About the Impact Center

This center was was developed to provide ECHO services to help those in East Africa who work with the poor more effectively, especially in the area of ​​agriculture and alternative methods. ECHO East Africa works as a basic training center giving technical assistance to help organizations and community development workers to work more effectively to reduce hunger.



Services

  • Conduct research and development on locally appropriate sustainable agriculture practices
  • Collaborate with, and provide networking opportunities for, development agencies working in East Africa
  • Provide garden displays and demonstrations of agricultural options
  • Provide agricultural resources for study
  • Demonstrate alternative training methods, including creative collaboration and exhibitions
  • The ECHO seed bank provides packaged seeds, as well as seed exchange opportunities and seed conservation education.
  • Training for home gardens (organic gardens, kitchen gardens, gardens, bags and manufacture of peat)
  • Training and visits to fruit tree nurseries
  • Organization of conferences, workshops, forums, exchange visits, and training in best practices
  • Network between farmers and other development partners
  • Conduct agricultural fairs
 

Contact:

Erwin Kinsey

ECHO East Africa Impact Center
P O Box 15205
Arusha Tanzania

eastafrica@echonet.org

 

East Africa Updates

Creative Livelihood Challenge training takes innovative products to market 2017-07-11

A recent Creative Livelihood Challenge (CLC) training was conducted with 15 students from Arusha Technical College and 15 Creative Capacity Building innovators. This type of training was developed and facilitated by Elizabeth Reece – an Australian volunteer who is based at Twende in Tanzania.

CLC training is similar to Creative Capacity Building (CCB) but focuses on the business side of bringing products to market. To understand the methodology of CLC it is helpful to understand how Creative Capacity Building is designed:

“The goal of CCB is to train participants to create or adapt technologies that will improve their lives and strengthen their communities. By distilling key elements of the design process into a hands-on curriculum that is accessible at any educational level, CCB presents a framework through which anyone can become an active creator of technology, not just a recipient or user of technology.” (https://d-lab.mit.edu/creative-capacity-building)

The Creative Livelihood Challenge engages participants to practically develop products while keeping their intended customers in mind at all times. To do this a practical exercise is undertaken by participants.

It's a challenging course and participants who put a lot of effort in get a lot out of the challenge, a lot like life really.

Creative Livelihood Challenge Training participants make a presentation
Students make a presentation.

At the corner of the class a shop is set up which sells various materials that participants might need for their product. Participants are given cash to buy the materials and keep records in booklets designed to guide innovators in simple record keeping.

On the last day of the training “customers” (local community members) are invited to come and buy the products that the participants have made. Participants track the sale price of the items, the time used by group members to create them, the hiring of tools, labor costs, salaries, and other costs. When this is complete, each group prepares a simple balance sheet which enables members to realize whether or not they are making a profit. Finally, they determine the changes they would like to make in their business in the future.

"The hands-on process of counting their labor time helps them realize the value of their time, an undervalued resource in Tanzania," says Ms. Reece. "By charging for shop stock, and rent for tools, participants see the value of bookkeeping and tracking expenses."

Creative Livelihood Challenge Training students work on their prototype developed during the training
Students work on their prototype developed during the training.

Elizabeth goes on to say, "When these costs were used in costing product calculations, they saw the light, when taught in theory in class the illumination is difficult to see. Many useful business tools are 'tripped over' along the way, such as the error of copy pricing or paying people who don't make much effort or even team members who don't show up.

After costs are calculated, prices are decided and then the fun begins. The participants love the response from the buyers and sellers are generally surprised by the demand and excitement at opening time.

It's a challenging course and participants who put a lot of effort in get a lot out of the challenge, a lot like life really."

About East Africa

Food insecurity has increased significantly in East Africa due to the rapid increase in population, with an increase of 150% by 2050. Over 40% of children in East Africa are malnourished. The largest number of these children are orphaned and living in difficult circumstances. Most of the rural population lives in poverty, relying on a subsistence lifestyle. Some of the reasons for this situation include:

  • A High rate of loss of yield
  • Underdeveloped, weak markets, farmers lack the infrastructure to improve thier value chains
  • Minority farmers and herdsmen in the region, don't have adequate access to agricultural services, continuing education or access to formal training
  • Increased pressure forcing families to cultivate a little land, which results in land degradation and loss of sustainability in food production
  • Drought, especially in arid pastoralist areas.
  • Deforestation
  • Flooding
  • Climate

Where we are located

Drive to the North West 8 km from Arusha to Nairobi, after Ngaramtoni, University of Mount Meru, the camp two Chinese road, and after a huge hit on the left. Turn right at the sign of a large tablet of ECHO green / garden trees specific information and follow the dirt road a distance of 200 meters, passing a concrete wall on the left. Once the wall, turn left through the iron gate (there are small signs here of the garden) and forward through a tree nursery and office ECHO which has marked. If you come to via public transportation, bus riding from town to ngaramtoni; then another bus from ngaramtoni climbed up Radio News Special. Guards and staff will be happy to give you directions to the front door of the ECHO office in East Africa.