Food Female Hero- 2013 in Armenia


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Under the GROW campaign Oxfam in Armenia advocates for rural women’s involvement in decision making. Food Female Hero serves as a platform for rural women to voice their problems. Oxfam and its partners build capacity for women to be in the centre of public campaign work and become key change agents for a more just and sustainable agricultural system.

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Food Female Hero- 2013 in Armenia

  1. 1. GROW in ACTION OXFAM IN Armenia “Food Female -2013” Award Ceremony in Yerevan, Armenia, with participation of women farmers from rural coomunities, member to Oxfam estabnlished agriculture cooperatives. Credit: Noyan Tapan Under the GROW campaign Oxfam in Armenia advocates for rural women’s involvement in decision making. Food Female Hero serves as a platform for rural women to voice their problems. Oxfam and its partners build capacity for women to be in the centre of public campaign work and become key change agents for a more just and sustainable agricultural system.
  2. 2. FOOD FEMALE HERO – 2013 AWARD The awards ceremony for the Female Food Hero 2013 took place on October 15, in the Lovers’ Park. The objective of the competition was to point out the exceptional role that women farmers play in the was development of the country’s agriculture today and to give them the opportunity to voice their achievements and problems. The day before the press conference has been invoted with the participation of Food Female ress Hero Award pariticpats, Oxfam established agriculture cooperative members, where they ha been giver flour , have to present to public their success stories and highlight the accut issues they have in their communities. “Everything is difficult at the beginning. When we were founding a women’s cooperative in Hermon with Oxfam, no one believed that we would be successful. And today, one year later, our cooperative is known all xfam, over the marz. They all know what tremendous work we have done as a result of which not only have we increased our members’ incomes, but we can also help to solve urgent community issues,” said Naira Mnatsakanyan, president of the Hermon women’s cooperative. This is the third time that the Female Food Hero 2013 program has been conducted by OXFAM together with the Armenian Young Women’s Association within the framework of Oxfam’ Oxfam’s international GROW campaign. The objective of the Female Food Hero 2013 competition is to encourage women who have been successful in agriculture and farming in the Republic of Armenia, have managed to make positive changes as a result of epublic their successes and have benefitted sustainable development in their local communities. Vadim Uzunyan, the Director of Agricultural P Projects in Oxfam Armenia noted “Today, every woman who is involved in agricultur is a hero and the agriculture work she does is heroic. Therefore it is Therefore, important to properly appreciate the contribution that women farmers have made to the agricultural sector.”
  3. 3. This year Female Food Hero 2013 is a way to: Identify those women who work in the production of food (agriculture, farming) sector, thus comprising a part of the sustainable development of the community, Present women entrepreneurs, the positive changes brought/being brought about by them and examples of their successes in overcoming d difficulties, Encourage those women who produce ecologically healthy food and who have made/ are making exceptional and exemplary contributions to the development of their families and communities. Women farmers from Vayots Dzor and Tavush marzes who are involved in 18 agricultural consumer marzes, cooperatives established by Oxfam participated in, and won the competition. Bavakan Melikyan, a Food Female hero, from the community of Gomk in Vayots Dzor pointed out, “As much as this competition encourages us, it also makes us feel more oblig obligated. We say, that’s enough of us not working. We must work and create a bounty and make our country prosper prosperous.” The Female Food Hero 2013 award ceremony was accompanied by the presentation of a booklet about the female food heroes and an exhibition of their produce. Svetlana Ghazaryan (Aknaghbyur village, Tavush marz), Sofia Atabekyan (Nerkin Tsaghkavan village, Tavush aghkavan marz), Astghik Ghushchyan (Haghtanak village, Tavush marz), Bavakan Melikyan (Gomk village, Vayots Dzor marz), Hasmik Ghazaryan ( (Zedea village, Vayots Dzor marz Nushik Janoyan e, marz), (Azatek village, Vayots Dzor) were awarded the title of Female Food Hero 2013. “You have proven by your activities that it is possible to achieve maximum results by working together. Each greenhouse, as a social establishment is warmed as a result of your collective work. You have also shment encouraged us. May there be many case stories about your heroic work, and may all those social programs that you have foreseen for you communities become a reality,” said Rita Gasparyan, Oxfam’s Economic ita Justice Programme Officer in Armenia. The Female Food Hero programme and award ceremony have been launched since 2012. To date 20 women from all marzes of Armenia have been nominated the title of Female Food Hero. 6 agricultural consumer cooperatives and, adjacent to a cooperative, 1 women’s committee and 16 women engaged in food production have been given awards of motivation.
  4. 4. Opening Ceremony of Social Enterprise and Harvest Festival in Gomk Community. The opening ceremony of the social enterprise in Gomk community, and “Harvest Festival” was held on September 23 in Gomk village of Vayot Dzor marz. The event was organized by “Work and Vayotz . Motherland” NGO - the Oxfam’s partner in Vayotz Dzor within the framework of Oxfam’s “Economic Justice” Programme. The ceremony was launched with the presentation of Oxfam’s exceptional model of rural social enterpris in a enterprise form of green house managed by women agriculture cooperative of Gomk community. Azatek community Women cooperative members Credit: Benyamin Ghazaryan, Oxfam “This is exceptional initiative for our community. Due to this green house our income has been increased by almost 30%. Now we know that our harvest is protected from f frost and hail. In addition, this enterprise allows us to address the social needs of our community, as we are planning to allocate the 40% of income to community for resolving acute issues” said Bavakan Melikyan, the active member of Gomk Cooperative. After visiting the green house, visitors were invited to participate in the Harvest festival, where representatives er of Oxfam-established cooperatives in Vayotz Dzor presented their produce and traditional dishes. established More than 30 representatives of 6 cooperatives operating in the villages of Yeghegis, Hermon, Gomk, Zedea, cooperatives Zaritap and Azatek targeted by the programme participated in the event and exhibited products and goods grown in their villages, as well as presented opportunities of agro tourism development i their villages. Each in village presented a dish typical to their local cuisine. Children performed dances at the event. “Oxfam has been working in remote and isolated communities of Armenia for already 20 years to build the future without poverty. Supporting rural small holder farmers are among the key components of our program. ng We create replicable models to ensure sustainable livelihoods for remote communities of Armenia and promote those models to be replicated by the Government and other stakeholders in other regions of the country. Our innovative model of social enterprise launched in 2013 is an exceptional one and proved to be very successful and is aimed to empower farmers, especially women”, said Margarita Hakobyan, Oxfam country director in Armenia, during her speech. uring The Harvest Day and the Opening Ceremony of the Social Enterprise hosted more than 50 representatives of different organizations involved in agricultural sector, including media representatives. All of them mentioned the big success and prospects of social enterprise as a replicable model for other rural communities of Armenia.
  5. 5. FOOD FEMALE HERO IN NATIONAL MEDIA Food Female Heroes met with journalist and talked about their problems and successes - watch the press conference on line. ark Come to Mark Rural Women International Day Join us in the Lovers Park on 15th of October to celebrate the Rural Women International Day and participate in the “Food Female Hero 2013” Award. This is the third time that OXFAM with its partner Hero-2013” “Armenian Young Women Association” is initiating this award within the framework of its “GROW” global campaign, to highlight the essential role that rural women play in food production. essential
  6. 6. The Aim is to highlight the Role of Rural Women in Food Production. Naira Mnacakanyan, the president of Hermon community agriculture cooperative, claimed that they will invest 40% of cooperative’s income in community development projects to address the pressing issues and reduce the vulnerability of Hermon community. Women Food Heroes Has Got TheirAwards.
  7. 7. Dear OXFAM, We Are Very Grateful to You for S Supporting Rural Women orting ….«Female food hero»-2013 is a unique competition in the agricultural sector with the purpose to 2013 encourage successful women farmers of this sphere who have managed to make pos positive changes not only in their lives but also in the life of their communities. This time the competition was held within the framework of 6 agricultural cooperatives operating in Vayots Dzor and Tavush regions and six women members of cooperatives got titles of female heroes in agricultural production and encouraging presents. tles presents.” Rural Women: “...Would be Possible to Feed at Least 150 Million Hungry omen: People Across the World”. orld”. “…Out of 866 rural communities in Armenia, only 22 rural communities are managed /administered by Out women. Based on the local election results, in September, 2012, 8.3% of women were included in the Community Council: Women in Syuniq Marz have the highest percent of involvement in the Council – 17.4%, comparably high rates were also recorded in Lori Marz – 12.5% and Tavush Marz – 9.2%. Gegharkunik Marz (2%), Aragatsotsn Marz (4.1%) and Vayots Dzor Marz (4.6%) Councils have the lowest level of Women involvement……It’s obvious that all the mentioned issues make rural women more ……It’s vulnerable, and once again prove the fact that these women are in need of additional protection of rights. Supplementary measures should also be taken to expand their opportunities and ensure efficient use of opportunities their potential.” We have revealed 20 Female Food Heroes during 3 years “At first when 37 united, it seemed to us that it was an absurd that only women can do the job we are doing now, but the time showed that we can”, – said the president of agricultural cooperation “Hermon” in Vayots Dzor region Naira Mnacakanyan today during the meeting with reporters presenting the history of cooperatives. Presidents of cooperatives say that OXFAM has helped women a lot, we can say that it has revealed leaders.” Female Food Hero-2013/ photos