Rajan – From Participant to Trainer

21 Dec 2015   |   Blog   |   India   |   Long-term Development

Tags:  Disability Inclusive Development, disability   |   No comments

Rajan working in his fields.

Remember Rajan from the Facilitating Agricultural Regeneration Measures (FARM) program in India, featured in our Spring 2014 appeal? Since the need for our financial involvement in the program ended in 2014, Rajan has continued to have enormous impact in his community including becoming a trainer in a new organic farming workshop. 

FARM was a rural sustainable agriculture program designed to support the emotional and economic needs of farmers like Rajan, who were experiencing the distress of worsening poverty from falling crop yields, reduced income and increasing debt. The program supported over 500 farmers with a disability to start using organic farming techniques.  The program  worked with around 3,000 rural participants to start various livelihood initiatives, including over 500 people living with a disability.  Rajan was one of the 500 people living with a disability who benefited from the program, taking up organic farming practices as a result of the training received from FARM.   

After Rajan’s involvement in FARM project, he became a lead farmer, set up an innovative Rural Information Centre in his house, continues his role as vice president of the National Forum of Differently Abled Welfare federation and Secretary of  the Panchayat Union for Differently Abled Welfare Association. 
Now Rajan has become a paid trainer in a new organic farming workshop. In March 2015, our partner Caritas India facilitated a “Certificate Course in Organic Farming” in Kerala, a workshop to share the knowledge and learnings of the FARM team.  This workshop was advertised nationally and open to the public. The workshop was attended by 22 farmers and development professionals. The profits gained from participant fees were re-invested into the FARM program, allowing our local partner to reach more famers with disabilities in another rural district. 

A main feature of the program was having Rajan facilitate a session sharing his experiences. Not only did Rajan share his practical farming knowledge, but by sharing his success as a farmer with a disability, he was able to illuminate pathways for other people with disabilities who daily experience exclusion and discrimination.  

Demonstrating the far reaching impact of the Caritas Australia supported FARM program, Rajan has made an inspiring transition from participant to trainer.  This is an example of both the direct and flow-on impact of your support. While our financial partnership of this program has ended, we are reminded to keep Rajan and his community in our prayers as we continue to be inspired by the  great impact that he is having  in his community and beyond. As one human family we are delighted to celebrate the successes of the work of our brothers and sisters, like Rajan, who work together daily to care for creation, develop robust livelihoods and share their knowledge with others. We look forward to working with other communities like Rajan's to continue ending poverty, promoting justice and upholding dignity.

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