Archives for December 2013

14 Reasons to be Hopeful in 2014 and How You Can Support It!

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In his 2007 New York Times bestselling book “Blessed Unrest“, Paul Hawkins makes a rather compelling argument – that the problems plaguing the planet, like environmental degradation, climate change, global poverty, and the struggle for human rights and social justice, will not be solved by Governments and the large NGOs. Rather, he argues that the real hope for the future will come from a emerging movement made-up of a multitude of individuals and small-grassroots people’s organizations around the globe whose expansion has been stimulated by “information technologies becoming increasingly accessible and affordable to people everywhere.” Hawkins describes this movement as comprised of:
“a network of organizations that offer solutions to disentangle what appear to be insoluble dilemmas: poverty, global climate change, terrorism, ecological degradation, polarization of income, loss of culture, and many more. … Even though the origins and purposes of the various groups comprising the movement are diverse, if you survey their principles, mission statements, or values, you find they do not conflict. … What its members do share is a basic set of fundamental understandings about the earth, how it functions, and the necessity of fairness and equity for all people dependent on the planet’s life-giving systems.”
Village Earth agrees with Hawkins’ argument and was founded back in 1993 with a similar purpose: to support genuine grassroots mobilization and local, people’s organizations from the bottom-up. Our Global Affiliate program is the latest evolution of this approach to catalyzing social change, the purpose of which is to provide a support structure for the formation and growth of local grassroots organizations and to help connect you to groups around the globe that you might not have ever heard of – groups that have a big impact in their communities but who often work in obscurity and struggle to secure funding relative to larger outside organizations.
Below are the 14 members of Village Earth’s Global Affiliate Program and the 14 reasons why we are hopeful for the New Year and beyond! We hope you will also be inspired and decide to make your 2013 tax-deductible contribution to one of our affiliates now. 

 Amahoro ProjectEarth Tipi Eco-Friendly Volunteers Empowerng Youth Cambodia Forum for Cumunity Change and Development Jenzera Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Lakota Buffalo Caretakers Cooperative Lakota Lands Recovery Project Living Roots Maloca Sarada Group of Development Initiatives Tasunke WakanAffilateThumbs_51
Can’t decide on a specific Global Affiliate to support, use the button below to let Village Earth decide where the funds are most needed. 

Donate to Village Earth

I thank you in advance for your continued support and for making Village Earth everything that it has become over the years.



David Bartecchi
Executive Director

Support Village Earth Whenever You Shop (3 Easy Steps)

Set Village Earth as your Amazon Smile charity by going to

Set Village Earth as your Amazon Smile charity by going to

Here’s a great opportunity for anyone making end of year purchases. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Village Earth. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. Use it for purchasing textbooks, electronics, gifts and more.

How to Set Village Earth as your Amazon Smile charity. 

  1. Go to com
  2. Login using your existing account info (or create a new account if you don’t already have one).
  3. Search for Village Earth under “Or pick your own charitable organization and select it from the list.
  4. That’s it! Now, When you shop at, you’ll find the same shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Village Earth!

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Redeem Your Gift Card to Support a Village Earth Global Affiliate

landing_bigcardsDoes your company or organization participate in’s corporate giving program? If so, we hope you’ll choose to support one of Village Earth’s Global Affiliates. Why? Because Village Earth has over 20-years of working with grassroots groups on the front-lines of social justice and sustainable development. Each one of our Global Affiliates undergoes an extensive due-diligence process and is selected because of their overall impact and focus on addressing the core issues behind poverty and powerless in their region.

Below is a list of Village Earth Affiliates with projects listed on Click on the their image below to link to their donation page.
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Empower Grassroots Organizations With A Year-End Gift to Village Earth

Time is running-out to make your tax-deductible donation count in 2013!

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Village Earth provides strategic, autonomy respecting support to 14 different grassroots organizations like the Forum for Community Change and Development (pictured above).

Village Earth provides strategic, autonomy respecting support to 14 different grassroots organizations like the Forum for Community Change and Development (pictured above)

Make a donation now and not only will you be supporting grassroots organizations around the globe realize their OWN strategies and solutions but as an added bonus, you’ll also get a deduction on your 2013 taxes!

Why donate to Village Earth?
We believe the answer to global/local problems lies in the commitment, passion and creativity local, grassroots organizations. Your donation has a bigger impact when it’s being used by local organizations to carry-out local solutions using local expertise, labor, and materials (rather than being used to support the salaries, travel, and lodging for an expatriate staff). Rather than carrying-out projects ourselves, Village Earth’s Global Affiliate Program empowers grassroots organizations around the globe directly with strategic, autonomy respecting assistance – creating a support structure for them to work with their own communities to realize their own strategies and solutions. Your donation today makes all this possible, providing support without all the “strings” and pre-determined outcomes that come with come grants from foundations and governments.


Use the button above to choose one of our 14 Global Affiliates or select “area of most need” and Village Earth will decide how to allocate your donation to have the greatest impact.


Urgent Action: Fighting in S. Sudan Forces Village Earth Affiliate FOFCOD to Evacuate

Civilians Seek Protection after Fighting in the Capital City of Juba

Civilians Seek Protection after Fighting in the Capital City of Juba Photo: United Nations

Village Earth Global Affiliate, Forum for Community Change and Development (FOFCOD) in South Sudan, is carefully monitoring the situation in their country due factional violence that erupted this week after President Salva Kiir, accused his former vice president of attempting a military coup.
We are in panic, We are planning to see how to evacuate some of  our staff to neighboring countries Uganda until the situation comes to normal.

“We are in panic, We are planning to see how to evacuate some of our staff to neighboring countries Uganda until the situation comes to normal.”

According to FOFCOD “the situation in Juba remains calm. Government security forces are in control. The town of Bor in Jonglei is no longer under the control of government security forces. Rather, it is controlled by troops who have apparently defected from and attacked the SPLA. Many persons have fled to the safety of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) compound. There is now a single, as yet unconfirmed, report of an attack on the compound. There has been fighting in Akobo, north-east of Bor, again apparently between factions of the SPLA. Many persons fled to the UNMISS compound for safety but it is now confirmed that the defecting troops have breached the UN site and there are reports of a fatality. There are reports of shooting, assumed to be fighting, to both the north and the south of Bentiu, in Unity State. No further details are available at this time. We are in panic, We are planning to see how to evacuate some of  our staff to neighboring countries Uganda until the situation comes to normal.”

Joining in 2013, FOFCOD is one of Village Earth’s newest Global Affiliates. The current conflict in South Sudan is a clear illustration of the urgency of their efforts to contribute to the national development through programs of Human rights, democracy, conflict resolution, health, education, livelihoods and food security, entrepreneurship, peace and justice in South Sudan.

Please Support FOFCOD in South Sudan


Need a Last Minute Gift Idea? Send One of These Beautiful Donation Gift Cards.

This year, through our partner, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to one of Village Earth’s Grassroots Affiliates in honor of a friend or relative. Choose from two holiday gift designs or one birthday card design (see below).

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Below is a list of Village Earth Affiliates that have this donation option available. Click on the their image to go their donation page at

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Once on the project page, to make a donation as a gift in honor of friend or family member, simply click on the 12-12-2013 10-47-01 AM  tab on the project page, enter the name of the person you would like to make the donation in honor or memory of, choose whether you would like to Print or Email the card (for those last-minute gifts) or send a physical card via USPS or FedEx. You then can choose from several different payment options.

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FOFCOD Empowering Women in South Sudan through Improved cooking stoves project.

Women after receiving their ICS

Women after recieving thier ICS

fund-projectJust $60 Provides a
Stove and Training
for a Family in South Sudan

Empowering Women through Improved cooking stoves project.

FOFCOD LogoDevelopment is not possible without access to energy, Energy is vital for women’s development in terms of reducing their time burden for collecting firewood used in cooking and heating, supporting livelihoods activities, improving health and well being and providing opportunities for enterprise and capacity-building.

Conventional energy policies have tended to focus on energy supply, with little attention to the social issues relating to energy. Energy policies miss vital opportunities to ensure projects draw on women’s vital local knowledge and their influencing capacity within households and communities. FOFCOD carried out a research in yei, Studies show that many rural women spend up to five hours a day gathering fuel and carrying heavy loads. This burden leaves them with little time for productive activities or leisure, puts women and girls at risk of long-term health problems and increases their vulnerability to physical or sexual violence. spending long hours indoors with traditional wood burning stoves can result in health hazards such as lung disease and eye infections for women and children. The provision of clean cook stoves can mitigate these negative impacts while promoting women’s empowerment, as the time that would have been used to collect fuel can now be used for other productive and economic activities.

The pleasure of using an ICS. A woman awaits her meal as it get ready

The pleasure of using an ICS. A woman awaits her meal as it get ready

Project Outcomes include

Reduced level of domestic violence against women and primary education enhancement

The burden of household tasks such as firewood collecting falls primarily on women and children, so by using the ICS the time spent wood seeking has been  significantly reduced and cooking times is  much faster. Such changes  helped to reduce problems of overworking which are often linked to increased domestic violence. Furthermore it has  helped to improve the attendance and performance of primary school students who had dropped out of school, or whowere failing to perform for reasons such lateness or tiredness.

Time for luch, Woman prepares stove for Luch for her children

Time for luch, Woman prepares stove for Luch for her children

Decreasing the level of deforestation in the area
through encouraging the use of ICS this campaign has reduced the level of household firewood used by up to 90% in more than 900 families built this stove.This project has educated local leaders about the role of forests.  the communities have been encouraged to plant more trees in line with national policy.

Saving biodiversity

By reducing the level of firewood consumption and educating local leaders about the role of forests the movements of people in natural forests has been significantly reduced.

IEC material with a message

IEC material with a message

We are grateful to our supporters Rain Forest Action Network, Global Green Grants Fund and Rufford.

Village Earth Proud to Announce New Partnership with Duke University Continuing Studies

logo_vert_#001A57_lrVillage Earth will now be offering our Sustainable Community Development Certificate Program through Duke University’s Department of Continuing Studies.  We expect that this will be a very fruitful partnership in that Village Earth will bring its world-renowned online sustainable community development training program to the academic excellence of Duke University.  We hope that through this partnership we will be able to reach even more community leaders, development practitioners, and others around the world with an interest in increasing their knowledge and skills in sustainable community development.  Courses through Duke University begin January 17, 2014.

We will be offering the same great five-week courses and numerous specializations to tailor the program to meet participant’s needs and interests.  Our instructors will continue to be the same seasoned professionals who are practitioners in their fields.  An application for admission is not required to enroll in a course or to pursue the Certificate in Sustainable Community Development from Duke University.

Duke University is ranked the #7 university in the United States.  “The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society… around the world.”

Village Earth will also continue to offer the Sustainable Community Development Certificate Program through Colorado State University as well.  Visit Village Earth’s Sustainable Community Development online training page for more information about this program including how to enroll.  If you have questions, please contact Village Earth’s Training Director at [email protected].


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


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.


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.


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


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.