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Easy Volunteer Actions: A handbook for supporting disaster-prone communities with food security and livelihoods activities

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Introduction

This handbook describes 12 activities that Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) volunteers can easily carry out by themselves using resources already available in the community. The activities are designed to help communities to produce more food and income and to stay safe and healthy in areas where there are challenges such as droughts and floods. Each activity selected is particularly relevant for the local context in Southern and Eastern Africa, but most activities can be done anywhere in the world with some small adjustments. The information is presented for Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers to guide their discussions and activities with communities.

This handbook has 12 sections. The activities in each section can help increase food security and strengthen livelihoods. The sections are:

  1. Gardens

  2. Compost

  3. Shaded Seedling Nurseries

  4. Homemade Liquid Fertilisers

  5. Improving Farming Practices

  6. Lead Farmers and Demonstration Farming

  7. Water Harvesting and Conservation

  8. Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

  9. Nutrition Awareness

  10. Reducing Fuel for Cooking

  11. Early Warning and Early Action

  12. Savings and Loan Associations

This handbook describes 12 activities that Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) volunteers can easily carry out by themselves using resources already available in the community. The activities are designed to help communities to produce more food and income and to stay safe and healthy in areas where there are challenges such as droughts and floods. Each activity selected is particularly relevant for the local context in Southern and Eastern Africa, but most activities can be done anywhere in the world with some small adjustments. The information is presented for Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers to guide their discussions and activities with communities.

All these activities have been designed to:

  • Be easy to understand and carried out by Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers,

  • Require little or no external resources, support, technology or funding,

  • Need no special skills, capacities or external advice. .

Each activity has been carefully selected to increase the ability of people to withstand, or be ‘resilient to,’ the shocks, stresses and hazards related to changing climate. These activities do not represent a comprehensive list of all actions that build resilience, but those that have been proven to be effective by a wide range of organisations and Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff.

The activities can benefit families and communities in a wide range of contexts and different locations.