Last Call: Fall Academy | Tragedies: HIV/AIDS & Malaria | Family-Planning | Tropical Food Gardens

Last Call: Fall Academy | Tragedies: HIV/AIDS & Malaria | Family-Planning | Tropical Food Gardens

Also: Kenya | Uganda | Course Scale Up | CBA for Horn of Africa Food Crisis | Survey 60 Student Projects
November 2011 Newsletter
Center for Sustainable Development 
CSDi Fall Quarter 2011: Upcoming Online Field Courses: November 8, 2011
1. THE CHALLENGE:  Real-Time Development: 3 Disease-Related Deaths in 2 Weeks in Student Communities.
Students develop real projects in CSDi online field courses. They are confronted firsthand with ongoing community tragedies & they want to help immediately—but it can take months to develop a community-based project & fund it. Meanwhile village challenges continue in real time.
Last week I wrote about 2 malaria deaths in a Ugandan community partnering with a student team. This week we learned about the death of a 7 1/2 year old Kenyan boy due to malnutrition, TB & AIDS. Genevieve Lamond, UK, Martha Njoroge, Kenya, & Kathy Tate-Bradish, US, had been designing an HIV related project supporting 40 HIV/AIDS orphans when they heard the news about Brian. See how Team Uganda and Team Kenya plan to combat these challenges.

2. THE SOLUTION: Special November Online Academy: Adaptation & DRR Diploma Programs Begin November 8.
We’ve decided to hold a special session featuring our flagship course OL 341: Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change—the first course of two diploma programs for practitioners.
Worldwide over 1 billion people suffer from hunger. 2.6 billion people don’t have access to decent sanitation. 1.1 billion people don’t have access to safe drinking water. 1.3 billion people live on $1.25 a day or less. The growing costs of inaction are real. 

BECOME THE SOLUTION. Are you a donor, a development practitioner, in a job transition, or a student who wants to learn more about what works in designing sustainable, impact-oriented development projects?  Join us along with students from all over the world November 8.

3. SCALE UP STUDENT PROJECT SUCCESSES: Help Us Increase Impact to 200,000 Beneficiaries by December 31.
Help us to scale-up these impacted-oriented courses. In their first 21 months 500 people from 320 organizations in 113 countries have developed and are developing projects impacting 170,000 people. Help us scale up the reach of our courses so that a much greater number of students can begin projects and increase this impact to 200,000 people by year’s end.
Please spread the word about our courses to your friends/colleagues through your blog, your newsletter or your Facebook page—or by ‘liking’ & commenting on this post on our Facebook Page. Consider making a scholarship donation for field staff who can’t afford course fees.

To learn about other student projects in real time, please visit our Facebook Page or CSDi Development Community to see their regular postings. Visit Online Learning to see a full listing of Fall Quarter courses.

POPULATION BOMB: How do we get more NGOs interested in family planning?
Only 23% of women in sub-Saharan Africa use contraceptives and some women have never even heard of family planning. In several hundred projects developed by our online students in the past two years, I’ve only seen three or four projects that address family planning or reproductive health.
Why aren’t more development groups working on projects related to such incredibly important issues as family-planning—when a lack of it reduces family prosperity, access to education, food security, maternal and infant health—and increases maternal deaths? How can we raise interest in family planning? What are your suggestions?

I’ve been teaching a course on nutrition and family gardens. I felt it was time to try my own hand at a tropical garden. I purchased some seeds and traded others with friends: I wound up with 75 varieties. In the end I had 450 seedlings plus left-over seeds—far more than I could use. So I shared them.
Seeds are expensive: People in developing nations planting family gardens for nutrition could share seeds with their friends and reduce each family’s costs—and strengthen nutrition through a diversified diet. Based upon my seed excesses I began to realize that seed sharing offers a tremendous opportunity for families that can’t afford a broad range of seeds to increase nutrition.

Cross-hemisphere student partnerships are creating 40 on-the-ground community projects through our September courses.Check in periodically—students are asking for help with their projects & posting suggestions for other students. Projects range from model forests, wetland conservation, and use management,
 soil & water conservation, income generation, deforestation, advocacy, youth, nomadic pastoralism, food insecurity, HIV, malaria & vulnerability to climate change.

I’m trying my hand at growing a tropical food garden in Guatemala in order “walk my talk” and to gain first-hand knowledge of the challenges that my food security, nutrition and home garden students living in tropical countries face in growing food.
So right now I have 6, 3′ x 10′ beds planted with the 75 varieties of seedlings which you can find on my Excel spreadsheet. I’m feeling pretty good about this because I’ve only had this garden for 10 weeks and we are already eating produce. I will be regularly posting the challenges that confront me—and that are confronting nutrition and family garden students.

“Using Small-Scale Adaptation Actions to Address the Food Crisis in the Horn of Africa”. Authors Richard Munang (Climate Change Adaptation & Development UNEP, Kenya) & Johnson Nkem argue that current intensive crop production cannot meet the challenges of the new millennium. They feel small-scale actions by small holder farmers can provide sustainable solutions to food security.

Based upon a study of 1,200 Ugandan farmers using 3 simple small-scale approaches:
1. Exploiting seasonal rainfall distribution to improve & stabilize crop yield.
2. Using conservation agriculture as an adaptation technology.
3. Integrating nutrient mgmt. into production by alternating corn with nitrogen-fixing beans.

What’s happening in the region where you live?
Please write us with your stories, thoughts and comments through or post them at our Facebook Page, or on the Center’s Blog.
Be sure to visit CSDi’s Development Community. Join 575 colleagues in sharing resources & collaborating online.
Like us: CSDi Facebook.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Tim Magee, Executive Director
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The Center for Sustainable Development specializes in providing sound, evidence-based information, tools and training for humanitarian development professionals worldwide. CSDi is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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