Dollies as a Sustainable Women's Leadership Tool
Project Launch: 11/8/16
The indigenous dairy farmers of San Pablito de Agualongo earn their livelihood by selling the milk of their cattle to one of three local distributors who bring their product to stores throughout Ecuador. The distance from pastures to distribution warehouses can be significant, however, and many farmers lack mules or vehicles upon which to transport their 20 liter milk jugs to deliver their milk. Women, who comprise the majority of active farmers in the area, often must carry these enormous and heavy containers from their family pastures to the warehouses on their backs, leading to significant discomfort, injury, and deformity over the course of many years. This project proposes the construction of 20 dollies that will be given to the women to transport their milk jugs, reducing the pain and burden of carrying them manually to the distribution centers.
Project Update: 2/16/17
10 dollies have been assembled by the community, allowing farmers to transport their milk jugs to local distribution centers with less pain and in half the time. The final set of dollies will be constructed and distributed to the last set of dairy farmers within the next month.
Final Report: 7/6/17
A total of 20 dollies have been built and eight different community members are using the dollies on a consistent basis. This project has helped the participants reduce back pain, minimize transportation time from their land to the El Lecherito milk collection center, increase energy levels, and improve quality of life.
“As a Peace Corps Volunteer, it has truly been an honor to spearhead this project, collaborate with "El Lecherito" members after the prototype was built and during the "mingas", experience people's enthusiasm regarding the dollies first-hand, and represent an organization which has changed my life in countless ways. It is also particularly special to have had a vision about incorporating dollies and then watch that vision come to life over the span of one year. Lastly, I want to take this moment to personally thank Peace Corps/Ecuador and World Connect for being supportive during the application processes and for giving San Pablito de Agualongo the opportunity to construct and utilize dollies to improve quality of life.”
– Jonathan, Peace Corps Volunteer
“Aside from the (El Lecherito) people being happy, I am also content because (the project) has given a small income to my house. My work is well done and with a lot of care. I want to thank you for giving me another (work assignment). I think the cow milk transportation has improved a lot. The ("El Lecherito" members) are happy.”
– Albert, Project Leader
“I feel happy after using the dolly. I have a lot more energy for my everyday activities in the field. My health has improved more than anything. When I didn't have a dolly, I would arrive to my house tired and very thirsty. Now, I am grateful for the dolly and quite happy.”
– Jose, Project Participant
“For me, (delivering the cow milk) is a lot better with the dolly. Now I feel like I have more energy and carrying the milk container is a lot lighter. I think for the future, the dolly will improve my health a lot.”
– Rosario, Project Participant
“The project has improved the cow milk transportation process for women and children. Sometimes, when the women are busy, the adolescent kids and children help carry the cow milk -- but now the dollies help both of us. Before, we used to arrive late to the milk tank but now we save time and arrive much quicker. The dolly project has been a great help; we will always remember your help.”
– Lusmila, Project Participant
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