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Equator Initiative Case Study – West Africa Initiative of Liberia

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West Africa Initiative of Liberia works to develop livelihood options in rural Liberia, giving communities viable alternatives to hunting and illegal logging. The initiative promotes apiculture, snail-raising and planting of multi-purpose tree species as sources of income for unemployed rural men and women. To date, over 1,000 participants have been trained in all three activities and provided with a starter kit containing the necessary equipment. From this initial starter kit, farmers generate an average of USD 3,500 per year.
Participants also have access to leadership training, guidance on small-business development, and a revolving microcredit fund which provides start-up capital. Improved incomes have been invested in education, health and community infrastructure needs. WAIOL’s business arm, Liberia Pure Honey and Moringa Promoters Inc., promotes and purchases participants’ products, negotiates fair prices, and assists with packaging, sales and distribution to business centres across Liberia. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize--issued biennially by the Equator Initiative--shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. This project was awarded the Equator Prize in recognition of its contribution to local sustainable development solutions.

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