Stories from the Grassroots: The Greengrants Blog
May 13, 2013 | No Comments
|Ivan Torafing is an advisor with Global Greengrants Fund’s Next Generation Climate Board and an indigenous youth leader for Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network.|
For indigenous peoples, criminalization is not new. We have already been criminalized for many years—hundreds of years even. Still, the criminalization of activists or mere community members creates fear and intimidation, particularly among the indigenous youth.
In the Philippines, we have what is called “red-tagging,” in which we are marked as friends of the communist movement. It is very hard because we find ourselves vulnerable to human rights violations. Not just physical assault, but also abductions and killings. We have so many friends and colleagues who are already not part of the movement because of such happenings.
It is true that fear and intimidation caused by this criminalization is a very real limitation for the movement. But the reality is that we have no choice. We have no choice but to pursue these kinds of struggles. Our communities are already in dire situations. So we have no choice but to fight.
Of course, being an activist or full-time organizer is very hard. Not only because you are sacrificing other opportunities like economic benefits, but also because you’re putting your life itself in such a difficult situation.
Solidarity or financial support is only one thing. International NGOs play a very critical role because they have a platform in which they can do many things. They can expose conditions and the realities on the ground. They can lobby governments.
One of our elder leaders, who was assassinated by unidentified elements of the military in 2006, once said that until our right to self-determination is recognized, then our struggle will not end. Even if it means the sacrifice of our lives to achieve freedom, then so be it. So for us indigenous youth, criminalization is a driving force to continue the struggles our elders started.
Apr 11, 2013 | No Comments
Executive Director Terry Odendahl reports from the Council on Foundations annual conference. Read her thoughts on why U.S. foundations should pay more attention to the rest of the world.Read more
Apr 9, 2013 | 2 Comments
Women manage every aspect of farm work, but are not considered farmers. They toil in the fields—planting, sowing, weeding, and harvesting—but are not landowners. But in fact, the majority of the female workforce in India is engaged in agriculture. Rucha Chitnis looks at gender inequality in the fields of India and how grantmakers should respond to create positive change.Read more
Apr 3, 2013 | No Comments
With a glimmer of satisfaction in his eye, the village elder stood stoically on the large concrete box that protects Tilwari, India’s water supply. But there was more than just happiness in the village elder’s eye. There was pride. Pride that his community built the water system itself.Read more
Mar 8, 2013 | 2 Comments
In honor of International Women’s Day 2013, our outspoken Executive Director talks about the relationship between women’s rights and environmental activism, and why Global Greengrants Fund is prioritizing grantmaking with a gender lens.Read more
Mar 7, 2013 | One Comment
This is the first in a four-part series on women’s role in agriculture in India. Rucha Chitnis is the South Asia Program Director of Women’s Earth Alliance and an advisor to Global Greengrants Fund. She recommends grants in Jharkhand and West Bengal.Read more
Feb 21, 2013 | 3 Comments
Climate change is already altering life on our planet. Sea levels are rising, storms are striking with unprecedented intensity, and farmlands are becoming virtual deserts. In Africa alone, as many as 185 million people will die this century because of… Read more
Feb 21, 2013 | 2 Comments
A Dutch court ruled on January 30 that Royal Dutch Shell is responsible for a series of spills that devastated a Nigerian community. The milestone ruling sets a precedent that multinational climate polluters can be held accountable for environmental damage they cause in impoverished, resource-rich countries like Nigeria.Read more
Feb 20, 2013 | One Comment
In a major step forward for global climate and human rights, paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper has promised to stop bulldozing Indonesia’s rainforests. But in attributing APP’s new policy solely to market pressure, U.S. media have glaringly omitted the role grassroots activists have and will continue to play in holding APP accountable for its environmental and human rights record.Read more
Feb 14, 2013 | No Comments
Global Greengrants Fund’s Executive Director meets women and men affected by industrialization, mining, violence, and development in India. Here, she shares some thoughts and photos.Read more