Some of Our Achievements:
VVD is 40 years old now and has a known identity of being one of the oldest NGOs for Community Development in the state. It had worked across the state and beyond for 18 years in the past till 2011 for conflict mitigation. It is currently working in the district of Ukhrul and Kamjong district with four field centres. Ukhrul and Kamjong has a population of 184,000 (2011 census) and we are at present working in partnership with 42 villages with a population of 27,166.
Community in 42 villages have been organised at 3 levels- Self Help Groups at Group level, Village Development Committee at Village level and Area Development Coordination Committee (ADCC) at Area level. They are being capacitated in terms of awareness on issues related to social, economic, political (not party politics) and environment. They are also being capacitated in terms of skill to analyse local situation and plan relevant development programs. Through this intervention we have not only enabled the women Self Help Groups for economic gains but have also promoted women leadership at grass root. The involvement of women in the composition of Village Development Committee (VDC) has succeeded changing the Gender bias mindset at grass root level resulting to community accepting women’s participation in village assembly against tribal tradition in many villages. Representation in the VDC from all traditional institutions- church, youth, women and village authority has also helped promote transparency in village system. The formation of Area Development Coordination Committee has provided a platform to each of the four areas to deal with common issues.
On economic front, the economic activities of women self help groups promoted family savings which impacted on private money lenders to lower their interest rate from 360% per annum to 48% now. This succeeded in preventing land alienation of the poor by money lenders.
In the backdrop of total absence of institutional credit facility to Tribals VVD also initiated a credit union which later was handed over to the community has now grown to an impressive portfolio of INR 6.23 crores. VVD no longer represent in the Credit Union.
Further, we initiated to revive the traditional skill of Weaving. Loin weaving was no longer a profitable trade and was already degenerating. VVD introduced semi mechanised loom which has made weaving not only profitable but popular and has helped many girls generate self employment.
We have been able to increase income of many families through various income generation activities and also enhance food security of the people by enhancing production and productivity by land development and irrigation. Since 90% of our land is hills we are promoting plantation of fruit trees for a sustainable source of income.
3,308 families have productive assets in terms of fruit trees, livestocks and irrigated land. Politically, we worked for Peace initiatives for 18 years during a violent ethnic conflict in the state. From relief distribution to building local capacity for peace in sensitive areas, from resettlement of displaced villages to rehabilitation of their livelihood and support for affected children’s education, the conflict mitigation process took18 long years to restore normalcy until we withdrew in 2011. We however, continue to work for conflict mitigation even today but now for inter village boundary dispute which often is violent and has been the main problem of the Nagas.
Sensitising on global climate change among rural poor VVD has influenced villages to adopt regulative measures for sustainable use of natural resources, influenced conservation of water, soil, wild lives in all partner villages and encouraged community tree plantation for past 37 years. We emphasise on natural farming and campaigned among partner villages against use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and weedecides. 42 partner villages have regulation on management of Natural Resources for sustainable use.
Socially, in collaboration with the Tangkhul Women’s League the community has been sensitising on gender equity issue and it is now only a matter of time that women will be allowed to become members of all customary institutions viz: Village Authority, Longphang and Longrei. 171 females have now participated in VDC from 42 villages out of the 168 target female against tribal traditions.