The Himalayan Community Development Forum (HICODEF) is an organisation specialising in integrated community development in Nepal. It has established on 1999 in Nawalparasi district of Nepal. It aims to empower the vulnerable groups, such as the poor, disabled and socially excluded men, women and children, through participatory activities. Initially, it focused on the northern areas of Nawalparasi district, but has already worked into six further districts.
HICODEF envisages a society where everyone can lead their lives in dignity, free of discrimination, exploitation, and poverty. It aims to work towards this through community empowerment. The organisation also undertakes social research and advocacy based on its participatory work, and provides various training programmes for the community and for local institutions. It has also give huge emphasis on economic empowerment so that it is partnering with various donors for livelihood development of poor and marginalised communities which altimately support for peacebuilding. HICODEF has reached to 89,745 families and individuals through its various programmes.
Social and Economic Empowerment Initiatives
HICODEF has mostly given emphasis for social and economic empowerment. HICODEF hopes that by empowering women the economic position of poor families will be improved. The objectives are to raise women’s levels of education and their awareness of the importance of health, hygiene and nutrition and also engage them in income generation activities.
It began with the creation of groups, and in each group members decided how they wanted to improve their economic situation – for example, through animal husbandry, vegetable farming etc. HICODEF then provided support in the form of seeds or young animals, fodders, technologies and skills. It has also focused to create the working environment for women as it work with family members simultaneously. The ultimate goal of the project is to create social capital and develop the small farmers to entrepreneurs so that they fulfill their basic need and invest for health and education for themselves and for their children.
Forestry and Environment Programme
HICODEF has been working for forestry and environment from its establishment. Most of the population in the Nepal depend on agriculture. And their day to day life is depend on forest as all their daily needs like fodder, firewood, herbs, timbers comes from forest. Likewise the agriculture work also depends on climate as most of the people doing traditional firming depend on natural rainfall.
The project is designed to create awareness on climate change, its impact and the adaptations needed. At the same time the project also focuses on developing forest-based enterprises to improved their livelihoods. Their is also an emphasis on mass plantation of boom grass so that the soil erosion can be controlled and also the farmers can sell. In this project HICODEF also addresses on good governance, women participation in social and economical activities.