Shalin 2015

Areas for Collaboration and Volunteer

Thank you for Singing up to Shalin Finland

Our Membership is a two way process. One learns and gives at the same time. We work diverse partners who are open to all kinds of exchanges.  Our partners are always happy to share with our members.

Some of the identified areas where your participation would be highly valuable: 1. Continue to Design and Develop the Cherangany Eco-Lodge and a Resource Center in Cherengany: This is involves working with the local cooperative members to develop this service concept. Currently, there are  16 chalets  built by the local group with assistance from Shalin and resourced from activities supported by CED, Siemenpuu and HAMK (FUAS).  The chalets have been built   using soil and grass.  The energy supply is from Wind and Solar. 2. Identifying value addition and potential of local, natural products for food security and ecological marketing This task includes developing local food systems management by the farming and forest dwelling groups.  It aims to improve the variety in the diets by fortification using natural products and increasing the storage of products to enhance food security and economic options. Working with the local groups, you will together conceptualise and develop this concept further nature.

Off the beaten path.

3. Developing eco-tourism opportunities for marginalized communities Sustainable tourism needs to be developed based on principles that balance across economic, social and ecological systems. At the same time, the tourism industry as a single economic sector is vulnerable to external shocks and fluctuations in demand. One way to reduce those risks is the promotion of domestic tourism. That should be a critical element in creating a stable and sustainable flow of tourists. The task involves working with existing information to develop marketing material for the local products and services. For example, the promotion of locally produced soap or honey can open opportunities to ecological and ethical tourism. 4. Define and locate markets for the local produce based on well elaborated data Working with actual data collected from the field will be crucial to make correct decisions. In this regard, you might assist the projects by collecting data that will help in decision making to facilitate collective and informed action. Such tasks may include calculating how much is produced, what is it worth, where are the markets, who should the locals work with – in order to bulk a produce to meet a certain market demand. 5. Organizational development of the local eco-cooperatives You might also assist in the institutional development of the local self-organised grouping. Some of the institutions, the local coops, are still in the “birthing” phase, and are not yet able to function strategically. In addition, as young organizations they have a very limited depth of institutional memory that should be developed along with guidelines of governance, decision-making, transparency and accountability. This needs to be developed in order to ascertain the sustainability of the actual local institution. 6. Improvement of general communication and marketing channels In communication and marketing, you will be able to work for the development of the production of a new media and marketing strategy for the local cooperatives. The marketing should be designed focusing on the activities of the local groups. If one of them has great products addressing key aspects of the social, economic and environmental dimensions, there is a need to make it more widely known. The public needs to be made aware in order to find the sustainable products. In this regard, there is a need develop effective communication material – using creative media tools. Identification of traditional and modern communication channels is necessary. 7. Developing strategies to make renewable energy accessible Renewable energy (RE) needs to be made accessible, affordable and sustainable. Through the Co-op network, it is possible to develop a cadre of renewable energy technicians who will be able to deliver RE services at an affordable price and offer both quality back up and warranty, sometimes rarities in developing countries. The Co-op network also provides an excellent opportunity for similar service providers to scale up appropriate technologies such as creating market and a distribution network for solar technology and products. Already, Shalin has trained artisans on wind energy in Mt Elgon and Moyale, they are supposed to run energy kiosks reducing the amount of time needed to charge mobile phones for instance. 8. Developing mobile applications for data collection, plus developing a cooperatives based gaming platform.

Planning for Communication

The platform would be linked to an active cooperative market with an online and offline presence. The Coops need up to date information to help them in decision making, plan the future and design the Coop strategies. In the future, the groups intend to have a farmers market running on a semi/permanent basis, a farmers market can not be run efficiently if the communication is not effective, the applications therefore will be designed to provide or promote the inter-cooperative alliances, increase transparency, devolve democracy, and allow for the efficient and cost effective dealing with good and services between the coops and to the outside market. In conclusion, the services and products will be offered as solitary service or in combination with others to present a cooperative model of working, where the different clusters from e.g Kafoma, Karimi, Giitune, Mkogodo, Nalare (Samburu), Sololo (Moyale), Mount Elgon and Cherangani can offer different services under one umbrella. The idea is that each cluster should be able to offer or deliver one service or product to the other members of the different clusters, this is the only way to build sustainable local network economies. Volunteering is a two way process. One learns and gives at the same time. Our partners work and are open to all kinds of exchange, there are currently areas that are of higher need than others. Some of the identified areas where your participation would be highly valuable: 1. Continue to Design and Develop the Cherangany Eco-Lodge and a Resource Center in Cherengany: This is involves working with the local cooperative members to develop this service concept. Currently, there are  16 chalets  built by the local group with assistance from Shalin and resourced from activities supported by CED, Siemenpuu and HAMK (FUAS).  The chalets have been built   using soil and grass.  The energy supply is from Wind and Solar. 2. Identifying value addition and potential of local, natural products for food security and ecological marketing This task includes developing local food systems management by the farming and forest dwelling groups.  It aims to improve the variety in the diets by fortification using natural products and increasing the storage of products to enhance food security and economic options. Working with the local groups, you will together conceptualise and develop this concept further nature.

Off the beaten path.

3. Developing eco-tourism opportunities for marginalized communities Sustainable tourism needs to be developed based on principles that balance across economic, social and ecological systems. At the same time, the tourism industry as a single economic sector is vulnerable to external shocks and fluctuations in demand. One way to reduce those risks is the promotion of domestic tourism. That should be a critical element in creating a stable and sustainable flow of tourists. The task involves working with existing information to develop marketing material for the local products and services. For example, the promotion of locally produced soap or honey can open opportunities to ecological and ethical tourism. 4. Define and locate markets for the local produce based on well elaborated data Working with actual data collected from the field will be crucial to make correct decisions. In this regard, you might assist the projects by collecting data that will help in decision making to facilitate collective and informed action. Such tasks may include calculating how much is produced, what is it worth, where are the markets, who should the locals work with – in order to bulk a produce to meet a certain market demand. 5. Organizational development of the local eco-cooperatives You might also assist in the institutional development of the local self-organised grouping. Some of the institutions, the local coops, are still in the “birthing” phase, and are not yet able to function strategically. In addition, as young organizations they have a very limited depth of institutional memory that should be developed along with guidelines of governance, decision-making, transparency and accountability. This needs to be developed in order to ascertain the sustainability of the actual local institution. 6. Improvement of general communication and marketing channels In communication and marketing, you will be able to work for the development of the production of a new media and marketing strategy for the local cooperatives. The marketing should be designed focusing on the activities of the local groups. If one of them has great products addressing key aspects of the social, economic and environmental dimensions, there is a need to make it more widely known. The public needs to be made aware in order to find the sustainable products. In this regard, there is a need develop effective communication material – using creative media tools. Identification of traditional and modern communication channels is necessary. 7. Developing strategies to make renewable energy accessible Renewable energy (RE) needs to be made accessible, affordable and sustainable. Through the Co-op network, it is possible to develop a cadre of renewable energy technicians who will be able to deliver RE services at an affordable price and offer both quality back up and warranty, sometimes rarities in developing countries. The Co-op network also provides an excellent opportunity for similar service providers to scale up appropriate technologies such as creating market and a distribution network for solar technology and products. Already, Shalin has trained artisans on wind energy in Mt Elgon and Moyale, they are supposed to run energy kiosks reducing the amount of time needed to charge mobile phones for instance. 8. Developing mobile applications for data collection, plus developing a cooperatives based gaming platform.

Planning for Communication

The platform would be linked to an active cooperative market with an online and offline presence. The Coops need up to date information to help them in decision making, plan the future and design the Coop strategies. In the future, the groups intend to have a farmers market running on a semi/permanent basis, a farmers market can not be run efficiently if the communication is not effective, the applications therefore will be designed to provide or promote the inter-cooperative alliances, increase transparency, devolve democracy, and allow for the efficient and cost effective dealing with good and services between the coops and to the outside market. In conclusion, the services and products will be offered as solitary service or in combination with others to present a cooperative model of working, where the different clusters from e.g Kafoma, Karimi, Giitune, Mkogodo, Nalare (Samburu), Sololo (Moyale), Mount Elgon and Cherangani can offer different services under one umbrella. The idea is that each cluster should be able to offer or deliver one service or product to the other members of the different clusters, this is the only way to build sustainable local network economies.