Haitian Platform to Advocate Alternative Development (PAPDA)
By Alicia Tozour
January 10th, 2013
The future success of global social movements depends largely on cultivating the next generation of activists. With the support of Grassroots International, local groups around the world are organizing creative social, political and environmental awareness programs explicitly engaging youth. Below are a few highlights from some of the grants we made this past year.
By Sara Mersha
November 13th, 2012
Last week, a broad group of organizations involved in a Climate Justice Alignment process in the US released the statement below, in solidarity with communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean and the US Northeast. Grassroots International is proud to be part of the Climate Justice Alignment, working with allies such as the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Movement Generation, and the Black Mesa Water Coalition to build up a campaign for a Just Transition. This critical effort aims to move us away from an economy based on extreme energy (such as oil, tar sands, gas, agrofuels, mega-dams, nuclear power, and other forms of death-dependent energy). At the same time
If Walmart really tried, I doubt they could have picked a slogan more completely counter to the wisdom, values and insights of global movements of small farmers and indigenous peoples.
And whereas Walmart wants to “Save money,” indigenous and peasant groups in the Global South want to save the planet through grassroots alternatives to corporate globalization.
The United States is facing its worst drought in nearly 50 years. Not alone in its extreme weather, parts of Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia (especially India) and South America are in the same boat. And while the drought certainly affects people in these nations directly, the impact may be felt as much – if not more – in the small Caribbean nation of Haiti, for reasons as complex and numerous as import-dependent food systems, lack of agricultural investment, and just plain bad luck and timing (from earthquakes to floods to global climate disruption).
Se Ra, Se Ta!-- Later is too late” was the resounding cry of people in Haiti on November 25, 2011, in the various actions held in honor of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This affirmation also acknowledged that in the aftermath of the January 12, 2010 earthquake, the devastating effects of other forms of violence, such as crime, disease, economic and structural violence have been equally traumatic to the people of Haiti.
In anticipation of World Environment Day today, June 5, 2012, Haiti’s Minister of Environment, Joseph Ronald Toussaint, and the Martelly government proclaimed June Environment Month in Haiti. The theme for this year’s month-long celebration is, “A Green Economy for an Environmentally Viable, Sustainable, and Just Haitian Society.” As part of Environment Month, a member of the ministry’s cabinet indicated that the ministry would like to hold a general State of the Environment Conference with stakeholders on June 7-8, 2012.
Two years following the earthquake, community-based organizations in Haiti are still advocating for the same changes and considerations as they did last year, namely land and housing rights, respect for national sovereignty in the reconstruction process and aid accountability.
Haitians, whether in Haiti or the diaspora, will always remember where they were on January 12, 2010, when tragedy shook us to our core. Devastating images emerged from Port-au-Prince after the earthquake that brought to mind cinematic depictions of the aftermath of a blitzkrieg. I had to constantly remind myself that an earthquake did this, not indiscriminate bombing. In the days that followed my heart wanted a seat on the next airplane to Haiti, but my mind grounded me on a simple fact: I had no medical training and my presence could not give the kind of help that was immediately needed. But I wanted to do something…
Nearly a dozen of us stuffed ourselves into a stifling cement room – an oven, really - in the Petite Riviere of the Artibonite, Haiti’s breadbasket. The meeting unfolded slowly. With no breeze and drowsy, my chin bounced off my chest.
Last year, significant international donors (including several nations and financial institutions) gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York to discuss the massive reconstruction task ahead of them in post-earthquake Haiti. One year later, the situation on the ground in Haiti demonstrates their failure—both in terms of the lack of meaningful reconstruction, and by refusing to allow Haitians themselves to speak for their own development and sovereignty.