for Hepatitis prevention activities. DCO Matiari, EDO Health, Hepatitis Program Manager Sindh, Hepatitis focal person Matiari, government doctors and other dignitaries from social sector also attended the awareness seminar. Dr Akram Ghuman conducted a session on Hepatitis signs and symptoms and Dr Ayaz Memon’s session highlighted the preventive measures against Hepatitis. Hepatitis Awareness Seminar made information about Hepatitis and available treatment centers accessible to rural communities.
OSDI facilitated polio vaccination drive in Mardan
OSDI facilitated a polio vaccination drive in mid-October in all OSDI focus villages in Mardan helping to inoculate 1,788 children under the age of 5. In OSDI focus villages Syedabad, Pirsai, Badam, Nawakaly polio vaccinations were given to 154 infants and 1,634 children. OSDI is facilitating the government campaign to eradicate polio by field teams made up of a lady health worker and a dispenser to communities in Mardan.
Kitchen Gardening Phase III in district Khairpur
Kitchen Gardening Phase III has been successfully implemented in village Kamal Khan Lashari, district Khairpur. Thirty five families participated in the sowing activity held last week. OSDI assisted them in growing their own vegetables inside their homes by providing seasonal vegetable seeds, fertilizers, humic acid and gardening expertise to the beneficiaries. This season the households’ kitchen garden will consist of Cabbage, Turnip, Spinach, Ridge Gourd, and Bitter Gourd. OSDI’s field team along with an agriculture scientist trained the community members on vegetable gardening. The community was appreciative of the continuous assistance of OSDI in increasing their access to nutritious vegetables in their daily diet and helping them improve their health.
Outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhea in village Waatani Taluka Sobho Dero district Khairpur
OSDI raised awareness of the importance of sanitation to good health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization(WHO) , in the village of Waatani Taluka Sobho Dero in the district Khairpur, of Sindh. The O SDI team, in a two-day campaign, went door-to-door explaining to p eople how crucial cleanliness is to their overall well-being, instructing them to use boiled water or aqua tabs when drinking water, and to adequately clean their utensils before use to limit the spread of bacteria. As a consequence of unsanitary practices, bacteria can result in the prevalence of various diseases, one such being the outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD). OSDI assessed the conditions of the vicinity and the drainage system, and concluded that they were not as sanitary as they ought to be. Consequently, bacteria formulate as a result of the contaminated conditions, resulting in the possible causation of water borne diseases ; symptoms of which include fever, vomiting, headaches, diarrhea and sometimes blood in stool . Therefore, individuals should be taking preventive measures such as utilizing clean and purified water, keeping livestock away from their cooking areas, and ensuring the cleanliness of their utensils. The OSDI team distributed 10,000 aqua tabs, 3,000 Sachets, 100 water carriers and Jerry cans and Information Education Communication (IEC) material provided by WHO. Two hundred and twenty four families were educated further about health and hygiene awareness and the community overall had a positive response to the briefing, assuring OSD I staff that they would continue hygienic practices in the future. During the visit, many people were found in bed, diagnosed as suffering from gastroenteritis and a single case of cholera was also found which usually causes sudden death, but no mortality has occurred during this outbreak of AWD. Patients were given medical attention and were asked to go to the Rural Health Center (RHC) as early as possible.
OSDI Celebrates Global Hand Washing Day to promote hygiene in the village of Kamal Khan Lashari, Khairpur
Global Hand Washing Day is a campaign devised to create global awareness about the importance of cleanliness to hygiene, and to promote the sanitary practice of hand washing and the benefits it entails. OSDI mobilized their staff to conduct a two-hour session on the importance of hand washing and its impact on good health and hygiene. OSDI, with the collaboration of WHO, distributed 248 soap bars among TLC & Government Boys Primary School children. A demonstration was made to show them the proper way of practicing and preserving hand sanitation, exemplifying that washing their hands with soap removes bacteria much more effectively than simply using water. The containers of water were taken by the Khairpur team in order to provide clean water and to assist in the demonstration of proper hand washing. OSDI had brought pictorial charts that displayed relevant facts in order to help children gain a comprehensive understanding of the information. Moreover, nail cutters were provided to participating children in groups to explicate the importance of nail cutting and clean fingernails, to hygiene. By observing this day, OSDI has increased the awareness and understanding of the necessity of hand washing and sanitation as an effective, affordable method of preventing the spread of bacteria and diseases around the world. About 2.2 million children aged 5 die every year from diarrheal diseases or pneumonia. Hand sanitation is not only simple and inexpensive, but washing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea by 30% and respiratory infections by 21% among children aged 5 years. The campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of hand washing with soap as a key approach to disease prevention.
Multiple boring Projects in Mulko Wahan Khairpur
In Mulko Wahan, there are 140 households with a total population of 1300 people and in order to get clean drinking water they have to travel a great distance from their village to obtain water for daily use. OSDI is assessing the quality of ground water in their village because the soil has been contaminated from nearby Sugar Mills’ effluents. Water boring that had initially been done at 40 feet was producing water that was bitter-tasting and contaminated with chemicals. In order to find a ground source where there is less contamination, water testing is being done at multiple locations and at multiple depths with the help of PCSWR and WHO. Thus far, we have discovered that there is one particular spot in the village 80 feet beneath the ground where water is relatively less contaminated with acceptable levels of Totally Dissolved Solids (TDS). The community is appreciative of OSDI’s efforts as safe drinking water is critical to good health and is a basic and vital necessity that cannot be undermined.
Three-Day Relief Medical Camp for Rain Affectees
Considerable destruction has occurred following the rainfalls in Shikarpur and people have been displaced from their homes and compelled to remain outside, inhabiting the same space as their livestock. No adequate primary necessities are available. OSDI has distributed 200 tents in the focus villages of Malhee, Gul Burrio, Godha Sher and Old Zarkhyel. Therefore, individuals are being provided with shelter where household infrastructure, livestock and crops have been significantly damaged. Moreover, OSDI staff briefed the affectees regarding the installation of tents and facilitated the needs of the displaced families in setting up temporary replacements for their homes.
Three-Day Relief Medical Camp for Rain Affectees
OSDI had set up a three day medical camp in the focus villages Godo Shar, Old Zarkhyel, Malhee and Gul Burriro in the district of Shikarpur. OSDI’s visiting doctors and team served the patients in the rain affected region with the utmost dedication and attentiveness. 902 patients came to the Medical Camp from locations nearby where medical assistance was limited or unavailable. The free medical care provided by OSDI’s visiting doctor was a beneficial incentive for them to travel from their respective villages. Common illnesses that were observed during the camp were fever, Asthma, TB, Hepatitis, diarrhea, Renal Stone, Malaria, skin and eye diseases. The patients in all communities were very appreciative of the initiatives taken by OSDI and grateful for the free medical care that was provided to them in their time of need.
Result of the Financial Literacy Training Helps Farmers Manage Their Saving emerges in the form of Investment in the Retail Shop
To impart cost budgeting techniques among villages, OSDI successfully completed the “Financial Literacy Training Helps Farmers Manage Their Savings” in the village Mari Mohammad Khan of the district Mitiari in Sindh. Through this training, participants have learned to organize collective savings, fostering community participation while increasing their financial understanding and improving the stability of their economic conditions. OSDI staff demonstrated means of monetary saving, budgeting, banking and investment techniques through pictorials and analogies with which people could relate and therefore, better comprehend what they were being taught. Consequently, as a result of this training, the villagers started the committee system after attending this financial workshop in their respective villages. There are 52 people who participated in this ‘Weekly Committee’. This is done through a lucky draw whereby one member gets to access community savings every week. Mr. Akber Khaskheli received this week’s committee money and he invested this money in a retail shop by purchasing grocery items. The ‘Weekly Committee’ initiative promotes saving and communal harmony as members sit together to discuss challenges and successes.
OSDI provided vaccination of Enterotoxaemia in district Khairpur
OSDI provided Enterotoxaemia vaccinations (ETV) in the focus villages of Pir Bux Banbhro, Jan Mohamad Vandiar and Kamal Khan Lashari, in Khairpur. OSDI is facilitating this initiative with the collaboration of the Khairpur Department of Husbandry, Government of Sindh which provided the vaccinations. OSDI’s veterinarian injected a dose of 0.5cc of Enterotoxaemia to decrease the risk of morbidity and mortality among the animals, particularly during the monsoon season. ET occurs due to the presence of a bacteria called Bacteria Pastusllea Chunvai which causes an infection to permeate the animal. This infection leads to a variety of symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, blood in stool and high fever which consequently result in the death of those affected animals. Routine medical care for the relief of fever, flu, skin disease, and ailments caused by puncture wounds to the foot were also treated by the vet during the visit.
Demonstrative Training Regarding Transplantation of Rice Seeds in the district of Shikarpur, Sindh
In Malhee village, within the Shikarpur district of Sindh, a demonstrative training on transplantation of rice plants was conducted by the OSDI Agriculture expert for the assistance of the OSDI targeted families in the methodology of advance farming. In the training session, the Agro expert taught farmers to transplant rice seedling and its proper timing. The farmers were also told about the advantages of row plantation and the mandatory distance to be kept between plants for better growth. By maintaining appropriate distance, the plants receive maximum space for growth and expandability. The emphasis was more on receiving adequate sunlight and proper air circulation among crops as the sunlight provides a preventative means of crop destruction from pest infiltration and air circulation enables healthy growth. A practical demonstration of transplantation of rice plants by an agricultural specialist enabled farmers to gain a better understanding of how to maintain their crops.
Financial Literacy Training Program in Jamal Hajano & Mari Muhammad Khan, Matiari
OSDI organized a One Day Training Program in our focused villages Jamal Hajano and Mari Mohammad Khan, Matiari in the province of Sindh. The basic purpose of this exercise was to guide our beneficiaries about effective monetary handling and give them an understanding of budgeting, savings, investment ideas, banking loans etc. The objective of this session is to provide training on subjects such as Financial Literacy to impart cost budgeting techniques, and to assist people in minor ways by helping them develop habits of individual savings essentially aiding the community at large. The fundamental thought has been to promote active participation by the general public because it fosters not only the betterment of the living standard of one’s household but it plays a vital role in the growth of the rural economy. This can prove to be a useful tool in bringing about a positive change in the life of people living in close-knit rural communities.
Agriculture Phase VI- OSDI provided pesticides to the farmers
OSDI financed 81 families for cotton crop on a total of 283.5 acres of land in Khairpur and Matiari, districts of Sindh. The crop has now reached the Cotton Boll formation stage which is considered as a very crucial phase of the crop because different pests attack on plants during this period of time. Therefore, we have started taking precautionary measures against different pests like Brown Thrip, Black Thrip, Jasid, Whitefly and Mealybug. To protect crops from the harmful effects of the seasonal pests in our focused districts and to avoid any loss that can occur because of these attacks, farmers were provided with the recommended pesticides by the OSDI agricultural panel of experts in the pest affected areas.
OSDI Medical Camp in our focused village Old Zarkhyel, Shikarpur District, Sindh
OSDI setup a Medical camp in its focused village of Old Zarkhyel, Shikarpur District, Sindh. In Medical camp, OSDI Consultant Doctor endowed Free Health check-Up that includes Blood Pressure testing, Weight Check, Generic Consultancy and medicine prescription. People were ambiguous regarding health issues they were facing after getting consultancy from the OSDI Visiting Doctor they promise to take extra care of their health and surroundings for better health conditions. It is the peak season for rice cultivation but despite of having harvest season, a number of villagers attended the camp facility and appreciated the efforts of imparting health services by OSDI.
Polio Campaign Walk in Ranipur, Khairpur district Sindh
OSDI organized Polio Campaign Walk in Ranipur, Khairpur district Sindh. In the continuation of our previous practice, this year OSDI with the collaboration of Cluster organizations started up an ‘Awareness Walk’ for Polio eradication in its focus districts and helped Pakistan in abolition of this disease. The purpose of the campaign was to spread awareness among masses about the importance of Polio drops. The walk started from the Rural Health Center (RHC) Ranipur to the Ranipur Press Club. Banners were placed to guide people about the hazards of restraining children from having drops. Polio is the only way to protect children and those children who are vaccinated against Polio lead healthier life. Abbas Baloch, DCO Khairpur started the Polio Vaccination by providing Polio drops to the children. OSDI Team along with the district officials, Cluster organizations attended the rally.
3 Day Teachers Training Workshop in Shikarpur
A 3 day Professional Teachers Training Workshop was held at the OSDI Shikarpur district office from 3rd July to 5th July in which 3 OSDI staff teachers underwent training by an OSDI hired master trainer. The objective of the workshop was to improve the overall teaching skills of the trainees. During the three day intensive training sessions the trainee teachers were instructed on lesson planning, record keeping, registration of students, teaching in various languages, teaching multi grade classes among other topics. To track progress a pre-training and post-training evaluation of all the teachers was also taken. The newly acquired skills in improved teaching methods and techniques will help the 3 TLC teachers to impart better quality education to their students in the future.
Inauguration of the Irrigation Channel Project in Nawakally
The Irrigation Channel Project was inaugurated in the presence of OSDI staff and the community of Nawakally. Prayers were held for the success of the project at the inauguration site by the community elders after which the excavation work started.
Currently half of the community farmland is dependent on rainwater for irrigation, The farmers who grow wheat on this land are restricted to cultivate only 15 mounds of wheat per acre which sells for Rs 1,000 per mound. After completion of the Irrigation Channel Project, crop yields are expected to increase to 30 mounds per acre, doubling the productivity and incomes of the beneficiaries.
Furthermore, a steady source of water would enable the beneficiary farmers for the first time to grow two cash crops instead of one that would significantly improve their livelihoods. The project would irrigate up to 50 acres of community farmland supporting 35 households
Award ceremony for best performing OSDI employee in bi-annual training workshop
During the recent inauguration of the Irrigation Canal Project in Nawakally, a certificate and shield for outstanding performance in OSDI’s bi-annual training was presented to Samar Taj who currently serves as a dispenser at OSDI’s Permanent Health Center located in Saeedabad, Mardan District.
The 4 day bi-annual training workshop was held in Karachi from June 25 to June 29, where OSDI field staff and FMOs were taught on the importance of financial literacy by OSDI hired master trainers. Issues such as savings, budgeting, and tracking monthly expenses were covered among other things during the training. Skills and knowledge acquired in this workshop would be of great help to OSDI field staff in assisting their focus communities in better management of their financial affairs in the future.
Training of Farmers on Livestock Breeding by Sindh Government Livestock Department in Khairpur
OSDI in collaboration with the Sindh Government Livestock Department held a training workshop for its Livestock Development Project members. The training took place at a buffalo farm where the trainees were instructed on the best livestock grazing methods and techniques by district livestock officials. Training focused on nutrition, proper livestock medical care and maximum revenue generation from livestock.
The Livestock Deputy Director in acknowledgment of OSDIs efforts under the Livestock Development Program pledged to vaccinate all livestock animals in OSDI focus villages free of charge as well as conducting routine medical checkups of the animals in OSDI’s program in Khairpur.. District level officials have expressed interest to collaborate in similar ventures in the future with OSDI to promote better livestock grazing.
Small Farmers in Shikarpur Trained on Best Agricultural Practices
45 farmers in Shikarpur district who are a part of OSDI’s Livelihood Assistance Program receive microcredit for agriculture inputs in every crop cycle along with soil testing and guidance on improving yields. For the current rice crop, the farmers received training from OSDI’s agricultural scientist on seed sowing was provided to the attendees, optimum usage of fertilizer and other soil nutrients such as humic acid. After the training, the farmers were provided with seeds, fertilizer, nutrients, and cash to start ploughing their land. OSDI’s field staff will be responsible for providing constant monitoring and feedback till the rice crop is harvested and sold.
Tailoring Business Starts in Matiari
OSDI has initiated a Small Rural Enterprises Project to create more sources of income and higher levels of income in rural areas and promote the importance of education through widened opportunities. After comprehensive data collection and interviews the best candidates have been selected and the first small business has been started in Sukhio Mirjat village in Matiari district. Fareeda wanted to start tailoring services in her village as she already possessed the skills but lacked the opportunity to fulfill her dream. With the help of an affordable loan, OSDI helped her purchase a sewing machine, materials such as thread, buttons, and lace, design books and a chair to start a small stitching business at her home. In addition, OSDI gave her training on basic book-keeping, business and saving planning and to ensure her business would be successful.
Hepatitis Prevention & Control Program in Matiari
In collaboration with the Chief Minister’s Initiative for Hepatitis Free Sindh, the Hepatitis Prevention & Control Program was initiated in February 2010 and gradually has been expanded to all four focus districts in Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. In the past two years OSDI has succeeded in screening 6,315 and vaccinating 6,158 individuals against the fatal disease. OSDI facilitates the Hepatitis campaigns by providing staff, volunteers, doing follow ups and giving hygiene awareness in our focus villages. OSDI continued the Hepatitis drives in May 2012 in Jamal Hajano village in Matiari district. During the two-day campaign, 614 people were screened for Hepatitis B and C and 604 vaccinated for Hepatitis B out of which 10 and 5 cases of Hepatitis B and C have been detected respectively. All the identified cases are scheduled for pre-treatment tests and further treatment.
Water testing done in Mulko Wahan village
OSDI extensively tested the water sources in our focus villages in Khairpur district last week. The results have been shocking revealing severe problems in the quality of water making it in some places unacceptable to use. In the village of Mulko Wahan neither aquatabs nor life-straw filters can be used to purify the water so OSDI is looking into other sustainable solutions to provide clean and safe water to the village. The OSDI team in collaboration with WHO collected samples from multiple water sources for testing and levels in turbidity, chloride, hardness, sodium, sulfate, fecal coliform, and microbiological contamination all exceed the standards making the water smelly, dirty, and soapy. In addition, hardness can cause renal failure, affect kidneys, and fecal contamination can cause gastritis, diarrhea, vomiting and other water borne diseases. Water pollution is a problem in rural areas and by providing access to clean water many diseases can be avoided, the quality of life improved, productivity increased and medical costs decreased.
Adopted School Opens in Sukhio Mirjat Village
OSDI has adopted a previously non-functional government primary school for boys in Sukhio Mirjat village in Matiari district. 55 students, 20 girls and 35 boys, have enrolled after door-to-door mobilization by the OSDI team. The building has been fully renovated and two classrooms are ready to cater to the children in the area. Posters and charts on the walls create an inviting and motivating environment for learning. The community has donated a hand pump to the school and boring was done by OSDI. OSDI has also provided a water cooler, stand, and glasses in addition to informing the teacher on the use of water purifying tablets to ensure access to clean drinking water for the students. OSDI has started the tradition of morning assembly which includes prayer and play as an attraction for the small students who have shown keen interest in the activity. On the first day of school, each student was given a school bag with a slate, chalk, pencils, copies, and books to make sure their first experience with education is positive and enjoyable.
Wheat crop successful in Matiari in Agricultural Project Phase V
OSDI financed 160 families for wheat crop in the winter of 2011-2012 covering 574 acres in all focus districts in Sindh. The wheat was fully fertile at the end of April and the harvest has finished in Matiari, Khairpur, and Shikarpur. This year the wheat crop has seen a tremendous growth in output especially in Matiari district. During the fifth phase of financing agriculture for small-holding farmers, OSDI introduced improvements in the inputs such as seeds, bio fertilizer, humic acid and weeticides after soil testing and consultation with an agricultural scientist. The average production in Matiari for OSDI farmers was 53 mounds per acre with one farmer harvesting 80 mounds per acre. On average, families earned approximately Rs 47,000 over the period of 6 months. This bumper crop enables farmers to pay off their loans and have savings.
OSDI sponsors a student for Pakistan Young Leaders’ Conference 2012
OSDI has sponsored a female student, Syedda Anum Zainab to attend Pakistan Young Leaders’ Conference in Islamabad in April 2012. PYLC is a platform for young minds that offers an opportunity to promote realistic change in Pakistan. Over 200 participants gathered together to debate and discuss practical solutions on Pakistan’s current issues. Anum Zainab was honoured with the certificate “Hope of the Future” for her active participation in her committee, Media & IT.
WASH Project Finishes in Jamal Hajano in Matiari
OSDI started the construction of 150 toilets in Jamal Hajano village in Matiari district in February 2012 in collaboration with Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation. The project aimed at improving the sanitation in the flood affected village to decrease the number of water-borne diseases caused by clean water mixing with waste water. The first part consisted of building 150 toilets with plastering, commodes, roof, door, and septic tanks. On the final day hygiene kits were distributed including a bag with towels, toothbrushes, hand wash soaps and shower gels, nail cutters, and dishwashing soap to emphasize the importance of hygiene to one’s health.
Pakistan Day Celebrations in the TLC in Khairpur:
OSDI has recently started a Temporary Learning Center with 97 girl students in the village of Kamal Khan Lashari in Khairpur district. Previously only a government school for boys existed in the community despite the parents continuously lobbying the government and other NGOs for a separate girls’ school. Within the first week of opening, registrations rose from 60 to 97 girls in OSDI’s TLC.
To make education a good experience and fun, OSDI team organized a Pakistan Day Celebration last week. The program included parades, national songs, a presentation on the life of Quaid-e-Azam, speeches, and an award ceremony for the winners of the day. OSDI also took the opportunity to give the students a session on health and hygiene. To make the day memorable sweets and leaflets were given to every child and the winners of the competition received big trophies.
Polio Campaign in Ranipur:
OSDI’s relentless efforts to eradicate polio have seen nearly 3,200 children inoculated in the past three months in all focus districts. This week OSDI facilitated a polio campaign during a festival in Ranipur in collaboration with UNICEF and WHO. A three-day polio drive received plenty of attention and OSDI’s team successfully vaccinated 485 children on the first day and 319 children on the second day. The team has taken its work passionately to cover as many children as possible during the festival.
The Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program in Shikarpur:
The Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program by OSDI is improving lives in rural areas by screening and vaccinating individuals for the fatal disease. OSDI has succeeded in vaccinating nearly 6,000 people in the past two years in response to Chief Minister of Sindh’s Initiative. Preventive steps have continued in Gul Burriro village in Shikarpur district at the end of February 2012 where the third and last dose has been successfully provided to 390 females and 313 males. OSDI staff makes the effort to visit homes of elderly and disabled people to ensure everyone is protected from Hepatitis B. In addition, the treatment of the Hepatitis B or C positive individuals has started for 22 patients.
Livestock Purchase in Matiari and Khairpur for Phase IV:
This week the purchasing of goats for Livestock Development has taken place in Matiari and Khairpur where OSDI team has selected goats that will fetch higher prices for farmers when they sell them around Eid-ul-Azha. Each of the 22 families has been provided 4 male goats for fattening and 1 female goat for milk production and herd increase. In total 110 goats have been provided. For this phase, the main improvement in the project is introducing a fattening process with special compound fodder that will ensure maximum weight gain of the animals. The breed has also been changed to Kamori for herd and Pateri for fattening.
TLC for Girls Opened in Kamal Khan Lashari Village:
The village of Kamal Khan Lashari in Khairpur district has long lacked an opportunity for girls to receive education as only a government school for boys exists. OSDI has therefore opened a Temporary Learning Center for girls on March 2, 2012 with the help of the local community that provides the space and their full support to the project. OSDI has reached 70 non-school going girls aged between 5 to 10 years who have never stepped inside a school before. Due to the flux of students enrolled, two classrooms with two teachers are ready to provide better start on life and hopes of a brighter future for the young students.
Adopted School in Godho Shar Village Opens:
OSDI has adopted a non-functioning government school in Godho Shar village in Shikarpur district. The school started operations on March 1, 2012 after renovation and hiring of teachers was completed by OSDI. Teachers enrolled students in Godho Shar after many years of the school being closed due to inter-community clashes. Many positive changes, such as full attendance and mixed classes, can be seen and students are enthusiastic about learning. The classes started with 11 girls and 9 boys and the enrollment of more students is currently taking place. It is very encouraging that for the first time girls from Godho Shar village are given the opportunity for education.
Wheat Crop Improves in Agricultural Project Phase V:
OSDI has financed 160 families for wheat crop this winter covering 574 acres in all focus districts in Sindh. In this phase some changes were made in inputs such as including seeds, bio fertilizer, humic acid and weeticides, after soil testing and consultation with the agro expert. A visit to the field in Matiari showed that the changes in input are paying dividends. The wheat financed by OSDI was twice the size to wheat cultivated with traditional methods, the colour was brighter and there were no gaps on the field indicating that there will be higher crop yields during harvest.
WASH Project Launched in Jamal Hajano Village in Matiari:
OSDI, as part of its flood relief efforts, has recently started the construction of 150 toilets in the flood affected village of Jamal Hajano in Matiari district. Currently 25 toilets are completed to the roof level with block masonry and plaster. 10 more toilets are to be finished by the end of this week and the rest are expected to be ready within 75 days. Furthermore, 50 septic tanks will be installed to manage the waste water. It is vital to improve the sanitation in the rural areas as contaminated water is a major cause for diarrhea, hepatitis and dysentery. Water is contaminated when clean water mixes with waste water, especially with human excreta.
Polio drives commence in all focus districts:
A polio campaign was launched at the end of January in all OSDI focus villages in Khairpur, Shikarpur, Matiari, and Mardan districts with a total of 2,284 children under 5 years of age inoculated.
The latest polio drive reached 424 children in Shikarpur district including students enrolled in OSDI’s Temporary Learning Centre. In Khairpur district 696 children and in Matiari 793 children were vaccinated. Similarly, 371 children were vaccinated against the disease in Mardan district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. This new phase brings the total of polio immunizations in the past 2 months to 3,192 children.
Food and Nutrition Kit Project in Matiari district:
The Food and Nutrition Kit (FNK) project has successfully drawn to a close in Mari Mohammad Khan village in Matiari district with 22 previously food insecure households getting proper nutrition for the first time. OSDI partnered with Microdrip Pvt. Ltd to improve food security through the provision of seeds, fertilizer and a drip irrigation system for growing staple vegetables in the home gardens of selected households. In addition, OSDI provided training to the beneficiaries on best vegetable cultivation practices. For 6 months the households have successfully secured a steady supply of vegetables including okra, cluster beans, zucchini, green chili and pumpkin which has significantly reduced monthly expenses on food. In the best case, a family of 15 members was able to produce various vegetables for 8 months with only one kit which improved the quality and quantity of their daily meals. Other residents of the community, who did not fall under the FNK food security program, have also started to imitate the beneficiary households in growing their own vegetables, too.
Agriculture Development Project Phase IV in Shikarpur:
OSDI has successfully completed the fourth phase of Agriculture Development Project in Shikarpur with the harvest of the rice crop of 25 small-holding farmers in the district. OSDI has quadrupled the yields of the farmers through continuous guidance and training in best farming practices, and through financing farm inputs such as high-yielding seeds, fertilizer and rent for tractors all of the farmers. The beneficiaries of the project have witnessed a substantial increase in per acre yield up to 76 mounds from 19 mounds previously on average, with a total production of 5,565 mounds for all the farmers. With a substantial bumper crop achieved through subsidized farm inputs and training, farmers have been consistently enjoying higher incomes and better standards of living through OSDI’s Agricultural Development Program.
Mobile Health Camps:
Lack of access to qualified healthcare in many of the focus villages resulted in OSDI organizing regular mobile health camps to provide timely medical service for commonly occurring diseases. Jamal Hajano and Sukhio Mir Jut villages with their surrounding communities in Matiari district have extensively benefitted from the camps as a total of 672 patients have received diagnosis, treatment and referral to further treatment since April 2011. Due to popular demand, the mobile health camps are organized on a weekly basis in Jamal Hajano village. In December two camps were held with a turnout of 43 patients. The most common treated diseases include diarrhea, eye and skin infections, fever, asthma and Hepatitis. In addition to focusing on basic health care, the camps try to create awareness regarding health and hygiene in the villages. As a result, OSDI has seen a marked decline in communicable and water borne diseases which has led to significant decrease in health expenditures and an increase in savings for many households.
School-based De-worming Project:
Since the inception of the school-based de-worming project in October 2011, it has been warmly received by students, teachers, and parents alike. The project reached 2,000 children in all the OSDI focus villages in Khairpur, Shikarpur, and Matiari districts. In addition to providing de-worming treatment, the project also emphasizes personal hygiene by teaching students proper hand wash, nail hygiene, dental care, and the importance of physical activity and daily bath. In January 2012 the project was extended to Shikarpur district where 623 students were provided with the de-worming treatment and knowledge of hygiene. Moreover, the children have been provided nutritional supplements in the form of milk and biscuits during all school visits. OSDI has now successfully finalized the project in the three focus districts in Sindh and reached its aim to diminish digestive diseases among children.
Hepatitis Prevention and Control Programme in Khairpur and Mardan:
The Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program by OSDI has been a tremendous success and in its almost 2 years of existence it has helped improve nearly 6,000 lives. OSDI successfully battles Hepatitis B and C in Shikarpur, Matiari, Khairpur, and Mardan districts where in total 5,701 have been screened and 5,554 vaccinated for the fatal disease. Preventive steps against Hepatitis have continued in Khairpur and Mardan districts in the OSDI focus villages in the month of December. To the residents of Jan Mohammad Vandiar, Pir Bux Bhandro, and Mulko Wahan villages in Khairpur district, Hepatitis B vaccinations were given to a total of 1,754 people. The camps organized by OSDI have succeeded in completing all 3 vaccinations for every Hepatitis B negative individual in the villages. In addition, the treatments have commenced for 52 patients with Hepatitis C in Saeedabad village in Mardan district.
Food Security through Livestock Animals:
OSDI has provided female goats along with kids for herd increase and asset creation to nearly 70 food insecure households in Khairpur and Matiari. The households selected include female-headed households, widows and people with disabilities who are vulnerable to socio-economic shocks and suffer from malnutrition due to an impoverished diet. A total of 106 livestock animals have been provided out of which 61 are adult female goats and 45 are kids.
The milk from these goats can be used to produce butter, yogurt and other dairy products to improve the nutritional intake of these households. These goats also serve as food security in times of hardship and economic loss. Moreover, in time when their herd increases it provides vulnerable households with savings and assets in the long term.
Government School Adoption in Matiari and Shikarpur:
OSDI, in its efforts to provide quality education in its focus communities, has adopted two government schools in Godho Shar village in district Shikarpur and Sukhio Mir Jutt village in district Matiari.
The government school in Godho Shar before OSDI’s adoption was non-functional and being used as a local storage of crops. With help from the local District Education Officer, OSDI has reopened the school for the Shar community. Renovation and cleaning has been done to the school along with the recent appointment of a school teacher. The adopted OSDI School is scheduled to be active in the coming months.
In Sukhio Mir Jutt, a signing ceremony was done in the presence of local officials for school adoption of another school. Here, enrollments of students are under process after which the school will resume classes.
Primary Healthcare Centre in Mardan:
OSDI has inaugurated a fully functional Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Saeedabad, UC Rustum, district Mardan in December 2011. This area has been without a health facility for years with the nearest clinic being 5 kilometers away. The additional cost of transport to and from this clinic meant that entire communities in Saeedabad were left without adequate access to healthcare. The PHC opened by OSDI is well-equipped with medical facilities along with a qualified staff of doctors, paramedics and supporting field staff to dispense quality healthcare to the community. This PHC will be instrumental in providing primary healthcare including awareness on preventative healthcare, diagnosis and treatment of commonly occurring diseases, as well as referrals for further treatment of patients.
To provide easy access and extensive coverage, OSDI is subsidizing the cost of treatment and consultation for the focus community. This is OSDI’s second PHC since the successful operation of the first one in district Shikarpur
Kitchen Garden Project:
A Kitchen Garden Project has been started to provide households has been introduced in all OSDI focus villages in Sindh. Kitchen Gardens are set up within the confines of a family’s home to provide food security with home grown vegetables that will supplement their daily nutritional intake.
113 households possessing a space of approximately 240 square yards have been provided seeds, fertilizer and pesticides to grow vegetables for their own consumption. A combined 26,400 square feet are being utilized for subsistence vegetable farming under the project. Through the Kitchen Garden Project beneficiaries will have a reduction in their daily expenses while also improving their nutrition.
Aqua Tab Distribution:
Aqua tabs (water purification tablets) have proven to be very effective in dramatically reducing the incidence of waterborne diseases in OSDI focus villages. To further increase the access to clean water to focus communities, OSDI has distributed an additional 196,000 Aqua tabs to 652 households. The beneficiary villages where the Aqua tab distribution has taken place in the month of November and December include Old Zarkhel and Gul Burriro in Shikarpur district, Pir Bux Bhambro and Mulko Wahan in Khairpur district and Sukhio Mir Jut in Matiari district. The distributed Aqua tabs have a combined capacity to purify 196,000 liters of water for the beneficiary households, which is more than sufficient for the entire households’ consumption needs.
School Health Initiative:
The two Temporary Learning Centers (TLC) set up in Shikarpur have recently had their enrollments increased from a 100 to 150 students. They have been providing literacy to the children in Malhee village at subsidized cost. Apart from academic education, students in the TLCs are also benefitting from health education and hygiene awareness, as part of OSDI’s School Health Initiative
Jerrycans are water filtration systems in the shape of 20 liter plastic containers that purify water. One container has the capacity to filter up to 20,000 liters of water.
Under the project, screening and treatment of diseases is scheduled for the TLC students at regular intervals by OSDI appointed medical staff. They are also given awareness on issues pertaining to their health such as nutrition, preventative care, hygiene and substance abuse. All of the children have been receptive of the health education being imparted in these schools leading to a positive change in their behavior and habits relating to health and hygiene. Programs such as School Health Initiative ensure that the children of the community grow up to be healthier and productive citizens of their communities.
Clean Drinking Water in Schools of Khairpur:
OSDI has provided 8 schools located in its focus villages in district Khairpur with a clean drinking water facility in the form of Life-saver jerrycans.
Half of these jerrycans have been given to 4 schools in Jan Muhammad Vandiar; 3 have been given to schools in Mulko Wahan and 1 has been given to a school in Kamal Khan Lashari. OSDI staff conducts routine visits to monitor the usage of jerrycans and to ensure proper maintenance of the jerrycans. They are engaged in a continuous campaign to make clean drinking water accessible to the most vulnerable communities in rural Sindh.
Jerrycans are water filtration systems in the shape of 20 liter plastic containers that purify water. One container has the capacity to filter up to 20,000 liters of water.
School-based De-worming Project:
A school-based de-worming project to mitigate the incidence of digestive diseases among children has been initiated in all focus villages in district Matiyari and Shikarpur. A total of 699 students in district Matiari and 679 students in district Khairpur have been provided with de-worming treatment. The children have also been provided nutritional supplements in the form of milk and biscuits. The project received immense support from the parents, students and teachers. OSDI plans to extend this project to all children in its focus districts.
Jerry cans are water filtration systems in the shape of 20 liter plastic containers that purify water. One container has the capacity to filter up to 20,000 liters of water.
Agriculture Development Project Phase IV:
With the harvest of summer cotton and rice crops, OSDI has successfully concluded Phase IV of its Agricultural Development Program. 79 farmers were the beneficiaries under the program out of which 25 farmers were selected from Shikarpur district, 29 from Khairpur district and 25 from Matiari district. Through OSDI’s financial assistance in form of affordable financing for agricultural inputs and thorough guidance on modern farming techniques, 79 rural households had significantly higher crop yields and incomes. OSDI has experienced a repayment of 76% in Phase IV which proves that by building trust in communities, a real difference can be made rural households. OSDI continues to support these farmers by extending credit to cultivate wheat in Phase V.
Polio Vaccinations in Khairpur District in October 2011:
As part of our continued commitment to reducing healthcare expenditures and improving the quality of life, OSDI facilitated polio vaccination drive in Khairpur district. A total of 591 children, comprising of 360 boys and 231 girls, have been successfully immunized from polio in the villages of Mulko Wahan, Jan Mohammad. Vandiar, Pir Bux Bhambro and Kamal Khan Lashari.
A meeting was convened between OSDI staff and local government health officials where OSDI’s help was sought in sending lady health staff to villages where assistance was required.
OSDI sponsors three students to attend International Youth Conference & Festival 2011:
OSDI has sponsored three students from Balochistan to attend International Youth Conference and Festival in Islamabad happening this weekend! We wish Kaleem Tareen, Faisal Malghani and Jahangir Bazair all the best and hope that they will be bright stars for Balochistan's future.
The IYCF is an international forum for youth leaders to share ideas, discuss issues and find creative solutions to global challenges. The previous IYCF was a resounding success with 250 attendees from across Pakistan and 12 other countries.
Flood Relief Efforts in Badin:
Monsoon rains wreaked havoc in District Badin in the month of August and September severely affecting 700,000 inhabitants. OSDI, in close coordination with PDMA, District Government and UN-OCHA, has been involved in relief efforts for the affected in these trying times.
Distribution of food essentials such as rice and daal as well as non-food items such as blankets, mosquito repellent, and ORS have been distributed among 500 flood-affected households comprising of a total of 4,000 beneficiaries in Taluka Badin and Taluka Tando Bago. Vulnerable households including minority groups and female headed households are being prioritized in OSDI’s relief efforts.
Current relief efforts in District Badin will be channelized to become a part of OSDI’s broader strategy to rehabilitate the flood affected households on a firm footing in due time.
Livestock Development Project Phase III:
With the coming of Eid Ul Azha, farmers who received loans from OSDI for the Livestock Development Program are benefitting immensely from the opportunity to sell the animals for a sizeable profit. The program, currently in its third phase, has 15 members in Khairpur who have been able to do animal fattening using loans and training provided by the OSDI. Five livestock farmers Mai Hawa Malecha, Umro Malecha, Shamir Malecha, Hadi Baloch and Abdul Ghani Baloch have already sold their cattle for a hefty profit. All livestock animals are expected to be sold as Eid ul Azha approaches. Loans are distributed under the Livestock Distribution Program to enable farmers to procure livestock. The farmers have also been provided training and knowledge in best cattle rearing practices after which they can sell of their animals for a profit on Eid ul Azha. Many of the animals purchased under this program also supplement the dairy consumption of the beneficiary households reducing their monthly food expenditure.
Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program in Shikarpur and Mardan:
OSDI has overseen a very successful Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program in its focus villages with nearly 6,000 people screened and vaccinated for this fatal disease in camps organized by OSDI.
Hepatitis inoculations have commenced in OSDI focus villages in district Mardan and Shikarpur in the month of October. A total of 722 individuals have been screened and vaccinated in village Gul Burrio in district Shikarpur out of which 21 and 41 cases of Hepatitis B and C have been detected respectively.
Similarly, a total of 482 people have been screened and 473 been vaccinated in Mardan district. 69 cases of Hepatitis C have been detected while there are 9 cases of Hepatitis B among the population. All the identified cases are scheduled for further treatment.
Maternal and Child Health Training Project:
Untrained and unsafe methods of child delivery are the primary reason for high maternal mortality in rural areas. To improve maternal health, OSDI is implementing a Maternal and Child Health training project in Khairpur district, which would soon be replicated in all of OSDI’s other focus districts as well.
10 carefully selected participants, consisting of village mid-wives, dais and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), were trained through theoretical knowledge, field visits and demonstrations by OSDI appointed maternal health specialists. During the six day training program the participants were trained on safe maternal health practices such as sterilization of equipment, basic health care for mothers to be etc. They were also provided with basic equipment and medicine to conduct their field activities in dispensing health care.
OSDI collaborated with Peoples Primary Health Initiative (PPHI) for this program and the trained participants will be monitored for six months.
Completion of IOM One Room Shelter project in District Shikarpur:
A significant milestone has been achieved with the completion of 568 One Roof Shelters in UC Zarkhel in District Shikarpur. The program undertaken by OSDI in collaboration with IOM initiated reconstruction of shelters for the flood victims that were left destitute in the wake of the floods.
Special priority was given to vulnerable households such as female headed households and senior citizens. All the shelters have been designed as per the specifications of Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) with location, climate and risk mitigation in mind.
All of the 568 beneficiary households under the program have moved in the new shelters and can rebuild their lives in the safety and privacy of their new homes in a dignified manner.
Flood Relief Efforts in Badin:
Monsoon rains wreaked havoc in District Badin in the month of August and September severely affecting 700,000 inhabitants. OSDI, in close coordination with PDMA, District Government and UN-OCHA, has been involved in relief efforts for the affected in these trying times.
Distribution of food essentials such as rice and daal as well as non-food items such as blankets, mosquito repellent, and ORS have been distributed among 500 flood-affected households comprising of a total of 4,000 beneficiaries in Taluka Badin and Taluka Tando Bago. Vulnerable households including minority groups and female headed households are being prioritized in OSDI’s relief efforts.
Current relief efforts in District Badin will be channelized to become a part of OSDI’s broader strategy to rehabilitate the flood affected households on a firm footing in due time.
OSDI participation at the Second Global Agri-knowledge ShareFair in Rome, Italy:
OSDI participated in the Second Global Agri-Knowledge ShareFair held at the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) headquarters in Rome from September 26 to September 29, 2011.
Highlights of the conference included very successful meetings with IFAD, intense knowledge sharing on agriculture and livestock, and OSDI getting mentioned on the IFAD website.
IFAD has announced a $40.2 support program rural Punjab as part of its broader commitment to to improve rural household livelihoods and incomes globally. OSDI’s founder trustee Aasim Siddiqui and Senior Policy Advisor were extensively quoted on IFAD’s website during the visit.
The full text of the article can be found here:
Polio Vaccination Facilitated By OSDI:
OSDI has played an instrumental role in realizing the dream of a Polio Free Pakistan by facilitating Sindh Government’s polio vaccination drive in all of its focus districts.
In the month of September, OSDI provided support in 8 villages in districts Shikarpur and Khairpur where its field staff oversaw the vaccinations of 979 children in total.
A total of 379 children were vaccinated against the polio virus in the villages of Old Zarkhel, Gul Burriro, Godho Shar and Malhee. 16 students from OSDI’s Temporary Learning Centers were inoculated. Polio vaccinations were also administered in OSDI’s Primary Healthcare Center located in Shikarpur. In Khairpur, 600 children were inoculated in the villages of Kamal Khan Lashari, Mulko Wahan, Pir Bux Bhambro and Jan Mohammad Vandiar.
Polio vaccination drives are a part of OSDI’s continued efforts to decrease rural expenditures on healthcare and consequently reduce poverty.
Independence Day Celebrations in OSDI’s TLCs:
Spirits were high during the Independence Day celebrations held at the Temporary Learning Center (TLC) in Shikarpur district. Students enthusiastically participated in the festivities displaying their patriotism for Pakistan. OSDI chose this occasion to donate shoes and uniforms for all the 102 students in the TLCs.
The district EDO Zameer Ahmed also delivered a speech on the occasion, lauding OSDI’s efforts in provision of quality education to the children of the community. He also pledged full support and cooperation with OSDI in the field of public education in this regard.
Encouraged by OSDI’s commitment to education other families from the village also promised to enroll their children in the TLCs in the near future. The hallmark of the event were the smiles of the school children who were overjoyed on being the proud owners of a new uniform and shoes to wear to school.
Distribution of Tool Kits for Shelter Construction:
The One Room Shelter project of IOM in conjunction with OSDI for rehabilitating flood victims has been a resounding success. Owing to IOM’s emphasis on self empowerment, tool kits were distributed among 568 beneficiaries of One Roof Shelter Program in the month of July. The distribution of these tool kits was undertaken by OSDI’s field staff in Shikarpur.
The tool kits were distributed at the various village committees setup under the project in the villages of Old Zarkhyel, Qazi Patti & Waqarabad. The tool kits contain basic construction tools that help in house building and other masonry work.
The tool kits have enabled many of the beneficiaries to become self reliant and not depend on laborers to complete the construction work. Measures such as provision of these tool kits go a long way in empowering the local community and restoring their sense of confidence and dignity.
Towards a Polio Free Pakistan:
In July 2011, OSDI has facilitated the vaccination of 1,898 children in its focus districts of Khairpur, Matiari and Shikarpur. 796 children have been vaccinated in Khairpur district, 728 children in Matiari district and 374 children in Shikarpur district.
Moving forward there are plans to set up a permanent facility within OSDI’s Primary Healthcare Center in Shikarpur to administer polio vaccines and other immunization programmes by OSDI field staff. Vaccination coverage is going to be extended to surrounding villages as well as OSDI’s focus villages in districts Shikarpur, Khairpur and Matiari.
OSDI commemorates World Hepatitis Day - July 28 2010:
Hepatitis B & C claim an estimated 100,000 lives globally every year. In Pakistan alone there are approximately 16 million people who are estimated to be afflicted with this deadly disease. A disproportionate number of Hepatitis cases are found in rural areas due to absence of quality healthcare and poor hygienic conditions .OSDI under its health programs places strong emphasis on prevention and control of Hepatitis. In the preceding months extensive campaigns have been conducted in OSDI’s focus villages in Matiari and Khairpur screening, diagnosing and treating 4,500 beneficiaries.
In commemoration of World Hepatitis Day on July 28, OSDI held walks followed by seminars to create awareness for Hepatitis in Khairpur, Shikarpur and Karachi. Flyers and banners were distributed among the enthusiastic crowd consisting of district health officials, health personnel, OSDI staff and the general public during the hepatitis awareness walks. Health officials delivered insightful speeches emphasizing the need for prevention and control of the disease on an individual as well a national level.
As part of OSDI’s commitment in eradicating Hepatitis, there are plans to implement Hepatitis prevention and control programs in Shikarpur and Mardan districts in the near future.
Agriculture Development Project – July 2011:
OSDI has financed 93 farmers in districts of Khairpur, Shikarpur and Matiari for the Agricultural Development Project under Livelihood Assistance Program. In light of successes of the previous three crop cycles, these farmers have been provided with interest-free credit for cotton and rice cultivation in Kharif season. Out of these, 30 farmers are from Khairpur, 33 are from Matiari and 30 are from Shikarpur district.
These interest free loans are being used for the procurement of agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizer and rent for tractor. Plans of financing more farmers for the next crop cycle through this program are already underway. Planned month for harvest of the cotton crop is to be at the end of October. Workshop are regularly conducted by OSDI field staff during the Agricultural Development Programs that involve knowledge sharing of modern agricultural techniques that garner interest and enthusiasm by the farmers.
In the absence of OSDI’s interest free loans, the local farmers were at the mercy of local money lenders who charge exorbitant rates. The farmers now have residual savings which were previously spent in repaying usurious debt. OSDI monitoring staff has noted significant increases in crop yields as well. OSDI emphasizes the need to send children to school as a condition for beneficiaries to receive continued financing. Because of this the children of these farmers can look for a brighter future through their schooling.
Hepatitis B & CPrevention and Control Program: July 2011:
Provision of quality healthcare is a guiding principle in OSDI’s agenda. In this regard, ODSI has been working in conjunction with Sindh government under Chief Minister Initiative for Hepatitis Free Sindh in an extensive Hepatitis B & C prevention and control campaign in the districts of Khairpur and Matiari.
The program broadly comprises of three phases:
More than 4,500 people from the villages of Sukhio Mir Jat, Mari Mohammad Khan in Matiari district and Kamal Khan Lashari, Jan Muhammad Vandiar, Pir Buksh Bambhro and Mulko Wahan in Khairpur district have been the beneficiaries of the campaign.
Significant headway has been made in Sukhio Mir Jat and Mari Mohammad Khan in Matiari district with successful completion of screening and vaccination.
A total number of 873 individuals comprising of 439 males & 434 females were screened while 862 people were vaccinated in Mari Muhammad Khan Village. A successful screening and vaccination of 826 people comprising of 357 males and 469 females have been accomplished in Sukhio Mir Jat.
Treatment of Hepatitis B & C positive patients with regular interferon has been completed in Sukhio Mir Jat and is in progress in Mari Mohammad Khan.
Plans are underway to provide second line treatment with peg interferon to resistant cases in Sukhio Mir Jat and the introduction of Hepatitis campaign in the village of Jamal Hajano in the month of September.
In Khairpur district, four villages are being assisted by OSDI in the Hepatitis program. Mass Screening and first dose vaccination has been done in the villages of Kamal Khan Lashari, Jan Muhammad Vandiar, Pir Bukhsh Bhambro and Mulko Wahan.
Screening of 799 people comprising of 402 males and 397 females has been accomplished, with 756 people subsequently vaccinated in villages Jan Mohammad Vandiar and Pir Buksh Banbhro While in Mulko Wahan screening of 925 (male 424 and female 501) has been completed with a total of 862 vaccinations.
After a screening of 968 individuals (comprising of 498 males and 470 females), 864 were administered vaccines in the village of Kamal Khan Lashari after which treatment has been initiated there.
There are further plans to move ahead with the remaining second and third vaccination dosages in the village of Jan Muhammad Vandiar, Pir Buksh Bambhro and Mulko Wahan after Ramadan.
There are plans to implement Hepatitis Prevention and Control campaign in Shikarpur and Mardan districts in the near future.
It has been observed that there is a high prevalence of Hepatitis in these districts. Prevention and control goes a long way in ensuring better health for the local communities. Healthcare takes up a substantial portion of the meager incomes in these village communities. By providing free or subsidized healthcare to the village communities, OSDI aims to reduce the burden of health care related expenditures. While in the long run ensuring healthier standards of living for the 7 villages in Matiari and Khairpur districts.
General Medical Camps: July 2011:
Deprivation of basic healthcare in villages across Pakistan leaves even the most common diseases untreated. Villages of Sukhio Mir Jut and Jamal Hajamo, in Matiari district are two such villages where there is total absence of basic health infrastructure. OSDI has devised a program of setting up fortnightly general medical camps there. The primary objectives of this measure are:
1- Provision of standardized basic medical care at subsidized cost.
2- Creating awareness of health and hygiene among the village community.
3- Routine medical checkups at regular intervals of people seeking medical aid.
A competent team of doctors, paramedics along with village volunteers have been mobilized to ensure the proper provision of health care in both villages.
To date, OSDI staff have examined, diagnosed and treated approximately 250 patients in Sukhio Mir Jut and Jamal Hajano for commonly occurring diseases such as diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, high fever, eye infections as well as potentially fatal diseases such as hepatitis, diabetes, tuberculosis etc. The influx of patients to the General Medical Camps is steadily rising as people are getting aware of the necessity of modern health care.
So far a total of 4 of these General Medical Camps have been conducted in Sukhio Mir Jut and Jamal Hajano. There are tentative plans to set up General Medical Camps in adjoining villages deprived of basic health amenities as well.
In the near term, OSDI aims to bring improvement in dismal health standards of these villages by its General Medical Camp initiative .While in the longer term, OSDI plans to transform these General Medical Camps into Permanent Health Centers equipped with all the basic health facilities.
The General Medical Camps have become an indispensable necessity to the village communities of Sukhio Mir Jut and Jamal Hajano. Patients seeking treatment in these remote villages have to trek long distances to seek cures for the most common diseases, which causes an undue increase in their expenditures and hardships. Often patients during the course of their journey, fall prey to bandits and other criminals, further aggravating their plight.
Projects like general medical camps have a huge positive impact on the lives of these village communities. Not only does the timely assistance of primary health care uplift the health standards of the people but also brings a welcome reduction in their health expenditures.
Livestock Distribution Project:
Economic hardship tends to exacerbate the issue of malnutrition in many rural communities. Malnourished families, especially infants, may be prone to many diseases and other medical afflictions which substantially increase household healthcare expenditures. It has also been observed that widows in rural Pakistan are particularly vulnerable having limited access to income or other assets and facing other cultural constraints making their families food insecure. ODSI prioritizes providing food security as a major tool in poverty alleviation. In this regard, Livestock Distribution Project was initiated for the widows of the village of Jamal Hajano.
A total of 44 goats, 22 milk giving adult goats and 22 kids, were procured and donated to 22 widows in Jamal Hajano to meet their food security needs. These goats are primarily for daily consumption of these households in terms of dairy products such as milk, butter, yogurt and lassi. The Livestock Distribution Project in due time would provide a significant boost in their nutritional intake and make these 22 families food secure.
It is expected that this project will significantly decrease the widows’ overall household expenditure in the short term. In the longer term, the successful rearing of the female goats would lead to herd increases and subsequently, asset creation in these female headed households.
OSDI plans to replicate the project on a boarder scale, in which the households deemed the most vulnerable or food insecure would be provided with livestock animals to uplift the quality of their nutritional consumption and to enable asset creation in rural Pakistan.
OSDI First Training Course: Measuring Impact: Tools for reporting, documentation, monitoring and evaluation:
A two-day training course on “Measuring Impact: Tool for reporting, documentation, monitoring and evaluation” was held from June 3 to June 4, 2011 at OSDI’s Head Office in Karachi. The objective of the training was to make field staff, based in different focus areas, familiar with the tools designed for reporting, documentation and monitoring and evaluation purposes. The training was also aimed at highlighting the importance of the field staff’s role at organizational and program level. The different sessions held by the Karachi team emphasized the key role of field staff’s feedback in making a project a success. Topics covered during the course were Social Mobilization, significance of Field Data Collection, Standard of Procedures of programs, specific updates in the design of the Livelihood Assistance Program and Basic Health Provision Theory & Practice. To make the training interactive and fun, several team building exercises were incorporated. These exercise played a key role for keeping the participant active throughout the sessions.
Three members of the field staff, namely Mr Moula Bux from Matiari, Mr Farzand Ali Sheikh from Khairpur and Mr Mehran Khan Pathan from Shikarpur were presented with the award of OSDI Star by Aasim Siddiqui. In his closing speech, Mr Siddiqui emphasized to share the success stories in order to identify future projects.
All participants received training certificate at the end.
183 households to receive support through Life-Saving Emergency Shelter Program:
UN-OCHA approved funding for OSDI’s Life-Saving Emergency Shelter Program for village Jamal Hajano, UC Bhanot of District Matiari, Sindh. The objective of the program is to address the security, safety and physical needs of people affected by floods of 2010 through provision of adequate shelter assistance. The program will provide shelter assistance to a total number of 183 households/1,456 people.
Shelter assistance is being provided to families whose houses were either completely destroyed or suffered significant damage. Ensuring gender equality, the priority has been given to the vulnerable households which includes; female headed households, elderly women group and people with any disabilities or households with heavy dependency.
In line with the UN shelter and settlement standards, this project will ensure safe and adequate shelters, measuring 16.5x13.5x12 ft in size, through the provision of material and the necessary technical support. This will ensure direct provision of services and items along with the injection of cash into communicities through cash for work activity. The program expects an active participation from the focused communities by building ownership among the targeted beneficiaries.
Five families in Matiari successfully overcome debts:
The success of Wheat Project-I was recently achieved in our focus village Mari Mohammad Khan in District Matiari. This village has joined the Agro Phase-III run by OSDI in November 2010.
A total number of 12 families were introduced to the program to help them overcome their debts and improve their standard of living. Specially tailored assistance was provided to these families along with resources for their further improvement of agricultural production. The main aim was to create a sustainable source of income and savings through proper cultivation of the 52.5 acres available.
The most notable success was the increase in yield (expected to be 20 mounds per acre), which reached a stunning 22 mounds per acre on average. The average profit created by share-croppers has reached Rs. 31,826 and an even more extraordinary profit of Rs. 71,000 was achieved by two small landowners in the village. The great results of this project have enabled all families to return their interest free loans and helped five of the families to overcome their overall debts.
Distribution of Clothes and Blankets in Shikarpur:
Recently the OSDI team distributed clothes and blankets among households in several villages that include Old Zarkhyel, Malhee, Gul Burriro, Godho Shar and Yar Mohammad Shar Village of Union Council Zarkhyel tehsile Khanpur. District Shikarpur.
Due to the high volume of occupants and limited supply of clothes and blankets in the initial phase, OSDI is planning to undertake this again in the coming future. At present, one suit for men, one suit for women and one suit for children was distributed in each vulnerable household in OSDI’s focused villages. Jackets, bed linen and blankets were also packed and distributed among the needy families.
In total, 1075 items have been distributed in 480 households with 244 clothing items for men, 480 clothing items for females, 222 clothing items for children, 129 blankets and 129 bed sheets.
Livestock Development Project, Phase III:
After the success of phase I & II of Livestock Development Program – OSDI has initiated phase III with the sole objective of empowering the under - privileged people of selected communities and help them achieve sustainable livelihood , s income enhancement and food security by providing them the through appropriate means & resources and hence help to raise their living standard . In lined with the EID UL AZHA’s sacrificing tradition, T t he program has been launched in early March 2011 in village Jan Mohd Vandiar, Goth Pir Bux Banbharo, Kamal Khan Lashari and Mulko Wahaan of Dist rict t. Khairpur. A total number of 15 families including four old have been selected for this project.
The project has begun with the purchase of livestock from the capital provided to the selected households through Micro Finance micro-financed by OSDI. A total number of 66 animals have been purchased in which 27 are oxen, 15 she goats and 24 are goats. These identified families are expected to raise and feed their livestock till it is time to sell them i.e. before Eid ul Zu Azha. This strategy is expected to work through a three - pronged way approach: i.e. an increase in the monthly income of targeted families, contribution towards asset creation by these focused households; and an attempt on part of the project beneficiaries to come out of the debt cycle. A participatory approach similar to the like previous phases has also been adopted during this phase in this one expecting OSDI team to whereby OSDI will work in close collaboration with the se focused families while ensuring livelihood and food security on a sustainable basis.
Life-saving Emergency Shelter Solution Program, District Matiari:
With the objective of providing security, safety and physical protection to flood affected population while specifically addressing the shelter needs of vulnerable groups i.e. widows/female headed household, OSDI has initiated a Life-saving Emergency Shelter Solution Program in village Jamal Hajano, UC Bhanot, District Matiari. Bhanot has been declared as one of the priority UCs for Relief and Rehabilitation purpose by Govt. authorities.
The project will ensure one room shelter assistance with a measurement of 12X12ft in size to the identified vulnerable households. With the help of the Community Representative Group (CRGs) and OSDI field team members, a total number of 22 households have been identified as widows/female headed households expecting to benefit around 145-150 individuals as project beneficiaries.
Temporary Learning Center (TLC):
Considering the absolute absence of any schooling facility in and around the area, the Temporary Learning Centers (TLC) project has been initiated by OSDI in the village Maleehi, Tehsil Khanpur, DistrictShikarpur in Feb 2011. With two TLCs established, the objective of the program is to provide basic literacy skills to those children who have never been enrolled in any formal or informal institution.
Since the targeted communities had existing cultural constraints they did not send their children to schools located far away from their village, especially girls. Autaaqs (common sitting area of local families) were selected for the project ensuring an equal access to basic education facility to girls and boys. The Soomro and Burriro community voluntarily provided their Autaaqs to set up the TLCs during the day. With help of active community members, these Autaq’s were renovated by OSDIto cater to requisite needs. The teachers from within the community have also been provided training.
There are a total number of 110 children in that community who had never been enrolled in any school, who have been provided an access to basic education . It is very encouraging to note that the total enrollment so far were 45 (5-12 years old) and 41 (5-10 years old) in TLC I and II respectively. Following the curriculum of Sindh Textbook Board, the teachers appointed by OSDI conduct 4 hour classes, 6 days in a week.
Extending cooperation to the program, the local Executive District Officer (Education) has also donated some textbooks to these TLCs.
“Hepatitis B & C Prevention and Control Program“ in village Kamal Khan Lashari, District Khairpur, Sindh – March 2011
After the successful implementation of OSDI’s Hepatitis B & C Prevention and Control Program in District Matiari, the program has now been launched in village Kamal Khan Lashari under Chief Minister’s Initiative For ‘Hepatitis Free Sindh’ in collaboration with District Government Health Department in Khairpur.
Prior to the launch of the program, the beneficiaries were informed about the causes, preventive measures and treatment of hepatitis by means of flyers, posters and banners. Conducted by the respective field staff, these awareness raising seminars were held from 27th Feb to 2nd March 2011. The three days campaign was started on 3rd March 2011. A total number of 951 individuals were screened (ICT) and 827 were vaccinated. Out of these 951 individuals, 104 (62 Male & 42 Female) were Hepatitis B positive and 11 (5 male and 6 female) were Hepatitis C positive.
Phase I of the program has been completed during which mass ICT screening of both Hepatitis B&C and vaccination of all Hepatitis B negative individuals have been carried out, including individuals who were either Hepatitis C positive or negative. The individuals who have been found ICT positive will go through the ELIZA test for further confirmation. The remaining two doses of Hepatitis B vaccine will be given to all the Hepatitis B negative individuals of Phase I with the gap of one month in each dose.
Primary Health Care Centre (PHC) in village Old Zarkhel, District Shikarpur:
To minimize the regular health expenditures and hence improve the living standard of poor people in rural areas, a Primary Health Care unit (PHC) has been setup by OSDI in village Old Zarkhel, UC Zarkehl, District Shikarpur. With the objective of providing primary health care facilities to the local people, a PHC equipped with basic medicines is functional from 28 th Feb 2011. Along with supporting staff, a doctor along with a dispenser and a LHV has been hired and appointed by OSDI. With about 15 villages located in and around the area, the PHC is expected to benefit about 16000 people covering approximate 2000 households. The PHC is also expected to decrease the major diseases in the areas such as Diarrhea, Typhoid, skin infections, Malaria, therefore minimizing the regular health expenditures of local people and contributing towards an improved standard of life.
Life-saving Emergency Shelter Solution Program, District Shikarpur:
To provide security, safety and physical protection to the flood affected population, OSDI has initiated a “Life-saving Emergency Shelter Solution Program” in 9 villages located in UC Zarkhel, District Shikarpur. With a total project duration of six months, the program funded by IOM will benefit a total number of 591 households while ensuring a safe and adequate one room shelter assistance. The major focus will be on assisting those whose houses in the targeted villages have been completely destroyed or heavily damaged with a special emphasis on shelter needs of vulnerable groups i .e. female headed households, elderly women group and households with heavy dependency and people with any mental or physical disabilities.
As project methodology, the design principles define by IASC (Inter Agency Standing Committee) Pakistan Floods Shelter Cluster will be followed as a standard criteria for Life-Saving Emergency Shelter Assistance Program. Indicators such as appropriate location, risk mitigation, resource effectiveness, climate, socio-economic and culture suitability have been given high preference. These designs will ensure physical protection from climate conditions, social and economic suitability and resource management, for example, by using salvaged material.
The names of targeted villages are Haji Shah Mohd (Zarbelo), Punhal Kashelo, Sajan Burrio, Bhanran, Godho Shar, Maleehi, Gul Burriro, Old Zarkhel and Qazi.
Water Boring Project- Sukhio Mir Jut Matiari - Jan 2011:
Considering the fact that more than 75% of the water consumed in village Sukhio Mir Jat, Distt. Matiari is brackish (as per PCRW & PCSIR water testing reports), OSDI has completed a water boring project in the village in Jan 2011. The objective of the project is to provide a safe drinking water resource at village level for drinking, cooking and reduce the occurrence of water borne diseases and minimize health expenditures. The project is also aimed at decreasing local women’s hardships in fetching water from faraway places and lessens their household workload. Benefitting a population of about 1, 334, this project ensures access to safe drinking water to 198 households. As per water boring standards, the selected land was excavated 80 feet in the two targeted settlements named as Paricho and Sunani. To extract the ground water with an electric motor, two (8X8 feet each) two water tanks have been constructed. With two taps attached, each water tank can store more than 7000 liters of waters hence provide access to local populace in the area.
One of the highlighting features of the project is to create social cohesion within the community. Besides OSDI’s implementing role, people of village Sukhio Mir Jat actively participated and shared about 15% of the cost.
The completion of the project has allowed 198 households to have an easy access to safe drinking water and reduce the occurrence of water borne diseases hence minimize health expenditures and raise their standard of living.
LIFE SAVER JERRYCAN DISTRIBUTION – Providing safe drinking water to the rural areas of Sindh - Jan 2011:
Supporting OSDI ongoing initiative of providing safe drinking water in remote areas, Mahvesh and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation has donated 50 Life Saver Jerry Cans. Benefitting a total number of 870 households, OSDI has distributed these Jerry Cans in six (6) villages of Distt. Shikarpur, Khairpur and Matiari in Jan 2011. The targeted villages include Kamal Khan Lashari, Mulko Wahan, Jan Mohd Vandiar, Old Zarkhel, Gul Burrioro and Jamal Hajano.
In order to maximize the benefits and to cover the large population, these jerry cans have been distributed at community level. About 17 households will be sharing one Life Saver Jerry Can. Having the capacity of cleaning 15000 liters of water, 50 Jerry Cans will be cleaning 750,000 liters of water while providing access to safe drinking water to 870 households for a period of 3-4 months.
Hepatitis B&C Screening, Vaccination and Eradication Program- Mari Mohd Khan- Matiari Sindh- Jan 2011:
After the successful completion of the Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program in Sukio Mir Jat with the collaboration of Government of Sindh, the project was also initiated in village Mari Mohammad Khan, District Matiari. The campaign began in the 1st week of January 2011.
Phase I of the program was completed effectively during which mass ICT screening of both Hepatitis B&C, vaccination of all Hepatitis B negative individuals, and blood sampling of all Hepatitus B & C positive cases were carried out for the ELIZA test. The individuals who were found ELIZA positive were further checked for PCR status and are under treatment (Phase II). The remaining two doses of Hepatitis B vaccine were given respectively to all the Hepatitus B negative individuals of Phase I with the gap of one month in each dose.
A total number of 873 individuals with 439 males and 434 females were screened. From these screened ones, 10 (3 males and 7 females) and 32 (16 male and 16 females) individuals were found Hepatitis B & C positive, respectively. This is also important to mention here that one female was found co-infected. The ICT test filtered 43 individuals as Hepatitis B & C positive, and they were therefore referred for the ELIZA test . The Eliza test confirmed 12 (8 B positive, 3 C positive and 1 Co-infected) individuals as positive who then went through the PCR test. After PCR 4 individuals have been finally confirmed as positive, out of which 1 is B positive and 3 are C positive. These 4 infected ones are currently under treatment.
Link Road project- ensuring a bright future for the people of Badam-(Mardan-KPK):
OSDI has recently completed a Link Road project in Badam village of District Mardan, KPK. The objective of the project is to promote economic and social development for the villagers and provide access to nearest market and enable transportation services. The road has been built to benefit not only the people of Badam but also to provide access for the rest of the population to such a remote area . The road spans over a length of 1 and ½ kilometers.
One of the highlighting features of the project is to create social cohesion within the community. Besides OSDI’s implementing role people of Badam actively participated and shared 49% of the cost. The completion of the link road is a way forward towards development for the villagers of Badam, Mardan. Easy and timely access to Rustam Market via the link road will create a new way of income generation through reduction in time loss. In addition, tractor trolley, Pick-ups and Motor Rickshaws will be able to come into the village for transporting goods and passengers accordingly. The road is means of providing faster and cheaper access to schools, markets and healthcare facilities for the villagers. The link road project is a step forward ensuring poverty alleviation and sustainable development for the villagers of Badam.
WHO donates Aqua Tabs -24-12-10:
WHO has donated 19000 aqua tabs to support OSDI’s ongoing initiative on awareness and provision of safe drinking water. OSDI has distributed 18930 aqua tabs to around 4000 people of villages Mari Mohd Khan, Sukio Mir Jat and Jamal Hajano of District Matiari. Each tablet filters 10 liter of water per day more than sufficient for household consumption. The objective of the program is to provide an easy and speedy access to safe drinking water and decrease the risk of water borne diseases. The remaining 70 aqua tabs will be distributed soon.
OSDI field staff was trained by WHO technical team with a focus on the proper usage of aqua tabs along with a one day training session at WHO regional office in Hyderabad. The project began with a safe drinking water awareness campaign and was successfully carried out in the mid of December. These tablets will be used along with the Life straw filters distributed earlier by OSDI in October.
Life Straw Water Filter Distribution -29-10-10:
Water borne diseases such as Diarrhea, Scabies, Typhoid and Malaria are very common and one of the major root causes in rural areas of Pakistan. In light of this a life-straw water filter distribution project has been developed by OSDI in order to provide clean and safe drinking water to the villagers. Total numbers of 14 villages across district Khairpur, Shikarpur and Matiyari have been selected from Sindh. In order to raise awareness on importance of safe drinking water OSDI carried out an illustrative awareness campaign before the distribution of life straw water filters.
The current plan, spanning over a time period of 19 days, started on 5th Oct and ended on 25th Oct 2010. Selection of villages was done on the basis of microbiological, physical (turbidity, hardness, colour) and chemical analysis of water testing reports and the areas which were heavily affected by the floods and monsoon rains recently. In phase I, a total number of nine villages from Distt. Shikarpur, Khairpur and Matiyari were selected. 872 Life straw water filters were distributed benefitting the same number of families. Amin Sheikh, Wari Goth and Godho shar in this phase were the villages affected by floods whereas Malacha Community, Malhee and Old Zarkheyl were the rain affected areas. Awareness campaigns with reference to water borne diseases were carried out followed by distribution of life straw water filters distribution in these areas to provide access to clean drinking water. The use of these filters will prevent the spread of communicable diseases and will also minimize the health expenditures of the villagers.
Phase I, as per plan, has been completed. Life saver Jerry Canes will be distributed in Phase II which is under process and expected to be implemented soon.
Flood Relief Operations - 25-09-10:
Due to the massive destruction caused by the monsoon floods in 2010, OSDI undertook flood relief operations in mid-August 2010 in Khyber Pukhtoon Khuwa (KPK) and Sindh. The relief activities lasted until September 30, 2010 with OSDI’s field teams supervising and ensuring a regular supply of food, shelter, health and medical assistance to flood affectees. We have estimated that 3,555 beneficiaries/300 households have been targeted under the organization’s Flood Relief Operations in Sindh.
Specifically, OSDI focused its efforts on 3 districts in Sindh – Shikarpur, Khairpur, and Matiari – and Distt. Charsadda in KPK. Initially, damage and health assessment surveys were conducted in order to evaluate damages to infrastructure, livestock, and crops as well as to evaluate affectee’s existing health conditions to ensure that they receive proper care.
In order to cater to people’s most urgent needs, a “Relief Pack,” consisting of 29 food and other necessary items, was distributed to multiple families. Designed for a family of 8 to 10, the pack’s major food items included flour, milk, lentils, potatoes, sugar, tea and a number of spices (approximately a 10 day food ration). Basic medicines included were Disprin, Panadol, and ORS. The other necessary items included were a burner, flood mats, mineral water, jerry cans, dishwashing bar soaps, body soaps, match boxes, dates, candles, biscuits, cakes, kerosene oil and empty bottles for kerosene oil. In addition to the relief pack, a total number of 300 tents have been distributed in Shikarpur, Khairpur, and Matiari. Each tent is 12’ x 14’ and can hold 8 to 10 members of a family.
While OSDI has closed down its immediate relief activities in these areas, based on the field team’s feedback, survey data and the OSDI Management visits to the areas, rehab plans are being developed and implemented accordingly.
Relief efforts by OSDI:
The recent heavy rain falls and floods in the country have left thousands homeless and stranded in the catastrophe. In view of the large scale of the calamity, OSDI immediately planned out an emergency relief operation to help the affected in Sindh and Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa province. Pakistan International Container Terminal has contributed generously to OSDI to support the relief operation.
In Sindh, since OSDI is currently working in seven villages of district Shikarpur and Khairpur. The relief activities were immediately directed to these two areas. Most of the villages in Shikarpur have been flooded severely including our focused villages of Malhee, Gul Burrioro and Old Zurkhel. People have lost their livelihoods, crops livestock and belongings and have fled from their homes to higher ground. A huge population of the devastated is gathered at the link road outside of Shikarpur in search of shelter and food. In view of this a camp has been set up besides the road which is currently providing relief to approximately 800 people. 67 tents have been set up and relief packages including necessary essentials like food items, clean drinking water, utensils, medicines and stoves have been distributed among the families.
Similarly in Khairpur District, the people of our focused villages of Jan mohd Vandiar, Goth Pir Bux Bhonbharo, Mulko wahan and Kamal Khan lashari have suffered because of heavy rain falls. These households are also being provided relief items specially food for immediate relief. However other villages in the same area, which were closer to Indus river have been swept away because of the heavy floods. Due to the magnanimity of the devastation another camp has been set up near the village Sobhedhero, which is providing relief to approximately 400 people affected by heavy rain and floods. 33 tents have been set up at the camp and relief items have been distributed among the families to provide immediate relief.
OSDI has been able to provide relief to more than 1000 people in these areas. Due to the intensity of the disaster at Shikarpur, a second relief operation is being planned to provide relief to 2000 more people. Our relief teams will be setting up 200 more tents and carry out distribution of relief items at our Shikarpur by the end of next week.
In Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa province, OSDI has also provided necessary relief items to help the flood affected at Charsadda.
Community based Sewage and Lavatory Program in PIRSAI:
Recently OSDI completed a two part sanitation project in the village of Pirsai in Mardan District of Khyber Pukhtun Khwa province. Water and sanitation conditions were extremely poor in the village. The dirty sewage water from homes and shops flowed to the village street, villagers passing by and children playing in the streets came across this dirty water regularly, causing health hazards to the inhabitants. This problem further intensified during the rainy season when the contaminated water flowed back into the houses.
The project was initiated in the month of June and was effectively concluded in approximately 20 days. The first part of the project involved a construction of 2,500 ft. sewage line. The 12”x12” line runs from the centre of the village to a previously constructed 12 ft. deep septic tank. The community contributed roughly 59% of the cost by means of contributions and labour costs and the rest of the expenses were borne by OSDI.
The second part of the project involved construction and complete renovation of 10 washrooms in different village localities. OSDI oversaw the renovation of 8 lavatories in Govt. Primary School for Boys, Govt. Primary School for Girls, Madrassah for Girls and the village mosque. Moreover two new restrooms were constructed near the village awami hujra. The work on the toilets has had a positive effect on the welfare of the villagers.
The construction of the sewage line has for the first time prevented the accumulation of monsoon rain water on the streets allowing the villagers a rare opportunity to appreciate the beauty of their village.
Hepatitis screening prevention and eradication Campaign:
In an attempt to combat the rising number of hepatitis cases in Sindh, OSDI initiated a hepatitis screening, eradication and prevention project with the collaboration of the Government of Sindh. The focused village for the project was Goth Sukhio Mir Jut, UC Hala in the district of Matyari in Sindh.
The campaign began in the last week of February 2010, and was spread over a series of six camps during which screening and vaccination was carried out. ICT, ELIZA and PCR tests were performed for identifying the hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus carriers.
The three doses of vaccination were also carried out during the camps and the last dose of vaccination was carried out in the last camp in the first week of June.
Besides the members of Sukhio Mir Jut the camp was visited by residents from six neighbouring villages as well.
Prior to the program a large scale awareness seminar was run through which the masses were informed about the causes and treatment of hepatitis by means of flyers, posters and banners.
As a motivation tool to mobilise the villagers flour bags (each weighing 2 kg) were distributed to participants at the end of every camp.
The camps screened a total of 826 individuals of which 211 were children under the age of 15 (the ratio of male to female was 115: 96). In all 715 individuals received hepatitis vaccination (the ratio of male to female was 314: 409) and a total of 103 patients were deduced to be suffering from Hepatitis C virus. The infected Individuals were referred to the Government treatment program at the Hala where they are undergoing their treatment.
Livestock Development Project Phase II in Sindh:
Following the success of the 1st phase of our Livestock Project, which is a part of our Livelihood Assistance Programs; OSDI has initiated the second phase of the program. Our objective of the project continues to be the same i.e. to empower the underprivileged people of Shambani Balouch community of village Jan Mohd Vandiar and Banbharo community of village Goth Kot Pir Bux Banbharo and help them achieve sustainable livelihoods by raising their income levels and by providing them with the means and the tools to enable them to improve their living conditions so they can break free from the poverty cycle over a period of time.
The project came into effect in the month of February 2010. The duration of the project is six months and is expected to conclude in the month of August 2010. Workshops on health of the livestock from the previous project were repeated and a series of new workshops on nutritional aspects and shed construction for the livestock in order to produce healthier animals were also conducted in collaboration with Livestock & Dairy Development Board (LDDB) and the local vet. The project will hopefully enable the families to foresee a rise in their monthly incomes. We hope to capacitate the focused families in expanding their skill set on livestock development and production encompassing health, nutrition, medication, shelter and other such factors involved in looking after and raising of the livestock.
Mardan Survey, OSDI's Success - 08-03-2010:
On 18 th February, 2010, OSDI's management visited the rural areas of Mardan district, N.W.F.P. where the OSDI team had been conducting surveys in the villages of Badam, Mian Gul Killay, Naway-killi, Pir Sai and Sayedabad.
Our visiting management was overwhelmed by the poor health conditions of the localinhabitants and found the situation to be unnerving and disheartening. Upon first glance, the principal problem being faced was the deplorable standard of sanitation. Water laden with waste was observed flowing freely on the pavements/passages instead of on appropriately established infrastructure. Animals and young children were playing on these pavements/passages indicating an enormous hazard to their immediate health. An alarmingly high number of these people were cases of untreated Hepatitis, and suffered diarrhea and dysentery issues because of the extremely poor sanitation conditions.
Ray of light in the midst of the mountains:
However the most promising reality discovered was the urge to educate the young. Every child and youngster met by the team was studying in the local schools and had aspirations to become an engineer or an army officer. Such enthusiasm is a sign of hope and prosperity for the future generation of Pakistan.
The management met with the local families at Pir Sai and took note of the extremely poor and marginalized families surviving on zakat/ charity and support from the relatively better off relatives. These people wanted to help themselves and sought an opportunity to improve their own lives; one such case was of a young female named Nazo. She lived in a mud house with her mentally challenged husband and a widowed aged mother-in-law. They like many other families had no regular income and survived from local support. However she suggested that she could stitch and could make her ends meet if she had a sewing machine. These families despite living in poor conditions did not seek for a penny but wanted an opportunity pull themselves out of poverty.
Upon noticing such commitment and valor the visiting team decided to distribute sewing machines to capacitate the families like Nazo's, and empower them by enabling them to have an immediate source of sustainable income.
OSDI team distributed 10 sewing machines to such families like Nazo; 3 in Badam, 3 in Naway-killi, 2 in Pir Sai and 2 in Sayedabad.
The OSDI team has completed its survey in the district of Mardan in the N.W.F.P. Province and the survey has already begun in the Gilgit Balistan Province.
OSDI launched the Firewood Project, under the Livelihood Assistance Program, in the village of Nomal, Gilgit Baltistan at the end of 2009. Unlike many villages in Gilgit, Nomal has access to electricity but still does not have access to gas, which is among the basic necessities in our lives today. OSDI’s project was initiated with the goal of enabling a household to improve their income generating ability by providing them the appropriate means and tools to help them in raising their income and thus their standard of living.
The project began in December 2009 and spanned over a period of three and a half months. One family was selected for this particular initiative, with the project being divided into six cycles and each cycle lasting over a period of 14 days. An initial interest free loan was provided to buy a portable wood cutting machine to chop the large logs into smaller chunks throughout the day so they could easily be used as firewood. The profit from the first cycle was then reinvested into buying wood for the second cycle, continuing until the fifth cycle. Due to the increased availability of firewood, this family was also able to hire a local part time worker on daily wages to assist in the firewood business.
The project was a practical example for the villagers to learn from this one family and use the same techniques to generate income and pull themselves out of poverty. This initiative not only helped the family in need improve their own conditions but also provided local employment opportunities for the locals, helping instigate economic activity in the village. Such income generating techniques not only add to household income levels but also help ensure sustainable livelihoods of families, and lead to sustainable development for entire communities.
Rice and Wheat Cultivation:
Under the Livelihood Assistance Program, OSDI began an Agricultural Development project in the village of Malhee in the District of Shikarpur. Most of the villagers in Malhee earn their income primarily from livestock, labour, and agricultural activities.
The people primarily work on the lands of other owners, and are unable to generate enough income to invest on land cultivation. Thus they are forced to depend on local loan providers who hand out loans with high interest rates. As a result, most villagers end up caught in a debt cycle throughout their lives and give a vast percentage of their share of the produce to these loan merchants in an attempt to overcome their debts. The end result is that the farmer is left with very little produce for domestic consumption and is not able to generate enough revenue to sustain a decent living.
Seeing this common practice, OSDI identified three indigent households to give loans to in order to cultivate wheat. The project was initiated in the month of May (2010) and spanned over a period of five and a half months. Informal meetings were held to guide farmers about the significance of using appropriate methods and techniques relevant to using fertilizers, using the right kinds of seeds, as well as the advantages of using a tractor, etc. The farmers were then able to use the right quantity of fertilizers, improved seeds, good quality pesticides etc., which resulted in overall higher yields. The focused families utilized the profits to pay off their loans and to cater to their domestic needs.
The increase in returns was attributed to the farmers being able to use the necessary quantity of fertilizers and new seeds, which they were unable to do before due to the high interest rates ranging from 30-70%. The provision of appropriate means and resources not only helped the focused families to improve their own livelihoods, but also enabled them to generate a sustainable source of income.
OSDI's vision Global Acceptance - 08-03-2010:
We are intensely delighted to announce the publication of an article titled ‘Fighting Poverty through Sustainable Development in Pakistan' written by our own Maheen Haider and Aasim Siddiqui on the official website of Himalayan Consensus Certified. The article discusses the dual challenges, poverty and hopelessness, faced by Pakistan . It also describes the steps and measures adopted by OSDI to overcome such obstacles to allow Pakistan a chance to prosper as a thriving nation.
The article can be viewed through the following link:
Rural House Hold And Community Assessment Survey - 11-02-2010:
The OSDI team, at present is in the process of developing a comprehensive questionnaire for the purpose of administering an in-depth survey on the focused rural areas of Pakistan. The survey will help us analyze the livelihoods and living conditions of the rural poor of Sindh, N.W.F.P. and Gilgit Balistan and implement programs ensuring sustainable development.
We wish to implement efficacious and effective sustainable livelihood and community development projects. The survey covers a range of aspects and has been categorized into household and community assessment. They both asses various conditions prevailing in these areas like means of livelihoods, (agriculture, livestock), water and sanitation, education and health facilities, basic utilities and road infrastructure etc at both household and community level.
The questions in each of these sections are skillfully designed to gather extensive data aligned with our vision to aid our team in promoting sustainable development. This will improve the living conditions of the impecunious families by the aid of necessary resources and empower them via increased economic activity and community development projects.
The survey is expected to start by the mid of February in the rural areas of Mardan and Gilgit and will be conducted in the focused villages of Sindh subsequently. OSDI's future programs as a result of the survey will provide the means and the right tools to the poor in order to create a sense of responsibility among them so they can take appropriate initiatives of helping themselves. We will work towards installing long lost hope of a better life in these communities and endeavor to restore the sense of pride and dignity in their lives.
Success in the Livestock Sector - 21-01-2010:
OSDI's Livestock Project, part of the Livelihood Assistance Program was initiated in the villages of Jan Mohd. Vandiar & Goth Kot Pir Bux Banbharo. People from these communities lead a semi-nomadic life and their livelihoods are largely dependent on livestock and agricultural activities. Our goal behind the project was t o financially empower the underprivileged people of Shambani Balouch community of village Jan Mohd Vandiar and Banbharo community of village Goth Kot pir Bux Banbharo. The projects were designed to raise their income levels so they can break free from the debilitating cycle of poverty. We aimed to provide them with the means and the tools to enable them to improve their livelihoods. Three families were selected for this project.
The project began in the month of September, 2009 with the purchase of livestock from the capital which was provided to them through Micro Finance by OSDI. The 3 families raised and fed the livestock until it was time to sell them. During the course of the project we were actively involved with the families. OSDI frequently conducted workshops in collaboration with the local veterinarians to teach the project committee about livestock development. Due to these workshops, people began to take better care of their animals in terms of health and nutrition and thus witnessed remarkable results. The duration of the program was 2 months, successfully ending in the month of November around Eid Ul Azha to maximize sales revenue. After all the deductions including the repayment of the interest-free loan, it was seen that the families were left with a significant profit.
Due to the accomplishment of this project, the OSDI team is working in close collaboration with the focused families and is developing the 2 nd phase of the livestock development project. The team is also evaluating more families to be included in the project in the future and additional variables in order to ensure that the livelihood assistance program will help improve the lives of the Banbharo and Balouch community in order for them to achieve a sustainable livelihood.
Empowering Farmers in Sindh - 21-01-2010:
The Agriculture Project Phase I in Sindh is taking place in the district of Ranipur, in the villages of Jan Mohd. Vandiar, Goth Pir Bux Banbharo and Mulko Wahan. The people of this area are mostly dependent on livestock and agricultural activities to support their families. OSDI's goal is to help these people improve their livelihood strategies so that they are able to increase their income from the same assets that they are working with. Our team works closely with the target communities in order to assess the roots of poverty. After this assessment, we were able to develop a tailor-made strategy to gradually increase income through improved farming methods as well as giving them access to interest-free credit. Before OSDI loans, these villagers were simply re-using old seeds and were unable to afford proper inputs like fertilizer and new seeds. With money to buy better quality seeds and inputs, the results of the crops are expected to be much higher. There are a total of four families participating in this project. Since its commencement in November, the land has been ploughed, cultivated and fertilized. The project is expected to yield its results by the month of April next year.
A similar project has been initiated by our team in Sindh, in the district of Shikarpur, in the village of Malhee. Our goals and aims behind this project are similar to those of the project launched in Ranipur district. There are a total of 3 families participating in this project. Since its commencement in the month of November, the lands have been ploughed and cultivated. Seedlings are visible in the fields at this time, which is surely a good indicator of the impending success of the project. The project is expected to yield positive results by the middle of 2010.
Sustainable Livelihood Projects in Gilgit - 21-01-2010:
OSDI has launched 2 projects in the Gilgit region, in the villages of Nomal and Rahimabad. These projects are referred to as vegetable project and the greenhouse project. Each project has been assigned to one family in the region.
The family that has been provided with the loan for the vegetable project has planted two vegetables, spinach and potherb. The family has already begun to reap the benefits; they have plucked and sold the vegetables four times. We are expecting a full return of the loan in the coming months.
The family participating in the greenhouse project invested their loan in the building of a fully functional greenhouse and preparation of seedlings of green chilies, green peppers, capsicums and tomatoes. This greenhouse will allow the family to produce seedlings year round despite the external weather conditions. This project will not only benefit the family but also aid the community as they would be able to purchase higher quality seedlings. After the completion of the greenhouse the seedlings were sowed on December 1 st of 2009 and the loan is expected to be repaid by the first quarter of 2010.