July 16th-21st, 2016, 9 CBO (community-based organization) initiators from Ningxia, Gansu, Shaanxi, Qinghai and Hebei gathered together in Xiji, Ningxia to have the first regional seminar in the year 2016. All these 9 CBOs cooperate with the Badi Foundation to run the Environmental Action Program in their own communities. The seminar provided a platform for them to share experiences or difficulties that they encountered when running the program.
The practice of holding regional seminar grew out of a localization strategy of the Institutional Capacity Building Program (ICB) in 2014. 30 CBOs were categorized by their programs and geographic locations into four groups. Each group sets its own agenda for the seminar based on program-related processes and the needs emerging from the actual work. Since the initiation of the regional groups, all four groups have held regional seminars to discuss issues related to their programs. Badi Foundation also hopes that through regional seminars, regional learning networks can be established which prepare the way for the initiation of regional learning centers in the future.
This seminar is the group’s third one since 2014, and the CBOs in this group have developed stronger communication and consultation systems. During the week, they discussed the conceptual framework of the program, the art of accompaniment and facilitation, and the implementation of small economic initiatives while also visiting two communities in Xiji to see the actual outcomes of the program. Participants in the communities expressed their gratitude to the program: “it gave us confidence by encouraging us to actively participate in community development”. Dancing teams, choir groups and support groups were successfully set up in the course of the program. Exploration towards economic initiatives and children’s education are now on their mind.
The Environmental Action Program is implemented by CBOs with the support of Badi Foundation. It aims for empowerment of rural women to develop the personal qualities, scientific knowledge and decision-making skills to undertake agricultural practices and economic initiatives that are sustainable for the local environment, economy and community.