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

Beverly Bell and Edwidge Danticat on Haitian Women (audio)

April 1, 2010

As Haiti disappears from our TV screens and our attention returns to domestic issues, the people of Haiti are now in even greater peril as the rains begin threatening a public health disaster. But the people
of Haiti are not just standing in the rain waiting to be rescued. They are organizing, both in the U.S. and in Haiti, where over 50 grassroots groups met in Port Au Prince to demand input into the future of Haitian reconstruction, and the issues of women and children are front and center.

Healing Body and Heart, Cuban Style: Alternative Health Care in Haiti (Part I)

April 1, 2010

The governments of Cuba, Brazil, and Haiti signed a trilateral accord on March 27 to rebuild the public health system in Haiti. Brazil committed $US80 million toward the effort and pledged to create a national epidemiologic surveillance network. The Cuban contribution includes more than 1,600 doctors, a couple of hundred of whom were already in Haiti when the earthquake hit and who acted as first responders. Most of the medical delegation came shortly after the earthquake, to provide top-quality health care for two years.

Seeds for Ayiti

From Sandrine 
I am collecting organic seeds from anyone who is willing to share and sending them to groups in Ayiti.  I encourage people to pronounce Haiti the way it is pronounced on the island, Ayiti (Taino for "mountainous land").  Calling my country a name that resonates "hate"  or "Hades"  just doesn't empower.  I plan to go back home with many hands to help in the replanting of Ayiti.  I appreciate all the wonderful people helping us rebuilt right, rebuild concious.

After Foreclosure: Keeping Families in their Homes

March 25, 2010

In Boston, the grassroots group City Life/Vida Urbana has begun a new project with Boston Community Capital, a non-profit economic development financial institution, which is allowing families to buy back their homes after they have been foreclosed by their bank. This new project addresses one of the cruelest ironies of the housing crisis: although lenders have been unwilling to negotiate to lower the capital owed by borrowers who owe more than their houses are worth, after foreclosure the banks are left with properties that they can't sell and often don't maintain.

"Our Bodies are Shaking Now" - Rape Follows Earthquake in Haiti

March 24, 2010

“The way you saw the earth shake, that’s how our bodies are shaking now,” said a member of the grassroots anti-violence group Commission of Women Victim-to-Victim (KOFAVIV by its Creole acronym). She was speaking at a meeting about violence against women and children since the earthquake January 12.
 
The venue of the meeting was KOFAVIV’s new headquarters: a tarp in a displaced persons camp in Port-au-Prince. All the women of KOFAVIV lost their homes in the disaster, while more than 300 lost their lives.

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.

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