PASTORALIST CENTER FOR EMPOWERRMENT INITIATIVES
PASTORALIST CENTER FOR EMPOWEMENT INITIATIVE (PACE-IN ) ” grassroot home grown solutions for local challenges”
Is a grassroot local community initiative formed by and serving the marginalized nomadic pastoralist community living in merti sub-county, Isiolo, Kenya.
Merti sub-county is situated on GPS 38°53’35.6°N, 77°02’13.7W. It’s 570kms. /10hrs. drive North of Capital city Nairobi.
The residents of merti sub-county are predominantly members of Borana ethnic tribe/ community. They live by and abide to their traditional cultural beliefs /practices. The Borana tribe are sub-divided into clans and sub-clans i.e ancestral lineages. Elders who are the most revered members of the communiy play vital in daily affairs of the community.
PASTORALIST CENTER FOR EMPOWERMENT INITIATIVE PACE- IN) was formed to serve as pivotal platform and umbrella for empowerment by the local community. PACE-IN is made up as consortium of groups serving interest of different and diversified members in the community i.e. widows/ single mothers, orphans and vulnerable, special need persons, youths and aged.
By consolidating efforts and roles of all community members, making participatory prioritized planning for sustainable projects, PACE-IN has been spear heading a homegrown solutions for local challenges.
To initiate developmental transformation by empowering traditional pastoral-nomadic community by introducing them to opportunities to catch up with the pace of modern world through networking, linkage and parnership.
- To make livestock keeping a viable source of livelihood by linking the community to support services.
- To empower pastoral-nomadic communities to identify, manage, conserve and utilize locally available resource to diversify their source of livelihood.
- To work on and improve traditional knowldge for developmental transformation.
- To uproot negative cultural practices eg. Female genital mutilation FGM, Child/ forceful marriage, Gender discrimination/ inequalities.
- Improve community health,hygiene and nutrition.
- Empowering single mothers and widows to be self relient
Taking care of orphans and vulnerable children in the community.
Supporting members with special needs in the community.
PACE-IN’ ACTIVITIES/ SUCCESS
To achieve susteinable development objective community empowerment through capacity building trainings and advocacy strategy has been incorporated in all the six core projects/ activities. Since we believe in “teaching how to fish than to give a fish” we have made substantial positive impact on the community members.
A). Women project serving the interest of widows and single mothers is getting momentum as 48 mothers have been trained and introduced to income generating activities.
B). Children Care project for Orphans and vulnerable has a total of 60 children who are supported under the care of their relatives/ guardians.
C). Community resource and training centre/ demonstration farm established on a 20ha. piece of land along the banks of Ewaso-ngiro river where community members learn new skills eg.livestock breed upgrading through cross breeding, crop farming, fish and chicken rearing and tree seedlings planting has been running succesfully for 2 yrs. despite various challenges at the begining stage.
This centre also serves as a coordination point of PACE-IN activities/projects. A conference hall made of locally available cheap materials provides a space for meetings and trainings. Plans at advanced stage to start a technical training program for youths who will acquire technical skills eg. Mechanic, building,tailoring,leatherwork etc. Offering such skills we believe our youths who dropped out of schools will get opportunity to be productive in life.
D). As PACE-IN’ we have identified and capacity strengthened our own ‘expatriates’, although it may sound some how strange, these . are persons within the community who have various informal knowledge and skills. eg. Traditional Elders,Traditional birth attendants (TBA’s), human and veterinary herbalist, community volunteers and traditional weather forecasters.
The positive impact of this effort is more than anticipated eg. The training for Traditional birth attendants TBA’s has increased the number of mothers attending health facilities thus reducing cases martenal mortality. The same applies to others.
From such promising experience we learnt that:
- development starts from within the community and no community is short of development power.
- Introducing the community to opportunities is better than introducing donations to community.
- Communities have their own local priorities, plans and capabilities although they require support for implementation.
- Working for and with all focused on development regardless of any discrimination.
- Participatory prioritized planning for susteinable development.
- Homegrown innovations for empowerment and solutions to local challenges.