We believe in strengthening people at grass root level to speak with one voice for their rights and to uplift their socio-economic conditions. We have focused our endeavors to act as a facilitator for women, children and youth to achieve their optimal potential and to prepare them to face life’s challenges with confidence and dignity. We work for the promotion of gender equality & empowerment of women. We are striving to promote education with practical support among the rural families and encourage them to participate in processes which enhance their equality, self-reliance and long term sustainable development. we believe that these initiatives can be possible through awareness raising, capacity building and educating the target population which is essential for sustainable development. Social awareness, capacity building, promotion of education, health, advocacy, protection of Human Rights and gender development are the core area where the organization delivers its services. In addition RDO continues, since its inception, contributions to the programs of regional and national organizations aim at alleviating the suffering of local communities arising from high food prices, poverty, illiteracy, diseases and man-made or natural calamities.
Gender and Development
In the remote and conservative society of KP and particularly Malakand Division RDO has taken bold step to promote gender equality through its intervention in gender sensitization, gender development, networking among women and advocacy. RDO reached the most vulnerable low income and rural areas, where religious extremist and power structure dominates, where there is scarcity of resources and very few or no opportunities. Child Protection During the militancy majority of school were either burnt or destroyed by the militants. Students of these schools were left on open to continue their education. RDO established Alternate Learning Spaces (ALS) for these students to continue their education without missing crucial academic session. RDO has adopted two government primary schools in remote areas of lower Dir and arranged temporary staff. RDO has established Community Gils School in Village Khonano Baba, district lower Dir, where due to cultural sensitivity girls could not attend boy’s school. 120 girls are admitted in the school.
Human & Institutional Development
RDO deems human and institutional development a dire need to address local and national issues. The organization primarily works on capacity building initiatives to increase the numbers and competencies of leaders within the sector at both local and national level. It is focused towards increasing the available human resources capacity to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies and developmental initiatives. Capacity building of local Community Based Organization and Community Citizen Boards (CBOs/CCBs), local govt. representatives, Parent Teacher Councils (PTCSs), People with Disability (PWD), health workers, local farmers and municipal administration employs are the areas RDO has intervened in to.
RDO is working to protect human rights at local and regional level. Focus is to undertake awareness raising, mobilization and advocacy through walks, seminars, focus groups discussions, publications, free legal aid services to the affects of violence and tortures and action is concentrating on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human beings without class, creed, religion and ethnicity while prevention of domestic violence is the great stress of the region and locality RDO is working for. Women education is of the prior importance for RDO in this region through which RDO can address the issues of honor killing and domestic violence against women.
Heavy rains and floods during 2010 played havoc in KPK and especially in 11 UCs of Dir Lower. The damages on commercial and infrastructure point of view were major and lost several human lives but livelihood of the local area vanished badly. About 60% standing crops washed away by the massive flood and about 45000 acres cultivated land and crops along River Punjkora and River Swat and other main streams completely destroyed while agriculture is the main source of livelihood of the local population. More than 60% cultivated land on the bank of river Punjkora washed away by the heavy flood. RDO provided support to 500 farmers in different training programs and provided quality seeds and fertilizers (1000 bags seeds & 2000 bags fertilizer) to help them in financial stability to reclamation of their cultivated land.
RDO through its interventions provides access to basic health care, encouraging a health seeking behavior among the people & strengthening the existing health delivery mechanisms. RDO in pursuit to meet its objective and effective delivery of services in this sector aims to establish effective and sustainable mechanisms in the realm of pro-motive, preventive and rehabilitative health and to improve the demand and access to qualitative health services for weaker sections to become healthy communities The military operation against militancy in Dir Lower and Malakand Agency, resulted high displacement of local people confronting with the issues of livelihoods, food insecurity, reduced access to education and basic health services. The militant activities threatened the delivery of basic health services that reduced the access of the conflict affected families to health services centers which dramatically increased the level of mortality and morbidity of young children. The militancy also blasted health facilities and remained un-able for the provision of health services. Crowded conditions, lack of professional practitioners, poor sanitation, lack of potable water, poor hygiene practices & inadequate infant & young children feeding practices had already aggravated the situation that was of the prior importance for civil society organizations. The messages of health hygiene have been imparted to 181330 local populations in the catchment area of 6 BHUs and helped in increased community awareness and adoption of improved health practices such as using of health hygiene items, infant feeding and use of wash room. Conflict affected women were facilitated with group discussion, recitation of the Holly Quran, vocational trainings and other healthy activities and provided them psychosocial support at different stages. Improved availability of essential medicines, medical supplies, health services and ensure the access to safe & reliable portable water in 6 BHUs. The conflict affected women got training in vocational skills which helped them to cover their mental disturbance and anxiety. Fifteen village committees formed and built their capacities that are facilitating the community in identification and solution of different health related issues. Vocational Training proved more effective as many women from nearby participated in the training and designed attractive items which can become an income source for the conflict affected women. 6 BHUs were provided free medicines, furniture, WASH facilities and other essentials.
RDO in collaboration with TMA Samar Bagh, Govt. of KPK and World Bank initiated the activities of community infrastructure project in 12 communities of Tehsil Samar Bagh Dir Lower. The main objective of the project was to promote the well being of low income communities of KPK through: (1) supporting investments in community development activities, basic services and small scale productive infrastructure and (2) strengthening capacity at the new devolved local government and community levels, to plan and deliver such services and infrastructure. The CCB concept was relatively new in the context of the Local Government system, and consequently, there were very few CCBs on the ground in most of the districts/TMAs. The communities were selected in the consultation with the TMA Samar Bagh with the eligibility criteria of willingness to undergo capacity building, willing to work with TMA Samar Bagh, legal registration, representative and participatory CCBs, agreeing with the CIP II approaches and methodologies, 20% community contribution, adequate female representation, council meetings and formulation of sub-committees. The capacity of the CCBs and TMA Samar Bagh built to help them implement the project accordingly. Mobilized the communities for 20% cash contribution in the project and represent women in CCBs. The communities were prepared to designed various sustainable development schemes and identify the gray area to solve gross root level issues. The activities were designed to ensure that they are economically, financially, socially and environmentally sound.
The value and role of basic education is essential in every culture and at all levels. Basic knowledge and access to information enables people to choose good governments and help in behavioral change. The effectiveness of investments in health, sanitation, social services and agriculture sectors depends on good basic knowledge among people. Keeping in view the importance of Education, RDO is actively providing its services to promote education among the children to help child protection issues and exploitation. RDO has trained Parent Teacher Council (PTCs) of government schools, both women and men, on roles and responsibilities, in basic record-keeping and project management to ensure effectiveness in operations of schools. RDO has trained government teachers, both men and women, of district Dir lower. They were trained in child-friendly teaching and evolving emergency in education such as psychosocial support, life skills and emergency education. RDO organized Union Council level community mobilization advocacy events to create awareness among communities to play an active role in the promotion of education. Through these campaigns RDO was able to establish village level educational committees. These committees have helped in bringing back children especially girls to school. The women educational committees were more active, despite of restricted female mobility due cultural sensitive region, to enrol girl’s students. RDO facilitate cluster level meetings of teachers. The objective of these meetings are to provide a platform to the teachers to share their teaching experiences and closely review the gaps for drop out cases and obstacles that negatively impacted the provision of a child friendly environment in schools. To help PTC in better management of children co curriculum activities and to encourage PTC for active participation in school affairs, RDO facilitated PTC events in schools. To ensure the availability of female teachers at schools who were not able to come to schools due to distance and security issues, RDO provided monthly mobility support through provision of cash incentives of Rs. 1500 per month per teacher. 19 female teachers of eight targeted female schools were provided the mobility support for five months.
Price fluctuations worsen the situation of economic growth of the people and the local population remained unable to concentrate on their children education, economic activities for better life standard, entertainment, and healthy activities. RDO provided support to school going children (primary level) and assist their families as a response to high food prices in Pakistan and the financial stability of flood hit areas. The aims of the intervention was to support the affected families with free food incentives to increase students enrollment at primary level and decrease their families’ burden resulted by high prices in food commodities or flood.
Emergency Response and Rehabilitation of IDPs
The military operation against terror was supposed to eliminate & root out the so-called extremists, the area witnessed significant increase in violence & militancy. The growing militancy led to the weakening of govt. writ & break down of civil administrative structure & emergence of parallel administrative set ups in certain areas of Pakistani Tribal belt & settled areas. It resulted in large scale internal displacement & destruction of houses, commercial buildings, schools & hospitals. Livelihoods of millions of people suffered as their income from agriculture, livestock, forestry & tourism significantly declined. The continuous terrorist attacks, target killing and protection of their families’ members aggravated the miseries of the ordinary people while the rehabilitation of these affected people became a challenge for humanitarian organizations. RDO distributed food and NFIs the affected families at three different distribution points
Networking is recommended as particularly suitable for NGOs to improve performance and enhance impacts of various developmental initiatives. Since many NGOs are small and dispersed, networking is commonly seen as a cost-effective means to share information and spread knowledge about grassroots’ needs, solutions and best practices with other civil society organizations. Networking is believed to strengthen NGO’s ability to speak with one voice and to significantly increase their impact as policy negotiators and advocating agencies.