Life Vision for Development is an Egyptian humanitarian non-profit foundation that strives to empower the marginalized and oppressed, guiding them to rise and flourish, promoting self-reliance and affirming structured community transformation. Along over 13 years of experience, Life vison has designed, delivered, evaluated, adapted, learned, expanded and scaled-up and grew its flagship program “Women empowerment through Farmer Field and Business Schools”.
What is Women empowerment through Farmer Field and Business Schools.
To date, the Farmer Field and Business Schools Program has empowered over 14,000 rural women by improving their active agency to solving their families’ and community pressing needs including increased access to knowledge good agricultural and environmentally friendly practices, life skills, proper nutrition, and enhanced livelihoods resources.
This is done through:
- A comprehensive continually updated curriculum including several aspects in a rural woman’s life, focusing on improving her life and business skills, agency and social empowerment;
- Tailoring participatory-based training courses, lectures, and seminars;
- Implementing hands on experiential learning (on the job training);
- Raising awareness;
- Provide access to tailored financial services.
Over the years, Life Vision for Development has continuously improved its training program by adding new components that they got to learn through their partners and donor agencies.
Life Vision’s Farmer Field Schools integrated curriculum was iteratively developed through working with several funding agencies. It included all modules needed to develop capacity and empower women more holistically.
Amira is a graduate of Life Vision for Development Farmer Field School. Amira is currently working on buying newborn chicks, appropriately rearing them, thanks to Life Vision Farmer Field and Business Schools where she was taught modern rearing techniques and how to deal with the consequences of climate change. She then sells chicks, ducks and rabbits making profit margin that protects her from poverty. She is now her family’s breadwinner.
Through the school, she also attended a literacy and numeracy program and received training on entrepreneurship, proper nutrition and hygiene. This boosted her economic position and increased her self-esteem. She said, ‘My chicks grow really fast and my business has built up a good local reputation’. Amira is keen to grow further and is busy expanding her business. Now she also breeds ducks and has set up a small shop on the ground floor of her house. All these activities have improved her family’s financial situation. ‘My children can go to school and I have money to buy clothes,’ she says. ‘We don’t spend everything that comes in. We also set aside some money for new business investments.’ For instance, Amira is already working on a new project. ‘I purchased two rabbits and want to try and breed these for sale too. It is still an experiment, but if it proves successful, I will continue with this new line.’
Some of Life Vision’s success include:
- Close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture – which enriches the content of the program and allows for more accessibility to female farmers to seek consultations and free services provided by the government. (Expanded outreach and sustainability)
- Mass digitalization. Life Vision managed to digitize their Farmer Field School Curriculum in the form of comedy episodes and “mawaweel”. Increased outreach and improved learning outcomes
- Tailored banking products to suit the context and the target group (rural women). Alexandria Bank
- They received an approval from the EU to extend their Farmer Field Schools to Beni Sweif, strengthening the capacity of 20 local CSOs to co-implement the schools in 20 villages in Beni Sweif.
Life Vision’s approaches to gender and social development consists of:
- Mainstreaming the vitality behind social inclusion of the marginalized throughout the program.
- Normalizing and formalizing equality and inclusivity within local communities.
- Implementing locally led initiatives that cater to local concerns.
- Strengthening the capacity of local Community-based Organizations.
- Improve community safety nets.
A team from Life Vision working side by side to better the lives of rural women in upper Egypt.
Life Vision’s team assembling rural women in upper Egypt to enange in a session covering women empowerment and the importance of women participation within the economy.