CEE has been working since last 19 years in villages of Jasdan taluka, Rajkot district for sustainable development. In these villages the latent potential of local youth and women has been harnessed by establishing village level institutions called Paryavaran Vikas Mandals (PVMs), currently with a membership around 1000. Though significantly engaged in micro-finance, they take leadership and responsibilities for sustainable development at village level. Many of them have become now independent Community Based Organisation (CBOs) and with minimum support of CEE.
These CBOs take various developmental issues like agriculture, water, women empowerment, governance, sanitation, health and education. They mainly focus on demonstration of sustainable livelihood options; capacity building through exposure, training and information services; marketing support; exposure visits, internship and collaboration of the CEE Field Office; and participation of the team in workshops, training programmes and other events.
The main support services provided to strengthen and enhance the livelihood of the communities are information services, experiences sharing, technical know-how, capacity building training, exposure tours, awareness campaign, forwards and backward linkages. The main aim of the programmes remains to improve livelihood opportunities without compromising the natural resources. The focus remains on diversifying the livelihoods, strengthening networking and local governance to improve the livelihood.
Most of the marginal community depends for livelihoods on farming or seasonal labour work. In absence of proper education and skills their employability in non-farming jobs is very low. Microfinance provides small financial services to assist the poor, both financially and socially. Microfinance aims to target the rural poor who own micro-enterprises that work in agriculture, dairy, poultry, processing, artisan, rural product marketing, grocery, tailoring, and pottery, among others. The main objective is to develop institutional financial self-sufficiency.
Lateral learning among stakeholders working towards sustainable development is much needed. The knowledge generated at one place need to be shared among other stakeholder to reduce repetition or reinventing wheel. The lateral learning reduces waste of resources (financial, physical and human). Lateral learning helps stakeholders in efficiently utilizing the learnings and experiences accordingly.