ICA follows the Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. To do so, ICA engages in development cooperation with some of the world’s poorest communities. We encourage the recipients to take an active part in carrying out the projects. Their participation and ownership is key to lasting changes and sustainability. We take all possible care to ensure that our projects harmonize with the local environment, its people’s customs, culture and tradition though no custom or tradition will be valued higher than human rights as agreed by the United Nations.
Ensuring access to water and food security
Water is scarce in ICA´s intervention areas in Ethiopia and Uganda. One of the main objectives of our development cooperation projects is to ensure access to water through the construction of water tanks, shallow wells and cisterns. Beneficiaries form water committees and receive training for the maintenance of wells and their surroundings. Latrines are constructed, and hygiene and sanitation practises are taught for personal needs and the cleanliness of the home and its surroundings.
With more water accessible, irrigation sustains diverse new crops used to supplement main crops and improve soil. Tools are supplied as well as training in processing and storing of harvests, food and water. Para vets receive training in care of animal husbandry which in turn increases general productivity where low productivity and diseases have been a constraint on farming. A water source within easy reach also saves time. More girls go to school, mothers have more time for child rearing, food production and economic activities.
Environmental protection is integrated into water and livelihood schemes; teaching, training and tools work together to conserve soil along with new species for food and fodder, inter-cropping, manure as fertilizers, tree nurseries, water harvesting and hygiene.
In our projects, government agents, traditional leaders and beneficiaries all receive training on local and international law on conservation, responsible and equitable use of natural resources, along with disaster preparedness linked to drought and floods. Bringing them together links duty bearers and rights holders, increases understanding, explains shortcomings and eases cooperation. People understand how water, soil and trees, crops and refuse are all linked together. They understand how a different approach in one area leads to more success in another.
Empowering women benefits all
ICA development cooperation projects beneficiaries live in absolute poverty in the harshest environments. Not because it is their choice, it is all they can afford. To develop their skills to fight for their own rights, ICA´s work is becoming more and more rights based. Beneficiaries participate fully in projects, learning not only new methods and thus improving their daily lives, but more importantly also about their rights and how to claim them.
Women in our intervention areas in Ethiopia have no access to nor control over productive resources (especially land and livestock). Women are also excluded from extension and training services provided by local institutions. Furthermore, women are excluded from the decision-making processes at community level. The effect on rural poverty and poor health conditions is aggravated by these deep rooted traditional, social and cultural practices which biases against women.
Through participation in ICA´s development cooperation projects, people, especially women, learn to assess their situation, put their ideas into words and claim their place at the decision-making table. Extensive work is done with traditional and religious leaders, government agents and institutions to influence behaviour and recognize the various aspects of poverty and how funds and services can be channeled to reduce it.
Shelter and education for a chance at life
In the Ugandan districts of Lyantonde and Rakai, where orphaned children struggle with adult responsibilities, taking care of younger siblings as head of household, ICA continues its support to counter the effects of HIV/AIDS and provides affected families with housing, household items, beddings, mosquito nets, goats, poultry and more.
In Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, ICA supports the work of Uganda Youth Development Link, UYDEL, with vulnerable youth in urban slums. Huge unemployment and related income poverty problems make young people very vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. UYDEL offers skills training in youth centers enabling them to find a means of livelihood.
In India, ICA continues its support towards children and youth and provides support for primary, secondary and even university studies.