Stories from the Grassroots: The Greengrants Blog

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    Let’s not forget the humanity of ebola

    Oct 23, 2014 | No Comments

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    We have been following the ebola crisis with deep concern for our friends, grantees, and advisors who live in West Africa. Nearly 5,000 people have already died, making this the biggest ebola outbreak in history. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that there could be 1.4 million new cases by January 2015.

    Although we make few grants in the hardest-hit countries, Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of our Board of Directors, lives in Nigeria, where there was a brief scare, and we have advisors in Mali and Burkina Faso.

    In early October, Allison Davis, our Deputy Director of Programs, was in Mali for a meeting of our West Africa Advisory Board. She shared these reflections:

    Officially, we were there to discuss grants the board is making to people working on clean energy, displacement from mining, and cleaning up contaminated water. But ebola was hot on everyone’s mind.

    Allison Davis is Global Greengrants' Deputy Director of Programs.

    Allison Davis is Global Greengrants’ Deputy Director of Programs. Read her blog “4 ways women are using grassroots environmental grants.”

    Mali has not yet had a case of ebola, but it shares a border with Guinea, and the country is preparing for the inevitable first cases. We talked a lot about the human tragedy going on and depicted constantly on the news.

    It struck me that the local television stations in Mali were not dwelling on the border crossings and the efforts to keep ebola out, as one might suspect. Instead, they were focused more on the stories of families devastated by what was happening around them.

    One would think we might do more of the same in the United States—balance our fear and worry about ebola with more heartfelt concern for the thousands so dramatically affected.

    One of the hardest images for me to watch is the footage of a deceased person being marched away by people in full-body plastic suits in front of the staring families—without the possibility of proper mourning rituals or proper acknowledgement of the life that came before ebola.

    We talked about how funerals are village-wide rituals, extremely important to the family of the deceased. We talked about the heartache of being unable to dress the body, the impossibility of saying goodbye, the lack of recognition from anyone in the community of the life that came before the tragic end.

    Local news stations in Mali are true to this reality. It was a stark contrast with the U.S. news on ebola, which seems so full of fear and without the right balance of compassion for the people affected. I wish we could take more of our journalistic cues from a country that actually borders the epidemic and has every reason to be fearful.

    Do you want to help?

    Should the infection zone spread to areas where we have grantees, Global Greengrants’ West Africa advisors could use reserve emergency funds to support a grantee to get through the crisis. But if you want to help stop the spread of fear and misinformation about ebola, we recommend donating to American Jewish World Service Emergency Response Fund.

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      To the Green Climate Fund: “Grassroots women need more resources”

      Oct 17, 2014 | No Comments

      The co-hosts of the Summit on Women and Climate call on the Green Climate Fund to take action and extend support to women-led solutions to climate change in advance of COP 21.

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        A climate defense that actually works

        Sep 23, 2014 | No Comments

        I am writing this note from New York. I wish you could be here to feel the charge of energy. An estimated 400,000 people flooded the streets on Sunday morning to demand bold action on the climate crisis. Here’s how I believe we should deal with climate change.

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          3 Awakenings From the 2014 Summit on Women & Climate

          Aug 20, 2014 | No Comments

          What happens when 100 people from 37 countries gather to talk about women-led solutions to climate change? An unexpected rethinking of what it means to be resilient. Maxine Burkett, Global Greengrants board member and climate change policy and law expert, shares three impressions from the Summit on Women & Climate.

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            Voices from Nepal: Promoting Women’s Climate Leadership

            Aug 3, 2014 | One Comment

            When nature is out of balance, everything Nepali women need to survive is at risk. Sadhana Shrestha, executive director of Tewa in Nepal, tells how this women’s fund is addressing this issue and supporting women in the face of climate change.

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              Inside Chile’s “Patagonia Sin Represas” movement

              Jul 28, 2014 | No Comments

              Chilean environmentalists celebrate the country’s biggest environmental victory: “We always tried to maintain a positive ethical campaign that really showed alternatives. We didn’t say ‘no to dams.’ We said, ‘We want a Patagonia without dams.’ Read our Q&A with grantee in Chile, Peter Hartmann.

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                Defeating HidroAysén – Chile’s biggest environmental victory ever

                Jul 28, 2014 | No Comments

                This is the story of how a grassroots movement defeated the $8 billion HidroAysén dam project, and led to Chile’s biggest ever environmental win. Terry Odendahl writes about this incredible victory and Global Greengrants role.

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                  Meet Marina Rikhvanova, Global Greengrants’ Russia coordinator and founder of Baikal Environmental Wave

                  Jul 23, 2014 | No Comments

                  Marina Rikhvanova grew up visiting the shores of Lake Baikal in Siberia, the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake. Reaching a depth of nearly 5,400 feet, the lake holds more water than all of the United States’ Great Lakes combined.… Read more

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                    4 Takeaways On How Women Are Using Grassroots Environmental Grants

                    Jul 22, 2014 | One Comment

                    In preparing for this Summit, Allison Davis, Global Greengrants’ Deputy Director of Programs, has learned a great deal about how our grants support women’s groups and interests all over the world. Here are four themes that have risen to the top.

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                      Women & Climate: 9 Great Articles & Resources

                      Jul 21, 2014 | No Comments

                      Use these articles and resources to understand the link between gender equality and climate change, and the importance of supporting grassroots women’s voices and leadership.

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