Throughout the world, solutions to some of the greatest challenges of the day are either nascent or fully thriving. Organized people's movements - sometimes with help from supportive government - are changing the structures which cause violence, poverty, inequality, and environmental destruction. At the same time, they are creating better quality of life in their communities.  In other instances, people are preserving ancient cultures where individuals live in relative equity and harmony with other life and their communities, and without expectation of profit. 

Join us to learn more and become a part of this inspiring movement:
  • We are thrilled to announce our latest book, Fault Lines: Views Across Haiti's Divide by Beverly Bell, published by Cornell University Press. You can find out more about the book, read an excerpt, and order it online by visiting the book's website.

  • We continue to support indigenous peoples in Honduras who are defending their lands and rivers, and to challenge US-supported attacks on them by the Honduran government. Honduran movement leaders from the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) have been specifically targeted by the government and international dam companies.

  • Check out Other Worlds' book & educational tool, Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agriculture in the Americas, which explores the growing movement to reclaim the food system from multinational agribusiness and put it back into the hands of people. Accompanying the book is a popular education curriculum called Sowing Seeds, and a weekly blog series! And, find more resources and action steps on the Harvesting Justice website.

  • Four and a half years after the devastating 2010 earthquake, read about how Haitian grassroots movements are continuing the struggle for a just reconstruction on our Another Haiti is Possible blog.
     
  • Visit our blog, below, of articles by and about our allies building grassroots alternatives around the world (click here for full blog history).

Alternatives Blog

Swaraj University

From Nitin Paranjape

Launching this month (March 2010) - Swaraj University!  a new effort in community control of education and knowledge -- www.swarajuniversity.org

Swaraj University is a three-year learning program that creates opportunities for young learners to develop the knowledge, skills and perspectives they need to create viable green-collar enterprises and to support healthy and resilient local communities.

Where Solidarity Means Survival: Lessons for the Policy Makers (Part II)

March 22, 2010

“If it weren’t for solidarity, Haiti wouldn’t be alive today,” is an expression commonly heard here since the earthquake of January 12.
 
Haiti’s history is based on displays of gifting and solidarity - forms of sharing and cooperation - toward those surviving on the margins. (See “Where Solidarity Means Survival: Lessons for the Policy-Makers [Part I]" from March 19). These displays usually go unnamed and unnoticed.

zapata92116

From Vanessa Bransburg

Si Se Puede! Women’s Cooperative, We Can Do It! Inc. was launched in Sunset Park, Brooklyn during the summer of 2006. This is a housecleaning, immigrant women-run & owned business where all members of the cooperative have opportunities to assume leadership roles, and all decisions about the structure of the business are made democratically by the members. The cooperative is designed to create living wage jobs that will be carried out in a safe and healthy environment, and to promote social supports and educational opportunities for the members.

Where Solidarity Means Survival: Lessons for the Policy Makers (Part 1)

March 19, 2010

Perhaps more than anything today, Haiti needs a new macro-economy, one based above all on meeting the needs of its citizens. Post-earthquake economic restructuring could include equitable distribution of resources, high levels of employment with fair compensation, local production, and provision of social services.
 
In the meantime, what saved many during the earthquake, and what is keeping them alive today, is a culture and economy of solidarity, or mutual aid. Solidarity is an essential strategy through which on-the-margins communities, and their individual members, can survive and thrive. Today the generosity is on overdrive.

Kofaviv Update and Thanks

March 18, 2010

The women of the Commission of Women Victim-to-Victim (KOFAVIV) are at work within the rubble. They are working together in the mutual aid that has been the most steady source of help since the earthquake. Every member having lost her home, they have created homes in the crowded camps with as much dignity as possible. They have been distributing money to women in the camps to buy food and water (in the Champs de Mars camp only washing water has been provided by outside aid groups. We have not seen any evidence of food or drinking water being distributed). They have provided transportation for families to leave the city for safer situations in the countryside.

Kofaviv Update and Thanks

March 18, 2010

The women of the Commission of Women Victim-to-Victim (KOFAVIV) are at work within the rubble. They are working together in the mutual aid that has been the most steady source of help since the earthquake. Every member having lost her home, they have created homes in the crowded camps with as much dignity as possible. They have been distributing money to women in the camps to buy food and water (in the Champs de Mars camp only washing water has been provided by outside aid groups. We have not seen any evidence of food or drinking water being distributed). They have provided transportation for families to leave the city for safer situations in the countryside.

What Haitians Want from Americans (And What They Don't)

March 17, 2010

We asked Haitians in civil society organizations, on the streets, in buses, “What do you want from the U.S.? What help can Americans give Haiti?” Here are some of their answers.
 
Roseanne Auguste, community health worker with the Association for the Promotion of Integrated Family Health:
 
The U.S. people don’t know us enough. The first thing that Haitians need from the American people is for them to know our history better. They just see us as boat people. Especially Black Americans, we need them to know the other parts of our history, like that we defeated Napoleon. This would let them know that we’re the same people.

Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Putting Haitian Citizens into the Equation

March 15, 2010

Haitian civil society has been completely bypassed in decision-making regarding the post-earthquake reconstruction process. They have thus created their own process.
 
The Haiti government's Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, launched February 18, granted one week, March 14-20, for “consultation with civil society and the private sector,” according to the terms of reference. However, the government is to approve the draft plan on March 15.  Furthermore, the government has failed to invoke even the token discussions, not consulting civil society in any way except informally with some businesspeople and several non-governmental organizations who do not speak for citizens.
 

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