“The seashore belongs to the people of South Africa”

This story originally appeared on Thousand Currents.

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On Saturday, July 8th, the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and KwaZulu-Natal Subsistence Fisherfolk (KZNSFF) organized a fishing walk on the Durban Beachfront Promenade to bring awareness to what fisherfolk are facing in their city. 

Thousand Currents is currently supporting a joint project by SDCEA in South Africa and Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) in Nigeria, called Fish Not Oil. Below is media statement from the day of the walk. It demonstrates how fisherfolk are resisting the intersections of state-sanctioned repression through the guise of security, climate change, food sovereignty, and the inequality of resource distribution.

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Media statement by the KwaZulu-Natal Subsistence Fisher Folk, the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, and all groups that have contributed to today’s event

 

Why are we here today?

The recent rush by oil and gas corporations to explore, mine and drill is of alarm to every person living on our coastline. These same corporations have a track record of spills and harmful operations that have destroyed the oceans, marine life, biodiversity, tourism and sustainable jobs in the Gulf of Mexico, Antarctica, North and South Poles, Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Niger Delta and many other sensitive areas of the Amazon. The most notorious is ExxonMobil, whose most recent boss is now the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. It was recently revealed that Exxon knew about climate change from the late 1970s and Tillerson was involved in a cover-up with catastrophic consequences.

Can we trust this firm to drill for oil just a few kilometres offshore from Durban?

These companies are now launching an all-out frontal attack to get exploratory rights to search for oil and gas near our sensitive Indian Ocean shoreline. This kind of oil and gas exploitation is a Resource Curse. It has not benefitted any of the poor on the African continent. Instead, it has meant increased poverty for the masses and destroyed environments, while a few individuals of the ruling elite, both globally and locally, end up monopolising the profits. Wherever exploratory rights have been granted for mining or seismic testing, this ultimately leads to violence against communities, workers and environments. We witnessed this recently on our Indian Ocean coast with the death in March 2016 of activist Bazooka Rhadebe, whose Amadiba Crisis Committee opposes sand mining by an Australian multinational corporation.

Subsistence fishermen are defined as “fishermen who regularly catch fish for personal and household consumption and engage from time to time in the local sale or barter of excess catch”. The KwaZulu-Natal Fisher Folk and other beach and harbour users have used the entire coastline for hundreds of years. Together with fishermen, boat users, surfers, bathers, tourism operators and all nature lovers want our coastline to remain a site of beauty.

Since 2003, black fisherfolk have experienced harassment and oppression. One example is Metro Rail’s cancellation of the passenger train that carries hundreds of subsistence fisherfolk to the West Station on the Bluff. After a protracted protest, the train was reinstated. Despite this victory, in 2016 fisherfolk experienced Transnet freight rail deliberately stalling the passenger train because they were supposedly unable to repair a collapsed bank. The service is vital for poor subsistence fisherfolk as it is their only means of transport to the poor man’s fishing ground in the harbour where, at the South Pier, they can access deep water large game fish species that otherwise can only be caught by boat.

Following the 911 attacks, government and Transnet took a decision to deny access to subsistence fisherfolk in the Durban harbour in 2004 whilst allowing access to the expensive fishing boats and trawlers in these same fishing grounds. Durban’s municipal government and Transnet used the international ship and port security (ISPS) code to refuse entry to the mainly black fisherfolk, deeming them as potential terrorists and thus criminalising poor people trying to eke out a livelihood. Fisherfolk had to turn to the port regulator to be recognised as port users, thereby forcing the municipality and Transnet to provide access to traditional fishing grounds.

Legitimate fisherfolk who possess fishing licences have been enduring constant harassment, fines and, in some instances, arrest, and are forced to appear in the courts of Durban, only to find that the cases are withdrawn. Other instances of harassment by port security have included fisherfolk having their catches taken from them and their fishing equipment either thrown into the sea or confiscated. These challenges have emanated since fishermen began empowering and educating themselves about human rights injustices. Fishermen have worked together with Ezemvelo Wildlife to develop a mentoring booklet to ensure that endangered fish species are protected and that all policies can be adhered to by all fishermen.

Subsistence fisher folk pay millions of rands, which go into the state treasury, through the purchasing of fishing licences at the post office and yet there is no benefit: no facilities or services in return for their contribution.

Before the World Cup, in 2009, thousands of subsistence fisherfolk who catch sardines and shad as home delicacies were deprived of that opportunity because they were removed from the Durban beachfront on the Golden Mile up to the casino. Without consultation, the eThekwini Municipality signed an agreement with the World Cup organising committee to remove all traders and subsistence fishermen from beachfront and its piers. As fisherfolk were removed, big developments were proposed for some areas of the beachfront. Vetch’s Pier, North Pier and other sections of the coastline are earmarked for development for elite tourists.

The seashore belongs to the people of South Africa. Leasing areas for oil exploration and forcing Durban residents off the coast simply because they fish are against the South African Constitution that assures equality of access to everyone in South Africa.

At previous international events in Durban we have heard municipal government and Transnet officials vowing that no fishing will be allowed on the Durban Beachfront and the Durban harbour. These international events block only the poor and residents, but allow other water sports and expensive shopping brands access to our prestigious beachfront.

In recent news, Ezemvelo Wildlife has been making headlines for the wrong reasons: its staff include dubious appointees. We need a strong Ezemvelo with experienced leaders at the helm. Ezemvelo has a crucial role in our society and have been at the forefront of conservation in KwaZulu-Natal, halting poaching and protecting animals and marine life. Without that strong oversight and enforcement we will not have many of the species we still have today in the province. Although at times they seemed to be harsh and have treated subsistence fisher folk with distaste, we feel that they have been the strongest enforcement bodies in the province, watching our coastline, parks and beaches. Without that oversight we would leave nothing for the present and future generations to view, enjoy or eat.

What we calling for on this day

Government must stop the corporations’ seismic testing and oil and gas exploration on our coastline. If this testing is successful, our national commitments to cut fossil fuel consumption will make oil and gas finds useless as they are ‘unburnable carbon’, given the global urgency of reducing emissions.

Meaningful public hearings must be conducted with all interested and affected parties, including all communities along our entire coastline, to determine whether oil and gas drilling should be allowed. These hearings must also investigate evidence of the oil companies’ history of destruction and impacts on society where they were granted licences, and their contribution to climate change.

We also demand the opening all traditional fishing grounds in Durban, in the Port and on our coastline. The right to fish at South Pier has been a victory for KZN subsistence fisherfolk. However, we need access to the North fishing areas and Grunter Gully re-opened.

eThekwini Parks and Recreational officials must recognise us as ocean users and give us access to the piers on the beachfront and along the coast within their jurisdiction.

Fishing rights allocated to Japanese and Chinese fishing trawlers should be rescinded so that fishing rights and quotas are distributed equally to all South African fisherfolk.

Licensing financial records must be made available and accessible to fishing groups, individuals and organisations.

A policy for subsistence fishermen must be developed that takes their indigent status into account.

A moratorium must be enacted through policy and legislation on chemicals, toxic waste, and brine dumped in the harbour, ocean, rivers and streams. The depletion of fish stocks is partly due to pollution. We call on our government to hold a waste imbizo to discuss solutions to this dumping problem.

Our Victories

The South Pier was opened in 2014 by the then Harbour Master Dennis Mqadi, the port manager Moshe Motlohi and Ports CEO Richard Vallihu. Transnet has finally recognised KZN subsistence fisher folk as a major port user and stakeholder in Durban.

We applaud Transnet’s agreement to open fishing access at the Lucky Dip, which is located opposite the sand pumping station on the North Pier. Transnet management have agreed to provide facilities such the installation of toilets, wash basins, bins and bait boards at Lucky Dip. A proposal by Transnet to jointly hold a fishing competition at Lucky Dip in September with KZNSFF has been welcomed.

Transnet management has agreed to put aside a budget to ensure the North Pier is secure and to fish and will be opened to allow those subsistence fisherfolk with Transnet permits to fish.

A ferry will also be provided by Transnet to take KZN subsistence fisherfolk from the North to the South Pier.

Transnet has agreed to deal with the issues of harassment by Transnet security and SAPS police as long as fishermen comply with all legal status.

EThekwini Municipality has agreed to facilitation by the Durban University of Technology’s Urban Futures Centre to discuss the opening and maintenance of beachfront piers for fisherfolk.

Transnet’s withdrawal of the criminal case of trespassing against the KZN subsistence fisherfolk is a victory for the KZN subsistence fisherfolk.

Way forward

We need the national Department of Minerals and Energy as well as the Petroleum Association of South Africa to place a permanent a moratorium on the granting of any oil and gas exploratory licences. Public hearings must be held as a matter of urgency.

The eThekwini Municipality, government, Transnet and all the departments which have the responsibility for protecting our ocean must work together with civil society to ensure our marine stocks and waters are protected and always available.

To end the dumping of harmful chemicals, there must be an urgent imbizo.

We want to build an inclusive society and this must include access, protection and responsible use of our marine and animal resources. No effort must be spared to ensure the present and future generations also enjoy the fruits of our efforts.

“Globalise the struggle! Globalise hope!”

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By Elizabeth Mpofu, General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, and chairperson of Thousand Currents partner, the Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF).*

There is an African proverb that says:

“If you want to go fast, go alone, but you won’t go far. If you want to go far, go with others.”

I believe that the struggle for Food Sovereignty is captured in the latter part of the proverb. Food Sovereignty is a lasting global solution for how we should relate with nature and people as we feed ourselves.

It is a struggle that requires alliances for fully recognizing and realizing peasants’ rights, and achieving social, economic and ecological equity and equality. This can only be done through collectiveness, in alliance across movements, regions, cultures and genders to ensure global solidarity and effect real change.

To build and realise Food Sovereignty, it is imperative to work and engage with others — peasants, indigenous people, fisherfolk, women, men, progressive researchers, consumers, etc. — to rethink ways and means of farming and mobilisation. By sharing ideas and generating knowledge, we are able to shape a society based on justice and solidarity, build healthy, inclusive communities, and improve social integration and cohesion. La Via Campesina recognizes the importance of alliances and we have joined hands with other social movements and organizations to push for Food Sovereignty in many national and international spaces. As a result, Food Sovereignty is included in some policies, enshrined in constitutions by some countries, while in others, debates continue on what to adopt.

Today, Food Sovereignty is a living concept because of continuing alliance work. It is the struggle for local food systems based on agroecology; access to  local markets; access to and control over productive resources such as land, water, seeds, etc; recognition of peasant rights; and resistance to industrial agriculture, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Transnational Corporations (TNCs).

*This article first appeared in the most recent Nyeleni newsletter, which marked the tenth anniversary of the historic International Forum on Food Sovereignty that was held Mali in 2007.

Unearthing Community Wisdom: Patience, Perseverance, And Partnerships

Sharing an excerpt from the book Smart Risks: How small grants are helping to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. Chapter 7 was authored by Thousand Currents’ Director of Philanthropic Partnerships, Rajiv Khanna.

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In this new volume of 30 essays, 22 authors (including Thousand Currents’ executive director Rajasvini Bhansali and board member Sasha Rabsey) explore how responsive grantmaking, focused on grassroots wisdom and close connections, can make a lasting impact in the Global South.

To learn more (including how to purchase), see: www.smartrisks.org

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From Chapter 7: Unearthing community wisdom: Patience, perseverance, and partnerships

By Rajiv Khanna

It had been almost 15 years. The people of Chhaperiya village in the Indian state of Rajasthan were still working out how to manage a village-owned common pastureland. It seemed the process of building community unity had much in common with the region’s terrain – undulating, rocky, harsh, and cumbersome.

READ MORE ON THE THOUSAND CURRENTS WEBSITE

No binders necessary

 

This post originally appeared on Thousand Currents.

By Katherine Zavala and Rajasvini Bhansali

“Here they are,” her energy frantic as we arrived and sat down in the room she had prepared for our visit.

Before us were 12 large binders, stacked upon the table before us.

“Prudence, what are all these?” we wondered aloud sheepishly, this being the first time we were visiting her office.

 

“Don’t you want to see these?” she said.

“What are they?” we asked again.

“The records from our activities, the participant sign-in’s, the home visits,” she seemed surprised.

This was our first visit to Positive Women’s Network (PWN) in Johannesburg. What we had heard from colleagues back in San Francisco was that it was difficult to communicate with Prudence. But clearly, documentation inside the organization was not a problem.

“We are here because we want to get to know you, to learn about PWN’s work,” we replied. “We don’t need to check these binders.”

“Oh,” Prudence said, somewhat taken aback. “Donors always want to see them.”

We were there as donors indeed, but we were not there as auditors.

We were also not in a hurry, coming in and out on a half day site visit. We explained again (as we had in correspondence prior) that we were there to understand and support the organization’s work. “Policing” wasn’t part of our agenda.

Eventually, she believed us, after the fatigue of servicing so many international donors subsided, and as the trust was built with us over the next two days.

Here is an excerpt from our site visit report from 7 April 2009:

Today we went out to visit support group members and PWN’s work in the township of Wattville, an hour away from central Johannesburg. Currently in Wattville there are 100-150 families that belong to PWN, making it the largest support group. Prudence grew up several years [of her childhood] in Wattville. Her grandmother’s older sister’s family still lives there (nephew and cousin). As we entered the township, Prudence showed us the school she went to and the corner where she used to sell vegetables.

Meeting family members and sharing childhood memories – this is how relationships get built. In that time with Prudence, we also got to see her magic in action, working with the community. We joined a church youth group that PWN supported that was in session, where the kids were having conversations about the realities of their lives in the face of HIV. Topics went from “What you think about guys having multiple girlfriends?” to “Do you know how to prevent yourself from getting HIV?”

 

Thousand Currents Regional Program Director, Katherine Zavala meeting with Prudence’s family in South Africa

Prudence got very excited when one of the young women asked if there was a female condom. Prudence had a sample in her bag and sprung out of her chair to give the kids an impromptu demonstration of how to use it. It was amazing to see Prudence clearly instructing the youth, step-by-step, how to use the female condom, all the while encouraging them to pass it around and touch and feel it – a lesson they would not soon forget.

Prudence shared more of her struggles as the head of an organization over meals and in car rides. It started with the stories she told of other funders’ visits, laughing while chiding the rude and offensive behavior of their staff. She talked of their obsession with quantitative indicators, of exact numbers of how many people were served. She talked of their misrepresentations to the community, raising expectations that PWN wasn’t always able to fulfill. She talked of one donor’s arrival into the townships with armed guards, an egregious display of mistrust, racism, and privilege she never allowed to happen again.

Prudence also revealed that the financial management of PWN was weighing heavily on her. In conversation, we came to find out that she had never before created an organizational budget for PWN.

“I’m just always managing all of the grant budgets,” she explained, and as a result, it was very hard to manage and anticipate organizational needs. This also left PWN very vulnerable if a donor were to pull out.

While she was entirely capable of doing this, she had never been supported to do so. Prudence founded PWN with her gifts of community organizing, public speaking, and fighting the good fight, not on budget development. So we sat with her on the 3rd day of our site visit and together, we created PWN’s first organizational budget. This experience ignited our commitment to creating Thousand Currents’ brand of “capacity building,” i.e. support that fulfills partner-identified needs to strengthen their organizations.

Today, Thousand Currents site visits continue to focus on relationship building and shared learning. We continue to make time to eat together, to listen to each other’s stories.

It’s the difference between a fly-by visitor and a true partner. We arrive to be fully present, to listen, and then collaborate to help you grow and develop over time.

Thousand Currents Regional Program Director, Katherine Zavala meeting with Prudence’s family in South Africa

Thousand Currents Regional Program Director, Katherine Zavala meeting with Prudence’s family in South Africa

A Declaration from Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el Ta Muk’: An International Agroecology Gathering

This past August, food sovereignty practitioners and advocates from 11 countries including Zimbabwe, Mexico, South Africa, Guatemala, USA, Nepal, India, Brazil, Peru, Honduras and Haiti came together in Chiapas, Mexico to exchange their knowledge, practice and experiences at an agroecology learning exchange organized and hosted by Thousand Currents senior partner Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas – D.E.S.M.I.  (Social Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans). The exchange was calle “ekil Kuxlejal-Ich’l Ta K’ (Buen Vivir with respect),” inviting more than 120 indigenous and peasant farmers, movement leaders, indigenous youth, feminists and academic activists to share strategies and offer their commitment of solidarity to one another. The following is a declaration they built together t this international gathering.

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Final Declaration – Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el Ta Muk’

We are and will continue to organize ourselves as communities of Buen Vivir!

 From near and far, our steps were found in these Mayan lands of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico; we have been walking from our lands and from our different nations to live and build together the nation of Buen Vivir!

We set out from our native and indigenous communities from Asia: Nepal, India; from the Americas: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Peru, USA, Brazil and from Africa: South Africa and Zimbabwe.

READ MORE ON THE THOUSAND CURRENTS WEBSITE

#DiasporaDinners: Q&A with Chef Tunde Wey

Chef Tunde Wey @ AiD #DiasporaDinners (May 31, 2017)

Our first-ever #DiasporaDinners: New Orleans event took place in late May 2017, and Nigerian chef-extraordinaire Tunde Wey cooked up a storm for our guests. We chatted to Chef Tunde about his food philosophy and the event’s theme “Resistance + Resilience”

Where are you from and what is your food philosophy?
I'm Nigerian. My (current) food philosophy is probably best summed by Fela Anikulapo Kuti "[food] cannot be for enjoyment"

What does the idea of #DiasporaDinners mean to you?
The premise of the Diaspora Dinner (and not the actual dinners themselves since I haven't been to one) resonates with me. I am rarely in a position where I can talk about my African identity in a critical way-- a way that recognizes the expansiveness of it as part of a continental idea, while still acknowledging the specificity of my particular ethnic, cultural and social history. And this dinner provides that space.

How does that idea show itself in your food and the menu you are producing for the upcoming dinner?
My meditation on my African identity creates in me a sense of freedom. The freedom to use my food to say what I feel is important. A freedom engendered by my perception of my identity, not as limited concept but as infinite, interpretable in myriad ways.

The theme of the dinner is “Resistance + Resilience”. How do those words apply to your life? The life of diasporans?
The theme of the dinner, Resistance + Resilience, is applicable to me, and maybe other diasporans, because it speaks to heritage and history-- the succession of time. I am here because the people before me (my parents), and around me (my siblings, and friends) continually support my existence and expression. They support it through praise and criticism, through teaching- as well as learning from me. Their supports makes me resilient, and my resilience provides the strength to resist. Resist what? My own doubt, whether it is manifested internally or from without.

Thanks Tunde! Read more about his “Blackness in America” Dinner Series here.

Staying the course: Sustainable but not sexy?

This post originally appeared on Thousand Currents.

By Solomé Lemma, Thousand Currents Deputy Director, AiD co-founder

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle." ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lasting change takes time.

It may not be sexy. It may not fulfill our desire for instant gratification. It is certainly not easy.

But it’s how we hedge our bets at Thousand Currents.

Most funders give money in one- to three-year project cycles. Most large-scale global development and philanthropic efforts are still, however, initiated and led by people external to the community, with results that are often limited or short-lived.

Thousand Currents invests in our grassroots partners for as long as it takes. Why? Social and systemic injustice has deep roots. Social transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Why? Lasting change is nonlinear, often unpredictable, and requires efforts at multiple levels.

Even with a 30+-year track record, we are relative novices in the long work of social transformation.

We are driven by a commitment to international solidarity – this incredible idea that standing alongside change-makers and revolutionaries is more powerful than acting upon them with an external agenda. 

To act in solidarity requires relinquishing control, sharing power, and collaborating with humility towards a common goal – no matter how many steps forward and back there are.

In order to accompany our partners responsibly through many cycles of change, we provide long-term, flexible support that follows mutually established goals and outcomes – as opposed to an artificial timeframe. We define the time frame of our partnerships not by months or years, but by outcomes. And those outcomes are co-created with our partners. This long-term approach has enabled us to build trusting and respectful relationships that extend beyond the time-bound transaction of resources and results.

Currently, our senior partnerships have extended beyond 15 years. Because partnership entails a significant commitment, we choose partners carefully, with confidence that the partner organization operates in an accountable, democratic, and transparent way as they organize communities.

By relying on the wisdom and strength of visionary leaders, supporting local initiatives, organizations, and movements with a long-term perspective ensures a readiness for change and ownership of the change process; it reflects cultural, social, political, geographic, and economic realities, and a nuance of understanding that outsiders cannot possess.

Funders can see greater impact if they accept that self-determination and full community inclusion is a process that takes time. The sooner we realize the limitations of our specific, short-term outcomes and metrics-driven mindset, the sooner we allow ourselves and our grantees to realize the vision of social transformation that will create a fairer and more just world.

The climate solutions we need for our survival are already in our midst

By Rajasvini Bhansali, Executive Director

Climate change is a tough subject. It is serious and it is scary. Dig deep – beyond the very real, devastating impacts on communities around the world – and what you find is the reality of global systems of inequality. Legacies of colonial extraction. Concentrations of corporate wealth and political control. Policies based on homogenization, racism, and xenophobia.

And yet, I am not downtrodden. I refuse hopelessness. Thousand Currents has learned some important lessons from over 30 years of solidarity with visionary grassroots leaders, groups, and social movements.

People most impacted by climate crises also have solutions to address these crises. Through Thousand Currents’ long-term partnerships, I know that grassroots climate solutions – that reflect real people’s social, cultural, geopolitical and economic realities simultaneously – are not only possible, they already exist. The very people whose daily lives are impacted most – Indigenous Peoples, small scale farmers, fisherfolks, pastoralists, land stewards to name a few – are taking on these social and environmental injustices and turning them into actions that inspire me, and can inspire you.

LESSON #1: Grassroots solutions demonstrate climate resiliency.

When climate-related disasters hit, grassroots groups like Nari Chetana Kendra, or the Women Awareness Center Nepal (WACN), have predicted the precise infrastructural collapses and are able to respond to the hardest-hit areas that are missed (or even created) by top-down development efforts.

In Guatemala City, for example, our partner Instituto para la Superación de la Miseria Urbana de Guatemala, or the Institute for Overcoming Urban Poverty in Guatemala (ISMUGUA), has built a network of 22 community organizations that have developed evacuation plans and family emergency plans for recurring climate disasters. Since communities are already living in highly vulnerable conditions, ISMU is also strengthening their efforts in regards to housing rights, education, and health to mitigate the longer-term effects of climate change. This led to a national housing law that addresses the right to dignified, healthy and adequate housing, as part of a long-term recovery strategy to disasters.

READ MORE ON THE THOUSAND CURRENTS WEBSITE

None of us are islands

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By Rajasvini Bhansali, Thousand Currents Executive Director

As beings, none of us are islands.

Natural ecological systems or ecosystems demonstrate to us that we survive and thrive because of the interactions between species and elements. This is such an important lesson for all of us working to advance social justice.

The social movements and organizations we support in the Global South are increasingly taking lessons from ecosystems as well. They work in powerfully decentralized ways. For example, La Via Campesina is an international movement working “at scale” with 200 million small holder farmers and peasants all over the world. The movement is not focused on elevating a singular charismatic leader but rather works as a coalition of over 150 organizations around the world. 

Particularly in the international context, we forget that local systems and organized grassroots groups exist in all parts of the world. They are already addressing the most intractable challenges of climate change, rising inequality, and failing food systems.

We need not parachute in to solve peoples’ problems but in fact, ask: What is underfunded? How can we be of greatest use?

Around the world, thousands of brave, visionary grassroots climate solutions practitioners are implementing effective solutions. Grassroots solutions tend to emerge when leaders on the ground draw from and share indigenous, contextual, and collective expertise. They come from making deeper connections to the natural world, and from working directly with families as they cope with the unequal burdens and chaos created by climate change.

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We ARE Thousand Currents!

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Dear friends of AiD, 

As you know, Africans in the Diaspora merged with IDEX in January 2017. On behalf of our board, staff, grantee partners, and supporters, we are pleased to share the news that IDEX is now officially Thousand Currents in name and brand!

Thousand Currents’ strategies remain the same and our commitment to our partners in the Global South is as strong as ever.

We invite you to explore our new website, www.thousandcurrents.org, and of course follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to come! Please add Diaspora Currents, our new Facebook account to your list of Facebook Friends.

Thousand Currents embarked on this change to align our brand more closely with our work. While International Development Exchange - IDEX served us well over the last 30 years, we wanted a name that reflected who we are as an organization focused on exchanging grassroots brilliance.

For us, Thousand Currents is a powerful concept from the natural world. “Currents,” like grassroots leaders and locally-led solutions, have force and direction. “Thousand” includes you, our colleagues and friends. It also reflects the potential in the multitude when small, yet formidable pockets of people power come together. We are all part of a moving, interdependent global picture.

Now officially as Thousand Currents, our brand honors the transformational changes that are upon us - led by women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples in the Global South!

AiD maintains its own communications channels, but you will see this brand change reflected in our media, too. Check out http://thousandcurrents.org/diaspora/ to see our Diaspora program page and feel free to share any feedback with me.

Warmly,

The AiD team