- What is the meaning behind the name "ESNA Village Networks"? What is the organization's purpose?
ESNA Stands for El Salvador & North America, which is the "who." Village Networks is "what" we are working to create: improved livelihoods for the rural families in El Salvador and to promote peace through understanding via cross-cultural exchanges.
- What makes ESNA special? Hasn't this already been done before?
What makes ESNA a little different is the integration of the various requirements for enhanced rural livelihoods: education, economic development, health. Most organizations focus on one area of expertise and require the rural villagers to provide the integration and/or to find the organizations to assist with other areas of need such as health, water, agricultural development etc.
It has been done and is currently being done by Millennium Villages in Africa. ESNA believes the Millennium Villages model is a good one. We have adapted many of their practices for use in El Salvador. To our knowledge ESNA is the only organization with this model working in El Salvador.
- Will the ESNA Village Network be sustainable?
The projects and programs that ESNA undertakes are designed to be sustainable by the local communities after implementation, training, and a period of follow up has been completed.
- How are national and local governments involved?
ESNA has relationships with local and national government officials in El Salvador. They have been very supportive of our work to date.
- Who are the key actors involved in ESNA?
Key to our success are the local government officials and the village ADESCO (Directiva/Governing body for each local village). Our work could not be completed without our in-country partners and the groups that travel with ESNA to our villages providing support for our programs, and the people living in each village. ESNA's Agricultural Director and the In-Country Director play key roles in the execution and direction of our activities in El Salvador.
- How will this effort be scaled-up? 20-30 villages alone won't prove that poverty can be ended, will they?
Ending world hunger and providing enhanced rural livelihoods is done from the ground up. The new skills, knowledge and expertise gained by 10,000 people in 8 villages will be multiplied 10 fold as they share their new skills with others. Enhanced income from 1,000 families will provide improved income for others families as they place their new income into the local economy. Scaling up will occur from the new knowledge workers of the country.
- How much money does it take to fund an ESNA Village?
An investment of about $500 per person, in an average village of 400-600 people, will provide the necessary capital to achieve our education, economic development and health goals for each village.
- I do not have the capability of making a large contribution right now. How are smaller donations used?
There are many ways to help meet the urgent needs of an ESNA village. In fact, small gifts make a huge difference.
For instance, in the area of...
Education each classroom needs:
- 30 desks ($ 35 each)
- 1 teacher's desk ($200)
- 2 file cabinets ($45 each)
- 2 white boards ($40 each)
- 1 on-site engineer during construction ($100/week)
Health each family needs:
- 1 stove to eliminate household smoke ($50 each)
- 1 water filter to eliminate illness-causing bacteria ($75 each)
Economic development (for drip irrigation vegetable production)
- Enough Seed and Fertilizer packets for 1/4 acre ($100)
- 1 Water pump per acre ($600 each)
- Enough Piping,tubing, and valves for 1/4 acre ($425)
- Isn't corruption a concern within some areas of El Salvador?
ESNA has selected partners and people that have a history and reputation for integrity and honesty. Our twelve year history and experience in El Salvador has been very beneficial to us as we have had the opportunity to work with many such excellent, reputable organizations over time.
- How do you manage villages in a country experiencing social change and turmoil?
El Salvador is a relatively new democracy formed at the end of the civil war in 1992. It is expected that social and political change will be a part of El Salvador's democratic growth. ESNA believes that it is important for Americans to find was to encourage and to support democratic growth in countries such as El Salvador. We do our best to insure that the programs and projects that are developed belong to the people, are properly titled and all associations and cooperatives are legally organized and documented.