The Bunong people are fighting for their future

The indigenous community of the Bunong is affected by land grabbing by international rubber companies. The loss of their land forces the Bunong to settle down and give up their traditional cultivation method.

The Bunong people are fighting for their future

The indigenous community of the Bunong is affected by land grabbing by international rubber companies. The loss of their land forces the Bunong to settle down and give up their traditional cultivation method. Our partner organisation BIPA (Bunong Indigenous People Association) has discovered in organic farming an alternative type of agriculture that allows the farmers to cultivate the small amount of land that remains to them more profitably. In addition to securing their livelihood, organic farming encourages the Bunong to work together again and thus strengthens their community.
Photos EcoSolidar

Photo report about the project in Cambodia

An einer Dorfversammlung erzählt sie von den Chancen, die der Biolandbau für die Zukunft bietet.

Singeab Kleok Keo is convinced of organic farming. At a village meeting she speaks about the opportunities that organic farming offers for the future. Singeab has been a long-time supporter of BIPA and is an important link between BIPA and the village communities.

Singeab will für die Zukunft der Bunong

Singeab is 30 years old and has four children. Her father has supported the Bunong community during the Vietnam War, the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese occupation and Singeab also wants to fight for the future of the Bunong.

Biologischer Kompost für das Pfefferfeld

Singeab has learned at BIPA how to produce biological compost. She distributes it around her young pepper plants. She and her husband own a pepper field where they grow organic pepper and they are part owners of a rice field where several families work together.

Biologischer Landbau, Pfefferpflanzen

Sometimes Singeab helps her husband on the rice field. But mostly she stays in the village with the children and takes care of the pepper plants.

Bunong – Zeremonie für die Reis-Geister

The women from Singeab’s family have a special task: they are responsible for the rice spirits. In order to ask for a good harvest, Singeab performs an elaborate ceremony in the rice field. The relationship to the spiritual world is of great importance for the Bunong and the respect for nature is omnipresent since according to their belief the spirits live in the land.

Waldrodung – Zerstörung von immer mehr Wald

Bewildered, the Bunong have to watch how more and more forest is destroyed. Valuable trees are brought out of the forest with large machines.

Neben der Existenzsicherung ist der Biolandbau auch ein Weg zum Frieden.

Neth Prak is deeply worried about the desperate situation of his community. Therefore, he has founded an association (BIPA) that is committed to the future of the Bunong. Besides securing the livelihood of the Bunong, organic agriculture is also a way to peace. The land problem fuels conflicts within the community. Organic farming brings the Bunong back to working together.

Diese Grabstätte liegt in einem kleinen Stück Wald, das den Landenteignungen noch nicht zum Opfer gefallen ist.

In their belief the world of spirits and ancestors is firmly connected with the forest. This graveyard is located in a small piece of forest that has not yet fallen victim to the land grabbing.

Neben den Monoplantagen entstehen neue Siedlungen mit Häusern, in denen die Angestellten der Kautschukfirmen leben

Next to the monoculture plantations, new settlements are being built where the workers of the rubber companies live.

Neth besucht die Familien regelmässig zuhause und tauscht sich mit ihnen aus.

Neth regularly visits the families at home and talks to them. This farmer has recently started planting Sacha Inchi. He talks to Neth about natural pesticides.

Im Biolandbau finden die Indigenen eine Alternative für ihre Existenzsicherung und Zuversicht und Hoffnung für ihre Gemeinschaft.

Nhong Prak and Ming Chuy are employed by BIPA. They advise the farmers in technical know-how. In organic farming the indigenous people have found an alternative method of cultivation to secure their livelihood as well as confidence and hope for their community.

Methoden des biologischen Landbaus.

Ming and Nhong ride their motorcycles from house to house and demonstrate methods of organic agriculture to the farming families in seven villages.

BIPA lehrt, biologischen Dünger herzustellen. Dorfgemeinschaft bewirtschaftet gemeinsam ein Pfefferfeld mit 600 Pfefferstangen.

Kros Sok (left) has learned how to produce organic fertilizer with BIPA. His village community jointly cultivates a pepper field with 600 pepper plants. The profit is divided among all the farmers and used e.g. for school fees or hospital costs. The vegetable field next to it is also community land and its produce belongs to everyone who works on it.

Anbau von biologischem Gemüse

This elderly woman is being advised by BIPA how to grow organic vegetable at home. She also plants a lot of garlic, which she loves.

Pokhat Seav mischt seinen flüssigen Dünger aus Kürbis, Papaya und Büffelkot mit menschlichem Urin, was sich gut auf seine Pfefferpflanzen auswirkt.

Pokhat Seav is a “fertilizer pioneer”: he produces a liquid fertilizer from a mixture of pumpkin, papaya and buffalo manure with human urine, which has a good effect on his pepper plants. At the beginning, the neighbours were making fun of Pokhat. Today nobody laughs about his fertilizer invention, because Pokhat’s pepper plants are growing excellently.

Neth im Garten einer Bäuerin, die mit der Beratung durch BIPA zum ersten Mal Sacha Inchi anpflanzt.

Neth Prak in the garden of a farmer who has planted Sacha Inchi for the first time on the advice of BIPA. Neth regularly visits the farming families at home and exchanges ideas with them.

Landrechtsforderungen, die Neth gegenüber den Firmen vertritt

Neth talks to a farmer about the current state of the land rights claims that he represents against the companies. The Bunong trust Neth because he takes their concerns seriously and keeps his promises. They respect him as a mediator within their community and as a representative of the Bunong in the official talks with the rubber companies.

Hier werden wichtige Themen wie Anbaupraktiken und Vermarktung von Produkten wie Avocado, Pfeffer und Sacha Inchi besprochen.

The farmers from the surrounding villages regularly gather in the office of BIPA. Here, important topics as for example cultivation practices and the marketing of products such as avocado, pepper and Sacha Inchi are discussed.

Many Bunong grow pepper today, which they can sell well. This gives them security in their vulnerable situation due to the land loss. However, they must continue to diversify their agricultural cultivation. BIPA therefore grows a variety of seedlings that are sold to the farmers at an affordable price.

Indigenous People raise their Voices

For centuries the indigenous people and their culture have been discriminated against in Peru. This suppression has lasted until today, above all in the educational system and in the media. This is where the radio project of Pukllasunchis comes in. Together with schools and women’s groups it produces bilingual radio programmes in Quechua and Spanish. By using the radio programmes in class children are taught in an interactive and creative way and induced to deal with the indigenous world view.

Indigenous People raise their Voices

For centuries the indigenous people and their culture have been discriminated against in Peru. This suppression has lasted until today, above all in the educational system and in the media. This is where the radio project of Pukllasunchis comes in. Together with schools and women’s groups it produces bilingual radio programmes in Quechua and Spanish. By using the radio programmes in class children are taught in an interactive and creative way and induced to deal with the indigenous world view. The radio broadcasts the bilingual programmes created by the children and the women’s groups. Thus indigenous knowledge and Quechua find their places in the media.

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in Peru

School in Tiracancha, Peru: José interviews Dania. Dania explains in Quechua the meaning of water in her everyday life, in her village and in the indigenous vision of the cosmos. The interview is later broadcasted on the radio.

Her classmates complement Dania’s story. They wear costumes to slip completely into their roles as frogs. The children choose the contents of their broadcasts themselves and implement their ideas in a very creative way.

Dania lives in Tiracancha, a little village in the Peruvian Andes. Mountains, rivers, corn and all of nature have a very important meaning here.

At home, Dania speaks Quechua with her parents and siblings.

At school, Dania and her classmates listen to bilingual programmes of other classes and regions. After the radio transmissions they discuss different aspects, themes and customs. The broadcasts are an important basis for the teachers to offer intercultural lessons.

Classes in Dania’s school were mainly held in Spanish up to now despite the fact that Dania and her classmates speak Quechua with each other and at home. Thanks to the radio project the teachers use both Quechua and Spanish in most of their lessons and integrate indigenous knowledge into their teaching.

Students and teachers present their broadcasts to the parents. The students regularly make interviews with members of the community while producing their radio broadcasts. Therefore the school is better taken note of by the parents and the community and plays a more important role. As a consequence the children’s school attendance has increased.

Victoria Hualla und Segundina Arroní are live on air today. Victoria Hualla has been educated as a radio speaker by Pukllasunchis. For her broadcasts Victoria Hualla involves the inhabitants of Santa Rosa. The broadcasts are in Quechua.

Victoria Hualla is part of a women’s group in Santa Rosa. In her broadcasts she gives an important voice to the women of Santa Rosa. This year the group has chosen to focus on the protection of the ecosystem of the Andes in their radio transmissions.

Victoria Hualla lives with her husband Alipio and their two children close to Santa Rosa. As a radio speaker Victoria is often out and about. Alipio is very proud of her job and her engagement in the women’s group.

Emiliano Ramos is telling a story from the Andes in the recording studio of Pukllasunchis. He is 76 years old.

Ysabel Palomino Gutiérrez, radio speaker and co-worker at Pukllasunchis advises Mr. Ramos how his story could sound better. Raul records the story and generally puts the final touches on the sound recordings of the children and the women’s groups.

The next radio programme is completed. Ysabel is handing over the recordings to the broadcast station Santa Monica in Cusco.

Local and regional radios broadcast the programmes of Pukllasunchis. Pukllasunchis has an agreement with different broadcast stations in the cities and in the country.

Alejandro Flores Guerra is the director of the broadcast station Nueva Vida de Tiracancha.

Pukllasunchis produces the programmes “Sisichakunaq Pukllaynin”, “The Antplay” for kids and Quiñi Quiñicha, “Hot and cold” for adults.

The programs of Pukllasunchis are very popular in the cities as well as in the country. At Ms. Marcelina Paukar Puna’s market stall in the centre of Cusco the programmes are broadcasted every day. The clients are enthusiastic about the programmes of Pukllasunchis.

The broadcasts also facilitate the work on the fields. Mr. Ipolito Huanaco can now listen to his favourite broadcasts in his mother tongue. In addition he appreciates the information about agriculture in the programmes of Pukllasunchis. He gets to know how farmers in other regions of the country cultivate their land.

The broadcasts of Pukllasunchis are also regularly listened to at work on the salt terraces. The radio still plays an important role in Peru. Especially in such remote areas it is the means of communication people use to keep informed.

Food security for farmers with a disability

In Salima, Malawi, KODO introduces (walking-impaired) farmers who have a walking handicap to the basic techniques of organic agriculture and supports their practical implementation. For the people with a walking handicap and their relatives this is a major step towards independence. KODO supports a total of 150 families in 5 communities, Maumsamantha Chimithira and Tobias Mafuken among them.

Food security for farmers with a disability

In Salima, Malawi, KODO introduces (walking-impaired) farmers who have a walking handicap to the basic techniques of organic agriculture and supports their practical implementation. For the people with a walking handicap and their relatives this is a major step towards independence. KODO supports a total of 150 families in 5 communities, Maumsamantha Chimithira and Tobias Mafuken among them.

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in Malawi

The walking-impaired Maumsamantha Chimithira is on the way to her small piece of land. The 34-year-old farmer is a single parent and has to provide for her four children.

Maumsamantha has a handicap in walking due to a failed operation in her childhood. Medical care in Malawi is inadequate. Leg pain is part of Maumsamantha’s daily life.

Maumsamantha lives together with her four children and her parents in modest circumstances in Ntschepa, Malawi. The family unites in taking care of the fields and processing the harvest.

Off to the neighbouring village: Maumsamantha is one of the lead farmers trained by KODO. She passes on her know-how to other smallholders, so that they can also learn about the advantages of organic agriculture.

The role of a lead farmer gives Maumsamantha great prestige and a new place in the community. This fills her with pride.

George Chimpiko, director of KODO, gives Maumsamantha courage and confidence in difficult times. He was born with a clubfoot and knows how hard it is to find one’s way with a disability in Malawi.

Maumsamantha has learned with KODO how to produce compost and apply other organic farming methods. Since then she has been able to do without expensive hybrid seeds and toxic pesticides.

Mealtime: Maumsamantha and her family can live from their harvests. This is a great achievement, because Malawi has been hit by severe droughts and food shortages in recent years.

Hunger and malnutrition are widespread in Malawi. This is where KODO comes in: People with disabilities should be able to produce their own food with simple means and little money.

In Chimpaga, Malawi, charismatic Tobias Mafuken introduces his community members to organic agriculture. He has been trained as a lead farmer by KODO.

Tobias has four children and a wife who supports him loyally. Tobias is glad that thanks to KODO’s training he can provide for his family despite his disability.

Tobias lives with his family in very modest circumstances. A small room, some containers for the meals, a few blankets and tools have to be enough for the family of six. They have no access to electricity or running water.

With great persuasiveness Tobias shows other farmers how compost is produced. For him, the advantages of organic agriculture are clear: no dependence on expensive seeds and chemical pesticides, a better quality of the produce and long-term soil fertility.

The hard work on the field was worth it. Tobias and his family can live from the harvest again this year. His wife lets the corn dry in the sun.

The village community of Chimpanga has received three goats from KODO as an aid to start organic agriculture. Through the goat manure the fertility of the soil will be increased and the harvest will be richer in the long run.

Although Tobias has to walk on crutches, he can do a lot of agricultural work on his own. His wife supports him with the rest, for example with the production of liquid fertilizer.

Tobias, whose walking disability is due to a snake bite in his childhood, is not the only one with this fate. KODO enables farmers with disabilities and their relatives to achieve independence.

Despite his disability Tobias is a recognised member of the community thanks to his work as a lead farmer.

CIRCO FANTAZZTICO, a circus project

Circo Fantazztico, a social project, offers socially endangered children and young people from poor districts of San Isidro, Costa Rica, leisure-time activities and an alternative to gang crime. The circus project gives them a new perspective in a difficult social environment. It provides the participants with a social community and a safe space and allows them to spend their free time in a meaningful, positive and healthy way. The Circo offers weekly courses for more than 200 children and young people where they are taught artistic skills in different age groups.

From the street to the stage
CIRCO FANTAZZTICO, a circus project

Circo Fantazztico, a social project, offers socially endangered children and young people from poor districts of San Isidro, Costa Rica, leisure-time activities and an alternative to gang crime. The circus project gives them a new perspective in a difficult social environment. It provides the participants with a social community and a safe space and allows them to spend their free time in a meaningful, positive and healthy way. The Circo offers weekly courses for more than 200 children and young people where they are taught artistic skills in different age groups. The training courses are offered by volunteers and former artists. The individual needs of every single child are considered and their individual strengths are taken as a basis to build upon. In this photo report the every-day life of two young artists is depicted.

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in Costa Rica

Jennifer’s (16 years old) mother works and lives in the USA and sends money home regularly, so that her daughter can sometimes buy herself things that other people in her environment can hardly afford. The wireless in the house enables Jennifer to keep in touch with her mother. She has the only picture of her mother on her smartphone.

The flat is furnished with only few belongings. On the right wall hangs a picture of the grandmother who raised Jennifer and her siblings. She died a few years ago.

After the grandmother’s death the siblings were looked after by an aunt who lives next door. The eldest brother was in prison in San José for three years and has been missing since. When Jennifer was two years old, her mother went to the USA without a legal permit. Recently Jennifer has learned that her mother somehow managed to get a visitor permit for her. That would allow a reunion after a very long time.

Besides going to school and following regular training courses at Circo Fantazztico, Jennifer and her sister spend a lot of time with their elder cousin, Alexandra. She lives next door and is a shining example for Jennifer, because she has already been on a European tour with the Circo.

As Jennifer’s neighbourhood is considered one of the safer ones in the area, the girls often walk together to school. School hours are from 10 am until 2 pm.

After school they are collected together with other children and young people by the Circo-bus and are taken to the training places. For many this is the only opportunity to participate in the training sessions, because they live in remote villages.

This year Jennifer will participate in the European tour for the first time. With Alexandra she trains acrobatics, dance and her beloved vertical rope already more frequently than the usual once or twice a week. The Circo has become her second family and offers her a protected area where she is supported and feels herself an important member of the group.

Acrobatics at the vertical rope is trained next to the house of the volunteers. The voluntary supervisors that come from abroad for a temporary period to help in the Circo possess athletic, artistic and pedagogical abilities.

Jennifer and Yeron at a training session in the main training hall of Circo Fantazztico. Both of them managed to get into the closer selection this year because their final marks at school were good and they participated regularly in the training sessions. They will travel through Europe with a group of 20 people for two months and they will present their new piece “The witch’s dance”.

The lightweight Yeron (16 years), on top of the pyramid, is lucky. His school supports the young people who participate in Circo Fantazztico in their free time. The school management sees the Circo as an important factor in the development of the students because it offers a reasonable and healthy leisure time activity in an often unstable environment.

Yeron, the young artist, is not the only member of the Circo at this public school; there are others who have already participated in the Circo’s European tours. Here we see Roland Spendlingwimmer, the manager of our partner organisation VIDA NUEVA, who founded Circo Fantazztico and regularly contacts the schools.

To be allowed to participate in the European tour regular school attendance and good marks are required. This Year Yeron will participate in the European tour for the second time he and trains daily in preparation of his trip to Europe.

In the poor neighbourhood of Cocori the drug business is omnipresent. That’s why people are advised to be cautious in the streets and in the parks. Yeron and his family know where one shouldn’t be found at certain times of the day. They are always vigilant and move around in groups.

The distances to school and to the training sessions are long. But there are enough opportunities and enough room on their way there for the boys to practise and test their abilities in a playful way.

Yeron, who is rather shy and quiet, enjoys the company of his best friends and practices somersaults in the open street. In the Circo he is mostly placed on top of the pyramid and is whirled through the air by his colleagues because he is such a lightweight.

For this picture all the family members have come together in the garden. Yeron lives in an extended family that is intact, a rather rare case. The family lives in financial difficulties, but nevertheless supports him in his progress as an artist. Everyone is very proud of his taking part in the European tour for the second time.

An important place for the boys in the neighbourhood is the mango tree, where they can tell stories to each other, exchange their news and relax.

Yeron likes to pass on his artistic know-how to the younger generation. During the football game he reveals tips and tricks from the circus world.

Education for children and young people in need

Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world. About one third of the population lives below the poverty line. One way to escape the cycle of poverty is through education and vocational training. Our local project partner BSDA provides scholarships to the poorest families so that their children can attend school. The organisation offers courses in English, tutoring as well as traditional dance and music lessons. Young people who have dropped out of school due to their poverty are enabled to catch up on basic education and to complete an apprenticeship.

BSDA – Eine bessere Zukunft dank Berufslehren

Education for children and young people in need

Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world. About one third of the population lives below the poverty line. One way to escape the cycle of poverty is through education and vocational training. Our local project partner BSDA provides scholarships to the poorest families so that their children can attend school. The organisation offers courses in English, tutoring as well as traditional dance and music lessons. Young people who have dropped out of school due to their poverty are enabled to catch up on basic education and to complete an apprenticeship. Our project partner in Kampong Cham supports more than 900 children and young people from extremely poor backgrounds.

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in Cambodia

Lae is 15 years old and lives with her parents and siblings in very poor conditions in a suburb of Kampong Cham, Cambodia.

Her mother has had a walking disability from birth; therefore she can only work irregularly. The prostheses and the medical care are a big financial challenge for the family.

Lae has a sister and a brother. Her father works as a taxi driver. He works hard. Still, his income is not enough to fully provide for the family.

The family of Lae hardly manages to pay for their own food, not to mention for school uniforms and schoolbooks. Thanks to the scholarship Lae can visit the school regularly.

Lae goes to school by bike. She is not the only one… On her way she meets many of her classmates. Her bike is provided by BSDA so that she doesn’t have to spend money on the bus or the tuk-tuk.

After school Lae goes dancing Apsara, a traditional Cambodian dance she has learnt at BSDA.

Lae has been one of the first Apsara dancers at BSDA. Meanwhile, she has begun to pass on her fascination for dancing to younger participants.

At public performances, which are very successful and popular, Lae and the whole dance and music group earn some additional money.

Srey is 15 years old. His father left the family many years ago. His mother is a single parent and works as a construction worker for 3 USD a day.

As the only man in the family, Srey had to take on a lot of responsibility in the household at a young age. At the age of 11 Srey started to work in a restaurant to support the family financially. Srey worked from 5:00 in the morning until 9:30 at night.

Because of these working hours Srey could no longer attend school. When Srey heard about the BSDA programme, he decided to catch up on the school education he had missed.

In addition, Srey had the opportunity to complete a vocational training at the „Smile Institute“. Srey first tried out different kinds of work such as weaving, tailoring and mechanics.

Finally, he decided on an apprenticeship as a cook. Since then Srey has regularly helped prepare the meals at the „Smile Institute“.

Besides an apprenticeship Srey has found a new family in the „Smile Institute“. He is living here with other young people for one and a half years in a programme of sheltered living. Since many of the young people come from broken families and have difficult backgrounds, they also get psychological support.

Lunch time at the Smile Restaurant in Kampong Cham. A part of Srey’s apprenticeship as a cook takes place in this restaurant of BSDA. The restaurant functions as a social enterprise.

Thanks to its friendly staff, delicious meals and the excellent location on the banks of the Mekong River, the social enterprise attracts many tourists and locals. The restaurant is self-sustaining.

In the future, more disadvantaged young people such as Srey and Lae will find a sheltered apprenticeship position in a retreat centre outside Kampong Cham. The construction is well underway: The restaurant, the meditation hall and the bungalows will all be built out of bamboo and local materials. The construction workers are people from the surrounding communities. The revenues from this centre for local and international guests will be used for the social programs of BSDA.

Working children in Peru

In Peru one in four children under the age of 14 has to work in order to finance living and schooling. This work is often done under degrading conditions. Instead of closing their eyes to this reality, the Peruvian organisation IFEJANT supports working children in their self-organisation and in claiming their rights. The focus is on the decriminalisation of working children/child labor, the promotion of school education and the preservation and restoration of the dignity of children who have to work.

Arbeitende Kinder in Peru

Working children in Peru

In Peru one in four children under the age of 14 has to work in order to finance living and schooling. This work is often done under degrading conditions. Instead of closing their eyes to this reality, the Peruvian organisation IFEJANT supports working children in their self-organisation and in claiming their rights. The focus is on the decriminalisation of working children/child labor, the promotion of school education and the preservation and restoration of the dignity of children who have to work. IFEJANT supports up to 120 children in Lima, Sullana und Piura every year. José, Natalia and Christhian are three of them. We have accompanied them in their daily life together with the photographer Christian Jaeggi. 

Photos Christian Jaeggi 

Photo report about the project in Peru

WORKING CHILDREN IN PERU
Every day after school José sells ice cream on the market. Without this additional income his family wouldn’t be able to make ends meet and his regular school attendance would be at risk.

José isn’t the only one; (one child out of three) one child in four has to work in order to survive. Instead of closing their eyes to this reality, IFEJANT fights for better working conditions for these children.

In the case of José, clear working times and clear periods of leisure time were negotiated with the parents. José doesn’t have to work late at night anymore.

THE PROGRAMME OF IFEJANT
Twice a week Natalia and Christhian participate in the programme of IFEJANT after school. In the bakery they acquire practical knowledge and learn more about their rights. Thus they become capable of defending themselves against exploitation and can preserve their dignity in their working environment.

In the courses of IFEJANT the children learn more about their rights. They are empowered to resist exploitation and claim dignified working conditions.

The muffins are ready to be sold at the school kiosk and in the community. The earnings are given to the children and their families once a year. For many families this is an important additional income to finance school books, school uniforms and transport.

CHRISTHIAN LIVES IN PRECARIOUS CONDITIONS
Christhian is on his way to school. In Villa Maria del Triunfo (Lima) most roofs are made from asbestos, the paths are poorly maintained and most households lack electricity.

Christhian has to fetch water for his family every day. There are no water pipes.

Christhian’s father is a taxi driver. Christhian stays home by himself very often.

REGULAR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AS A CONDITION FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAMME
Twelve-year-old Natalia attends 6th grade. Regular school attendance is a requirement for being allowed to take part in the courses of IFEJANT and is the key to a successful future.

Natalia walks one hour every day to attend school and the courses of IFEJANT. In the evening the unlit path scares her.

Natalia’s home is located at a great distance from Villa Maria del Triunfo. There is no light or electricity here.

PROMOTING SELF-DETERMINATION AND CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
José knows how to hold his own ground in the adult world. A main aim of the IFEJANT project work is to empower children to achieve more self-determination and active participation.

Beside school and work, every child has the right to have some leisure time. IFEJANT negotiates these time slots with the children and the parents.

Empowerment of Women experiencing Violence

SIEDS strengthens the position of women in Bangalore and fights domestic violence. Every year 300 women seek advice in the Crisis Intervention Centre and 500 burn victims are documented and assisted in the burn unit of Victoria Hospital. In the suburbs of Bangalore more than 250 women are supported in self-aid groups. In the women’s shelter in Kolar up to 30 women and their children find temporary protection.

Empowerment of Women experiencing Violence

SIEDS strengthens the position of women in Bangalore and fights domestic violence. Every year 300 women seek advice in the Crisis Intervention Centre and 500 burn victims are documented and assisted in the burn unit of Victoria Hospital. In the suburbs of Bangalore more than 250 women are supported in self-aid groups. In the women’s shelter in Kolar up to 30 women and their children find temporary protection. Furthermore, SIEDS regularly organises courses on topics like empowerment of women, violence connected with dowries and selective abortion of female foetuses in 25 districts.  

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in India

SIEDS works in Bangalore, a city of 8 million people, a city of contrasts, rapid economic growth, a booming IT industry and a permanent increase of social inequality.

A marriage hall in Bangalore. Because of the rapid economic growth the pressure on women to bring a large dowry into the marriage is growing especially in the cities. The men also suffer from this increase of the pressure.

A poor dowry, a wedding that doesn’t meet the high expectations, excessive consumption of alcohol, high social pressure, frustration, all this can lead to physical and psychological violence against women. Acts of violence like intentional burnings are mostly explained as domestic accidents.

A SIEDS counsellor is pointing out possible strategies to escape the cycle of violence. In the Crisis Intervention Centre counsellors offer support to women affected by violence and encourage them to work out suitable solutions for their problems – if possible in interaction with their families.

Members of SIEDS make interventions in families and communities encouraging women to be active agents. If necessary, SIEDS negotiates with the responsible authorities.

The students are listening attentively to every word of Mamtha, a member of SIEDS. Violence must not be prevented only in the short term. Gender roles have to be reconsidered, discussed and negotiated from an early age. SIEDS organises awareness campaigns in schools, neighbourhoods and with public authorities.