Stories from the Grassroots: The Greengrants Blog
Oct 29, 2014 | No Comments
By Katy Neusteter, Senior Communications Manager
Every other Tuesday, Global Greengrants’ Boulder, Colorado, staff gathers to share “inspiration” from our partners around the world. It’s especially gratifying when we hear about community-led accomplishments like the recent defeat of mega dams in Patagonia, Chile, or the creation of a water system in Tilwari, India, that’s providing local families with fresh, clean water.
But many of these stories take years—if not decades—to come to fruition. So when we heard that a group of young people in Siberia has already achieved something they never imagined possible thanks to a Greengrant we gave just two months ago, it made us downright giddy.
Here is the story. We hope it gives you the same inspiration:
On June 28, 2014, floods and a massive mudslide bulldozed 21 homes and destroyed a school for creative and gifted children in the Siberian town of Arshan. Sitting in a valley at the feet of the snow-capped Sayan Mountains, Arshan is an indigenous community famous for its healing mineral baths and Tibetan Buddhist temple.
Global Greengrants was quick to respond. Just one week after the flood, we made a $2,900 emergency Greengrant to help 34 indigenous young people hold a festival. Their goal was to raise enough money to continue the arts programs once run through their school and still so important to preserving the local culture.
The group traveled from Arshan to the city of Irkutsk for the fundraiser on August 26 festival. They performed traditional songs and dances, and held an auction. They also learned how ecotourism could help rebuild the economy of their village.
The event raised about $9,000 Russian rubles, or $215 US. Not too shabby, and the group was happy with their new fundraising skills.
But then, something amazing happened.
Local media caught wind of the festival and what the young people were trying to do, and word spread like wildfire. The group was invited to be part of a larger fundraiser in September in the nearby city of Ulan Ude. Again, they performed their traditional dances and songs. This time, they raised an amazing $1 million rubles ($24,915 US) to help their community rebuild.
What does this say to us? That the right amount of support to a local project at the right time can give people exactly the boost they need to achieve amazing things.
Congratulations to the young people of Arshan! We hope the positive momentum you have generated gives your entire community strength and hope as it recovers.
Oct 23, 2014 | No Comments
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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.Read more