The accomplishment of the APFS MT course
The accomplishment of the APFS MT course: IGAD –FAO Partnership Programme on Drought Resilience.
The three months second phase of the APFS course that began in November 2016 is now completed with twenty-one APFS Master Trainers (MTs) successfully completing the course. The Master Trainers who were awarded certificates of completion now have the knowledge and skills to train facilitators who will help implement the APFS program in their respective communities. Every Thursday, during the three months course, the Master Trainers were involved in field work where they worked with various villages around Sheikh (Alaaule, Dubur, Elafwein, Susgsade) providing them with the technical support on the enterprises (agriculture or livestock) that APFS groups are involved in.
The IGAD communications team from Djibouti led by the communications officer Sharon Kuku and the Somaliland news team were in ISTVS a day before the APFS graduation ceremony to document the success of APFS in one of the practice groups that is Alaaule. The ISTVS principal, Dr. Fred Wesonga, and some of the Master Trainers accompanied the team to the village.
Successful implementation of APFS in Alaaule
Alaaule is like an oasis, a community lucky to have a natural spring nearby that has helped immensely with irrigation of the crops. The team was able to witness an APFS in session facilitated by one of the trainees of the first phase APFS training that took place in ISTVS. The meeting included both men and women. There was a Q& A session, and the ISTVS principal answered some questions posed by the participants. In his remarks, he mentioned that it was his hope the APFS practice continued and applauded the community for embracing the program. Cabbage, Lettuce, spring onions, sorghum for fodder production, bananas are some of the very healthy crops planted by the Alaaule community and the surplus sold to Sheikh Market to generate some income.
The APFS program has benefited the women in a great away, and one of the women interviewed cited that, they can now spend their time farming and selling the produce to sustain their livelihood as opposed to sitting in the house all day. The income has enabled them to support their basic needs.
The handing over of the certificate of completion ceremony for the Master Trainer course took place on 27th February 2017. In attendance was the representative from IGAD, FAO, SDC, APFS member state, Berbera Quarantine, the Mayor of Sheikh, deputy minister of livestock, amongst other dignitaries. The Master Trainers exhibited in various booths essential information on APFS explaining what they had learned over the three months to the visitors.
MT’s were applauded for their commitment to the program and were urged to initiate APFS program in their regions. Abdullahi Khalif, the SDC representative, appreciated the four girls graduating the program emphasizing the need to have more girls in such programs in the future. Deborah, the FAO representative, thanked the ISTVS Principal for his commitment and dedication to ensuring the APFS idea generated two years ago was made possible. She referred to the APFS program as a “better way of addressing livelihoods in the ASAL regions” and was happy to welcome the graduates to the APFS community of ninety countries. The IGAD representative Caroline Kirungu termed the day as “an important day for IGAD, FAO and SDC “as this was the first graduation of MT’s in the region,” and the journey she continued was important for the people of this area. She also urged the MT’s to practice what they had learned for a better tomorrow
In his speech, Solomon Nega, the facilitator of the three months MT course, termed this particular training as the most fascinating and described the ISTVS family as very friendly people.
The graduation ceremony ended on a high note. ISTVS hopes that the goal of building resilience of (agro) pastoral communities in the Horn of Africa will be fully achieved with the community input of the MT’s.
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