Community development is a process where community members are supported by agencies to identify and take collective action on issues which are important to them. Community development empowers community members and creates stronger and more connected communities.
Over a billion people in the world live in extreme poverty with no security of their basic needs. Over 75% of these people live in rural areas as small producers, dependent on agriculture for their subsistence. The production, trade and processing of local crops is the foundation and the driver for their own economies and the economies at the local level and beyond.
Climate change and the growing need for land, water and other natural resources are threatening agricultural production and food security. OLIVES is working to make agricultural production more sustainable, and to increase the income and improve the position of small producers in agricultural change. As part of this we are making farmers more resistant to the consequences of climate change. In the chains
OLIVES perceives good health as the center of sustainable development. Good health is at the center of wellbeing, and is vital for everything else we hold dear. Good health aids humanity particularly, children to not only survive disease, but also to flourish, learn, and make their way through school and on to adulthood and the labor force. It also enables a workforce to be productive. Thus, good health enhances the ability of a community to develop human capital, undertake economic activities, and attract investment. This is the essence of OLIVES’ focus on health as an important thematic area with emphasis on HIV/AIDS, Water and Environmental Sanitation/Hygiene, Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable requires that governments have the capacity to deliver essential services. The Organization for Livelihood Enhancement Services’ (OLIVES) approach to development recognizes that effective state institutions are necessary to ensure that people’s lives are improved with better services, ranging from health to education to security to job creation.
For OLIVES, this means improving the supply of services from government institutions, empowering citizens and civil society to hold government to account and demand better service delivery and the protection of their rights, and improving government responsiveness to these citizen demands.
OLIVES is deeply committed to supporting sustainable economic development. We recognize that a competitive and vibrant private sector remains the primary driver of poverty reduction, wealth creation, employment and access to important goods and services for many of the world’s poor.
We work with entrepreneurs, businesses, investors, governments and non-government organizations to improve private sector competitiveness, enhance market and business performance, and create the conditions for pro-poor and sustainable growth. We provide services to improve economic governance, develop sector strategies, strengthen the business enabling environment and promote trade.
The relevance of sustainable agriculture will only increase in the coming years. Climate change will continue to have an impact not only on agricultural productivity and stability, but on entire ecosystems, worldwide. Small agricultural producers in developing countries are being hit hardest. And the increasing pressure on land and other natural resources needed for the production of food and biofuels is having a disastrous impact on small producers.
In most cases, their rights to land are the least secure. In many places, small farmers are being driven from their land by major agricultural or mining interests or large plantation owners. In the face of this uncertainty, small producers are doing all they can do just to survive. They have neither the means nor the opportunity to invest and grow as businesses and strengthen their market positions and negotiating power. This is why OLIVES is supporting local agricultural chains, from field to market to consumer. This is how we are helping small scale farmers (both men and women) and excluded groups to break through the cycle of poverty.
OLIVES works to ensure the poor access to sustainable financial products and services on a fair footing through local micro financing institutions (MFIs). OLIVES sees micro financing as a strategy to improve the socio-economic position of poor, vulnerable and/or excluded groups in society by increasing their access to adequate and affordable financial and other related services. This will contribute to their ability to support themselves and increase their participation in society and their empowerment.
In the coming years, OLIVES will be focusing more on rural Agri-finance, supplying financial services directed towards small rural producers (farmers), particularly in remote or poorly accessible areas where few financial resources are available.