Friday, January 30, 2015

JMD applies for funding from ACWW and the EC to expand the cocoa farmers' association

In our continuing struggle to get the intrepid team at JMD some more project funding, we’ve applied to two more organizations this month, on each end of the programming spectrum.  We’ve asked the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) for a small grant to expand the cocoa farmers’ association into the adjacent villages, with the hopes of being able to provide 10 more farmers with the appropriate tools and harvesting/drying equipment to take that first stab at re-establishing their farms.  They’ll also be able to take part in the trainings JMD already is giving, thanks to a current grant from the Embassy of Finland.

I know I do this each time I mention Finland but I can’t help it.

Yay Finland!

And JMD has just completed a mammoth concept application to the European Commission’s SWITCH-II Asia initiative, which is offering grants of between 800,000 and several million Euros to “promote sustainable growth, to contribute to the economic prosperity and poverty reduction in Asia and to mitigate climate change.”
Does that sound like JMD or does that sound like JMD?

There are two priority sectors; JMD is applying under #2: "Micro, small and medium enterprises support for SCP [sustainable consumption practices]  uptake and access to finance."

Projects are supposed to:
“1)  Employ a multi-stakeholder approach with strong and intensive working relationships with SMEs [small to medium enterprises];
2)  Build upon existing structures and networks;
3)  Up-scale results achieved in earlier conducted pilot-type projects. “

So what did JMD think when it read this?  Exactly: that this was its opportunity to actually do what AAA and Keumang could not and did not do—take those 1,000 cocoa farmers identified in Aceh Timur by their preliminary (and only) completed activities, and actually provide the services that the farmers were supposed to receive, and then have them join the current women farmers’ cocoa association.  Granted, a growth spurt from 31 to 1,031 might be a little dramatic, but it’s over a four-year period, and JMD can use the DSF model it developed for IOM when it implemented the coffee farmers’ assistance project in 2009-2011 (which had, coincidentally, 1,000 beneficiaries). How perfect is that?

We’re asking for nearly the minimum amount of euros because, let’s face it, that’s a lotta euros, and JMD has always been able to implement high quality projects in a very cost-effective manner.  It has since shrunk in size from its once-robust 60-person staff due to the completion of the DSF project. . . but it will rise again to the challenge!  Provided that a) this is the economy of scale the EC is  looking for, b) the EC is ready to say YES a local NGO can administer and direct its own projects for the welfare of its own communities, and c) we can figure out how to print out the document on the bizarrely-sized  A4 paper and send it air mail to Belgium in time.

So, in anticipation of rousing success, let me just say

Yay, European Commission!
(I wonder if that scores any points . . . )

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