Grassroots Empowerment

According to the World Food Program, people in Balkh Province lack key infrastructure to ensure a healthy life. More than half of the population has no access to electricity, and some must travel one or more hours for clean drinking water[1]. Since a majority of the population lives outside of urban centers, what can be done to solve problems such as these?

ActionAid’s intervention under AACRS worked closely with the ANAGLIDI Community Development Council (CDC) in Balkh. ANAGLIDI was founded in 2004 and serves a significant role in rectifying social problems that arise in the community.

ActionAid spoke with Mohammed Anwar, a member of ANAGLIDI, about its operations in Balkh Province.

 

“Before the establishment of this CDC our social development work was weak. Four years back we also had few interventions with the community”, said Anwar. From the beginning of our Resilient Agriculture and Livelihoods for Socio-Economic Empowerment Initiative (REALISE), project staff ensured that the CDC was meaningfully involved in planning, designing and implementing activities.

Anwar informed ActionAid that ANAGLIDI “includes 22 members with 50% of them being women.” They hold weekly meetings in groups and involve the community every month. This makes the CDC more transparent and ensures that the foundation of grassroots democracy is present in the community.

ANAGLIDI’s development has led to decisions to build roads and bridges so boys and girls can get to school easier, connect villages to the electricity grid, dig wells for cleaner and closer water sources, and improve the quality of training for men and women farmers.

Since Action Aid’s implementation of REALISE, ANAGLIDI has been able to:

  • Strengthen skills in identifying community issues, prioritize solutions, and mobilize the community to bring solutions to completion;
  • Give community members more of a voice in the CDC meetings to influence what projects or initiatives the committee should pursue; and,
  • Become confident and independent to seek out more opportunities with NGOs and other stakeholders implementing projects in Balkh.

With the training provided by REALISE, ANAGLIDI is better equipped to look out for their community and advocate for their rights. Action Aid is proud to contribute to such concrete results and sustainable development in Balkh through the AACRS scheme with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government.