Stories from the Grassroots: The Greengrants Blog

Share this page

    Indigenous young people bring hope to their Siberian town

    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:

    Arshan youth

    Young people from Arshan in Siberia, performing in a fundraiser to rebuild their school. Photo: Nikolya Perno

    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.

    View and Post Comments »

    Share this page

      How U.S. media is bungling the ebola crisis

      Oct 23, 2014 | No Comments

      On a recent trip to Mali, Deputy Director of Programs, Allison Davis, noticed that local TV stations focused on the human tragedy of ebola—not on the fear it is causing. One would think we might do more of the same in the United States—balance our worry with more heartfelt concern for the thousands so dramatically affected. Keep reading >>

      Read more

      Share this page

        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.

        Read more

        Share this page

          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.

          Read more

          Share this page

            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.

            Read more

            Share this page

              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.

              Read more

              Share this page

                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.

                Read more

                Share this page

                  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.

                  Read more

                  Share this page

                    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

                    Share this page

                      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.

                      Read more