The Haller Approach is to provide and promote a model for economic development that is both sustainable and environmentally sound.
Haller is a unique and highly innovative development charity working with over 25,000 people in 27 communities providing them with the skills to lift themselves out of poverty. We provide educational training based on the work of Dr Rene Haller, a UNEP Global Laureate who has over 50 years expertise in landscape restoration. Renowned for the transformation of cement quarries near Mombasa, Kenya, he transformed several miles of desert-like wasteland into a flourishing natural park. This park became financially sustainable, generating income from 47 different natural sources including tree saplings, bees, fish and vegetables.
We use a similar model for environmental regeneration to bring water and food security to poor smallholder farmers, living on dry inhospitable land. Ours is not a quick fix, we typically work with a community over a period of 5 years, to address their agricultural, health, education and energy needs. Our community partnerships enable farmers to become self-sufficient, even setting up micro-businesses. Our water programme teaches communities how to harvest rainfall and use the collected water to grow food and farm fish which can be eaten and any surplus can be sold. Our alternative energy programme reduces dependency on charcoal and kerosene and provides light and biogas for families on a continent where only 25% have electricity.
There is much more that we can do but our goals are to equip subsistence farmers to work with the environment and build sustainable livelihoods.
DfDD 2013’s donation funded:
The funds were allocated Haller-wide to enable project delivery across all aspects of our work. With rapid expansion of the number of communities we support, we recognized that our resources would become stretched. With this in mind, we decided to focus on giving support to the 27 existing communities to achieve the shared goal of self-sustainability through the following:
Dr. Rene Haller has been working to develop sustainable farming techniques for over 20 years at our Demonstration Farm at Mtopanga. We offer workshops to primarily subsistence farmers, from our self-help groups, covering basic land cultivation techniques such as crop selection, inter-cropping, composting and soil stabilisation.
We have introduced beekeeping due to its nutritional, environmental and income potential. 10 beehives have been built and we expect 4 harvests per year. We also demonstrate the use of alternative energies such as biogas.
Peer-to-peer training is part of Haller’s success – we share best practice workshops not only at the Farm but also offer practical demonstrations in the communities for farmers to share with one another.
For smallholder farmers and those from other organisations, we have developed a more intensive course where farmers stay with us on a month-on, month-off basis and engage in practical training at the farm.
With daily support from our Community Mobilisers, communities will have learned the skills to grow sufficient crops to eat and with any surplus are supported in a micro-business start-up.
The Bustani II Garden, an enhanced version of our original urban slum garden built at the Nguuni Education Centre is now complete. This provides the accommodation on site for our students on our intensive residential farmer training course whilst also acting as a working model to showcase techniques for growing food in a confined space, maximising the use of vertical space.
An Aquaponics system was designed and built in our Amiran tent, an African style greenhouse. The system integrates fish farming with growing vegetables in a symbiotic manner that results in an increased yield whilst minimising the amount of water required. This working model is used to showcase Dr. Haller’s techniques to Agricultural colleges, NGOs and co-operative groups.
Health at our Nguuni Clinic and Mobile Outreach
Our communities have little access to healthcare with the nearest hospital several kilometres away. At our Health Centre, which houses a maternal delivery suite, a triage area, a diagnostic laboratory and a pharmacy, we are able to deliver free, high-quality primary healthcare. In conjunction with the Ministry of Health, we offer health education workshops and films in our seated, covered auditorium. Our education workshops which you have funded have been very effective in disease prevention, reducing malaria incidences, lowering malnutrition rates, enabling informed family planning for mothers, and ensuring higher under 5 childhood survival rates.
Your donation has secured the employment of a clinical officer, a nurse, a diagnostic technician and a part-time pharmacist who offer treatment to the poorest of our community members for a token fee.Those who are sick and/or unable to pay for their treatment are never turned away. Without this service the 9,000 patient consultations, the mothers who had babies safely in our clinic, the 2,400 immunisations that were provided to children under the age of five, and the 3,000 attendees at our health workshops would not have had access to treatment. Instead they would have risked using a witch doctor and many would have suffered needlessly.
In our rural communities, we offer an outreach service that covers a 40 square mile area. Our trained nurse visits our communities once a week to ensure that postnatal and antenatal support is available whilst also immunising under 5’s. Without this service, the nearest clinic would be a 6 to 8 hour walk, an impossible distance to cover when one is sick or heavily pregnant.
To support our delivery of outreach services in Health and Education, your donation has enabled us to maintain, insure and fuel our two motorcycles and our trucks.These are so important asthe majority of the population of sub-Saharan Africa live in rural areas where the best roads are little more than dirt tracks.
Public transport is infrequent and delivering health care on foot or by bicycle between sparse villages is an exhausting and ineffective task. Put simply, without reliable transport the millions of pounds that is invested in vaccines, drugs, bed-nets, condoms and trained health professionals every year will be wasted because they will fail to get to where they are needed on time. We have four community mobilisers and a nurse, who use the bikes or trucks to reach communities to deliver our health outreach service, the vital U5 vaccination programme, as well as using them for farmer training, getting to our community schools for both the delivery of supplies and for supervision, to attend community meetings, negotiate and help set up Community-based organisations, and many of the other services Haller delivers.
The bikes are used for eight hours a day and for five and a half days a week. They have really improved efficiency since without the bikes the community mobilisers either had to cycle or walk – and with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees, they would arrive in the communities exhausted even before their work had commenced. Dorah, our nurse, is driven to the outreach clinics by truck and is able to transport vaccinations, medicines, weighing scales and malaria nets which she would not be able to do on foot.
Nguuni Education Centre and IT Suite
Your donation also supports Hallerʼs Nguuni Education Centre, home to Kenyaʼs first childrenʼs library and currently supports children at 63 schools from the surrounding area, many of whom are from the slum regions of Mombasa.
Over the past few years, our footfall has increased by nearly 50% and in 2013 we had over 18,000 library visits. In early 2013, we also opened an IT Suite to help bright students access the internet for e-learning and commenced a series of basic computer skills training courses that now generate further demand for the library and its facilities.
Following the appointment of an appropriately skilled IT teacher, class frequency and scope has increased. Our library and IT Suite provides children with a safe and secure place to learn, which is hugely significant in a city that has seen a large increase in the number of vulnerable street children.
Our Education Centre also houses a covered auditorium, seating for 120 children with a stage and film-screening facility. It has been in constant daily use since November 2013, enabling us to increase capacity by 25% and offer children a cool, safe and inviting learning atmosphere. Activities offered here include vocational workshops, environmental clubs such as bird club, youth group forums and inter-school debating groups. Regular films are also screened with an educational and environmental bias.
IT classes commenced in January 2013 and class frequency and scope has increased following the appointment of an appropriately skilled IT teacher. Our librarian has devised suitable training courses where our initial focus has been on providing basic IT skills to children from our partner state schools in the 7-14 age group. An awareness programme has begun with these schools and we have scheduled training classes. We also transport children from our 3 community schools and their teachers to the IT Centre for lessons and for training.
Mako Global has been an enthusiastic supporter and partner of The Haller Foundation since 2009 and we are delighted to have your ongoing support for Dealing for Donation Day 2014. Your generous donation in 2013 as made a huge difference to the lives of the smallholder farmer and their children and on their behalf, thank you.
Registered Charity No. 1101725