We believe in diversity and inclusion. Through all of our work, we aim to protect and promote a positive change for humanity, based on our humanitarian values and fundamental principles. Trans Vanguard inclusion, protection and engagement (IPE) unit supports the organization to be more inclusive and diverse. IPE helps the organization to promote human dignity throughout all its operations, programmes and projects.
1.1. Disaster Management is how the community deal with the human, material, economic or environmental impacts of said disaster, it is the process of how communities “prepare for, respond to and learn from the effects of major failures”. Though often caused by natural, man-made and/or technological hazards, as well as various factors that influence the exposure and vulnerability of a community.
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- Natural hazards are naturally occurring physical phenomena. They can be:
- Geophysical: a hazard originating from solid earth (such as earthquakes, landslides and volcanic activity)
- Hydrological: caused by the occurrence, movement and distribution of water on earth (such as floods and avalanches)
- Climatological: relating to the climate (such as droughts and wildfires)
- Meteorological: relating to weather conditions (such as cyclones and storms)
- Biological: caused by exposure to living organisms and their toxic substances or diseases they may carry (such as disease epidemics and insect/animal plagues)
1.1.2. Man-made and/or technological hazards are events that are caused by humans and occur in or close to human settlements. They include complex emergencies, conflicts, industrial accidents, transport accidents, environmental degradation and pollution.
Trans Vanguard supports the nation to continually improve their local preparedness and response capacity—ultimately preventing and reducing the impacts of disasters on communities. Our focus is on saving lives and preventing suffering. We also help people cope with the risks and challenges of migration, work to protect and restore their dignity and prepare for emergencies. Our programmes are climate change and sustainable environment initiatives.
1.2. Climate Change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. Human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.
Under this component, we focus on strengthening the resilience of the communities to the negative impacts of climate change. We provide the community with information, measures and support for mitigating and adapting to a changing climate. Our initiatives include climate-smart technologies and practices, such as the locally practiced conservation agriculture, aim at conserving soil moisture, retaining crop residues for soil fertility, disturbing the soil as minimally as possible and diversifying through rotation and/or intercropping. Our climate-smart agriculture is a pathway towards development and food security built on three pillars:
- Increasing productivity and incomes;
- Enhancing resilience of livelihoods and ecosystems; and,
- Reducing and removing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.
1.3. Sustainable Environment refers to the practice of interacting with the planet responsibly. Under this component, Trans Vanguard promotes sustainable engineered systems that support human well-being and that are also compatible with sustaining natural (environmental) systems. These systems provide ecological services vital for human survival. We advocate and engage communities to avoid the use of plastic to keep safe land and marine life. We highly recommend:
- Planting of trees to help protect the environment;
- Responsible consumption and production;
- Recycling items such as paper, plastic, glass and aluminum; and,
- Sustainable cities and communities (biking, walking or using public, etc.)
Health and Nutrition
Our health and nutrition programme provides general preventive or advisory services to groups of the population, or specific services to patients with identified needs or conditions. Within the communities, Trans Vanguard ambassadors are working hard to promote good health and nutrition, prevent disease, reduce human suffering.
Trans Vanguard works to ensure that people have equitable, sustainable and affordable access to health and nutrition, including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). We do so by supporting our ambassadors to deliver effective emergency, recovery and long-term programmes. Our work in WASH involves both a ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ approach:
- On the hardware side, we recommend new WASH technologies and infrastructure such as tippy taps, toilets, water pumps, sewage systems, water storage and water treatment facilities.
- On the software side, we run hygiene promotion and behavior change activities to improve people’s knowledge of good sanitation and hygiene practices (such as proper handwashing). We also support communities to effectively manage and maintain their water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
2.1. Approaches to health, nutrition and WASH
Ambassadors: through the network of ambassadors, we work alongside health services and other partners to provide basic preventive and treatment support in vulnerable communities.
- Basic therapy services: A family-inclusive approach to ambassadors programming that addresses behavior change communication through the life course, from conception to beyond.
- Smart Clubs: Empowering community stakeholders and leaders to identify, plan and promote improvements in health and nutrition practices, social norms and services. An integrated cross-sectoral model based on the Care-Group approach addressing a range of social norms and behavior change in health, nutrition, WASH and child protection. We empower and equip communities to transform social norms, stigma, discrimination and uphold positive health practices and support for their congregations and wider communities.
3.1. Education – Education is a fundamental human right and an essential public service. Trans Vanguard works to ensure that all people have safe and equitable access to quality, inclusive education.
Our work in education is diverse and wide-ranging. We deliver education opportunities for all ages and of all kinds—from early childhood development right through to vocational and adult learning.
Education enables people to develop the knowledge, skills and values they need to achieve their full potential and live in dignity, solidarity and peace. It helps them strive for a better future. When people lack access to quality education, or when their learning is disrupted by disasters and crises, it can have a dramatic impact on their physical and mental well-being—affecting the life prospects of entire generations.
That’s why we work to support education before, during and after crises and as part of our long-term development work. We help ensure access to education for all and continuity of education for people affected by crises. And we help strengthen capacity within education systems.
3.2. Protection, gender and inclusion: For Trans Vanguard to remain true our principles, we must ensure we reach all people effectively and in a non-discriminatory and equitable manner. Our work must ensure dignity, access, participation and safety for all people affected by disasters and crises.
Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI) describes Trans Vanguard’s approach and way of working to address the causes, risks and consequences of violence, discrimination and exclusion in an integrated way.
People affected by disasters can have very different experiences. A person’s sex, gender identity, age, physical ability, race, nationality and many other factors can influence how they are vulnerable to, and affected by disasters, conflicts and crises. They can also affect how they respond and recover.
Emergencies can also make existing inequalities worse. This can be seen in the increase in incidences of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), violence against children and trafficking in human beings during and after emergencies.
- Protection means addressing violence and keeping people safe from harm.
- Gender and diversity is about addressing discrimination and understanding people’s different needs, risks and capacities
- Inclusion means actively addressing exclusion by meaningfully involving and engaging excluded people in our work.
Trans Vanguard considers issues of protection, gender and inclusion in everything we do.
At the heart of the Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI) approach is an analysis of how each individual is affected differently by shocks and crises. We respond to these shocks by jointly addressing risks of violence, discrimination, and exclusion. Examples of this work include:
- making sure girls and women have access to safe menstrual hygiene resources during emergencies.
- ensuring that facilities, goods and services are easily accessible for all people
- taking special measures around physical, economic and information access and addressing any issues of discrimination.
We also run specialized programmes that aim to protect and include people, such as child protection, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention and response and anti-trafficking initiatives, and social inclusion initiatives for marginalized groups.
Under this portfolio we also offer Pro Bono Services (psychological and legal services to protect the health and wellbeing of vulnerable people. We partner with law firms and professionals on providing individual and group services.
Youth engagement: Our aim is that young people do more, do better and reach further—all while contributing to safe and resilient communities. To reach this goal, we believe that young people need to be fully and meaningfully involved in our programmes and governance.
Young people play a vital role in humanitarian action and development. They represent the majority of our strong ambassador base, delivering lifesaving and life-changing work within their communities every single day.
We see meaningful youth engagement as essential to delivering effective and principled humanitarian assistance and transforming our organization for the better. It’s important to remember that while youth can be loosely defined by age, young people are not one singular group. Factors such as gender, socio-economic background and ethnicity all affect their access to equal resources and opportunities. We must listen to and consider this diversity of young people’s experiences and needs in all that we do.
Youth as leaders: We support young people to participate in decision-making at all levels of our governance, management and service delivery. We advocate for and with them, tackling emerging humanitarian and development issues together. And we prioritize and invest in personal and professional development for young people in current and future leadership roles.
Youth as ambassadors: We meaningfully engage youth in our programmes and services, motivating and retaining them as much as possible. We guarantee their well-being, security and safety at all times. And we recognize youth as vital contributors to innovation across our network.
Youth as people we support: We promote our fundamental principles and humanitarian values to young people Lesotho in order to save lives and change minds. We listen to young people’s specific needs and preferences when delivering our programmes and services. And we encourage young people we support to give back to their communities.
3.3. Community Engagement
Community engagement and accountability (CEA) is a way of working that recognizes and values community members as equal partners. It makes sure their opinions are heard and used to design and guide our work.
Community engagement (CE) is essential to help us build the acceptance and trust we need to deliver our lifesaving work.
One of the most effective ways of building this trust is to make sure that people always have the ability to engage with us, and to guarantee that we will act based on their feedback and needs. For far too long, vulnerable or affected communities have been viewed as recipients of humanitarian aid and development programmes rather than active participants in their own future and recovery.
But evidence, experience and common sense show us that when communities play an active role in designing and managing our programmes and operations, the outcomes are more effective and more sustainable.
Our commitment to CE: Trans Vanguard is committed to community engagement and accountability throughout all of our work. This means:
- Taking the time to understand a community’s context and listen to people’s needs, thoughts and feelings.
- Integrating meaningful community participation in our projects—handing over control of our programmes and operations to communities as much as possible
- Open and honest communication about who we are and what we are doing—ensuring people feel confident and comfortable interacting with our members and services.
- Setting up trusted feedback mechanisms so we can continually improve our work based on what communities actually want, not what we think they want.
Development is our core value. Our extensive network of 10 districts and community council ambassadors ensures Trans Vanguard remains firmly rooted within communities of Lesotho.
Through our 10 districts and community council, Trans Vanguard is present in virtually every community. Ambassadors bring communities together. They are the service arms of our organization within communities. They are centers for resilience. And they keep our network grounded in local needs.
Ambassadors are incredibly diverse because they adapt to local contexts and needs. But they fulfil many common functions such as:
- Acting as a first point of contact during a crisis and coordinating local operations during humanitarian emergencies.
- Coordinating the delivery of long-term services such as crisis preparedness activities and community health projects.
- Working hand-in-hand with their communities to understand people’s specific needs. Providing a physical and social hub for ambassadors and staff. We engage, train and mentor our members through our ambassadors’ network to help them develop their skills.
- Conducting local fundraising. During a large scale emergency, ambassadors also help channel resources to affected local communities.
- Promoting our fundamental principles to local communities, authorities and institutions.
- Some ambassadors operate in a support or coordination capacity. We have also seen a rise in online networking as digital access increases around the world.
Funds for the organization development: Trans Vanguard provides financial support to the ambassadors and projects through different funds. Together, the funds provide a wide range of development and technical support to the organization to help it become stronger, more sustainable and more effective.