Orange Knowledge Impact Series - Liveblog #1

How has the Orange Knowledge Programme made impact throughout the years? With weekly stories, we take you on a journey along with different projects and impact makers.

Week #8
Indonesia: Individual scholarships

How can capacity development help to develop rural areas and maintain traditional agricultural techniques? Coming from Indonesia, Mohammad Ghofur has an answer to this question.

Mohammad Ghofur is an alumnus of the Orange Knowledge Programme. He applied to study in the Netherlands because he saw the need for the local food production and security system to improve. He also noticed that food production varies between different regions in the country. As a large and stretched island country with a length of more than 5100 kilometres, local issues have a huge impact on food production. The vast amount of local differences often lead to the optimum level of food production not being reached. One must realise: Indonesia is so big, that in comparison to the US it would stretch even further than the length from the east coast to the west coast. However, as much as big differences are to be expected in such a big country, knowledge on dealing with differences in the matter of food production techniques was not widely shared yet. This is where Ghofur wanted to step in!

After completing his Master’s programme at Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, Ghofur returned to Indonesia to apply his expertise and help develop the local agriculture. To improve Indonesia’s food security, Ghofur focuses on identifying problems with food production in the traditional farming methods in some rural areas. He then implements the knowledge he obtained in the Netherlands by utilising modern farming techniques alongside traditional methods. Ghofur collaborates with local farmers to analyse their farming methods and proposes modernised techniques to them. The result: more farmers are strengthened with knowledge and more food is being secured for future nourishment!

By focusing on food security and rural development, Ghofur aspires to raise awareness on the importance of purchasing locally produced food products. To him, Indonesia is a nation with a rich agriculture history and skilled local farmers. He is optimistic that in the future, the nation will have balanced food security and improved farming techniques.

Impact in Indonesia through individual scholarships
Current situation Upcoming years
Level of food production and food security in Indonesia not reaching optimal potential Adjusting farming techniques to climate change and appreciation for Indonesian rural farmers

Sustainable development goals: SDG2, SDG4, SDG10, SDG13

Week #7
Nigeria: Individual scholarships

Let us introduce you to Henry Chibuike Ugwu from Nigeria. Currently, Henry is pursuing a Master’s programme at Radboud University, specialising in Human Rights Law and Migration. He is passionate about fighting for human rights and has contributed towards policy reforms in Nigeria.

To emphasise his impact, Henry educates his community and provides free legal counselling regarding civil rights. As a passionate member of several human rights institutions in Nigeria, he collaborates with other professionals to build new policies that will improve human rights in his country.

Studying in the Netherlands has helped Henry to realise the importance of being able to communicate adequately to strive for change. A big eye-opener of Dutch education was the experience that impactful, sustainable change begins at grassroot level. This really motivates Henry to share his knowledge and passion: to encourage and inspire young people on the importance of human rights. Henry shares his views with many communities in inspiring ways. During his studies he volunteered over the summer to give free legal aid to asylum seekers in Lesvos, Greece.

Henry is optimistic that human rights laws in Nigeria will be improved in the coming years. His degree in the Netherlands as a part of the Orange Knowledge Programme really helped him to strengthen his expertise. After his return to Nigeria, Henry will keep on making a change.

Impact in Nigeria through individual scholarships
Current situation Upcoming years
160 working professionals from Nigeria have studied in the Netherlands with an Orange Knowledge scholarship More young people see the importance of human rights. Fresh knowledge stimulates enthusiasm and help to improve new policies

Sustainable development goals: SDG4, SDG10, SDG16

Week #6
Colombia: strengthening a community, building peace, and giving the local economy a boost – all at the same time.

Meet Lucy Trochez Tombe, a staff member of the Municipality of Silvia in Cauca, a region in the southwest of Colombia. She is part of the CLED project, or the Cauca Local Economic Development project. Lucy has been participating in the methodologies training to strengthen participative innovation. She also took part in the triple helix workshop which gave her the knowledge and skills to coordinate triple helix collaboration in the field of the tourism value chain in the municipalities of Siliva and Totoro. With the help of Maastricht School of Management and Fundación Universitaria de Popayán, Lucy is working towards new opportunities in tourism that highlights the local culture and environment.

The CLED project involves three project phases: mapping, capacity building and incubation. It focuses on encouraging entrepreneurship and peace-building activities in their project. The training element – in which Lucy plays a role – is an important part of the activities to improve local communities. Together, Lucy and her community pursue new ideas to continually improve tourism in her area.

As a result of this project, trust was built between people. The Municipality of Silvia can now reach out to and communicate with more groups of people, positively affecting the local economy. Communities now know how to find each other and discuss the nature of future agreements, especially those addressing the educational and opportunity gaps in the project area.

Although this project challenges Lucy, she enjoys working with her community and organisations. She hopes to rescue Sivia’s economy and preserve the local traditions and territory. We are looking forward to seeing the project and Lucy’s further impact on economic development and peacebuilding.

Impact in Colombia through project CLED
Before OKP Current situation Upcoming years
Cauca region in need of capacity for peacebuilding activities Collaborations through universities, private sector, government and civil societies shape new economic opportunities for the region Strengthened communities, improved local economy

Sustainable development goals: SDG4, SDG8, SDG16 and SDG17.

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Week #5
Uganda: Continuing the legacy of NICHE with project EIS

In Uganda, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), are a serious issue. 62% of judiciary cases are related to it. The former NICHE programme – the predecessor or Orange Knowledge Programme – made a great start in teaching skills and knowledge to handle SGBV cases. However, after the end of NICHE, these new skills were not widely available throughout different layers and regions of the police and judicial sector yet. Continuing efforts on battling SGVB through capacity development was desired to really create sustainable impact. This is where the Orange Knowledge Programme could take over!

The Orange Knowledge ‘Project EIS: End Impunity of Sexual and Gender Based Violence’, started where NICHE left off. It focuses on improving the availability of skills. Through a train-the-trainer principle, as well as the development of E-learning material, more and more people are being reached. Since the start of project EIS, capacity-building helped to create better access to knowledge and provide necessary skills to 500+ key officers in the police and judicial sectors. Together, collaborating Dutch and Ugandan organisations continue the legacy of NICHE, and offer a serious and crucial contribution to the fight against sexual and gender-based violence in Uganda.

Impact in Uganda through project EIS
Before OKP Current situation Upcoming years
62% of judiciary cases are SGBV related. Not all officers know laws against SGBV. 25% of researchers and 500+ officers trained. E- learning is being developed. Trained officers continue to train officers. Further spread of knowledge through e-learning.

Sustainable development goals: SDG4, SDG5 and SDG16

Discover more about this project

Week #4
Iraq: on its way to better-addressed water scarcity, increased agricultural productivity and reduced inequality

As part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, 6 universities in Iraq (Salahaddin-Erbil, Kerbala, Anbar, Kufa, Mosul and Basra) are collaborating with Wageningen University & Research, iCRA global and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. Together, they strengthen both the agricultural sector and education sector by improving education on Efficient Water Management (EMS) and Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA). The project aims to strengthen teaching and research methodologies for Iraqi universities and their academic staff and help graduates meet the needs of the labour market.

Up to now, the unique collaboration of universities lead to many successes. 12 collaborative partnerships in EWM and CSA were kicked off, and all collaborating universities developed a gender equality plan to make their universities more inclusive for minorities and women! Besides the steps taken by organisations, on an individual level, 2 scientific researches were done, and 80 students and staff successfully completed a course to integrate interactive teaching methods. Additionally, more than 125 Iraqi staff members and experts from ministries participated and successfully completed courses on EMS and CSA.

With these efforts, a true change is being made. Not just by single universities, and by single individuals, but by education in Iraq as a whole. With strengthened knowledge, collaborations through the Orange Knowledge Programme help to keep the cradle of agriculture up and running, whilst taking steps towards restoring Higher Education and the more practical TVET after years of instability.

Impact in Iraq through institutional collaboration
Before OKP Current situation Upcoming years
Struggles with climate and educational capacity increase equalities 6 universities create gender equality plans, education and ministry staff strengthened with courses Better addressed water scarcity, increased agricultural productivity, and reduced inequality

Sustainable development goals: SDG4, SDG6, SDG10 and SDG16

Discover more about this project

Week #3
Bangladesh: collaborating with the Netherlands on climate smart agriculture

The coastal area of Bangladesh is struggling with major consequences of climate change. There is less arable land due to saline intrusion, soil is being affected by salt due to rising sea levels and tropical storms. Growing food on this kind of saline soil is a challenge. Meanwhile, the population of Bangladesh is growing rapidly and 26% of the population suffers from chronic food insecurity due to insufficient access to sufficient nutritious food.

As part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, Wageningen University & Research and Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) tackling this problem since 2019. Together with partner institutions, they established a special research expertise centre on climate and agriculture. As a result, expertise from the Netherlands and Bangladesh from both research and training is now ready to be further implemented in education. 2 PhD positions, 10 post-doc positions and 10 collaborative research projects are being implemented to secure the future of research on this topic for the region. In a few months, a new local MSc programme will start where thousands of students will be taught on topics such as coastal soil management and saline agriculture.

Strengthened with expertise, future alumni of the new MSc programme will keep on spreading knowledge to their families and communities and will increase agriculture of nutritious food on saline soil. This way, the next generation of young farmers will play a bright and important role for the future of Bangladesh. Furthermore, this expertise centre will contribute to the capacity building needed for the implementation of the Bangladesh Deltaplan 2100.

Impact in Bangladesh through institutional collaboration
Before OKP Current situation Upcoming years
Struggles with climate change and food security, local research and expertise. 10 collaborative research projects, 2 PhD positions, 10 post-doc positions Sustainable department for expertise developed, 50 MSc students trained per year. Bangladesh more food secure.

Sustainable development goals: SDG2, SDG4, SDG13 and SDG17

Discover more about this project

Week #2
Kenya: Individual scholarships

In the Orange Knowledge Programme, we focus on themes that are important to our partner country. In Kenya, we are active in the fields of Food & Nutrition Security and Water Management. The agricultural sector is the backbone of Kenya’s economy, contributing approximately 33% of Kenya's Gross Domestic Product. However, farmers deal with great losses due to inefficient production, climate change, post-harvest loss and insufficient water management. We believe education can be a great catalyst for change in Kenya!

By strengthening 244 young Kenyan professionals with education in the Netherlands impact is made. Professionals meet others from all over the world and make ties with the Netherlands. They learn about the latest science and practical skills in their field of work. With a suitcase full of knowledge alumni return home. Every day, they spread acquired knowledge to Kenyan key organisations in the water and agriculture sector. Together, these alumni will contribute to 20 million people having better access to good quality water and nutrition.

Samuel is an OKP alumnus. He came to study in the Netherlands to strengthen his knowledge in the field of water supply engineering. More importantly, his goal was to share his new knowledge and strengthen his community. Samuel came to strengthen Kenya. His journey to the Netherlands touched many lives, that of his family, his peers, his colleagues at work, his neighbours. Alumni like Samuel make a lasting change.

Samuel believes in the chain reaction effect, change starts with believing in the capabilities of the people who don't believe. As a graduate Orange Knowledge scholarships holder, Samuel sees his role in spreading knowledge and opening eyes. “When people believe in themselves Kenya is able to become a developed country in a very short time!”

Impact in Kenya through individual scholarships
Current situation Upcoming years
244 working professionals from Kenya have studied in the Netherlands with an Orange Knowledge scholarship Professionals spread their acquired knowledge to Kenya key organisations in the field of water and agriculture. Together, alumni contribute to 20 million people having better access to good quality water and nutrition.

Sustainable development goals: SDG2, SDG4, SDG6, and SDG17

Week #1

Mali: Strenghtening education on sexual health

In Mali project FORCE has been key in starting the conversation on sexual health. The Malian curriculum on Sexual Health and Rights had not been updated since 1998 and no longer matched current needs. Therefore, project FORCE was initiated by organisations within Mali’s healthcare system and developed in collaboration with KIT Royal Tropical Institute. The project partners created materials for an educational programme to train Malian medical technicians, midwives and nurses in a new sexual and reproductive health curriculum.

The newly developed curriculum has been implemented in 5 health schools and is scheduled to be implemented in all of Mali’s health schools the coming years.

Aminata Niangaly was one of 162 professionals that have been trained in the new curriculum. Each day she uses new knowledge and skills in her work: “Thanks to this project, I have improved my patient care.”

Impact in Mali through project FORCE
Before OKP Current situation Upcoming years
Curriculum on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights not updated since 1998 New curriculum in 5 health schools Curriculum implemented in all 85 health schools in Mali

Sustainable development goals: SDG3, SDG4, SDG5, and SDG10

Read our in-depth article on this project