Building Peace Through Natural Resource Management in Darfur

Darfur, Sudan—NEF’s Resources, Livelihoods, and Security (RLS) project promotes peaceful and participatory economic recovery through natural resource management in Central and West Darfur. NEF works with local partners to craft sustainable solutions for micro-enterprise and agricultural development through business literacy workshops, enrichment planting, and animal healthcare trainings.

Project participant, Kharif, a paraveterinary worker who was unemployed before taking NEF’s workshop, expanded his business as a paravet to the surrounding villages. Paravets assist veterinarians by providing basic animal health care and animal production advice to people in their communities. “Before attending the paravets’ workshop, I was leading a very difficult life because I didn’t have a real full-time job to rely on,” Kharif said.

Today, 50 cattle owners—with 150 cattle each—rely on Kharif to take care of their livestock’s health. “You can imagine how big my workload is,” Kharif said. “My personal financial distress has been completely relieved and now my children are doing well at school as a result of my newfound economic stability.”

In a 21-day course, prepared and implemented with the Department of Animal Wealth of Central Darfur, NEF trained 25 paravets on animal health care followed by three days of business development training to enable participants to sustain veterinarian businesses in their communities.

Hamid, another paravet trained by NEF, said he was extremely pleased to have participated in the RLS project because he was not only able to increase in his daily earnings, but also is now able to train others to properly take care of animals.

“One of the most satisfying aspects is that I don’t just treat animals, but I also carry out awareness raising activities for the pastoralist community on best practices for animal disease prevention,” Hamid said.

Many of the animal diseases found are easily preventable with better practices and care from the cattle owners. After attending NEF’s training, Hamid believes that he has “a personal responsibility to help raise pastoralists’ awareness of best practices for animal health.

Abdelkarim, another participant who used trial-and-error methods to treat animals prior to his training said, “I wasn’t very confident about what I was doing because I lacked the fundamental scientific knowledge and skills. After the training, I feel far more self-confident, as I know what I am doing and I can see the positive results of the treatments I administer.”

In addition to being a paravet, Abdelkarim opened a store that sells medicine for animals. This is important in the area because pastoralists lack immediate access to drugs for their livestock.

Paravets were not the only individuals who benefited from NEF’s RLS project. Since its creation in 2013, the project has positively impacted the lives of thousands of individuals—many of whom have had a history of conflict with each other. Along with the 2,330 people who took part in business-training workshops, 23 water pumps were distributed in 13 villages—helping 460 people—and 7,000 participants benefited from the distribution of seeds and tools. Overall, the project exceeded the projected total number of beneficiaries by 72 percent.

Click here to read more about our work in Sudan.

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