The Local Initiative Facility for the Environment (LIFE) was registered in July 2003 and is involved in implementing community development initiatives. LIFE is a non-government organisation with a mandate to support local efforts aimed at improving living conditions and promoting sustainable development in marginalized communities in Jamaica.
The LIFE Secretariat has developed the 2012 – 2015 LIFE programme to provide a framework for the implementation of LIFE activities, inform board members and members about expected outputs during the programme period, guide resource mobilisation efforts and LIFE’s Sustainability Plan. This document will be reviewed annually to include new developments in the area of project implementation, resource mobilization and programme components.
The document addresses the following:
- An analysis of LIFE’s achievements, successes and challenges, lessons learnt.
- Defining core areas for outreach to marginalised communities and the minimum number of communities to be assisted.
- Guidelines concerning the status of persons which qualify for assistance from LIFE (the target population).
- Strategic LIFE objectives to be achieved over the 4 year period, proposed methodology, expected outputs and outcomes
- Integration of objectives of national policies and global initiatives
- Areas of collaboration with other NGOs, private and public sector organisations/stakeholders.
- Role of the Board of Directors and its subcommittees.
- LIFE sustainability plan including sources of funding, development of LIFE owned income generating initiatives to augment funding from donor agencies
- Information dissemination and publicity for LIFE initiatives.
- Required staffing and budget for effective implementation of the proposed programme
GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
The major goal of the LIFE programme is to provide support to its members that will facilitate the fulfillment of the LIFE mission statement. The objectives of the programme are:
- To assist 400 persons in at least 30 marginalised communities to improve their standard of living through capacity building and institutional strengthening, micro-enterprise development, networking and effective local governance.
- To develop 150 micro-enterprises in the areas of beekeeping, greenhouse farming, agro-processing, livestock and egg production, small scale vending and craft production.
- To provide skills training for a minimum of 250 community members
- To provide organisational management training for 13 member organisations
- To facilitate the application of renewable energy technologies by a minimum of 4 community groups/members
- To assist members to implement activities that will facilitate adaptation to climate change and mitigation of impacts
- To provide/mobilise funding of at least US$850,000 to implement the LIFE programme
- To increase the visibility of LIFE and its activities through active engagement of the media, creation and maintenance of a website, posting of information on donor websites and dissemination of newsletters.
- To continue the implementation and development of LIFE’s Sustainability Plan
- To implement natural resource management activities where possible with community groups/members
In the area of micro-enterprise development the expected outputs include the following:
- Construct and put into operation a minimum of 6 greenhouses
- Establish a minimum of three wax apiaries with bee farmers associations/groups
- Establish a pollen drying and packaging facility in collaboration with the JFCA
- Upgrade of the AIBFA bottling plant to provide vertical linkages for bee farmers for sale of honey
- Training a minimum of 135 persons as beekeepers and establishing a minimum of 120 apiaries ranging from 5 – 10 colonies.
- Provision of technical assistance for a minimum of 155 beekeepers
- Distribution of pollen traps to a minimum of 50 beekeepers and train them in the production of pollen
- Upgrade of two Agro-processing facilities (APF)
- Establishment of 1 agro-processing Facility
- Training of 25 Agro-processors
- Establishment or upgrade of a minimum of two craft production facilities
- Construction of 15 goat houses
In the area of Renewable Energy the following outputs are projected:
- Installation of at least 4 solar energy systems (dryers, electrical systems)
- Installation of a maximum of 2 water supply systems powered by renewable energy systems
- Establishment of a minimum of 2 waste management facilities
LIFE has already mobilised funds to cover a significant portion of our activities. Over US$1,300,000 has been mobilized from the USAID, IAF, FCF and Environmental Foundation of Jamaica. Additionally LIFE will work with our partners and members to mobilise additional funding for their proposed activities from other donor agencies such as the GEF Small Grants Programme, Digicel Foundation, JNBS Foundation and CHASE Fund, with focus on those that complement the LIFE programme. Apart from the USAID funded project which will be completed in 2014 all of the other projects end in 2012 or 2013. It is therefore important that additional resource mobilisation is done by the LIFE secretariat to sustain the organisation and fund activities related to projected outputs.
LIFE Strengthening of Communities and Grassroots Economic Development Project – IAF Funded
This project was funded by the IAF and was implemented over the period August 28, 2009 – August 27, 2013. The grant amount was US$385,000 of which US$120,000 was for sub-grants for economic initiatives. LIFE worked with 13 community-based organizations (CBOs) to: (1) improve their management and their ability to mobilize resources; 2) increase members’ income through community-based businesses and training; and 3) address environmental and natural resource management issues.
Institutional Strengthening for LIFE to Build Capacity of Member Organisations
This project ended in February of 2013 and involved the strengthening of community groups through training and implementing activities in partnership with LIFE. Areas covered included community consultation, participatory needs assessment, Action plan preparation, skills training, networking with government and other support organisations, project proposal preparation, project management for CBOs and resource mobilization for the development and implementation of resource management, sanitation and renewable energy activities.
Community-Based Micro-enterprise Development in Five Parishes in Jamaica – USAID funded
LIFE is currently implementing an agricultural based micro-enterprise project in five parishes (St. Mary, St. Catherine, St. Thomas, Trelawny and St. Andrew). The main objective of the project is to enable the development or expansion of 161 agriculturally/environmentally based micro-enterprises in twenty-five communities through the application of bee keeping, protected farming and agro-processing activities over a 3 year period (March 14 2011 – 2014). This is paralleled with the application of renewable energy technology where possible for the development of water supply, solar electricity and drying systems. Capacity building of the participating groups/micro-entrepreneurs is also a critical component to engender good record keeping, planning, organizational management, work plan development and marketing skills. The major component of the project is the expansion of beekeeping through skills training, establishment of apiaries and production/packaging of direct hive products and value added products.
SUPPORT FOR LIFE SUSTAINABILITY PLAN
Life Greenhouse and Apiary Production – The apiary and greenhouse established through the project Support for LIFE Sustainability Plan funded by the EFJ will produce honey, pollen, tomatoes and sweet peppers to generate revenues to cover the costs of the organisations that are at times not covered by donor funding. It will also provide a pool of funds to tide the organisation over gaps in donor funding
Implementation of the LIFE Programme requires that the LIFE secretariat has the required human and physical resources to ensure that activities are carried out in an effective and timely manner. The design, implementation, monitoring, reporting and overall management of the project activities will be carried out by the members of the secretariat from the offices based in Kingston.
LIFE ORGANISATIONAL CHART
The LIFE organisational structure is shown below. The day-to-day activities are the responsibility of the Secretariat and organisational oversight is provided by a Board of Directors.
Consultants are required in the areas of organisational capacity building and micro-enterprise development. The areas identified for this programme are beekeeping, greenhouse farming, agro-processing, goat rearing, marketing, preparation of development, action and business plans, website development, renewable energy applications and engineering. Several of these consultants have been identified and are already integrated into project activities.