Steve’s Field Notes: Regenerate in 2017
Now more than ever, we need to create farming, food systems and local economies that regenerate our land, our families’ health, and our communities. We also need to regenerate our hope, solidarity and commitment.
That is what Groundswell International is all about – connecting circles of people who work together to build that desired future. Just focusing on extracting resources for short-term gains won’t solve the long-term challenges we face locally or globally.
Over and over, I’ve witnessed the rural people we work with in incredibly challenging circumstances – from Haiti to Nepal, from Burkina Faso to Honduras – doing this work of regeneration. With a little support, they restore barren land, grow enough food to feed their families, and earn more income. They organize to improve their farms, create savings co-ops and seed banks, and make local governments more democratic.
In Senegal, I recently visited rural women who we are helping to create savings and credit groups and establish vegetable gardens. They call their group a ‘calabash’, depositing their collective savings each month in a gourde bowl. By joining forces in this way, they don’t just grow their savings. They grow more food, solidarity, knowledge, esteem, income, health, and community.
In 2017, Groundswell International has exciting plans to continue to build on this work. We will:
- Publish our book, Fertile Ground: Scaling Agroecology from the Ground Up, featuring case studies from around the world.
- Spread ecological agriculture to a growing number of communities in West Africa (Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal), strengthen women’s leadership, and ensure that children are well nourished.
- Dynamize our partnerships in Latin America to strengthen local markets that connect family farmers and consumers.
- Build resilience to climate change.
- Demonstrate how we can all create people-centered approaches that regenerate communities.
Please join the women of Senegal in our global ‘calabash,’ by committing to a sustaining monthly contribution. By joining forces together, we can change lives together.
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With warm wishes for the new year,