Women

The Unexpected Learning Exchanged: Gender Consciousness and Capacity

Humanity cannot solve its problems with one hand effectively tied behind its back. Yet, given the state of women’s rights globally, this is metaphorically the case. One of the guiding principles of Grassroots International's work is the recognition and support of women’s agency in the struggle for justice and liberation – not just to advance women’s leadership (though that is a goal) but also because women’s engagement and leadership are necessary to push us all forward.

Africa not a Blank Slate, Farmers Already have Solutions

Contrary to Western assertions, Africa is not a blank slate.

Africans have a long history of vibrant culture, politics, economics and agriculture. However, since Europe’s first encounter with Africa through present day, international “decisionmakers” have approached the African continent as though it was devoid of people along with history. Africa is imagined out of context, and those projections become the basis for policy.

In our times, the battle for Africa is being waged one plot of agricultural land at a time. Control of Africa’s food system is being wrested away from peasant farmers and being turned over to agribusinesses such as Monsanto under the guise of agricultural development.

Stories of Victory and Struggle from 2014

Grassroots International and our global partners are leading the way in developing sustainable solutions to the biggest challenges facing our world. From farming cooperatives and seed banks, to passing laws that protect ancestral lands and defending the human right to land, water, and food,  together we take on big struggles and win important gains. Below are just some of the successes achieved in 2014 with support from Grassroots International, standing up to challenge poverty, climate disruption and human rights abuses.

Moving Towards an International Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

10 Photos for International Human Rights Day: A Tribute to International Social Movements for Resource Rights

December 10 is celebrated around the world as International Human Rights Day. On this day, Grassroots International is honored to call special attention to the social movements that are on the frontlines of the struggle for resource rights – the human rights to land and water, as well as food sovereignty and climate justice. We have much to celebrate, with several major successes that social movements have achieved in the struggle for resource rights over recent years. At the same time, over the past year, we have been heartbroken as we’ve lost many people who have been courageously defending resource in each of Grassroots International’s program areas. The photos and stories below are just a small sample of some of these movements and human rights defenders.

Day of Action Against Violence Towards Women

Grassroots international joins with our partners at the Via Campesina in denouncing violence of all kinds against women -- including personal and structural. No woman should fear to live in her home, be barred from owning the land she farms or experieince barriers to full livelihood and dignity.

Day of Action Against Violence Towards Women

Grassroots international joins with our partners at the Via Campesina in denouncing violence of all kinds against women -- including personal and structural. No woman should fear to live in her home, be barred from owning the land she farms or experieince barriers to full livelihood and dignity.

Exposing the “Green Revolution” in West Africa

Farmers have worked the rugged land in Western Africa for generations, moving seasonally from field to forest for food and livelihood. While life was never easy, the community worked together, in harmony with their surroundings, to provide for themselves and their neighbors.

All that changed when the government planted a virtual “For Lease” sign on the land. China and other buyers grabbed it up, quickly draining the land of nutrients with vast fields of monocrops for export.

This is the plight of many farmers across the Global South. Massive land grabs – combined with the influx of genetically modified seeds under the banner of the “Green Revolution” – come with empty promises of increased agricultural productivity and the end of hunger.

Keep your Coins, I Want Change

This spring, Grassroots International was invited to participate in a project of the Kindle Project called the "Indie Philanthropy Initiative." For more information about the project, visit indph.org.  The interview below includes reflections from Nikhil Aziz and Sara Mersha.

How do you do your funding and please describe your organization’s approach and process, explaining how it is different from conventional philanthropy.

Talking development, training and sovereignty with Haitian movement leader

Rose Edith Germain of the National Congress of Papaye Peasant Movement (MPNKP) tells us, in her own words, why training is the life blood of organizations. She also speaks to the vitality of partnerships and the power of food sovereignty to create lasting change.

Honduran Garifuna Communities Evicted by Tourism Interests

In the morning of September 30, 2014, members of the National Police and military conducted an eviction in the Afro-descendant and indigenous (Garifuna) community of Barra Vieja, Tela, in northern Honduras. Members of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, or OFRANEH, are demanding respect for their right to their ancestral home and an immediate return of the usurped lands.