Today the world is facing a wide variety of major challenges, whilst the biggest ones are undoubtedly climate change and the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sahel zone is considered extremely vulnerable to climate change and countries such as Niger and Chad are severely affected by recurring droughts, floods and other extreme weather events. This has a direct impact on agricultural production and causes high levels of food insecurity amongst the most vulnerable families.
The situation is often more dramatic for children under the age of 5 years. In Niger for example, 4 in 10 children are chronically undernourished and 1 out of 10 is acutely undernourished which means that its life is imminent danger. In the regions, where CARE Luxembourg delivers support, the situation tends to be even more dramatic.
What are Climate Heroines?
Gender inequality is a root cause of poverty. Climate change, in turn, is making poverty worse. This means that the chances of achieving a better life for many women and girls are threatened by a double injustice: climate change and gender inequality.
However, women and girls are also essential for every community if they wish to establish strong, bold and sustainable mechanisms and approaches to build resilience and to fight the consequences of such crises. That’s why CARE Luxembourg supports women to become CLIMATE HEROINES.
CARE Luxembourg’s long-term projects in Niger and Chad specifically strengthen women’s resilience to climate change and increase food security of vulnerable households. Women benefiting from these activities will become CLIMATE HEROINES and will serve as multiplying actors within their own communities. Climate change adaptation activities will thus benefit women from the most vulnerable communities in the broadest sense and will have a direct impact on child malnutrition.
In Niger this is done via the establishment of sustainable farmer field schools, the promotion of vegetable gardens and the use of organic biofortified seeds.
Central to all activities that strengthen the resilience of women and their role in their family and community are the Village Savings and Loans Groups that CARE helps to set up throughout the Sahel Region. Each of them allows up 30 women to come together to mutually save money and grant each other small credits. Savings allow them to nourish their children in times of drought and flooding and credits allow them to build sustainable and resilient livelihoods.