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Dare2Dream: India's Indigenous are Self-Sufficient

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Daring to dream, Project COPA: Co-operative of Adivasis (Indigenous Indian people)
COPA is a SELF-RELIANT, RURAL, FARMING PROJECT: a positive response to Covid. FCRA registered charity.
Endorsed by: The Catholic Bishop's Conference of India Office of Tribal/Indigenous Affairs (CBCI) 
Johar! (hello) from Neelam and Anupama - Adivasi local villagers, native to Chhattisgarh: 
As youth we dare to dream of creating a brighter world for those largely excluded from society, like our Indigenous Adivasi Communities in India. After living in New Delhi to study and work, Covid-19 forced us to to abruptly return home early in 2020 to Chhattisgarh. The lockdown caused terrible suffering for our Adivasi farming communities. Farmers getting meagre prices for their produce, suddenly found markets grinding to a halt.
As the pandemic impact worsened, middlemen offered less and less for crops.
Farmers had to sell their produce at dirt cheap prices, or to plough the cultivation back into the field, as they had no money to hire labour to harvest crops.
A dynamic response was urgently required to address the farmer’s immediate need.
Adivasi community elders backed COPA to form an action plan.

Johar! from Father Nicholas Barla.   
He facilitates the cooperative network of Indigenous tribal people in India (Adivasis) and has degrees in Commerce and Management.
During Covid-19 he organised 20 meetings in the States which have a high concentration of tribal peoples, including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar.
Meetings addressed the economic empowerment of the tribal peoples. Senior church and government leaders attended. Father Barla says, “the awareness, interest, eagerness and readiness in the field of production and marketing among tribal leaders, youth and women is clear”.
Participants identified a need for training of:
1. Farmers groups - to educate them about modern and organic farming process.
2. Youth and women – to develop entrepreneurial skills.
3. Managers – in the handling of accounts and co-operatives’ administration.
4. Marketing teams of men and women.
We urgently need to raise finance to start the training, purchase of products, transportation and to establish Adivasi academic centres, including at tertiary level. This will support ongoing rural, village and tribal development in the country.

COPA'S ETHOS

Inspired by similar initiatives around the world, we assisted our local indigenous communities living in the remote district of Jashpur, Chhattisgarh, largely populated by the Oraon Adivasi tribes.
We helped farmers to send products directly to the wholesale markets.
Borrowing money from family and friends, we purchased seasonal crops at a better price than the middlemen offered.
We arranged transport to wholesale vegetable markets in Bhatapara, Bilaspur and Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Jamshedpur and Ranchi in Jharkhand, and Rourkela and Jharsugda in Odisha state.
Farmers got better prices for crops.
We succeeded to maintain the standard minimum price for the crops, compelling the other buyers to offer higher wholesale prices.
One of the biggest achievements in this humanitarian endeavour was to win the confidence of the farmers, uniting them into a cooperative for better future price procurement.

COPA OBJECTIVES
*  Ensure a dignified life for Adivasi people, during Covid and into the future.
*  Enable environmental sustainability.
*  Localise economy and procure fair prices for Indigenous farmers.
*  Generate employment opportunities aimed at reducingmigration.
*  Maintain and organise existing traditional tribal knowledge and practice around
    agriculture, ecology, seed, soil and water health, community development.
*  Develop a Cooperative model functioning in four distinct areas:
Production
Retail
Finance
Welfare
*  Create more resilient economies and a more egalitarian society.

PROJECT UNIQUENESS 
By offering a healthy supply of food directly to customers, the COPA project:
*  Provides a self-sustainable source of income for tribalpeople.
*  Offers fair opportunity and a level playing field for Indigenous farmers in the market.
*  Breaks the cycle of middlemen dependency.
*  Delivers control over production, value added processes, marketing.
*  Encourages traditional and Indigenous farming practices.
*  Transforms traditional subsistence agriculture practice into a dependable livelihood.
*  Brings Adivasi people to the forefront of the emerging organic (or natural) farming movement.
*  Gives a sense of respect and autonomy.
*  Offers farming as a viable and worthy occupation.
*  Inspires and attracts youth to take up farming as an enduring lifestyle.
*  Minimises the need for migration to distant jobs and day-labour in towns and cities.

OUR PRINCIPLES
ETHICAL:
Our ethics are based on our  Indigenous Adivasi tribal values, including  honesty, integrity, collective consensus.
RESPONSIBLE:
We take responsibility towards  people and the environment. All our activities are eco-friendly and sustainable.
IN SOLIDARITY:
As a community-driven initiative, we are in solidarity with tribal farmers globally.

EMPIRICAL RIGOUR
Lacking access to a modern health care system, medicines, doctors, nurses and ambulance services, Indigenous (Adivasi) people confront crises in a methodical way.

Their approach is pragmatic and practical, relying on a wholistic knowledge system.
Traditional Adivasi botanists/land-custodians use diverse herbal, dietary, environmental and survival practices, to fortify communities and increase resilience.
Science needs to assess whether this gives an immunological advantage against pathogens.
COPA seeks to coordinate Indigenous traditional medicine and evidence-based clinical practice.
COPA champions the establishment of centres of learning and research, which may cross-fertilise indigenous technologies that endow life skills, on the one hand, and biochemistry, epidemiology, life and environmental sciences, on the other.


MILESTONES
* Conserving diverse gene pool of indigenous seeds and crops.
* Maintaining traditional Adivasi farming and techniques.
* 2019-2020 we established the COPA model with 10 Jaspurvillages: Sanna, Kopa, Mahua, Morebatoli-Bamhani, Lodhena, Bhanwar, Kaputoli, Pandrutoli, Laranga and Maina.
* May - Oct 2020 farmers achieved sales of green chillies, Asian pears, tomatoes.
* 2021 our outreach has already expanded to 50 villages.

ASPIRATIONS
1. Transporting produce to nearby cities.
2. Selling within wholesale markets.
3. Selling to local communities.
4. May - Oct 2021 farmers achieving sales of tomatoes, brinjal, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, okra, jackfruit, Asian pears, mangoes, lychees, green chillies.
5. Purchase one new, & one second-hand, light produce delivery trucks & motor bike.
6. Establish a Biodiversity Seedbank
7. Employment of people for distribution.
8. Managing the Covid-19 crisis by primarily selling produce locally.
9. Supply “direct from Khet.” (“direct from the farm to your doorstep”)

We want to replicate the COPA model we are applying in Chhattisgarh to other states, especially Jharkhand and Odisha.
We extend our thanks to Fr. Nicholas Barla, (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, CBCI) Jessica Wawoe, (Tribal Wisdom Foundation, Netherlands)  Mark Annandale, (Research Fellow, University of Sunshine Coast, Australia) and Ben Chapple, (Australia) for their encouragement of, and commitment to, uplifting  Adivasis.

Our immediate needs are: 
*        Establish a biodiversity seed bank                                                      @Aus $  6,000
*        Purchase one new & one 2nd-hand, small delivery trucks  @Aus $32,000
          TOTAL                                                                                                                     @Aus $38,000

We ensure that 100% of your donation goes directly to the Indigenous Adivasi people and program you chose to help.
(excepting GoFundMe fees shown at bottom) There are no administration or operating costs to dilute your valuable contribution, so you know that every cent counts.
FULL PROPOSAL, BUDGETS and Registered in India for (FCRA) Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010: charitable donation details, AVAILABLE ON REQUEST FROM:

Ben Chapple
If you are in Sydney, I am happy to provide more details, organise meetings with individuals or groups, offering presentations as required. 

Father Nicholas Barla 
CBCI (Catholic Bishop's Conference of India) 
Secretary, Tribal Coordination Forum, Delhi.
Either of us can send our plans to you in full, including itemised budgets.

                   Send us a message on Go Fund Me and we will engage promptly.

The organisers are trusted  by the community and experienced in dispensing social welfare programs in India.  
Please help us Dare To Dream of supporting hundreds of Adivasi families to become self-sufficient in India.

PHASE ONE FUNDRAISER is working concurrently, in response to the rural, Indigenous people's Covid Emergency. 
Go Fund Me: "Dare To Dream of a Covid free India":    https://gofund.me/00704f98

We can't avoid GoFundMe Fees: 2.2% + 0.30 cents as shown below. But everything else will find it's mark!

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A $20 donation becomes $19.26 after GFM fees are deducted.
A $50 donation becomes $48.60 after GFM fees are deducted.

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Donations 

  • The Anonymous Chatterbox: Greg
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 1 yr
  • Mark Shumsky
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $290 (Offline)
    • 2 yrs
  • The Knight
    • $80 (Offline)
    • 3 yrs
  • Two village dwellers
    • $1,800 (Offline)
    • 3 yrs
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Organizer

Ben Chapple
Organizer
Vaucluse NSW

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