Groundswell is truly a partnership between like minded individuals throughout Latin America, West Africa, South Asia and the U.S.; who are striving to create positive social change and drawing upon decades of shared experience in effective social change and work with marginalized rural communities.
Our collective assets include:
Groundswell members share a commitment to contributing to the paradigm and practice of people-centered development.
The process is about farmers constantly innovating with nature, regenerating barren land, growing more food and earning more income for education, health care and other needs. It is a process that continues season after season, and spreads farmer-to-farmer. Community organizations must become strong so they can sustain their work long after external support ends. Farmers must gain a seat at the table to shape policies that allow their local efforts to thrive. This is the step-by-step work that Groundswell International does. We work with our partners and communities around the world to build healthy farming and food systems from the ground up. Lankoande Francois is a powerful example of that. I met him a couple of months ago in Burkina Faso, and was amazed by what he and his family have accomplished since 2012. Your support has made that possible. Now Lankoande is also a part of a local farmer-to-farmer movement we are supporting that is reaching over 10,000 families to greatly improve their farms and food production like this. To do this work, we need to guarantee that we can accompany farmers like Lankoande along this journey, month-by-month. If you are able, please join us in that commitment. For $10 a month or more, you will join Groundswell as a sustaining monthly donor and be there every step of the way.
Together we can get there.
-- Steve Brescia, Executive Director and Co-Founder
Few places face greater challenges to rural development than Haiti, yet nearly 60% of the country’s people still live in rural areas and are dependent on small-scale agriculture. Their rural livelihoods are under increasing stress, and then of course, there are the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake and the ongoing cholera pandemic.
Since 2009, Groundswell has partnered with Partenariat pour le Développement Local (PDL), a Haitian NGO, to address these challenges. We believe in and have articulated a 10-year vision of a prosperous and sustainable Haitian countryside as the foundation for national development. Together, Groundswell and PDL support numerous peasant organizations, representing over 250,000 people living in rural areas of Artibonite, Northeast, North, and West Departments. Our programs work to build the capacity of these peasant organizations and communities to lead their own development processes and to sustainably improve their agriculture, livelihoods, health, and resiliency.
Farmers in Burkina Faso are suffering from the combined impact of a severe deterioration of their natural resource base, climate change, inadequate farming techniques and significant population growth. Everyday the danger of widespread famine grows.
Since 2010, Groundswell has worked with Association Nourrir Sans Détruire (ANSD), our partner in Burkina Faso, to strengthen community-led processes that can reverse this downward trend. Our program is improving the lives of thousands of farm families living in eastern Burkina Faso by spreading practical ecological farming methods (also known as agroecology) as well as sustainable livelihood solutions.
Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration of Trees (FMNR) is one of the most promising agroecological practices for the region. FMNR combined with other ecological agriculture techniques, such as rainwater harvesting and composting to increase organic matter in soils, dramatically increases food production and improves community resilience.
Collapsing soil fertility, climate change and other factors are threatening the lives and livelihoods of family farmers in Mali and elsewhere in West Africa. In Mali, Burkina Faso and northern Ghana, some innovative farmers have successfully developed agro-ecological solutions, but formidable policy and institutional forces inhibit the spread of these strategies.
In 2013, Groundswell launched a two-year initiative called “Scaling Farmer-led Agroecology in West Africa”, partnering with experienced organizations in Burkina Faso (Association Nourrir Sans Détruire), Ghana (Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development), and Mali (Sahel Eco). These organizations have excellent track records and complementary skills in strengthening farmers’ organizations, promoting agroecology, generating documentation for the spread of effective practices, policy analysis and advocacy. This program amplifies their current work strengthening farmers’ and women’s organizations.
Despite ambitious grassroots efforts to address the worrisome consequences of modern food systems, Ecuador still struggles to break free of forms of thinking, organizing and doing that underpin the foundation of our unhealthy food system. As a result, the country is heading towards a spiral of socio-environmental decline.
Since 2010, Groundswell International and EkoRural, an Ecuadorian NGO, have worked together to strengthen the capacity of community organizations in rural Ecuador to lead their own development processes that improve local food production and resilience and reinforce local food systems. The program is also strengthening local seed systems, promoting biodiversity (through more diverse local farming systems), and scaling-up alternative food networks that connect small-scale farmers to urban consumer markets in order to empower and increase income generation in rural communities while providing low-income urban families with access to healthy, affordable local food.
The widespread, rapid decline in soil fertility in Ghana is reaching crisis proportions due to multiple, intertwined factors, making it ever more difficult for family farmers to grow enough food.
Since 2010, Groundswell has worked with the Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD) to address the soil crisis and resulting food shortages by spreading the adoption of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration of Trees (FMNR) and complementary agro-ecological farming practices.
These agroecological methods and techniques are improving rural livelihoods and food security through increases in food and fuel wood production, increased abundance of fodder for livestock and access to natural resource-based enterprise development. This in turn is contributing to enhanced resilience to climate change and reduced risk in rural communities by revitalizing the natural resources on which rural families depend.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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