Agricultural Inequality on American Indian Reservations (infographic)

Agriculture_Inequality_AIAN

The USDA-NASS recently published the results from their 2012 Census of Agriculture for American Indian Reservations. Naturally, we were interested in what this long-awaited data tells us about the degree of access that Tribal members have to their own lands who, through a history of exclusionary policies and discriminatory practices by the Federal Government,  have been pushed off their legally allotted lands to open them up to non-tribal farmers and ranchers – mostly through leasing programs managed by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. We developed the infographic below to help illustrate what these numbers tells us. However, we feel these numbers, while the most complete to-date, still do not accurately reflect the actual situation of Agriculture on American Indian Reservations – which we believe to be much worse.

Agricultural Inequality AIAN


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: This infographic does not include data from the Navajo Nation because it represents an outlier relative to all other Reservations in the dataset.

Village Earth Affiliate Ho’zho’ogo Nahat’a’ to host Healing with Earth and Sky Workshop

9-2-2014 11-25-38 AM

9-2-2014 11-25-38 AM

Statement of Intent

This workshop will gather Indigenous youth, adults, elders, and members of the Flagstaff community using a unique, interdisciplinary process. Our focus will be learning about intergenerational, historical trauma that has affected all people through the process of colonization, oppression, and privilege. Through community participation, ritual, meditation, movement, creative expression, nourishing food and water we will explore a process of decolonizing our bodies and spirits.

Our intention is to create a strong container for healing, connection, and mutual We are actively recruiting Native youth, adults, and elders for participation in this event and providing travel stipends and housing for a select number of Indigenous youth traveling from outside Flagstaff. We seek partners to join us in supporting this project financially so the workshop can be offered affordably to all ($5/students; $10/community members).

Our Guest Instructor:

Rulan Tangen (of Santa Fe, New Mexico), choreographer and director of Dancing Earth, performs, teaches, and lectures internationally. With a devotion toward the development of the innovative field of Indigenous contemporary dance, she has taught extensively in Native communities. She believes in this form of dance as continuing the link of culture from ancient to futuristic.

Organizers and Co-Facilitators:

Marie Gladue, BA, founder of Ho’zho’ogo Nahat’a’, is a Dineh environmental and social justice advocate. She originally envisioned this project with the Indigenous Four Directional Model as its foundation. Marie is a practitioner of Indigenous Community Theater and has developed an organic community process to create artistic performances. She raises Churro sheep and is committed to living a land- based lifestyle on her ancestral land at Black Mesa. mariegladue@yahoo.com/(928)380-0110

Hilary Giovale, MLS, teaches Tribal Style Bellydance and Embodiment Practices to women of various backgrounds, including survivors of domestic and sexual violence. As a Pachamama Alliance Facilitator, activist, and community organizer, Hilary is dedicated to building bridges across difference to create a peaceful, socially just, spiritually fulfilled, and environmentally sustainable human presence on our planet. contact@bellyroles.com/(928)380-1055

  • The workshop will take place at the Center for Indigenous Music and Culture in Flagstaff, AZ, September 10 and 11, 2014
  • The first day is open to Indigenous youth and elders
  • The second day will be open to Indigenous youth as well as members of the local Flagstaff community
  • Nutritious, Native-grown and holistically grown local foods will be prepared by a Native chef and offered each day as part of the experience
  • Co-Sponsors: Grand Canyon Trust/Colorado Plateau Intertribal Gathering, Center for Indigenous Music and Culture, and Anonymous Donors

For more information contact Marie Gladue mariegladue@yahoo.com/(928)380-0110

Mni Hosts Successful Water Restoration Camp on the Cheyenne River Reservation

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The 2014 Mni Water Restoration Camp was held June 22nd to July 6th.  During the two week training session, Mni was host to 35 volunteers and children.  From the outset this entailed expenses in transportation and food to provide for the workers.  

Camp Report by CSU Intern Ryan Reese, Center for Collaborative Conservation
The Mni Water Restoration Camp was a successful effort in both practice and outreach. Through the help of multiple individuals and organizations, the combined projects of water restoration and holistic living at Tatanka Wakpala were accomplished, and the message of holistic land management and restoration was spread to those who attended the camp. Though faced with many difficulties, the participants at Mni persevered in the face of hardship and overcame the obstacles which they faced, and completed many of the projects which were begun.
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The first week was spent preparing camp, creating facilities for future use, maintaining gardens, and surveying the land for water restoration potential. The area around the campsite was mowed, an outhouse was dug on an adjacent hill, and the mobile homes at the site were cleaned out for current and future use. The garden was weeded, furrows were dug, planting mounds were built, and seeds were planted. The stream bed was surveyed for potential dam sites, as were the surrounding hillsides and gullies. Over the course of the week, potential plans were discussed among members of the camp.
There were many different water restoration ideas presented by camp participants. The original goal of putting a few dams in the creek was put off to a future year, as high rainfall had raised the water level too much to allow easy access of the stream bed. At the best potential dam sites in the stream bed, the water was too deep to work with and the soil was quite waterlogged. Another proposition was to build trenches along isobars to hold rain water. Since the area around Tatanka Wakpala has few trees, this type of catchment would fit well with the materials in the area. Unfortunately, the hillsides where the trenches would be placed are also the best sites for home construction on the property, complicating the planning phase. In addition, the trenching machine that was going to be rented for the creation of these trenches had broken down, meaning that any trenches would have to be built with a different machine or dug by hand. For these reasons, the construction of trenches was put off for another year. Luckily, a large number of pine-beetle logs became available for our use for free, allowing us to small dams, or “baffles,” in the washes and gullies on the hillsides above the stream bank.
dams
Over the course of the second week, plans for the dams were finalized. The first dams to be constructed were on the north side of the stream. Five different dams were built in a narrow gully, composed of logs, fence posts, earth, assorted branches and twigs, and barbed wire. These dams were spaced at 15 foot intervals, and were about 8 feet wide and 2 feet tall. Along the banks of the gully, cottonwood trees were planted to restore the ecology in the gully and to solidify the soil and prevent erosion.. On the south side of the stream, 13 dams were built in two different gullies, with six in one and seven in another. These were built with fewer materials, lacking the barbed wire and metal fence posts which the dams on the north side were built of.
A permanent octagonal shade was also built during the second week. The shade will be used for instruction at future camps and as a cook shack once it is complete. The majority of the work for the shade was completed, with only the completion of the roofing and the creation of bracing and supports remaining.
A permaculture workshop was also given during the Mni camp by Bryan Deans, a permaculturist on pine ridge. Mr. Deans walked over the property, discussing the principles and practice of permaculture, water restoration, and holistic management and how it related to the Mni project and . That same week, an ethnobotanical tour was given by Linda (Last Name). The participants at the Mni camp were taken across the property and shown the sacred medicines of the Lakota and told of their uses and cultural significance.
TheMni Water Restoration Camp was a success on many levels. The camp was able to implement part of its water restoration project as well as begin restoring the ecology in the area and reduce hillside erosion, as well as prepare the property for future camps and water restoration efforts. In addition, the camp successfully reached out to multiple organizations and many individuals, spreading knowledge of small-scale, holistic water restoration and building long-lasting relationships that will allow future collaboration on other water restoration projects. Furthermore, as the water restoration efforts proceed, they will act as a showcase for the methods practiced atMni, testifying to the method’s feasibility and promoting its application in other areas. TheMni camp overcame the obstacles which it faced and attained the goals which it set out for itself and prepared future work in the field of water restoration.

Report from Titukuke Rural Community Development Association – Zambia

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Reported By: Richard Mbachundu (TRCDA Programs Coordinator)

ABOUT THE ORGANISATION

1.1 Introduction    The Titukuke Rural Community Development Association (TRCDA) was formed in 2001 and is an Umbrella Organisation for Community Based groups with interest in or supportive of socio­economic empowerment programmes for women, Youth, Children and Other Vulnerable groups of people who are based in Petauke.    The Titukuke Rural Community Development Association herein after referred to as (TRCDA), is registered as a Not­ for ­profit non­partisan Non­ Governmental Organisation (NGO) under the Societies’ Act, Chapter 119 of the Laws of Zambia. It is also registered as a public benefit organisation under section 41 of the Income Tax Act chapter 323 of the laws of Zambia.    The vision and mission of TRCDA are presented below;

Vision:  An improved rural community in Petauke and surrounding areas where OVC’s, Widows, Youth, Women, Terminally ill, Small Scale Farmers and under privileged People sustain themselves.

Mission Statement:  Devoted to uplifting livelihoods, reducing illiteracy, poverty and HIV/AIDS/health problems among the communities in Petauke and surrounding areas through programmes aimed at building local democracy, socio-economic emancipation and environmental sustainability.

Overall Goal: To improve the quality of life for women, youth, children and vulnerable families.

 

OVERVIEW OF THE PROGRESS REPORT

The Titukuke Rural Community Development Association (TRCDA), had for a vision of a vibrant community based organisation in the Eastern region of Zambia. This vision is coming to fruition as evidenced by the development in the period under review i.e. January to June, 2014. It started as a small organisation yet now it has become one of the most promising in the recent years.

We are highlighting the key progressive developments in this report that should prove to any would be partner that we have taken the right path towards becoming a big local NGO able to provide effective and efficient service delivery.

The first step TRCDA has taken is to train both board and management in organisational development that saw it develop robust governance, financial management, operational systems as well as develop a business plan worth winning donor support for the sustainability of its programs.

The realisation that funding partners always wants to partner with credible organisations with well-defined governance and operational systems, and the seeking of solutions to effect the same was achieved. TRCDA now has a Board Charter, financial management manual, operational systems manual with all related policies in place, an Entreprenuership manual, asmall oil processing plant with a  marketing plan, as well as service delivery models for outreach and socio welfare activities.

We thank the United States African Development Foundation for providing the start up support and technical funds to enable TRCDA reach where we area at present.

The organisation has continued to provide education to the less privileged at it School which is the only school in the district providing adult education and tuition to exam sitting students.We have also continued provision of orphan school support services as wellk as basic care and support through our trained caregivers.

Here are some of the key activities conducted during the period under review;

TRAINING IN GOVERNANCE AND BOARD CHARTER DEVELOPMENT FOR BOARD AND MANAGEMENT

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Members of The Board and Management with Consultant during Governance training.

 

 Purpose of the Charter  

The purpose of the Charter is to provide the Board with a tool to guide them in Titukuke Rural Development Association Governance.    The Charter outlines the specific roles and responsibilities of the Board, its committees and the Executive Director. The Charter also defines the performance monitoring mechanisms including financial performance to be used by the Board.   This Governance Charter (Charter) establishes a governance structure and defines key organizational elements of the TRCDA, a multi­stakeholder initiative comprised of Community based groups, Management and Staff, and other stakeholders in the quest to empower vulnerable rural citizens and enhance Gender Equality and equity. This Charter describes how the TRCDA will be governed in order to ensure integrity, accountability, relevance, effectiveness, sustainability, and impact. Alongside the TRCDA Vision, Mission and Values, and the Governance, accountability, this Charter is one of the TRCDA’s foundational core documents. Additional documents such as by­laws, Constitution, and other foundational documents may be added to the core TRCDA documents in order to further define and fulfil our vision. The contents of this Charter and the other core documents may evolve over time to reflect a greater diversity of Board members views, experience, and learning.

1.4 How the Charter should be used   This Charter is to be used by the members of the Board of Titukuke Rural Community Development Association and each member of the Board assumes the responsibility of adapting it fully and updating it regularly as need arises. This Charter is meant to guide Titukuke Rural Development Association governance

 ENTERPRENEURSHIP TRAINING , MARKET DEVELOPMENT AND MANUAL DEVELOPMENT

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The Board Treasurer, Florence Njobvu making a group work presentation during entrepreneurship training

This Manual is designed to provide the Board and Management of Titukuke RCD Association with Guidelines and procedures on how they will manage the Groundnuts oil business profitably.

It is to the best interest of the user as well as the reader to find this document helpful in one way or another. The use of this document is strictly for Titukuke unless permission will have been granted to you by the Board aforementioned.

TRAINING IN FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT

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BOARD AND MANAGEMENT DURING GROUP WORK AT THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT TRAINING

The training was targeted at Titukuke Development Association Management & staff, the Board and field staff and field level volunteers. It was divided into two parts; the first part was for field level volunteers as they also handle funds to some extent and the second was for the district staff and the Board.

A combination of methodologies were employed during the training, presentations by the facilitator, group discussions and group exercises to determine the understanding of concepts by the participants.

1.1 Financial Governance

This topic was facilitated by way of presentation and group discussion; it was explained that this role is played by the Board or the Committee or trustees, whatever the name of the governing body entrusted with the governance of the organisation. There are five main roles and these were presented as:

  1. Making sure funds are used to help beneficiaries effectively
  2. Making sure that the organisation has sufficient funds/funding
  3. Making sure that the organisation has effective senior management
  4. Making sure that the organisation operates within the law
  5. Making sure that the board can handle its responsibilities effectively

There is no model finance system which suits all organizations’, but there are some basic building blocks this must be put in place to achieve good practice in financial management, and the facilitator presented them as:

1.2 Accounting Records

Every organisation must keep an accurate record of financial transactions that take place to show how funds have been used. Accounting records also provide valuable information about how the organisation is being managed and whether it is achieving its objectives.

1.3 Financial Planning

This is linked to the organizations’ strategic and operational plans, the budget is the cornerstone of any financial management system and plays an important role in monitoring the use of funds.

1.4 Financial Monitoring

It is possible to produce a financial report for all stakeholders providing the organisation has a set budget and has kept and has reconciled its accounting records in a clear and timely manner. Internal budget monitoring reports help managers to monitor the progress of all projects and annual financial statements as well as provide accountability to external stakeholders.

1.5 Internal Control

This is a system of controls, checks and balances – collectively referred to as internal controls should be put in place to safeguard an organisation’s assets and manage internal risks.

TRAINING IN PRODUCT BRANDING AND MARKET PLAN DEVELOPMENT

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THE CONSULTANT DURING TRAINING IN BRANDING AND MARKET PLAN DEVELOPMENT

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TRCDA STAFF AND BOARD REPRESENTATIVES WHO DID BRANDING AND MARKET PLAN DEVELOPMENT TRAINING

Mpezeni Business College was engaged by Titukuke Rural Community Development Association to provide three-day training in Brand Development and Market Plan development. At the end of the training, the participants were supposed to be able to:

  • Understand what Branding is
  • Appreciate the value of branding
  • Understand the brand development process
  • Apply the brand development process by:
    • Establishing the market opportunity
    • Understanding their target customers.
    • Considering the importance of  research throughout the development process
    • Determining the Unique Selling Point(s) of their product
    • Identifying their brand values and brand personality.
    • Naming their product
    • Deciding the positioning for their product
    • Planning their Brand Marketing Strategy
    • Designing their product packaging
    • Determining appropriate sales channels to launch their product.
    • Developing tools to support the launch of their brand
  • Produce a Market Plan for the cooking oil to be produced by their company to be incorporated.

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THE BRAND THAT WAS DEVELOPED TO BE SEALED ON THE COOKING OIL CONTAINERS TO BE PRODUCED AT TRCDA PLANT

The organization purchased this oil expeller and an oil filter that have been installed at the plant.

The funds raised at the plant shall be channeled towards the support of the office and women’s programs.

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SURVEY ON MUNICIPAL PUBLIC TOILET SERVICE DELIVERY IN PETAUKE DISTRICT

TRCDA with support from GIZ Change Project, conducted a survey on public toilet service delivery by the local council whose findings are expected to be used to develop an advocacy strategy to be used to engage the service providers.

Twelve (12) groups from different sectors of society were engaged through general questionnaires, structured interviews and focus group discussions

 

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Two of the groups participating during the focus group discussins faciliated by Titukuke Programs Coordinator.

The picture below is part of the Titukuke Trust School Garden whose income helps run the school. It requires face lifting so that its turnover is  increased.

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The garden is also used as a skills training centre in agriculture. Above Some youths from TRCDA Youth club practising seed sowing.

CONSTRUCTION WORKS FOR THE PIGGERY UNIT

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The project is funded by Firelight Foundation of USA.It is meant to rear pigs and start up a butchery where pork products will be produced for sale to the public.The proceeds shall be channelled towards OVC school support services.

ADULT  EDUCATION CLASS AT TITUKUKE TRUST SCHOOL

Adult Education starting from grade one beginners to grade seven primary school level is offered at our school.One hundred  and twenty (120)adults are currently enrolled .

Adult Education Class in action at Titukuke Trust School and doing very fine. We lack desks and extra classes to meet the school learning demands of youths, adults and children. Our plans are to establish a day care resource and skills center. Construct a library and waterborne ablution block.

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[Image blurred to protect identity of minors]

PRE SCHOOL CHILDREN AT TITUKUKE TRUST SCHOOL

We have 60 pre-school pupils who spend the whole day at the school and parents come to get them at 16.00hours.There is high demand in this type of education because children enter into grade one with a lot of basic information and such children do very well. However, we do not have enough room to accommodate them. We require to construct two to three class room blocks just for the kids.

Preschool pupils in our overcrowded classroom

CONTACT DETAILS:

We can be contacted at titukuke@gmail.com

Mr. George Masimba Lukwanda cell +260 977 927 884 (Executive Director)

Mr. Richard Mbachundu cell +260 976 295 423 (Programs Coordinator)

CONCLUSION

We want to appreciate Village Earth for identifying TRCDA to become a Global Affilliate.It is our hope and trust that a lot of people and funding partners will recognize and support our little efforts as we try to reach out to the underprivileged society. Further appreciation goes to USADF for the start up support funds that have enabled the organization to mature into a fully-fledged civil society organization in the remote part of Eastern Province in Zambia. We cannot forget to appreciate Keepers Zambia Foundation for the technical support they are providing to TRCDA so that we achieve the attainment our goals.TRCDA shall welcome any partner who would want to partner with us in the scope of our work. We welcome both material and financial support, as well as technical support. We stand ready to avail any needed information about our work and organizational background in detail upon request.

 

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Titukuke Rural Community Development Association Hosts Enterprise Dev. and Financial Mngt Training

Below are photos from the recent Enterprise Development and Finanaical Management trainings. Titukuke RCDA is dedicated to improve the quality of life for women, youths and orphans, and vulnerable children in Petuake, Zambia. Click here to learn more about Titukuke Rural Community Development Association. 

Community Mobilization Training | June 11th-13th, 2014 in Fort Collins, Co.

mission

 

When: June 11 – 13, 2014
Where: Fort Collins, Colorado
Format: In-Person

Course Description

What turns a group of individuals into an organization or social movement.  This course will explore the structural, social, and  psychological barriers inhibit or prevent individuals and groups from getting involved and working together for change.  Examine the definition of community mobilization as both an initial and ongoing process central to any community and social change effort that seeks to build support and participation of individuals, groups, and institutions to work towards a common goal or vision. Learn from the theories and methods of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, whose work has guided some of the most successful development and education programs around the globe, including the Orangi Pilot Project in Pakistan, The NAAM movement in Burkina Faso, and the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka, among others.

This course will explore the process of mobilizing communities from within the framework of Grassroots Support Organizations (GSOs).

“A subset of NGOs has decided to move beyond social service provision and invest in initiatives that build the human and financial resources of impoverished communities. Focusing on diverse issues—from health and the environment to political mobilization and microenterprises—these NGOs share a common approach to the communities with which they work: They foster the long-term empowerment of impoverished populations by assisting them in decision making and the mobilization of resources and political power. This core approach is what defines these development NGOs as grassroots support organizations.”

– Boglio Martinez, Rafael A. 2008. “Grassroots Support Organizations and Transformative Practices” in Journal of Community Practice, Vol. 16(3).

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the the basic philosophy and basic principles of community mobilization and grassroots support organizing.
  • Assess a community’s capacity for collective action  at the macro, micro, structural and cognitive levels.
  • Employ basic methods to “map” the social and political organization of a community and identify issues that inspire action.
  • Begin a process to transform community tension into focused action.

Logistics

Tuition covers facility expenses, equipment, course materials, and trainer fees. Participants are responsible for travel, room and board during the duration of the training. Participants should plan to arrive in Fort Collins, Colorado June 10th and depart after 4:30 pm Friday, June 13th.

Registration

Tuition: $500

OR

Register by phone: +1 970-237-3002 Ext. 504

* Continuing Education Units(CEUs) from CSU are available upon request for additional $50.

 

Book a Night (or more) With Village Earth Affiliate “Earth Tipi” on the Pine Ridge Reservation

Earth Tipi

Earth Tipi

 

Earth Tipi is working to create accessible, sustainable housing and food sovereignty on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. They recently created this listing for a tipi near their headquarters on the Pine Ridge Reservation on the home-sharing website “AirBnB.com” What a great way you can learn more about Earth Tipi while also helping to support it.

This 16′ tipi purchased new this year! Ample space for up to 5 adults in sleeping bags. 2 twin sized beds are available. In this case only room for only 2 adults. 8 mi to Wounded Knee Massacre Site. Central location to explore Pine Ridge & Badlands.

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The Space
How many times have you had the opportunity to sleep in a tipi on an indian reservation? Deer and coyote are often spotted crossing the site. We are also immediately adjacent to horse pastures on all sides. We are also home to a sustainable homestead model site and education center. Tours are available of our cob/strawbale hybrid home as well as our light straw clay office.

Guest Access
There are currently solar showers and composting toilets on site. We may be adding private showers and toilets for the tipi site but currently these amenities are shared with our campers. There is a covered picnic area for eating and in case of rain during the day. There is an outdoor kitchen that is primarily for group use but, use can be arranged for tipi renters if arrangements are made in advance (hours may be specific/limited)

Interaction with Guests
We live on site and are available to answer questions about the area.

The Neighborhood
We are centrally located on the reservation. If you are coming to tour the area ours is a great spot to start off. Wounded Knee Massacre site and museum are just 8 miles away. We are 2.5 miles from a convenience store and just 3.5 miles from Betty’s Kitchen a local favorite restaurant.

Getting around
There is a reservation shuttle service that operates within the boundaries of the reservation. This is an easy and economical way to see the entire reservation. Stops 2-3 times per day at Pinky’s store in Manderson (2.5 miles on the paved road).

Update from Empowering Youth Cambodia – Student Profile Video | Humans of Phnom Penh

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Cambodians have their own New Year holiday on April 13th which is the biggest holiday of the year, and next week the city of Phnom Penh will be quiet as people head to their families’ villages. Many EYC staff and students will be headed to their ‘homelands’ to welcome in the year of the horse and relax during the hottest month of the year (averaging 94°F / 34°C).

As EYC enters its 9th year we can see constant improvements in the maturity of our work and the abilities of our team.  We thank all of our donors who make our life-changing work possible, and assure you that our 620 students get significant benefits each week from our programs. We are happy to show you a great 5 minute video about one student’s life, Ratha: http://eycambodia.org/about/students/

Humans of Phnom Penh: A Photoblog

A group of EYC students have started an interesting photoblog on Facebook calledHumans of Phnom Penh. It gives an insight into the daily lives of some of the capital’s residents through photography and short interviews and it was inspired by a similar blog, Humans of New York. Each student chooses individuals they meet in the city and who they find interesting to include in the project. Phnom Penh through Cambodian eyes. The blog is in Khmer and in English, take a look:
https://www.facebook.com/HoPPCambodia
Also, read the story about Humans of Phnom Penh in The Phnom Penh Post.

Happy Khmer New Year to everybody and thank you for all your support. Don’t forget April 16th!

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Here’s What Customers Have To Say:

The AT Library has been a great resource for us in teaching in all of these areas. We could never have brought all of these resources with us in a printed form, but thanks to the AT Library we had information readily available.

- Lance & Debra Sprick, Life Resource Foundation, Iligan City, Philippines

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Get a 50% Match on All Donations to Empowering Youth Cambodia April 16th.

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Exciting news!  We are happy to share that GlobalGiving is hosting a Microsoft YouthSpark Bonus Day on April 16th.  Here are the terms and conditions of the campaign, with matching funds provided by Microsoft:

Terms and Conditions

  • The Microsoft YouthSpark Bonus Day will begin April 16th, 2014 at 12:00:01 PM (noon) EDT and will end April 17th, 2014, at 11:59:59 AM EDT, or when matching funds run out.
  • There are $100,000 available in matching funds from Microsoft.
  • Matching is applied at 50% for every donation from $10 up to $1,000 per donor per project/microproject.
  • The project or micoproject that has the most unique donors on Microsoft YouthSpark’s Bonus Day will receive an additional $10,000 from Microsoft.

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VE Affiliate, “Mni” on the Cheyenne River Reservation Launches New Website!

Mni Website

Mni Website

Village Earth Global Affiliate “Mni” launches new website at www.mniwater.org. Mni is a grassroots, non-profit, indigenous-led collaboration to restore the water cycle worldwide using eco-friendly rainwater harvesting techniques. Springtime on the Cheyenne River Lakota homelands, finds Mni coursing steadily towards their goal of healing the world water cycle by bringing water restoration to indigenous homelands. Mni is pursuing partnerships with other tribal peoples who recognize that a healthy water cycle is critical to planetary balance and human survival and to help them initiate water management techniques in their own territories.

Mni Cheyenne River Reservation

One of Mni’s proposed projects was recently funded to bring intertribal volunteers together for a water sustainability camp on the Cheyenne River reservation. Participants will learn basic skills in rain water harvest and ecosystem recovery in a culturally respectful manner.

Prior to the two-week camp (scheduled for June 22nd to July 5th), Mni, in collaboration with the Cheyenne River Youth Project, will mobilize a reservation-wide clean water campaign. They will bring tribal elders and youth together to demand tribal government protect drinking water by eliminating toxins, beginning with ending fluoridation. To join the Mni effort for clean, accessible water and to create a sustainable water future for all mankind please go to www.crl.mniwater.org

Interested in learning more about Mni and how you can get involved 1. Check out their shiny new website, 2. “Like” their page on Facebook and follow them on Twitter, 3. Sign-up for their mailing list in right-hand column of this page, 4. Make a tax-deductible donation.

Free Download: “Take Back the Land! The Social Function of Land and Housing, Resistances & Alternatives”.

Take Back the Land! The Social Function of Land and Housing, Resistances & Alternatives.

Take Back the Land! The Social Function  of Land and Housing,  Resistances & Alternatives.Village Earth recently published a chapter in the new book, Take Back the Land!: The Social Function of Land and Housing, Resistances & Alternatives published by Ritmo which opens public information centers on global issues, organizes civil society campaigns and develops awareness-raising and training sessions. Ritimo is actively involved in disseminating documents and information online, by means of its website: www.ritimo.org and co-edited by AITEC (Association Internationale des Techniciens, Experts et Chercheurs – International Organisation of Engineers, Experts and Researchers). This publication is part of the The Passerelle Collection which presents experiences, analyses and proposals by actors of social change. Each issue is an attempt to weave together various contributions on a specific issue by civil society organisations, media, trade unions, social movements, citizens, academics, etc.

Village Earth’s article appears on page 90 and is titled: “The Role of Low-Income Housing in Devaluing the Social Capital of the Oglala Lakota.” You can download this publication in English for free.

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The Article from Village Earth Director, David Bartecchi

“If land, whether rural or urban, were viewed as playing an essential role in all human beings’ life, just like air or water, and its value in use outweighed its exchange value, wouldn’t our cities and countryside look completely different ? Many social movements, researchers, social organisations, local and national authorities as well as international organisations are concerned by the issue of the social function of land and of housing, worldwide.A reflection on different ways to relate to land – other than ownership – must therefore be carried out, i.e. ways that do not entail abusing, speculating or excluding others. Thanks to contributions by different actors, this issue sheds a light on the progress of the social function of land and housing in the different areas of the world. This issue’s singularity is linked to its insight into a potential alliance between inhabitants and peasants, between rural and urban issues. Much food for thought is set forth here on points of mutual interest, alternatives and resistance practices around the world.

You can download this publication in English for free.

Charlotte Mathivet is a political scientist and a right to housing and right to the city activist. She edited number 7 of the Passerelle Collection,Housing in Europe : Time to Evict the Crisis. She is the coordinator-editor of this issue This publication is also available in French. It also will be available in Spanish in March and launched at the World Urban Forum in Medellín in Aprill 2014.”

Titukuke Rural Community Development Association, Creating a Culture of Education in Zambia

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Updated submitted by Gertrude Soko, Director of Titukuke Rural Community Development Association

Here are some recent photos from the Titukuke day care trust school. We are running a pre-school, grade one and grade two classes at present. We have also introduced adult education in the afternoons for parents and guardians of our pupils so that we develop a culture of appreciating the importance of educating the children . It had been difficult to find children in large numbers because most parents do not see the value in taking children to school. These parents pay 20 Zambia Kwacha per month about 4 Dollars. The teachers get 60% whilst the school gets 40% of the total proceeds. The school has also introduced basic computer lessons to the grade ones and twos so that they are prepared at a tender age to appreciate and use ICT
in their lives.

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The other pictures show the income generating garden aimed at helping meet the cost of paying the school staff who are failing to raise enough funds from the pupils. The pupils pay little fees this year due to failure to meet full fees last year. Some of the pupils do not pay anything due to their vulnerability. There is need find sponsorship for these children use none payment is affecting the school negatively. We give thanks to The friends of Titukuke in The Netherlands-SSTZ for the construction of the school, irrigation equipment, solar energy, the garden materials, school materials and equipment as well as financial support to
enable us reach this far.

 

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Click here to learn more about Titukuke Rural Community Development Association in Zambia

 

Spread the Love With These Donation Gift Cards From Globalgiving.org

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Sample gift card. Choose from 5 Village Earth projects to support and customize your message.

Need a last minute gift for that special someone? These donation gift cards from Globalgiving.org are a great way for your both to share your love around the globe. Choose to support one of 5 Village Earth’s Global Affiliates featured on the site. You can either print-out your personalized card or send it via email anywhere in the world!

Order your gift card today by clicking on one of the projects below and then choosing the “Gift In Honor” tab.

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Below are the Village Earth Affiliate Projects eligible – click the graphic to learn more and donate. 

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From the slums of Phnom Penh to possibly studying in the US… Empowering Youth Cambodia

EYC Star Students

EYC Star Students

“I would do the preparation class anyway”, said Keo Yary, an EYC student in 11th grade, when asked if she would attend this class even if there was no lure of a possible scholarship to the US. Yary is one of five lucky EYC students who have been selected for an excellent program created by EducationUSA Advising Center under the United States Embassy. The program is called the Opportunity Fund, and it aims to prepare youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to be able to access higher education in the United States.

The five students are Keo Yary, Ho Andy, Chon Sreyroth, Luck Chamnab and Ear Serivichara, and they are from Aziza School, Impact School, and Youth School, respectively. Now seven months into the program, the students were not at all “randomly selected”. There was a rigorous testing and interviewing process where the students had to demonstrate not only good English skills, but also strong academic skills, general knowledge, and leadership skills. And it is with good reason that the students are carefully chosen – the program invests a lot in them.

Three times a week the students attend class for two hours, where they learn advanced English and also learn about culture, food, and general knowledge. In addition, the students meet every Sunday morning to discuss the book that was assigned for that week’s reading.  Later in the program they will learn about scholarship applications, how to write an essay for college applications, get help with the passport application, and more. The program aims to fully prepare the students to apply for college and scholarships to study in the US.

But there is no guarantee of admission to a US college. And each student not only needs to be admitted, they also need to find a way to fund the studying.  But as Keo Yary said, she is happy to do this class no matter what – nobody can take away the knowledge she gets from the program.

Good luck to them! (by Annette Jensen)

Village Earth Welcomes Affiliates From The Cheyenne River Reservation & Zambia

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We are excited to announce the addition of two new Global Affiliates: “Mni” (which means “water” in the Lakota language) based on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota and Titukuke Rural Community Development Association based in Petuake Zambia. (Both of which are eligible for 30% match on all donations made on Wednesday, February 12th – Show Your Support Here!)

Mni - Cheyenne River Reservation

The Mni Restoration Project is focused reversing global climate change by advocating for global watershed restoration. At the local level, their plan is to take action by constructing thousands of small water catchments at all elevations along Reservation streams and watercourses. This will slow rainwater run-off, increase ground water infiltration and capture eroded soils, creating ideal conditions for reforestation and natural plant resurgence. Trees and vegetation will hold the water on the land, direct it into the ground and, through evapo-transpiration, release it back into the atmosphere. Reestablishing the small water cycle allows the moisture to return to these same lands as gentle rainfall and the process repeats. The sacred water cycle upon which all life depends is mended. A balance is attained.

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Titukuke Rural Community Development Association (TRCDA) was established in 2001 and registered in 2005 by Gertrude Soko and a few other rural community-based citizens who wanted to identify the options that could help alleviate the numerous social and economic hardships that the rual citizens were facing. The organization started mobilizing communities for health and social change in all areas of human development which saw the establishment of clubs for women, youth and widows as well as the establishment of community schools for children and women. The organization is run using bottom-up approach where by the AGM elects area representatives and board members from among themselves.

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Maloca – Empowering Indigenous Kamayura of Brazil to Document and Protect Culture

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Kamayura filmmakers

Kamayura filmmakers using equipment provided by Maloca

By Luminita Cuna, Director of Maloca

In January 2014, Maloca director visited the Kamayura community in Mato Grosso state and discussed with the community the project to protect the Kamayura culture through new technology. The idea to document and record the Kamayura tradition by the Kamayura people themselves, using modern technology, existed in the village for a while, however, due to lack of resources, the Kamayura were unable to start this process. Now, your generosity will turn this community-generated idea into reality.

Everybody was excited to learn that the fundraising for the equipment started. The Kamayura identified a few people that would take a very active part in the project, once it starts, and that would carry it forward. Furthermore, we discussed creating a Kamayura Memory House (Casa das Memorias) in the village. This micro project would be an essential part in creating Casa das Memorias in the Kamayura village, a cultural point where the Kamayura traditions are collected, stored, and shared.

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One important thing that our donors need to be aware of is that the process of discussing and planning with an indigenous community is very different than what we imagine and it takes longer than one would expect. There are a lot of one-to-one discussions in informal settings ( on the way to the river, coming back from tending the manioc garden, around the fire waiting for the fish to cook). The discussions have to take place according to the community’s ways/rules, and following their own timing. These preliminary talks, which sometimes are very repetitive, have an important role, as they help interested community members to really understand how the project works (including fundraising over the internet). When people have enough information, the chief calls a general meeting in the center of the village, where facts and information is presented to everybody.

While in Brazil, Maloca contacted Brazilian film makers and identified potential candidates to visit the village to provide training (filming, editing) to the Kamayura. We are in the planning phase, both with the community and the film makers, and it looks like the summer of 2014 will be a good time to have the first training session.

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This  project will buy a good HD video camera for the Kamayura community. As prices are soaring in Brazil, the camera will be purchased in the US. The camera will be handed to the community personally by Maloca director, during the upcoming Summer 2014 trip. The months of June to September are the best for starting this project because this is the time where all the important rituals of the community take place, it is their “holiday season”.

We are continuing our efforts to raise funds to purchase external hard drives (where all the films will be stored), and hopefully another camera.

Village Earth Affiliate “Eco-V” Sri Lanka reflects upon its successes in 2013

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Thank you 2013…..we had a great year! with new initiatives and successful results!

We had a great successful year in 2013. Paapedi 2013 the bicycle journey for Climate Justice was a very successful campaign we had for Climate Change mitigation and adaptation work. Also we got involved with Good Market (https://www.facebook.com/thegoodmarketcolombo) and started “Nature Kids” a very unique programme for kids to get connected with Mother Nature.
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Nature Talk before Nature Walk
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During Nature walk
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Some Nature kids with animal flags
Also we started two educational stalls at Good Market under the kind sponsorship of Dilmah Conservation. One on Eco Education and the other on Conscious Consumerism.

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Eco Stall
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Eco Stall and Consumer Voice Stall
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Reading about food and health on consumer voice stall
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Sugary drinks and conscious consumerism
I personally completed two important training programmes. One on Consumerism (Consumer Association of Penang, Malaysia) and the other on Climate change leadership with former Vice president of USA Mr. Al Gore “Climate Change corps” in Istanbul, Turkey. Both programmes were very helpful for me to get more confidence and also loads of information was passed down to various working groups of ECO-V. I also attended a conference in Malaysia on “Interfaith Dialog for Peace and Sustainability” with the kind invitation from Seva Lanka (a NGO for social development work in Sri Lanka) as a Climate Change and sustainable living campaigner. It was great opportunity to participate at People’s Forum of The 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo.  Also I was invited to be at prince Charle’s B’day party held in Colombo during his CHOGM visit to Sri Lanka.
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In Istanbul
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People’s Forum, CHOGM 2013
We had many international volunteers who visited and helped us in our activities. ECO-V won a grant from Kate Stork memorial Awards, UK for our “Nature Kids” programme and it’s the second award from them we won. Thank you for KSMA Awards! We were able to continue our great work with kids at Good Market because of you. Then Nature Kids won the “Environmental Impact Award” of the annual award ceremony of Good Market! This is what we call ripple effect for positive change!! One start leads for something else…
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Kanchana and Uvasara with Impact award at Good Market
Having our own training center is the long term plan for ECO-V and we have been working towards it always. Dhanushka from Udawalwa is One of our youth leaders we trained for last 5 years under various programmes (starting from friends of Pelicans, then KSMA youth trainee, kelani nade yathre and Paapedi 2013 yathree). After kelani Nadee yathra he decided to start a farm in his own land as a post journey project. We were thrilled and guided him to start a permaculture farm which we can develop as a training center eventually. The year 2013 was a successful year for him as he able to build a natural building, a toilet and basic accommodation facilities. Thanks to Journeys For Climate Justice in Melbourne who is our partner organization for both journeys we had who sent us International volunteers to work with his team and him were able to get exposure to more wider world.

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Dhanushka and team making compost
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Dhanushka’s team
Also I started a small permaculture plot very close to our office and trying to develop it as an educational center and make it more sustainable for ECO-V future work. Also we started selling extra vegetables (after sharing the harvest with neighbors and friends) at Good Market and willing to join with them under participatory Guarantee System (3rd party organic certification).

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Eco Garden of ECO-V
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Harvest of Eco Garden
We started a very special programme for students at School for Deaf. It’s called talking through Nature which is still in progress. We managed to create a butterfly garden with all native plants and our volunteers did more shramadana work (sharing work) with these differently able children at school. I still remember their exited faces when they saw the first ever caterpillar reported on a herb that they planted.
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Volunteers involved in painting walls of Butterfly Garden area
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Students and volunteers working together
We continue to teach about nature for them using this space. Our face book page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/119363511453200/) exceeded 2000 members which is very helpful to spread the messages of our work among volunteers and also helped us to raise funds for our work.
So thank you very much for all of you who were with us in 2013 and we very much hope that you will continue to stay with us in year 2014 in this journey.