Buzz Women - enabling rural women to become climate champions in villages of rural Karnataka (partnering with Rainmatter Foundation since 2022)

Namaskara from Buzz Women!

What can be achieved when a woman recognizes her inner strength? We have seen the most brilliant stories of empowerment coming from the remotest corners of rural Karnataka.

Low-income rural women lack access to opportunities, skills and knowledge which pushes them into the poverty trap. They are made to believe they are helpless and are unaware of the power of the collective. Also, we believe and it’s proven these women will be affected the most by climate change.

Based out of Bengaluru, we reach these underserved women and make knowledge, skills and tools available at their doorsteps. Our buses have rolled into 10,000 villages in Karnataka to enable rural women to attend our training and have a chance to change their lives.

What changes do we achieve?

The program is built on the foundation of the 5 Cs - Cash, Care, Climate, Community, and Confidence. We wish to aid in combating poverty not only through training that deals with the economical aspect of poverty, but also the ecological, psychological, and sociological aspects. The program is divided into multiple training sessions that are contextual and meaningful.

Our interventions support rural women:

· Find solutions for their problems through self initaitive

· Plan their finances better and become financially secure

· Participate in financial decision making in their households

· Adopt and succeed in entrepreneurship

· Take measures to mitigate climate change at the local level

· Collectively solve personal and community problems and become community leaders

We believe, and have seen from our experience, that women take their learning to the families and encourage behavioral change. This belief in the power of women is one of the motivations behind Buzz Women’s intervention in the lives of rural and peri urban women.

Sharing one of our biggest secrets as a true grassroots organization:

When a Buzz trainer goes to a village, the women don’t see her as an outsider. They see her as one among them. Our trainers come from villages. They have experienced poverty and patriarchy firsthand. And they know what it means to be a village woman who aspires for a better life.

This lived experience of our 150 strong team on the ground is our secret. This is why our interventions are so rooted. And this is why our women embrace us as their own.

We have a strong volunteer network of 9000 rural women!

Yes, that’s what makes us such a strong grassroots organization.

Over the past eleven years, we created an engaging last mile connect and brought together a vibrant volunteer network of rural women. These volunteer women meet in groups of 10 once every month. These rural women reinforce the impact of our interventions and carry our change forward.

How do we create change? Drive along:

Watch how Suma is combating climate change in her own small ways

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Highlights for the year 2022-23

Direct outreach/output

  • From April 2022 to March 2023 we enrolled 3978 Hasiru prerakis/Green motivators as climate action volunteers under Rainmatter-Buzz Green program
  • 2563 Green motivators completed 5 module of the Buzz Green curriculum (curriculum summary below)
  • Basket of needs household survey done for 4333 households in 172 villages of Kolar district
  • 107 Green motivators took initiative in their own villages and initiated the kitchen garden
Topics Why What How
Natural Wealth To set the context What are the natural resources around you? Activity
How has it changed from past to present? Interactive discussion
Climate change Reflect on daily lives What is climate change and how it is affecting you? Story telling video- Climate change awareness
Understand their thoughts on climate change Do you think climate change is real? Interactive discussion
How is it affecting you, your family and surroundings?
Understand the concepts of weather, season and climate and its changing dimension Weather, season and climate: Now and earlier. Activity
Water Understand relationships between water and life What is water? What is the role of water in our lives? Interactive discussion
Reflect on daily use of water Water and daily life Activity
How water is formed? Creating the water cycle Activity
Understand sources of water Interconnections between rainfall, surface water and groundwater. Importance of water for life and sustenance
Understand and acknowledge that water is an asset which belongs to the community and environment Who owns Groundwater? Game
Learning conservation measures and encourage adoption at home Save, Reuse and Recharge Activity
Understand importance of optimizing water usage and saving for future generations
Learn mapping and understand what they currently have Map water bodies and other water sources in the village Homework - when women go back to their homes after the day’s training
Land Understand and acknowledge that land is an important asset for life What is land? Role of land in our lives? Interactive discussion
Understand important land resources such as; soil, trees, forests Importance of trees, soil, forests etc. Activity
Understand and acknowledge that land is an asset which belongs to individuals, community and the environment’ How does it support our daily life and well being? Case study reading
Learning conservation measures and encourage adoption at home Land bunding, organic manure making and mulching and tree planting Activity
Learn mapping and understand what they currently have Map forests, Gomalas and other land resources in the village Homework - when women go back to their homes after the day’s training
Get access to and learn the traditional knowledge of their own community Traditional foods, its associated health benefits, knowledge about native seeds and plants and livestock Homework - Interaction with elders of the village
Pollution & Consumption Understand about pollution : land, water and air Dried up/polluted water bodies, polluted land and environment Activity
Create awareness on interconnections of consumption and pollution Household consumption and pollution Activity
Solutioning To facilitate women to create tangible solutions towards reducing pollution, and protecting water and land from climate change Action to be taken at home in 1 week, 1 month and 1 year Activity
Record Indigenous knowledge Activity
Green Village Spreading knowledge with others Delve into their network Interactive discussion
Learn to restore/safeguard, natural resource commons in the village Importance of natural resource commons for the village. Steps to restore and safeguard it Activity

This rural woman has inspired 110 other women to start kitchen gardens in their houses

Getting inspired and implementing change in one’s life is itself a big thing. But imagine inspiring 110 women to start kitchen gardens in their homes - that’s what Shylaja did!

Shylaja never ventured out to get herself a job or involved herself with community initiates until the Buzz Self Shakti training. But that training was a spark that made Shylaja an unstoppable force. She then attended the Spoorthi training, went on to become a Buzz Anchor woman. She also took the Buzz Green training in February 2022 and became a Buzz Green Motivator.

With this exposure, Shylaja got to know about a job opportunity at the village Panchayat as a Master Bookkeeper (MBK). This job requires her to visit villages under the Panchayat and spread awareness about various schemes and loans that the villagers can avail. This job automatically connected her to rural women.

Having created a kitchen garden in her own house and seeing the benefits, Shylaja started sharing her learning with these women. Whenever she gets a day off from her Panchayat job, second Saturdays or Sundays, Shylaja goes to the villages and creates awareness about creating kitchen gardens. Taking inspiration from her, 110 houses now have kitchen gardens! All this during her free time in the last one year and she is all inspired to continue doing this!

And it’s not just kitchen gardens, she talks to them about not wasting water, avoiding use of plastic and saving money. Her enthusiastic involvement with the villages caught the Panchayat officials in awe, too. They conferred her with the Best MBK award.

Shylaja has brilliantly made use of the knowledge she got from the Buzz training and the opportunity that her job at the Panchayat opened up to create a unique impact.