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GSR Newsletter Special Issue - July 2013


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GSR Newsletter is a monthly publication that Green Self Reliance, Inc. puts out to better inform the world community about all topics that are environmental and empower local communities to sustain strong economies.

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GSR Newsletter Special Issue - July 2013

  1. 1. GSRs Newsletter is a collection of news, reflections, innovations and ideas that our team hasfound important enough to write down and share with you. We hope youll be as excited as weare with all the latest developments around the world and what it means for us all.GSR NewsletterSpecial IssueJuly 2013GSR Jumpstarts through CrowdfundingGreen Self Reliance, Inc. (GSR) willlaunch our crowdfunding effort inJuly 2013. We have had a lot ofexciting developments in theprototype village in DR Congo,which has encouraged us aboutthe feasibility of our model andmotivated us to seek outinvestment to further expand ouroperations to other villageprojects in other regions.However, we’ve come over a fewstumbling blocks to getting ourinvestment. Many organizationsand IGO’s that we are seeking to work with require that we give them aninformed proposal of what we plan to do with the money that they would invest,loan, or grant with us. This requires that data be collected through anassessment before any capital can exchange hands. However, the cost of sendingan assessment team and fully supply them with the materials andaccommodations necessary for an average of two weeks is beyond our currentcapacity to budget as most of our assets are tied into our current operations.That is where crowdfunding comes in. It is a great way to fund our assessmentteams costs which includes not only surveying the landscape on a geographicaland environmental standpoint, but also allows us to talk directly to local leaders,chiefs, and the national government in order to strike a deal with the country.We get to know the nature of the local economy, custom, and politics so that wecan calculate and predict what is the best methods and course of action to takewith dealing with that specific rural community.We ask that our supports and followersof our website, blog, newsletter, andsocial media help spread the wordabout our crowdfunding campaign. Thisis not simply a charity drive. In the pastfew months, we’ve been busy behindthe scenes trying to get in touch withthe best green companies to offer thebest rewards (products and services)for our campaign so that you can getthe most out of contributing to ourcause. It will give us the boost we need to get going on empowering smallfarmers and rural communities across Africa and the rest of the developingworld. Small farmers are the undiscovered gold mine of the world, let’s helpthem participate fully in the global economy!
  2. 2. How to Employ and Empower the WorkforceAfrica often conjures up images of never-ending famine, unrest and civil wars.GSR intends to help demonstrate that Africa can become a stable andprosperous partner in the global economy. For true prosperity to take root, itmust extend to the hundreds-of-millions of people currently unemployed andstruggling just to earn life’s bare necessities. The method that GSR will use toreduce unemployment to nil and increase income for small farmers and cottageindustry entrepreneurs is the village corporation. The unique contribution ofGSR is to build a co-operative styled corporation in terms of Africa’s traditionalvillage culture and have it focus on the local economy.Instead of top downeconomic developmentplanning – formulated inNew York or Washingtonand pushed onto theaffected local communitieswithout considering theneeds and concerns of therural communities, GSRworks together withcommunities. We helpthem to incorporate, andbecomes a partner notonly help develop theirvillage economy putpersonally enrich their lives. The village development corporation is jointlyowned by the members of the community. It is a catalyst for stable and evenrapid development improving the overall quality of life and is environmentallysustainable. The village corporation maximizes employment and income levelsand minimizes risk for its members by functioning as a marketing cooperative aswell as a community store and bank. The people then can progress as acommunity more effectively than they could when everyone was struggling awayalone.GSR appreciates this model’s capacity to proliferateas it is highly adaptive to the demands and needs ofthe local markets. We hope that as this modelproves effective in Africa, people in developednations will look to this model as a means forempowering workers in their own ruralcommunities. In eight years of building theprototype project in DR Congo, the villagecorporation now has thousands of membersearning over three times their previous income.Last year, village corporation stakeholdersharvested over 30,000 tons of rice, corn and over100 other organically grown crops. The membersare reforesting areas in which every tree had beencut down by planting thousands of fruit trees aspermaculture orchards. The surrounding communities have demanded that theybe included in the prototype project.GSR has ambitious plans to expand our programs in other African countries. Bytaking advantage of billions of dollars of development aid available from India(where we have had good reception from government officials about our villagecorporation model), GSR will be able to expand operations swiftly andprolifically.One good example of this planned rapidproliferation is in Ghana. Ghana currentlyimports $100 Million worth of palm oil (theirmain cooking oil). However, tens of thousandsof small farmers have planted palm on theirland which is currently not processed intopalm oil. Because at present there are noappropriately sized mills locally available toturn raw palm fruit into a refined product. GSRwill not only build adequate sized mills(plentifully) but will further enhance localpurchasing power by establishing a chainof markets and promote the growth of local
  3. 3. of markets and promote the growth of localsmall businesses to sell goods to its membersat the locally affordable price. These storeswould focus on supplying products producedby members, rather than importing name brand but expensive similar products.Within five to six years, the cooperative would buy out local GSR properties andmanage the mills and stores themselves.This gives a brief description of our work to date and our ambitious plannedprojects. We intend to not only expand the scope of our work rapidly asopportunity permits, but we will also popularize this work with the rest of theworld by making use of all forms of social media.Solutions for World Hunger and Malnutrition?World Hunger and Malnutritionstill plague our world well into the21st century. With the UNDPmeeting incremental successes forso many of its MillenniumDevelopment Goal’s we can nowbe optimistic that we CAN tacklethis chronic social problem andresolve it. However, adaptableplans must be devised and implemented. Gone are the days when donating abumper crop from the Mississippi as foreign aid is enough. Today we haverealized that such donations of food, though in good faith has served to onlycripple the local African agricultural economies and most of the food remains inthe cities and does not penetrate deep into the heartland of Africa, the ruralcommunities.Overall, attention in the development community is shifting from foreign aid toeconomic development for both rural and urban areas. The idea is that the localeconomy will be the best, if not permanent solution, for Sub-saharan Africa tofeed, cloth, educate, and provide jobs to its own peoples. What the developmentcommunity is morphing into is a catalyst to promote local empowerment andgrowth.GSR is at the cusp of this innovativemovement. We work with locals tonot only train and develop theirinfrastructure (thus connectingthem to local markets and the globaleconomy) but also we support thegrowth of new sectors of commerceand industry so that communitiescan become truly self-reliant andnon-dependant on foreign aid,instead they become productivemembers of the world economy andparticipate as an equal partner in business and trade. GSR plans to set up acommunity bank in every project that we work to help promote the growth ofsmall businesses which we believe if the heart and lifeblood of the every nation’seconomy. This is the general idea and core vision of what GSR believes is localcommunity empowerment.Empowerment can not only resolve the social problem of starvation and civilunrest and can help to improve the overall standard of living of a onceimpoverished community.The Untapped Energy ResourceWhen your car is low on fuel, you simply drivearound the corner to the nearest gas station, fillyour tank up, slide your credit card, and in acouple of minutes you’re off. It’s simple! Actuallyit’s not so simple. There is a massive trillion dollarinfrastructure that brings fossil feuls out of theground, transports it around the globe, refines itand brings it to your neighborhood gas station.The current centralized energy business modelforces local economies to fit the demands of the
  4. 4. bottom line. In rural communities, the lack ofaffordable power makes strong economic growth appear unattainable, trappingthe people in rural communities in the vicious cycle of poverty.Our energy consumption is unsustainable. The search is on for betteralternatives. Renewable energy like solar and wind simply won’t be enough.Even throwing in “clean” coal, natural gas, tar oil sand mining and nuclear energywon’t be enough.GSR‘s alternative is ideal for villages in the developing world – community basedlow cost self-reliant energy systems. Solar energy and wind power are graduallybecoming cheaper and a more economically viable alternative. GSR would like tosuggest one more system that is especially suited for underdeveloped ruraleconomies – cow power.Each GSR village will be home to about 5000 cows/oxen. The manure from thesebovines, when put into bio-digesters, will produce methane gas and pathogenfree organic fertilizer. The methane gas will run a 300 Kw generator. This willproduce enough electricity for all the energy requirements in the village –industrial, commercial and residential.Methane gas from manure accounts for more than 25% of all greenhousegasses. On top, there are more strong financial paybacks from cow power:· Oxen can be trained to plow and haul goods –each ox does the work offive men.· The cows can be allowed to graze in fields after harvesting and they willeat the stubble left thoroughly manure the field, making it ready for thenext planting season· The cows provide their own replacements free. No tractor will do that.The herd is therefore indefinitely self sustaining· Once the herd reaches optimum size, surplus calves can be sold to helpstart other herds· Free milk· When the cows die, their skin and carcass can be sold· There will be enough methane gas for cooking and firing the kilns in localbrick making industriesThe community will derive on average over$25,000 per cow from these various incomestreams over the course of the cow’s life. Theherd will provide over $20 Million in valueannually to the community economy. Once themanure is broken down in the bio-digestersand all the methane gas extracted, what’s left is4,000 tons of fertilizer? Enough to enrich 4,000hectares of farmland. The oxen will performthe heaviest labor – hauling and plowing. Andthe manure will provide free electricity, topquality organic fertilizer and nutritious milk.Follow on Twitter Friend on Facebook Connect on LinkedInCopyright © 2013 Green Self Reliance, Inc., All rights reserved.Visit our website: emailing address is:||