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The Seaweed Cultivation Training project preparations

Flashback – Project’s preparation period:
August-November 2023.

Area of implementation:
Rameswaram coastal villages, Tamil Nadu, India

Presentation:
The project offers vocational training on seaweed cultivation for coastal women. It also includes business classes and support for them to use the learned skills and build seaweed related business opportunities to generate income, while guiding them to market their produce. The income will help support families, improve quality of life, and help with the village development.
The project is a joint initiative by Mata Amritanandamayi Math and Amrita University, with support from the Transworld Group and research experts in marine ecosystems.

Description:

From August 2023 onwards, regular field visits were conducted in preparation for the project, to support field requirements and monitor project status.
Bamboos, rafts, ropes and other cultivation material were distributed.
A successful seaweed cultivation requires daily visits and monitoring at the cultivation area and checking the rafts.

Events & activities – September-November 2023:

September 2 – An large event took place at the Seaweed Park in Ramanathapuram, attended by women from the project and by Dr. Bhavani Rao and Srividya Sheshadri from Ammachi Labs and CWEGE, Amrita University.

September 3 – Dr Bhavani Rao (Dean, School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Amrita University; Director, AMMACHI Labs and CWEGE) and Dr Srividya Sheshadri (Assistant director CWEGE (center for Women Empowerment and Gender Equality, Amrita University) held meetings with the students and trainees of the seaweed cultivation center at Olakkudai village to understand better the potential of seaweed cultivation as a livelihood. A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity & Threats) analysis was conducted to assess and improve the project’s benefits. The team also visited the practical cultivation site and checked the cultivation rafts.

September 6 – AMMACHI Labs team visited a women’s SHG group in Nambuthalai village, a group of active women in Thirupalaikudi village and a village’s committee of Mullimunai village, to explore possibilities of starting seaweed cultivation.

September 10 – AMMACHI Labs team visited the seaweed cultivation women in Olakkudai village to conclude the SWOT analysis.

October 11 – AMMACHI Labs team visited the women’s SHG group in Thirupalakudi village for folllow up.

October 15 – AMMACHILabs team visited two new villages, Dhamodharapattinam and Thondi Puthukudi to explore possibilities of holding training courses, and visited seaweed cultivation sites, where the monoline method is used.

October 16 – AMMACHILabs team conducted an assessment for trainees at Olaikuda.

October 18 – AMMACHILabs team visited the Thirupaalaikudi village to prepare for Amrita University social work students field visit, and the cleaning of the cultivation site.

October 19 – AMMACHILabs team visited the Thirupaalaikudi village and met 52 ladies interested in taking the courses.

October 20 –  AMMACHILabs team conducted a post-course survey for the enrolled trainee ladies at Thirupalaikudi. Ropes and fishnets for rafts were distributed.

October 26 – AMMACHILabs team visited the Thirupaalaikudi village and joined the trainees for clean-up work at the cultivation site.

November 1-3 – AMMACHILabs team along with 19 social work students from Amrita University held meetings with various public, municipal, development and health care instances in the Thirupalaikudi area, to better assess various needs.

November 8 – AMMACHILabs team along with 19 social work students from Amrita University held 3 community events at the Thiruppalaikkudi village: An awareness program on health and hygiene, a cleanup drive, and planting a sacred tree by the village head.

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