SHALIN Suomi ry / SHALIN Finland
Annual Activity Report 2013
Registered in Finland in 2003, SHALIN promotes sustainable development through research, capacity building, information, knowledge exchange, enterprise support, advocacy and networking.
SHALIN supports working principles that enhance the integrity of ecosystems and development platforms that improve the governance and management of natural resources and peoples rights and livelihoods. We promote networks that foster the understanding of different social, ecological and political contexts and are actively linked to transformative social and political processes.
1. Development projects
SCALING SkillsFAST (Skills For Appropriate and Sustainable Technologies) – East Africa
Planning of a new project “Skills for Sustainable and Appropriate Technologies” (SKILLSFAST) started during the year. Its main objective is to transform skills transfer and innovation between the formal and informal sector in East Africa. It integrates the work of vocational training institutes (VTECS) from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to the local developmental needs, especially energy and food security. The project also works with cooperatives as the holders of local knowledge on traditional food technologies and users of new clean energy products. The project links small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) with appropriate technologies from Finland. Moreover, HAMK University of Applied Sciences will support curriculum development and co-creation of relevant pedagogic material of VTECS. In Tanzania, the project works with a specific group of people needing relevant skills in order to re-integrate back to society. In Uganda, the project works with eSeeker who delivers vocational training in solar water heater, solar photovoltaic and biogas. All the courses integrate training in computer literacy and Entrepreneurship. In Kenya, besides coordinating the programme, Twaweza works on mediums of communication for development. As part of their work in Kenya, Twaweza will provide communication support to CITC (one of the vocational schools) and to the cooperatives that were formed as part of the RESCUE and GISEEM projects’ exit strategy. The cooperatives will assist in the integration of the learning from the field into pedagogy supported solutions. Moreover, SHALIN and HAMK/FUAS (Federation of Universities of Applied Sciences) continued the collaboration that uses SHALIN’s knowledge and expertise to support learning for development students. Part of the collaboration consists of the presentation of lectures to the students, plus field visits and now a joint project in collaboration with HAMK.
There was a preparatory visit to Tanzania in March 2013 done by representatives from SHALIN and HAMK. SKILLSFAST applied for MFA funding in May 2013. In December 2013, funding of 30 000 euros was granted for further planning of the project. This includes defining the roles of the different partners and firming the strategic activities that will be undertaken to deliver the objective.
COOP KENYA THE MERGING OF RESCUE AND GISEEM- For sustainability and efficient use of public finances
To avoid duplication of actions and build a better synergy between the partners in Kenya, and change from a project mode to a cooperative, the GIS enhanced ecological mapping for improved governance of natural resources (GISEEM) and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Ecology (RESCUE) were extended by one year and completed in 2013. One of the key outcomes of the projects was the evolution of the local NGOs/CBOs into Cooperatives. This aimed at enhancing their socio-economic impact and sustainability. In total, seven Cooperatives emerged from the project zones. Furthermore, in order to assist in the capacity development of the COOPs, one coordinating COOP was established (COOP Kenya). The key focus of COOP Kenya is to enhance the capacity and networking capability of the local coops. Through COOP Kenya, the local coops received capacity and business plans development support. The strategic aim is to promote sustainable practices in food systems, forestry, biodiversity conservation, renewable energy technologies, and the related processes.
Innovation for Sustainability- Cherangany Eco-Lodge
Based on the COOP Kenya model, one of the communities – Cherangany – completed the development of the Cherangany Eco-lodge. The lodge development was achieved through resources generated by SHALIN. Shalin provided services that assisted Siemenpuu Foundation and Coalition for Environment and Development (Ympäristö ja Kehitys ry – CED) to host two international meetings at the site. Shalin also planned, organised and hosted students from HAMK in Cherangani with the same community. In March 2013, 8 students from FUAS including their tutor spent 2 weeks in Kenya working on the different aspects of the project, met the different cooperatives and helped in the installation of the wind turbine to generate renewable energy. The HAMK students contributed to the initial planning and development of the facility.
STOVE PROJECT IN KENYA
Shalin assisted the CED (Ympäristö ja Kehitys ry) organise a workshop in Cherangani in October 2013 that brought together different players and professionals working on stove technologies/renewable energy and involved in sustainable agriculture. There was a site visit to Oyugis, the Okoa cooperative which has been involved with the Stove and Terra preta Research Project STOVE. Following the meeting, the stakeholders formed loose network named Eco Net to further cooperate and actualize the recommendations and emerging co-creation of products. The overall objective of Eco Net is to slow down the rate of deforestation through improving the efficient use of biomass, contribute to improved air quality at household level, and improve soil quality and food security. Other long term objectives are to scrub the excess carbon in the atmosphere from non-point carbon sources.
PLANNING OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE PROJECT IN SRI LANKA
In terms of expanding the focus of the work of environmental rights into Asia, Shalin is exploring options and possibilities of establishing a project in Sri Lanka. A plan was developed and resources for the mission applied from to the MFA. The local partner to the project in Sri Lanka is the Centre for Environmental Justice.
2. Information and global education work
In May, the 4th edition of the Helsinki African Film festival (HAFF) organised by SHALIN focused on Youth and Power. HAFF was supported by among others, the MFA Finland, City of Helsinki, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, French Institute and the South African Embassy. The Festival showcased 22 African films (32 screenings) in three venues in Helsinki and in 12 regional screenings in Tampere, Turku and Kuopio. Films had more than 2500 viewers. The event included a seminar, workshop and panel discussion on “Youth and Power” co-organised with Taksvärkki. The presentation of lectures, workshops and seminars have continued to be a platform for information sharing. Other events included a panel discussion on film making in Africa at culture center Caisa, festival club, African Minimarket, photo exhibition by Meeri Koutaniemi, and the festival opening.
The HAFF Street was a new addition to the HAFF programme. The free outdoor at Kansalaistori in the center of Helsinki attracted about 1500 visitors with dance and music performances, African market and NGOs exhibiting.
A planned information project titled “Mining and Development” within Finland did not materialise. Even so, lessons from the application development related (project planning, requirements, administrative duties, organisational development) are taken note of as future considerations. Also, this provides an opportunity for SHALIN to further develop ideas for a responsible mining industry.
SHALIN supported the production of a short documentary on the Ogiek, a marginalised group of Kenya, produced by Laura Meriläinen-Amaumo, Lotta kinnunen and Lars Bohlin. The film shows the Ogiek’s relationship to their homeland and to the world. It has been shown in 4 international film festivals in addition to HAFF in 2013. The online version has been viewed in total over 1700 times.
Furthermore, SHALIN’s information work in Finland is organised through events, partnerships and collaborations with different universities and organizations. SHALIN also actively uses social media platforms and our website for improved visibility and information campaigns.
3. Staff, Volunteers and Internships
Volunteerism continues to play a central role in our work both within Finland and in our international work. Joni Karjalainen worked in Kenya as a project coordinator for 6 months (from end of 2012 to early 2013). The next project coordinator, based in Cherangani, was Lena Höglund for 6 months. Other volunteers in Kenya included Lotta Eriksson (3 months), two students from University of Jyväskylä (Harry Tang, 1 month and Fewa Limbu, 3 months) and, Eduardo Gustavo Cuervo from Colombia (3 months).
SHALIN also hosted interns in Helsinki from FUAS/HAMK/LAMK, for example: Heta Koskue and David Kalonzo, who did a Thesis on renewable energy in Kenya.
4. Fundraising and Other initiatives
Our fundraising continues to be from membership fees, lectures, voluntary contributions and strategic partnership such as University of Helsinki and HAMK/FUAS.
Chairperson to the SHALIN Board