Help Raise $10,000 to Sustain the Vibrant Ranchero Culture in Baja Mexico – Living Roots

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Earlier this year in Spring, five valiant young souls from the San Javier secondary school laced up their boots and hoisted their packs to walk the 25 kilometers across dry mesa tops to visit and interview the local cowboy hero, Dario Higuera.

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The trekkers, 11 to 16 years old, learned how to find waterholes in the desert, and the many valuable uses of local flora – traditional skills that are fast disappearing.  The experience was filled with pride and laughter, good stories and sore feet, and above all an incredible appreciation for the Baja Ranchero lifestyle which is these students’ heritage.

Thank you for being a part of creating this invaluable experience for sierra youth. Your support is instrumental.

For outsiders, an appreciation of the richness and preciousness of the Baja Ranchero culture comes naturally. But for sierra residents, the uniqueness of their traditional culture may not have the same romantic appeal when they are faced with limited economic and educational opportunities inherent in living on, and off the land. 

You are an important part of promoting a vibrant Baja Ranchero lifestyle that will attract and sustain future generations. Click here to make a Donation

Community Empowerment

  • A critical step is giving people greater control over the influences that shape their lives, control that comes from having the tools to forge their own future. This year:Seven committed and respected community leaders, primarily women, have stepped up to facilitate decision making in their communities
  • Through their efforts and the Living Roots training and support model, the San Javier Community Cultural Center will celebrate its one year anniversary on February 2nd

Economic Development

To make the ranchero lifestyle sustainable, additional income generation capacity is needed.  An important enabler for additional income is business and financial management capability. Living Roots continues to provide this entrepreneurial training. This year:

  • Nearly $70,000 pesos earned through tourism and product sales entered the local economy
  • 33 community members sold traditional artisan craft through the San Javier Cultural Center and reached new markets
  • 18 sierra residents had direct hands-on experience learning how to manage product sales and interact with customers and tourists

 However, while we are making significant progress, we still have more work to do.

 Youth Engagement

As we know, no culture will survive without the enthusiasm, will and dedication of the next generation.This year:

  • Two young men, ages 17 and 30, have been chosen by the community to manage the San Javier Cultural Center.
  •  The students who walked to visit Dario have been exhibiting photographs, videos and journal entries across the state of Baja California Sur to share their experiences and help spread their passion for who they are and where the come from.
  •  Also, thanks to your support, we have begun a school garden in the San Javier secondary school to give students hands-on skills in organic gardening, composting and seed conservation.

We need your help to continue Youth Programing!

In the coming year, we would like to co-create more programs that get and keep youth excited about the unique culture, environment and lifestyle of Baja’s mountain ranges.  

To develop and grow youth programs, we are seeking to raise $10,000 dollars from people like you, who share our passion for and devotion to helping Baja’s mountain communities develop and thrive on their own terms.  We are already seeing the seeds of a sustainable community emerging and eagerly anticipate the day when the community can be a model for others in Baja.

 Making an end of the year contribution to Living Roots. Donate Now.

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 Thank you again for your continued support, you make this grassroots effort possible!

Sincerely,

McKenzie Campbell

Director, Co-Founder

P.S. – Continuing the saddle raffle tradition – This year we are working with saddle-maker Luis Arce Arce from Rancho San Gregorio, Sierra San Francisco, to exhibit a Silla Vaquera that is truly a work of art.

To enter to win the saddle, simply add an additional $25 dollars to your end of the year contribution and let us know you would like your name entered in the hat!  The drawing will be held on December 13th at a Holiday Posada/Artisan Fair in Loreto.

5For more pictures of the saddle and an interview with Luis visit Living Roots/Raíces Vivas on Facebook.

Program Update from Village Earth Global Affiliate: “Earth Tipi” on the Pine Ridge Reservation, SD.

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Hello!

It was a great year and we would like to thank all of our supporters for contributing to our success!

April:

Just as the cold was subsiding and the warmth came we started the installation of a rocket mass heater. We were joined by community members and others to learn about the process! The bench is now complete and keeping the home office warm while being a great inspiration to others who would like to build an efficient wood heater for their homes.

May:

Thanks to your support and through collaboration with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation we were able to plant five new fruit tree orchards throughout Pine Ridge Reservation and gave away 100 fruit trees to community members for a total of 300 apple, pear, plum, cherry, apricot and peach trees planted.  Thank you also to Audubon, Fargo, North Dakota for collaborating to apply for and win the TogetherGreen  Volunteers Day grant which supported associated costs.

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The first orchard was planted at Red Cloud School. Red Cloud serves approximately 400 Kindergarten through High School students.  There were 32 trees planted with the help of the 9th and 10th grade sciences classes. Next up was Lakota Hope in White Clay, NE located on the southern most border of the reservation. We are very excited about this location as there is a nursing home currently under construction right across the street. Lakota Hope has committed to serving the 82 elderly residents that will occupy the new space as well as serve the Pine Ridge community. At Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation located at Sharps Corner in the Porcupine District we planted 15 trees to add to the permaculture food forest they started there last year. There were also 20 trees planted at the Oglala Lakota College at Piya Wiconi . These trees will be part of a study to determine best planting practices for our area. Lastly,  at Little Wound School in Kyle 82 trees were planted. Little Wound serves approximately 1000 pre-school – high school students as well as young parents working towards their G.E.D’s.

June:

We welcomed the Ave Maria Church from Parker, CO. They were here to help welcome a new member to our family the same day she arrived. ChetanWin Sylvie was born in the light straw clay office on June 26! Here she is at four months to with a great view of the home office that we started last year!

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It was great to partner with Re-Member this year on our garden! They sent wonderful volunteers each week on Mondays and Tuesdays through September and made sure the garden was a great success! Earth Tipi and Re-Member shared the produce. Re-Member gave their produce to the comment and we used our share to feed ourselves, volunteers and to put on canning workshops!

July:

We welcomed two church groups. They brought supplies, materials and professional labor to assist the Zaitz family in Wounded Knee towards finishing a home project they started in 2011.  Over $2500 in materials was donated and approximately 870 hours were donated to the family. Projects completed were wiring, plumbing, drywall, flooring and more!

Thanks to two Americorps NCCC teams who came in July and August we completed a number of projects around the homestead that really add to the site. The bench for the rocket mass heater we started in April was completed and a marked trail complete with detailed brochure describing local herbs and foods along the trail. Other projects we could not have completed without the help of Americorps was the organizing of our storage trailer, new fencing along the border (materials donated by Ave Maria Church), a chicken coup, plastering on the outside of the home office, grey water system improvements and garden gate replacement to name a few!

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It was also great to see the folks from the William Penn House again! They came for a week with their youth group and helped alongside the first Americorps NCCC team.
August

We were happy to welcome the Wolf Creek School 8th grade class for a jam making and canning workshop. The class of 5 enjoyed making chokecherry jam and each took home a jar for their families.

Exciting things are being planned for next year including a collaboration with Will Allen of GrowingPower (http://www.growingpower.org). We are always looking for support both financial and volunteer. If you would like to support us with a donation please visit us on our website http://www.earthtipi.org or use the donation page through Village Earth http://villageearth.org/global-affiliates/earthtipi .

If you or your group would like to join us next summer please email us!

Thanks again for your interest and support!

With Kind Regards,

Shannon

Founder/Executive Director
Earth Tipi
shannon@earthtipi.org

Village Earth Global Affiliate Delivers Medical Services to Cambodian Youth

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Empowering Youth in Cambodia (EYC) provides medical care at each of EYC’s 4 schools in poor communities, otherwise known as slums (i.e. residents do not hold land titles).  Students in the schools are provided a basic but holistic set of health services including regular health and hygiene training, weekly medical clinics at each school, referrals for serious cases that can’t be treated in the clinics, and dental care.  Additionally, the people in the community receive health services including family planning training and long term birth control, medical treatment, and de-worming treatment every 6 months.

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EYC started in 2006 providing education and leadership development for young people.  The services made a difference and are still much appreciated by the community, but the founder Drew McDowell was constantly confronted with illnesses in the students and their families. For EYC’s first 3 years they were unable to do much beyond taking kids with serious problems to a clinic or hospital, as well as some to a private dentist.  “Kids were constantly getting sick, and we weren’t doing much to address it.  Our team was good at inspiring and training young people, but when people got sick, and sometimes it was serious, we felt pretty helpless” said Drew.

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As the medical NGO One-2-One started to form and partner with EYC, they were able to provide a whole new level of support for students and their families.  Not surprisingly, the costs to provide health services started to rise, and EYC had to reign in expenses. Once a monthly budget was established, the team in EYC was able to work to support the health programs, establish partnerships, train volunteers from the communities, and the results were impressive. So impressive, it is hard to summarize or understand without seeing it firsthand; sick people being treated, cavities being filled (smiles returned), behaviors changed and hygiene improved, a new generation that understands reproductive health, woman in control of their bodies, and real care being shown to people who are in a tough situation. Each week there is a line of people waiting to see the medical team, there are tuk tuks full of kids going to the dentist, and there are trained young people on the ground to educate and help in all kinds of situations.

In 2012 EYC (with help from our partners) accomplished ;

2,515 Patient-visits with a doctor.

1,152 Patient-visits to a dentist.

73 Women received long term birth control (IUD or implant).

While the road to improving the health of a community is not an easy one, these results along with a continued health education message will affect long term changes in the communities EYC works.

Indigenous Women’s March a Success and New Developments for Maloca

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In October, Maloca organized a successful fundraising campaign that supported more than 100 indigenous women from the Ecuadorian Amazon to walk to Quito and protest against the destruction of the rainforest by oil exploitation and against the constant violation of indigenous peoples’ human and territorial rights.

Maloca will start supporting a cultural preservation project in Brazil. This project is initiated by and will benefit the Kamayura people from Xingu Indigenous Park. The project’s aim is to provide the community with the equipment necessary to record their culture and traditions and create a digital archive of their culture, thus preserving it with the help of modern technology for future generations. By involving the youth in this project, they will learn more about their own culture and their past, they will grow to appreciate it more, and they will learn how to research and record their traditions using modern technology. The Kamayura decided this is a good way to keep, value and share their culture. This project will be a model to follow by other ethnicities living in the Xingu Indigenous Park.

This project has been accepted by Global Giving: http://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/kamayura-jemoentap-preserving-kamayura-culture/.

Transform Columbus Day into Indigenous People’s Day

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Today, in the United States, much of Latin American and the Caribbean, people are celebrating the holiday of Columbus Day. In the United States, it’s even recognized as a Federal Holiday. The story of Christopher Columbus is woven into the mythical imagination of Americans at a very young age as the hero who defied his critics and great odds to “discover” America. It’s a narrative that is very central to the American dream and the promise of this county. Yet, despite the centrality of this story to the origin myth of the United States, the average person would be appalled by the true story of Christopher Columbus which is more a story of unfettered greed and brutality than that of a noble explorer. No historian has been more successful and correcting the popular understanding of Columbus than the late historian Howard Zinn. His bestselling book “A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present” uses Columbus’ own writings and first-person accounts to tell a story very different from the one most children learn in grade school. Below is an entry from Columbus’ log as quoted in Zinn’s book.

They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned… . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features…. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane… . They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.

– Quoted in Zinn, Howard (2005). A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present. Harper Perennial Modern Classics

Columbus made good on his promise to subjugate the people’s of Arawak. According to a first-hand account by the priest Bartolome De Las Casas, also quoted in Zinn 2005, “there were 60,000 people living on this island, including the Indians; so that from 1494 to 1508, over three million people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it….”.

As an ally with Indigenous peoples and their organizations, Village Earth is part of the growing movement to transform “Columbus Day” into “Indigenous People’s Day.” You can join us by educating your friends and family about the truth of Christopher Columbus but more importantly, you can help contemporize this day by educating yourself and others about the current and ongoing subjugation of Indigenous Peoples around the globe and by taking an affirmative stand by joining them in their struggle as an ally.

Part of our mission at Village Earth is to help create these kinds of connections. Through our Global Affiliate Program, we serve as bridge for innovative indigenous-led and allied organizations from around the world – connecting them to people with passion, time and resources. Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day by supporting one of these organizations today.

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FOFCOD to Host Gender Based Violence Film Festival

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From 9-11h December 2013, Forum for Community Change and Development (FOFCOD) will hold the 1st Juba Gender based violence Human Rights Film Festival to mark the sixteen days of activism against Gender Based violence and mark international Human rights Day. The festival will screen 9 Gender based violence human rights related films and will be followed by often passionate and emotional discussions about women’s rights and how to report violence against women. One of the key functions of the festival will be to foster healthier inter-gender relationships by getting people to reflect on why they conduct themselves the way they do. The festival is a crucial awareness raising endeavour entwined with the message that violence has no place in the modern world and that it is a criminal violation of human rights. The idea is to use film as a teaching tool towards deconstructing masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia. The festival is to help redefine strength and masculinity by establishing new socio-cultural norms for boys and men that do not rely on violence and discrimination. After each screening a public debate will be held on the topic related to the film screened. The festival is expected to receive about 2000 visitors and a lot of national and international media attention. The Juba gender based violence film festival is aimed at increasing the levels of public responsiveness to the perpetual problem in the country. It’s aimed at affirming that gender based violence is not just a women’s issue and that men and women must operate in partnership in order to eradicate it. The occasion is an opportunity for the public to engage in open discussions about the menace that many often find thorny to talk about. Its time to abandon the conventionally used methods that only give voice to the experts with little attention being given to people with lived experiences and encounters. Its time we listened to the perpetrators of gender based violence so as to determine interventions that work. Its time to share the trauma with the victims and listen to their stories without the prejudice that goes with such events in real life settings.

Gender based violence is a matter that affects large sections of the South Sudan society yet often a taboo topic. It is on the lips of all and sundry yet its remedy remains largely shrouded in mystery as silence, discrimination, victimization, trauma and suffering continue to antagonize its victims. We recognize that there are diverse strategies in place trying to address gender based violence and discrimination. While most interventions usually use exceptional data on the intensity of gender based violence and also explain how victims can seek out remedy through the law, very few interventions cross-examine the assorted fundamental socio economic and even political factors that amplify gender based violence, stigmatization and the discrimination that go with it
In South Sudan, Sexual and Gender Based Violence is a very serious problem. Information available indicates that defilement is amongst the top crimes in over 70% of counties the country. For instance in a report by the Yei County Probation officer & Police Child &Family Protection Office (CFPO) indicate that on average 75 GBV related cases are reported & handled every month. The CFPO indicate that rape & defilement was the second leading crime of GBV nature registering 30 cases per month. In the war-torn South Sudan SGBV is even more common. A study conducted in Yei County in 2012 by Forum for Community change and Development found that rape, attempted rape and forced marriage were common. In IDP camps, return areas, settlements and refugee hosting areas, domestic violence (wife battering) is always quoted as the most common form of gender violence followed by defilement and forced and early marriages. In South Sudan IDPs Camps which has about 15,000 refugees, there were 399 reported cases of domestic violence, 156 cases of defilement, 15 cases of forced marriage 37 cases of early marriage, 37 cases of marital rape and 5 cases of rape reported over a period of one year, between July 2011 and June 2012. There is no single day that passes without some form of GBV reported on radio in South Sudan. Some of the stories are appalling. There are cases where parents, mainly fathers, have been reported to have defiled their own children. High levels of domestic violence are reported in IDPs and Refugee Settlements. There are increasing incidences of women being killed by their partners in gender related violence.

The Juba gender based violence film festival is aimed at increasing the levels of public responsiveness to the perpetual problem in the country. It’s aimed at affirming that gender based violence is not just a women’s issue and that men and women must operate in partnership in order to eradicate it. The occasion is an opportunity for the public to engage in open discussions about the menace that many often find thorny to talk about. Its time to abandon the conventionally used methods that only give voice to the experts with little attention being given to people with lived experiences and encounters. Its time we listened to the perpetrators of gender based violence so as to determine interventions that work. Its time to share the trauma with the victims and listen to their stories without the prejudice that goes with such events in real life settings.

One of the key functions of the festival will be to foster healthier inter-gender relationships by getting people to reflect on why they conduct themselves the way they do. The festival is a crucial awareness raising endeavor entwined with the message that violence has no place in the modern world and that it is a criminal violation of human rights. The idea is to use film as a teaching tool towards deconstructing masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia. The festival is to help redefine strength and masculinity by establishing new socio-cultural norms for boys and men that do not rely on violence and domination.

Update from Knife Chief Buffalo Nation

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MILA YATAN PIKA PTE OYATE OKOLAKICIYE

 (KNIFE CHIEF BUFFALO NATION ORGANIZATION)

Project Report

October 2013

This report covers June 2013 through September 2013.  Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization) continues to provide a pasture/home for members of the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) and the community continues to reap the benefits in terms of spiritual and physical nourishment from them.  Below is a summary of our activities for this period.

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Two Wakanyeja (sacred beings – children) at the Children’s Camp 2013

            June 2013 – we implemented a partnership with the Students Shoulder to Shoulder organization which is described as an “international school of global citizenship”, 13 students and 2 chaperones came and assisted Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization with scraping tipi poles that are used for the ceremonies including the Sundance ceremony and the children/youth camps.  Did you know the Lakota word for “tipi pole” is “tushu”?  Did you know that each pole represents a Lakota value, e.g., the first pole at the door of the tipi represents “Waunsila”, the Lakota term for “compassion”.  This value is a reminder to have compassion for all who enter your home, feed them, clothe them if needed and be kind to them.

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Students Shoulder to Shoulder participants in Tipi Pole Scraping Project

 

Tony and Lew showed the students how to scrape the Tipi Poles

The students also assisted with the fencing project for the buffalo pasture.  They were exposed to cultural speakers and activities throughout the week.  This international organization sends teams of youth to various communities around the globe to assist with community development and as a cultural exchange.  Their assistance to the Knife Chief Buffalo Nation community was greatly appreciated and their respectfulness was also appreciated.

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Mila Yatan Pika Ti Okiju Wakan Ceremonial Grounds Sunset First Day

June 2013 – Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization helped with sponsoring the annual Mila Yatan Pika Tiokiju Wakan Wi Wayang Wacipi, a very important ceremony where people make offerings and sacrifice for the future generations.  Above is photo of the tipis at the ceremony (the youth from the Students Shoulder to Shoulder camp contributed to us being able to use the poles for the tipis you see in the photo).

August 31- September 2, 2013:  A children’s healing camp was held on these dates on the grounds of the Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society) in Porcupine, SD.  Approximately 30 children participated with their adult relatives and guardians.  Many of them received a Lakota spirit name, Lakota traditional healing, Lakota equine assisted activities, a swimming trip and a huge birthday party for all of them.  The children’s ages ranged from 2 years to 12 years of age.  When asked what they liked the most about the camp, they drew pictures or related that they liked sleeping in the tipis, the Inipi (purification lodge ceremony) and the swimming.  We were blessed with many volunteer relatives that assisted with setting up the tipis, chaperoning the children, providing activities, cooking/food preparation, taking down the tipis and assisting with the traditional healing ceremonies.  We say a special Wopila (a big thank you) to the Tunkasila (grandfathers) and Uncis (grandmothers) of the spirit world for blessing this camp and the children and to their Interpreters Ohitiya Najin (Stands Brave – Roy Dennis Stone), Hmuya Mani (Walks with a Roaring – Richard Two Dogs) and Wicahpi Koyag Mani (Wears the Star Walking – Richard Moves Camp) and to all the volunteers and donors to the camp.  Without all of your help, this camp would not have been possible.

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Wakanyeja Woapiye Wicoti (Children’s Healing Camp) 2013

 

Children and Mentors at Healing Camp with the sacred Horse Relatives, Porcupine, SD 2013

Future Events and Plans

We plan on assisting with a Koskalaka Wicayuwita Pi (Young Men’s Gathering) camp in which boys and young men, ages 11-18, will gather to learn Lakota traditional teachings about becoming or being a man from their older male relatives and mentors.  Some of the activities include Lakota values teachings, honoring relationships, greeting the Morning Star, Lakota traditional healing and receiving a Lakota spirit name if they don’t have one and would like one.  This camp will be held on October 31-November 2, 2013.

We continue to observe the spiritual calendar, the next sacred site visit is on October 15, 2013 to Pte Ta Tiopa (Doorway of the Buffalo) near Buffalo Gap, SD in the sacred Black Hills. This is the time when the buffalo return to the sacred Black Hills and when we (humans) know to make spiritual offerings.  The spiritual calendar was taught to us (Lakota people) by the Pte Oyate (buffalo nation) and to whom we continue to honor and care for.

We also plan to sponsor a Historical Trauma and Healing conference on October 11-12, 2013 (see www.knifebuffalonation.org for conference information).  Our fencing project will continue as the weather permits.  We continue to work toward maintaining the pasture for our relatives the buffalo and honoring the relationship we have with them.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information, contact us at:

Email:  knifechiefbuffalonation@gmail.com

Telephone:  605-441-2914 or 605-407-0091

Website:  www.knifechiefbuffalonation.org

or www.villageearth.org look for Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization under Global Affiliates

Closing/Question

We extend a heartfelt appreciation to the people who have supported our efforts whether financially, physically or spiritually.  Your support is truly appreciated and we especially appreciate the Tunkasila (spiritual entities) for their continued support and guidance.  We also acknowledge the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) for what they inspire in us and their teachings – protection of the young, conservation of the land and the strength and fortitude to endure whatever comes.  Lila Wopila Tanka!! (We thank you all very much). We ask you the general public, our friends and relatives, what you think we should do to expand our work so that others can learn from the teachings of the buffalo nation?  We are very interested in hearing from you!

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Knife Chief Buffalo Pasture, February 2013

 

70 Indigenous Women walk from the Amazon to the Andes to protest mining and oil.

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For five days, 70 indigenous women from Ecuador’s Amazon will walk from the rainforest town of Puyo to the capital Quito. Their journey will begin on October 12th. The women will walk through Shell, Rio Negro, Ambato, Banos, Latacugna, arriving in Quito on October 17th. These determined women, from the Zapara, Waorani, Shwar, Achuar, and Kichua nations, will walk 240 kilometers, from the Amazon lowlands to 9,350 feet high in the Andes.

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These women will walk to Quito to protest against oil, mining and other destructive projects currently under development on their territory, to demand that their human rights be respected, including the right to free, prior and informed consent . Extractive industry projects affect the rainforest, on which the livelihoods of these women depends. They find themselves unable to feed their family by cultivating contaminated land or by having their land taken away. Most projects ignore indigenous women’s rights to participation and their voice is not heard. Extractive activities divide communities and weaken their social structure making them more vulnerable, while destroying the environment on which communities depend for survival.They will demand from the government to respect their rights, their territories and to consider the “life plans” (Planes de Vida) that their communities have developed in a collaborative way.

On October 10 and 11, Shwar, Huaorani, Zapara, Achuar, Kichwa women will participate in Puyo in a general meeting “Mujeres en Vigila por la Vida” (Women Protecting Life), followed by the walk to Quito.

What these women need is logistical support for the walk: money for food and lodging along the 5 day walk. These women have the ideas, the courage and their fight, however they lack resources.

Let’s help these women get to Quito and enable them to make their voice heard. Let’s be with them every kilometer along the way, let’s feed them and let’s get them a place to sleep, this way we will enable them to defend their territory, rights and future.

Follow the Women’s Walk on Maloca’s website: http://malocacommunities.org/

- See more at: http://www.crowdrise.com/WomenMarchtoQuito/fundraiser/consortiumforsustain#sthash.e0bjwcxi.dpuf

Camp on the Majestic Knife Chief Buffalo Pasture

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The Knife Chief Buffalo Nation is happy to announce the launch of a new opportunity to guest to visit and camp on our buffalo pasture near the community of quiet Porcupine on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Guests can now book our campsite using AirBnB.com a global site that connects travelers with unique accommodations all around the globe. See our listing below or view it at AirBnB.

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VE Affiliate, Knife Chief Buffalo Nation to host Historical Trauma Conference

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Oyate Woakipa Ta Woospe

Historical Trauma: Impact and Healing

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October 11-12, 2013
Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn, Rapid City, SD

Benefit Conference for the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation)

Presenters: Hmuya Mani (Richard Two Dogs,), Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart and others

 

Historical Trauma—”the collective emotional and psychological injury both over the life span and across generations, resulting from a cataclysmic history of genocide. The effects of historical trauma include: unsettled emotional trauma, depression, high mortality rates, high rates of alcohol abuse, significant problems of child abuse and domestic violence” (http://historicaltrauma.com/). This two day workshop will show how historical trauma has impacted Lakota and indigenous peoples and how we can integrate healing from historical trauma into our families, schools, programs and communities. Registration and Lodging information attached.

 

Conference Fee: $300.00

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 Make Checks of Money Orders Payable to Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization and send to:

Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization
PO Box 294
Porcupine, SD 57772
605-441-2914

 

Lodging Information

There is a block of rooms reserved at the conference hotel Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn at the rate of $131.00/night + tax. Mention the “Historical Trauma Healing Conference” when making the reservations, telephone number 605-348-4000. Reservation Deadline September 25th, 2013.

Agenda

[gview file="http://knifechiefbuffalonation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Trauma-Healing-Conference-Agenda-Oct-2013.pdf"]

Maloca Forges New Partnerships in Brazil

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During a trip to Brazil in the summer of 2013 Maloca consolidated relations with an indigenous community in Xingu, in the state of Mato Grosso. Discussions with community members and leaders revealed areas of various future collaborations between Maloca and the community, like cultural preservation, food security, and education.

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EYC Prepares for a New Batch of Students Entering University

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The team from Empowering Youth in Cambodia (EYC) has been distributing scholarship applications and meeting with enthusiastic recent high school graduates who are committed to a university education.  EYC has a large pool of students who just graduated high school in their 4 community centers around poor areas of Phnom Penh and hope to help at least 8 enter university.  According to Drew McDowell, EYC Country Manager, the first meeting is listening to what kind of work they think they want to do, and helping them choose a major.  Next, the local staff can discuss the schools that seem the best for them.

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The students come from families whose education was disrupted by war, so their parents really value education and what it brings.  The families generally have limited resources for guiding them in their education while the EYC staff have graduated university in the last 5 years and keep abreast of what is happening in higher education in Phnom Penh.

EYC has helped over 25 students to attend university, and continues to work with them throughout their university studies with medical and dental care, life skills training, job and internship placement, English and computer training and more.

Cambodian universities mostly start in October and the amount of students they will be able to help will depend on what they can raise through the end of September.  Make a donation to EYC’s scholarship program.

Eco Friendly Volunteers (Eco-V) Slide-show

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Update from Kanchana Weerakoon, Director of Eco-V, Sri Lanka
ECO-V is a non-profitable voluntary organization established in 2001, engaged in environmental conservation in Sri Lanka. ECO-V has a network of 400 volunteers throughout Sri Lanka who contribute to research and community work to support conservation of the environment. They are always looking for local and international volunteers.
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We continue the “Nature Kids” program to connect kids under 12 with Mother Nature. We started this with 6 kids in May and now we have over 67 registered and average number of participants on every Thursday is 30! We are getting more invitations to run one day workshops for kids in international schools, Pre-schools and company societies.

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In parallel with “Nature kids” we have another program on every fortnight targeting semi rural kids. It’s also becoming popular among kids and parents.

kids n me

Due to continued requests we had from people, we started weekly running educational stall at Good Market in Colombo. Its all about conservation education and green consumerism.
nature kids
We we continue our work on training and Nature education area successfully.
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watching

VE Affiliate Tasunke Wakan to Host Children’s Camp on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

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Village Earth Global Affiliate Tasunke Wakan (medicine horse) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota will host a children’s camp August 29-Sept. 2 2013 at their building near the community of Porcupine.  The camp is focused on youth aged 7-12, who have experienced trauma, loss and/or grief. Children will experience learning, fun and healing activities.

Tasunke Wakan is a Lakota-run grassroots organization on Pine Ridge. The goals of the organization are:

  • To revitalize and implement the Lakota language through education and practice.
  • To strengthen the cultural identity of the Lakota Oyate through linking Lakota Philosophy with the Lakota language.
  • To empower the Lakota Tiwahe (families) in reclaiming their Lakota identity, through integrating the Lakota Customary, Natural, and Spiritual law within the educational process.
  • To provide education training and assistance regarding cultural competency.

You can learn more about this important organization and donate at www.tasunkewakan.org.

Follow their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wakanyejapawicayapi

Amplify Your Giving, Organize a Giving Circle!

Gcirlcei

Gcirlcei

Do you ever wish that you could do more than than just a contribute $20 or $50 dollars to a project that in total may cost many thousands of dollars? Wouldn’t it be nice to fund an entire project and have a more intimate role with all phases of implementation? If you answered yes to the questions above, than you should organize a giving circle.

“Giving circles are a form of philanthropy where groups of individuals donate their own money or time to a pooled fund, decide together where to give these away to charity or community projects and, in doing so, seek to increase their awareness of and engagement in the issues covered by the charity or community project. Many circles, in addition to donating their money, also contribute their time and skills to support causes.” — Wikipedia

Tides Foundation put together 10 easy steps to forming a giving cirlce. They are:

  1.  Reach out to family and friends to discuss the idea to see if there is interest.  Discuss what areas you may want to focus on and set a date for the first meeting.
  2. At the first meeting create the circle structure, including financial contributions. How often will the members meet? Will everyone give the same amount?
  3. Establish a mission with agreed upon goals and intentions.  What problem do you want to address? What would you like to accomplish?
  4. Decide how you will select grantees.  Will it be organizations with which at least one member is familiar?  Will you focus in a local community? Will it be a majority-rule process?
  5.  Organize grantmaking timelines.  How much do you want to give away annually?  How large or small you want your grants to be?
  6. Decide where to keep your grantmaking funds. Depending on your needs you may want to consider a public charity, a community foundation or a financial institution.
  7. Double check with yourself and your members if you want to make this commitment. Giving circles are one of the most active forms of philanthropy.  It takes dedication and a lot of time from the members to ensure success.
  8. Ensure every member has a task in addition to their donation.  Some members could be responsible for researching potential grantees, while others can start to draft your mission statement.  This will help build personal commitment and accountability for each member.
  9. Write up the grantmaking rules and process regulations of your circle and share with all of the members.  These regulations may include who will be responsible for collecting the contributions, and who will be the primary contact with the host organization.
  10. Decide on your grantmaking process.  Will you have a formal RFP process or rely on the suggestions of members?  Will you conduct site visits?

These guidelines are not linear nor are they the only way to start a giving circle.  Trust in the collective instincts of the group and do what makes sense for your circle.

If you are interested in forming a giving a circle Village Earth can help. We offer the following benefits for groups that make a pledge to raising funds for any of Village Earth’s Global Affiliates. This might include:

  • In-person presentations for your circle so they can learn about our Affiliates or dialogue about the status of project they have funded.
  • Regular telephone or video conferences with project leaders around the globe.
  • Site visits to see or help implement  projects your circle has funded.

To facilitate the formation of your giving circle, we have partnered with SocialFund.org.

Social Fund is for groups of people who want to start combined charitable giving accounts. You start one with your family, friends, student organization, or faith community, and pitch in each month. After a few months have passed, your fund votes on where to give out grants, with more than 1.8 million charities to choose from!

We recommend Social Fund for groups that may dispersed or who are unfamiliar with one-another and need a way to efficiently collaborate and collect funds online. Village Earth can also create an account for your group, when you reach a certain account balance your group can then decide how to allocate those funds, either to one or more projects. For more information contact David Bartecchi david@villageearth.org

Five Global Affiliates Need Your Help!

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Time is running out for 5 of our Global Affiliates who are currently running campaigns on GlobalGiving.org. Choose to support one today by clicking the “Give now” button.

EYCGG FOCOCDGG LIVINGROOTSGG ECOVGG knifechief

Update from Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization)

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One of our Pte Oyate (buffalo nation) relatives) in the Knife Chief Buffalo Pasture

Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization) continues to provide a pasture/home for members of the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) and the community continues to reap the benefits in terms of spiritual and physical nourishment from them.  Below is a summary of our activities for this period.

February 2013 – a partnership with Students Shoulder to Shoulder organization was formed.  This international organization send teams of youth to various communities around the globe to assist with community development and as a cultural exchange.  This organization will send youth to the Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization in Porcupine to assist with preparation for the summer ceremonies and the fencing of the buffalo pasture.

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Waiting for the Welcoming the Babies ceremony to begin March 2013

March 2013 – Welcoming new babies ceremony:  In this ceremony the babies born within the past year are blessed on a buffalo robe and a positive prediction and prayer is made for their lives.

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Buffalo Robe Buffalo Skull Preparing for Welcoming New Babies KCBNO

March 2013 – Welcoming back the Thunder Nation ceremony was held at Hinhan Kaga Paha (Imitates Owl Mountain) in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota.

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Welcoming Back Thunder Ceremony, Hinhan Kaga Paha (known as Harney Peak on map), Black Hills, SD.

 

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Welcome Back Thunder Ceremony, Harney Peak, Black Hills SD

March 2013 – a collaborative partnership was formed with the Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society) and Tatanka Hoksila Okolakiciye (Buffalo Boy Society), an organization whose goal is to provide affordable housing to the reservation community; the members of these organizations traveled to the sacred Black Hills on a wood cutting and wood hauling project so there will be wood for the sacred Inipi (purification) ceremony.

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The fruits of labor- Wood Cutting Project for sacred ceremonies

 

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Mahpiya Maza (Iron Cloud), Ed Iron Cloud III, KCBNO Board Member, Wood Cutting Project

April 2013 – the Istamni Wicakicipakintapi (wiping of tears) ceremony was held on April 27, 2013 for all of creation to acknowledge the losses experienced throughout the year by our relatives – the four legged, the winged and the plant/tree nations.  This was held at Pe Sla in the sacred Black Hills.

May 2013 – Wanasa (community travels for sacred buffalo hunt) ceremony was held on May 4th.  A young Lakota man prepared for the hunt four days in a row in the sacred manner and made a buffalo kill so that there would be meat for the people to be fed in preparation for and during the sacred MilaYatan Pika (Knife Chief) Sundance ceremony in June.

Future Events and Plans

We plan on sponsoring a rite of passage for a young boy who will prepare in the sacred manner for a buffalo hunt which will be used for the Tasunke Wakan Wi Wayang Wacipi (Medicine Horse Sundance Ceremony) in July.

We are also planning to make a journey to the sacred mountain, Inyan Kaga Paha (where stones are gathered mountain) located in the sacred Black Hills.  This journey is in observance of the spiritual calendar when offerings are made in preparation for the Summer ceremonies.  All of the spiritual offerings made at different times throughout the year according to the spiritual calendar were taught to us as Lakota people by the Pte Oyate (buffalo nation) and to whom we continue to honor and care for.

Our fencing project will continue this summer with the help of the international organization, Students Shoulder to Shoulder.

We are also planning for the Children’s Healing Camp on July 12-16, 2013 for children, ages 7-12, who have experienced trauma, grief and loss. This is a grass roots community based camp in response to the violence, abuse and trauma the children suffer.  This will be held in Porcupine, SD in partnership with Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society).  See attached brochure for more information.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information, contact us at:

Email:  knifechiefbuffalonation@gmail.com

Telephone:  605-209-8777 or 605-407-0091

Website:  www.knifechiefbuffalonation.org

Closing/Question

We extend a heartfelt appreciation to the people who have supported our efforts whether financially, physically or spiritually.  Your support is truly appreciated and we especially appreciate the Tunkasila (spiritual entities) for their continued support and guidance.  We also acknowledge the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) for what they inspire in us and their teachings – protection of the young, conservation of the land and the strength and fortitude to endure whatever comes.  Lila Wopila Tanka!! (We thank you all very much). We ask you the general public, our friends and relatives, what you think we should do to expand our work so that others can learn from the teachings of the buffalo nation?  We are very interested in hearing from you!

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Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization, Buffalo Pasture, February 2013

 

 

Enhancing Resiliency in Sierra Leone Through Community Food Banks

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Submitted by Village Earth Global Affiliate: VCI Sierra Leone

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The Need :

Sierra Leone is gradually recovering from a 10 – year civil conflict (1991 – 2001) that led to the death of more than 25, 000 people, the displacement of 1.2 million others, disruption of agricultural production, significant food shortages, and rapid deterioration in all sectors of its economic and socio-political life. In 2003, Sierra Leone was ranked the lowest country in the world according to the UNDP’s Human Development Index.

We selected two local communities in Kenema district to work due to the fact that food poverty is highly prevalent. Most households are faced with inadequate food supply due to the low production and very low income and lack of farm inputs. The civil war in Sierra Leone also exposed many people to poor living conditions similar to those prevailing at the beginning of the war in 1991. In general terms, there is a low presence of humanitarian organizations in these communities that are addressing the issues of food insecurity.

Farm sizes are generally small and enhanced production is reported as low. The baseline survey conducted, demonstrated  that crop damage due to pest infestation is a key problem in these communities and this has caused serious seed loss over the years.

The rainy season is between May and November. During this time, the lack of bridges make roads impassable. This community therefore becomes isolated for several months each year. Food supplies cannot be transported from outside and commercial traders often export the resulting food shortages, sometimes even inventing food shortages just to raise market prices. They control the markets, selling food products, especially rice at high prices.

Community food banks have become popular, providing a village-based solution to critical food shortages. Community food banks make food supplies available at the hardest times of the year at carefully controlled prices. VCI has supported the setting up of more than 17 community food banks.

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Encouraging women’s committees

Women’s groups with food banks are usually less developed than those managed by men. The collection of food often involves long walking distances to other villages which have surplus food, which is not easy for women. However, women’s committees have a number of advantages:

  • Management committees are usually village-based because women travel less. There were several months of food scarcity, community banks have become popular, providing village-based solution to critical food shortages. Food banks make food supplies available at the hardest times of the year at crucially controlled prices. VCI has supported the setting up of more than 17 community food banks.
  • Women are more transparent in their financial management
  • Women have better skills in the management of food supplies, especially in times of crisis.

 

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Conclusion

VCI is well satisfied because we feel that the main objective – of improving local food security – has been achieved. The experience of Darlu and Kwawuma reinforces our view that such a small organization can be very effective once it is aware of the problems of food security and in finding solutions. Providing credit, training and technical advice is sufficient to enable them to manage their own food security. However, there is still a need to develop and build on experience.

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Case Study One: The Darlu Community Food Bank

Darlu is a small village with 800 people, situated on the edge of Moawai stream. It is also situated in the Soogbo section, Tunkia Chiefdom, Kenema district, Eastern Sierra Leone. Food prices soar during the rainy season to well above what households can afford. This situation led to the forming of an association of women in the early 2011 to fight against the evils of food insecurity.

In 2012, food scarcity brought in VCI to set up and run an urgent aid operation. During the lean season, VCI sold rice by bags at an affordable price (about one fifth of the market price) After the season, money from this sale had to be used on a project to improve  food security.   The request of the women of Darlu for a food bank was accepted. A storehouse was built with the participation of the women’s association and a management team was selected for training. A VCI loan allowed them to stock 50 bags of cleaned seed rice.

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Operation

Since 2011, the women’s group of Darlu has stored grain for the critical periods of the year. Straight after harvest time, from December to April, the group toured the markets of the area, discovering where the price is best and stocking up the bank. Grain is sold in July and August, at prices everyone can afford, among the group’s members and the most needy households of the village. Two repayments of the loan have already been made. Since their initial training from VCI, the management committee has gained much practical knowledge and are now taking greater control of their own project.

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Some problems

A very good harvest in 2012 meant there were problems in selling all the food, as people still had their own supplies. This meant the group has to sell part of its food ( grain) at purchase price to its members, reducing their profit margin to nothing. This made repayment difficult. The negative influence of certain members reduced the overall motivation and achievements of this group. The large size of the village makes the demand for food difficult to satisfy, but at least the group can help part of the population.

Some solutions

  • A new management committee has been appointed, which should improve motivation.
  • The funds available for buying stock are still at a good levels, but will be much weaker when the group finish repaying the loan. VCI has provided fresh credit, with lower interest this time. This may help them to increase their stock level so more people benefit from the food bank.

Case Study Two: The Kwawuma Food Bank

Kwawuma is a village of 1,000 people. The men of this village set up a group in 2011 during a time of severe food scarcity. One of their objectives was to unite in struggle for food self-sufficiency. The community food bank project was begun in 2012 to improve food security. The group asked for help from VCI who agreed to provide the necessary credit to begin work. A well-built community food store was constructed with the full participation of villagers.

Operation

A committee was selected to look after the management of the food bank. Kwawuma chose well, forming a dynamic committee. They received training from VCI in food storage and marketing. VCI provided credit to enable the purchase of grain at the end of the harvest season when prices are low. The credit was divided into two installments given over six successive months, in order to reduce risk in the first three months. Kwawuma purchased 150 bags of rice in the first three months and seventy bags in the second six months.

Since January 2013, Kwawuma has stored several types of food (grains) in its food bank. Grain prices are fixed by the village group to provide a balance between the low prices for rice at the end of the harvest and high rice prices charged by traders later in the year. When food is in short supply, rice is sold to villagers on a regular basis. Kwawuma has been able to pay back the loan in just one year.

Impact of the project

The villagers of Kwawuma have welcomed the food bank warmly and understand the advantage of safeguarding their food. During the two rainy seasons of the year, households easily survived the period of shortage thanks to their food bank.

Some problems

  • One difficulty has been bookwork. In this rural environment, the majority are illiterate. Management of the food bank requires good record keeping.
  • If food is given on credit to help people during the most difficult periods, this brings the problem of recovering debts, which demands much patience on behalf of the committee.
  • Since the loan was repaid, the bank can only operate with the slight profit they made during the one year of credit. This means they have difficulties buying food in advance for all village households.

Some solutions

  • VCI played an important role in teaching literacy and numeracy to enable better record keeping.
  • To increase the buying power of food banks, VCI offered to grant a fresh loan to all well managed food banks, which included Kwawuma.
  • VCI will continue to provide some follow-up and support for committees, even after loans are repaid, until they judge the organization is sufficiently in control of the entire project.

Successful food banks

 Key Points

The community must make the decision to establish a food bank themselves. Outside agencies should never make this decision for them. The community must own and control the food bank. A committee to manage the food bank needs to be democratically elected. Outside experts may be needed to give advice on purchasing food, preservation and marketing of the food and how to manage the store.

Community food banks should not be seen as famine relief as this will create a sense of dependency. Rather, they should be seen as the community taking active steps to improve their own food security.

Appropriateness

The community food bank provides one workable solution to food security problems…

  • It is simple.
  • It is locally managed by those who benefit from it.
  •  It does not require external technical support.
  • It is initiated at grassroots level.
  • It is participatory – those who benefit share in all levels of
  • Decision making.
  • It does not create dependency, but instead promotes community ownership.
  • It costs a small amount to establish.
  • It is long lasting
  • Food will be available at the crucial times when farmers and their families need it most. This means farmers will not be forced to work for cash just when they need to spend time on their land.

Lunch Program

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Our lunch program is an important platform for us to put our values into practice and onto plate. It allows us to demonstrate the potential of homestead food production to meet the nutritional needs of children, their families and communities.

Our lunch program feeds between 30 – 60 people everyday, including school children, families and the wider community. Last summer, we served more than  3,000 meals at our feeding program site.

Shed Jah is Country Director of Village Care Initiatives (VCI) in Sierra Leone committed to reducing hunger,  using integrated poverty reduction strategy and generating sustainable food security and the rebuilding of families as well as communities. E-mail: villagecaresl@gmail.com

“Talking through Nature” and “Nature Kids”with Miss Sri Lanka for Miss Earth 2013

Learning about up-cycling, recycling and composting
Learning about up-cycling, recycling and composting

Learning about up-cycling, recycling and composting

Wow…working with kids is lot of fun. I have been experiencing this for last 8 weeks at Good Market and the school for deaf in Colombo. Our latest programmes – “Nature kids” and “talking through Nature” was progressing well for last 8 weeks getting attention from people/kids and parents and teachers. We were encouraged by many people and parents and it attracted many volunteers through face book too.

Also we have 2 volunteers who are contesting for Miss Sri Lanka for Miss Earth 2013. I was invited to be a judge and a supervisor for Miss Sri Lanka for Miss Earth. I got 2 pretty women (Ayomi and Monali) from the pageant and they were working with us at ECO-V in our new initiatives as their projects for Miss Earth beauty Pageant. It’s very interesting to mentor them and to work with them. Click here for more photos from Eco-V.

 

Global Giving Bonus Day June 12

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Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 5.41.17 AMGlobal Giving does several Bonus Days throughout the year and the next one is June 12th!

On a bonus day, Global Giving will match up to $1,000 per donor at 40% for each of our projects that are on their site. There is $90,000 available in matching funds. Matching begins at 9 am EDT on June 12th and lasts until funds run out or 11:59 pm EDT.

To view all of our projects, click here - http://bit.ly/11K0FCW

Here is a brief summary of each of the projects we have up for the Bonus Day.

buffaloKnife Chief Buffalo Nation - Reclaim Land For Buffalo And Lakota Lifeways

Knife Chief Buffalo Nation, a grassroots project on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, works to reclaim 1800 acres of ancestral lands for restoring buffalo, and Lakota culture and lifeways. Donate here.

 

 

youth_24Empowering Youth in Cambodia Scholarship Program

In Cambodia youth unemployment and low levels skills lead into broader social problems that plague society, but the recipients our EYC’s scholarship program are not only exceptions to this all too common scenario, they are showing an example to other youth and children from slum communities that by working hard you can break the cycle. Please support the students that EYC is working to build up and make leaders and make a donation here.

 

Julian guarding the watermellon copyLiving Roots - Food Security & Drought Preparedness- Baja Mexico

Living Roots’ mission is to help endangered cultures protect their unique cultural identity by increasing economic opportunity and kindling a generation of youth as stewards. This project will focus on Garden Revival, Nutrition, and more. Donate here.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 5.19.50 AMFOFCOD - Life Skills training for Marginalized Women

Forum for Community Change and Development (FOFCOD) caters for women’s needs and also advances women’s human rights in south Sudan. We are an organization who believes that ensuring women’s full equality and participation in society is one of the most effective ways to build a just, peaceful and sustainable South Sudan.  This microproject will jumpstart the beginning of the larger vision for Life Skills training and Improved livelihoods for Marginalized Women with Disabilities in South Sudan. Donate here.

 

nature kidsECO-V - Nature Kids

There is a high need of bringing back natural habitats to save bio diversity. Importantly, getting connected with Nature again is very important for survival of all living beings. Donate here.

 

 

 

Your donations ensure we can continue to support projects like these!  Help us take advantage of this Bonus Day by donating today!

Thank you so much for your support!

50% OFF EARTH DAY SALE on 1,050 volume Appropriate Technology Library - Ends April 22nd. Order Now!