Global south development magazine October 2012


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Global south development magazine October 2012

  1. 1. GLOBAL SOUTH#1 1 , Oct 201 2, A development quarterly Development MagazineISSN: 1 799-0769, www.silcreation.orgInitiatives and People Inspiring Action and Promoting Sustainable Development from Around the World
  2. 2. Letter to the editorGlobal Editorial Team Microfinance needs institutions and evenGlobal South Development Magazine is a quarterly magazine an overhaul individuals involved inpublished by Silver Lining Creation, Finland. The magazine covers a I read your investigative microfinance activities.wide range of developmental issues primarily of the developing world feature about microfinance in In soand is an initiative of freelance writers and development activists from Bangladesh, and based on my manydifferent parts of the world. own experience with discussions I Microfinance, I can say that always ask:Editor-in-Chief you made a good diagnosis of MicrofinancManoj Kr Bhusal so many complexities attached e is to it. for whom ? In my opinion, microfinance And thatAssistant Editor should be carried out in a instantlyIoulia Fenton makes me holistic manner, but that seems like an odd charater inEditorial Assistants very hard because it requires otherwise a smooth story.Carolynn Look almost a complete overhauling Ramon M., Rangpur,Dinesh Poudel of the system. There are BangladeshSuraj Chand idealogical issues ofRegional Editors Women of the democracy in the region. I am not very pessimistic,Lingson Adam (East Africa) evolution ! but it will take a significantKhalid Hussain (South Asia) Your latest issue was a good amount of time and effort toNoah Marwil (Latin America) read. But I would have called it properly establish womensCatriona Knapman (The Middle East) women of the evolution rights in the region and mereEdvin Arnby Machata (West Africa) instead of women of the legal provisions and seasonal revolution as women revolutions wont be enoughtSpecial Correspondents empowerment in the Middle for that.Mary Namusoke (Women’s issues in Africa) East has a long andRoxanne Irani (Global environmental issues) Fatima M, Cairo EgyptSandeep Srivastava (Climate change) evolutionary history.Aliza Amlani (Global Health) The Arab Spring was notDeanna Morris (Livelihood & Global Economic Affairs) fought forAparna S Patankar (Global Education) womens rightsKate Kardol (Development Aid & Conflict States) per se, but just toHriday Sarma (South-to-South Development Cooperation) bring downIrene Nyambura Mwangi (Development & Democracy in Africa) reckless dictators.Debora Di Dio (Food Soverignty and Rural Livelihoods) The movement wasnt caused byCountry Correspondents Twitter orVictoria Lucy Peel Yates (Argentina) Facebook either.Tithe Farhana (Bangladesh) Neither it wasDr. Lykke E. Andersen (Bolivia) particularly aimedMarita Haug (Brazil) at consolidatingJames Belgrave (Burundi)Gareth Mace (Cambodia) Focus more on citizen NGO/INGO workers, but in myMeerim Shakirova (Central Asia) opinion, GSDM shouldFady Salah (Egypt) journalismEmily Cavan Lynch (DR Congo) I have been reading Global promote citizen journalism andDr.P.V.Ravichandiran (India) South Development Magazine encourage the locals toas far as writeAlphonce Gari (Kenya)Jaya Jung Mahat(Nepal) for a while now and I love it. about themselves, and I have understood, theSamuel Adikpe (Nigeria) However, like many other magazine is all about that.Ricardo Morel (Peru) development publications, Even in the developingMohamud Hassan (Somalia) GSDM faces the danger of world, selecting unbiased,Moses C Masami (Tanzania) parachute journalism. independentKimbowa Richard (Uganda) There reporters is aJasen Mphepo (Zimbabwe) seem to be quite a few daunting task local, citizen as many journalists people do have Published By writing about their own Silver Lining Creation ry-Finland their own personal interests and Email: issues, but hidden many of agendas, but I GSDM think in any ISSN 1799-0769 reporters case they can Subscribe the magazine for free at seem to be western do a better job NGO workers working in the to reporting theirwhen it comes local developing world, and at times communities, problems they the reporting seems very face and the solutions they have shallow. found. Nothing against the Sujata C. New Delhi, India
  3. 3. Global South Development Magazine, Founded in 2010 October 201 2 ISSUE 1 0 WWW.SILCREATION.ORGInitiatives and People Inspiring Action and Promoting SustainableDevelopment from Around the World- Page 114 Introduction: Unsung Heroes and Inspiration for Change5 South in the Frame: Photos from Mali and Afghanistan6 News Analysis: Global South7 Photo Essay: Life in Post-War Nicaragua27 Country Profile: The Republic of Singapore29 Tips from the Field: Improving Education Means Investing in Educators31 Gender & Development: Can Family Work as a Human Rights Defender in theDeveloping World?32 China: Graffiti on the Great Wall: the Hidden Street Art Culture of Beijing34 Food Security & Nutrition: Rural Women in Bangladesh: the Key to Food Security &Nutrition37 Women Entrepreneurship: Helena Lutege: A Female Entrepreneur Transforming theLives ofThousands in Tanzania38 Refugees: The Worlds Largest Refugee Camp- What is the Future for Dadaab?40 Latin America: Honduras: Violence, Repression and Impunity Capital of the World42 Development in the News
  4. 4. Introduction GSDM Inspiration Issue By PAULA FYNBOH GSDM guest contributor While watching the U.S. Presidential Senator on a Citizen’s Lobby Day I was debates last week, a friend of mine asked working on several years ago. The me an interesting question: “If you woman was so nervous to have a became the First Lady, what would be conversation with her elected official that your platform?” Beyond thinking about she was visibly shaking. I tried to re- the issues I care most about, I found assure her that she didn’t need to have all myself day-dreaming about what it the answers; she just needed to tell her "It’s easy to feel would be like to have the power to story. Her personal story was more influence an entire country, focus their compelling that any pie graph I had paralyzed by all the collective will and really make a dent in stuffed away in my brief case. world’s problems and improving the lives of people around the world. While this is a noble goal, it’s As we began the meeting, the volunteer advocate (I’ll call her Kris) think that there is no also a seductive trap. Very often we feel forgot all her talking points, but way we, as everyday like we need to either know everything proceeded to pull out her family photo individuals, can begin to about an issue or be in a recognized high- album and showed the Senator the people profile position to enact change. in her life that lost their lives to cancer. make an impact" However, real people everywhere are A brother. A nephew. A mom. A best proving this wrong. friend. I think about the anger, apathy and The bill that we were advocating for confusion that Ioulia Fenton mentions eventually passed. The piece of "This month, as we hear feeling after reading countless legislation and all the elected officials about overwhelming environmental and economic books in her “Be the Change You Want to See” and influential advocacy groups that supported it were hailed in the press, but social problems, let’s book challenge article this month. It’s there was no mention of Kris, a regular, challenge ourselves to easy to feel paralyzed by all the world’s every-day person who did what she could not feel paralyzed by our problems and think that there is no way in 15 minutes of her time to make the we, as everyday individuals, can begin to world a better place, simply by telling seemingly lack of power make an impact. This is a very real her story. No fancy degree, title or facts to affect these feeling and I hear it on a regular basis from the every-day citizens I work with and figures necessary. This month, as we hear about conditions or believe on civil society campaigns across the overwhelming social problems, let’s that we can’t affect globe. We tend to feel that if we can’t do challenge ourselves to not feel paralyzed change without an it all or know all the answers, then it’s by our seemingly lack of power to affect not worth trying. these conditions or believe that we can’t esteemed title or This is the danger that we as NGOs affect change without an esteemed title or credentials. Let’s not and civil society organizations create when we lift up and celebrate only the credentials. Let’s not forget that everyday people matter. forget that everyday best of the best of us. People like Nget After all, if the rural women in people matter" Thy from the Cambodian Center for the Bangladesh, featured in Debora Di Dio’s Protection of Childrens Rights in Gareth article this month are transforming food Mace’s article and Helena Lutege, the security and nutrition for their entire female entrepreneur from Tanzinia in community by fetching water for their Mary Namusoke’s piece certainly families, planting crops and caring for deserve our attention and recognition, but children aren’t waiting to become First so do the many nameless and faceless Lady to fulfill their platform, there’s no among us, like the person who simply reason I need to wait either. asked Chinese Graffiti Artist, Zhang Dali, “Who are you?” and sparked a Paula Fynboh is an independent nation-wide dialogue in Carolynn Look’s contractor and consultant who article: Graffiti on the Great Wall: The specializes in capacity building, story Hidden Street Art Culture of Beijing. telling, civic engagement and I remember bringing a woman with grassroots participation. She can be me to the U.S. Capitol to meet with her reached at Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 4
  5. 5. Global South In the FrameMalian refugees in Damba camp / Eight years old Abubakrim, lies down on the ground inside the health center in Damba refugee camp with his motherFadmata checking on him. Photo: UNHCR/H CauxWheat fields in Salang, Parwan Province, Afghanistan. In Afghanistan 12 to 15 percent of land is arable. Approximately 1.5 million hectaresconsists of rain-fed land and farmers depend on rains for agricultural production. UN Multimedia/Fardin Waezi. Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 5
  6. 6. News Analysis Global SouthPAKISTAN: Qualityeducation still a long way off SEVARÉ, 8 October 2012 (IRIN) - Children as young as 14 are joining military training camps run by militias in southern Mali preparing to fight Islamist groups in the north. At the same time, Islamist groups in the north are recruiting children as young as 11 to man checkpoints, gather intelligence, search vehicles and patrol the streets in Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, according to aid agencies and human rights groups. Fatoumata Tall, a 16- year-old from Ségou in south-central Mali, had never held a rifle before coming to a militia training camp in Sevaré, in central Mali about 45km from the Islamist-held north. After six months of rigorous training mainly from former soldiers in the Malian army, she is ready for battle, saying she cannot accept the occupation, or the Islamists imposing Sharia in her - 2015 Education MDG in jeopardy country. “I am determined to fight... Our goal is to - 30% of population gets less than 2 years of education liberate the north. Whatever the price, we can’t abandon our people,” she told IRIN. - Policy hinders progress" In Sevaré alone, hundreds of youths and children, many of them 14 or under, are living and training in run-down barracks or school-buildings.ISLAMABAD, 9 October 2012 (IRIN) - As evening attend school, according to a 2011 report by the They spend hours each day learning how to use aapproaches in the centre of Pakistan’s capital Pakistan Education Task Force (PETF), a body gun, simulating hand-to-hand combat, andIslamabad, children gather at a small playground, which includes senior education officials and exercising.chatting and laughing. It is a scene played out in independent experts. Calling themselves the FLN, or the Liberationcountless parks across the country, but the children The UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Front of the North, most are proud to be here andare not here to play after school - they are here to Organization (UNESCO) said in 2010 that 30 many have come without their parents’ knowledgeattend one. percent of Pakistan’s population lives in a state of or approval. “It’s my country and I’m doing For three hours every evening, free classes run “extreme educational poverty” - receiving less than whatever it takes to defend it,” said Fatoumatahere for anyone who wants to attend, with the idea two years of education. Tall, explaining that her parents would force her tobeing that some of the many children who live on “We could clearly see that an emergency was leave immediately if they knew where she was.Islamabad’s streets, or work in its markets and unfolding. Fifty percent of children of primary One camp holds 1,000 youths, another 400,houses, might benefit. school age were not attending school or not according to militia trainer Col Ibrahima Outtara, Mohammad Ayub, who runs the unofficial completing it,” said Shahnaz Wazir Ali, social sector though IRIN was unable to verify these, began teaching children whose parents adviser to the prime minister and PETF co-chair, The militia are short on arms and have tocould not afford to send them to school in 1988. adding: “We can no longer treat the education sector borrow guns from the Malian army for weapons- Despite the fact that state-run primary schools do with a business-as-usual approach.” training, said leaders at FLN camp just outside ofnot charge fees and many provide free textbooks, PETF reckons the economic cost to Pakistan of Mopti. The government promised food, equipmentother expenses (such as stationery, uniforms and not educating its people effectively translates into and funding but it never materialized, so trainerstransportation) mean that for many poor families, hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity. rely on handouts from the local population to getschools are unaffordable. by. “It became quite popular and many parents who None of the youths IRIN spoke to had eatencouldn’t afford a meal - forget education - would A success story more than one meal of rice per day.send their children to my little school in the Many of those who have finished Ayub’s informal One of the drivers behind a military coup thatevenings,” Ayub said. school in Islamabad have gone on to complete high ousted President Amadou Toumani Touré in March The school, which relies on volunteers and school and college, and today have jobs they could was the long-term neglect and marginalization ofdonations, is one of dozens of informal institutions never have dreamed of. Ayub estimates that 20 the Malian army, which needed more manpower,in the capital which are helping to educate children. percent of the students finish grade 10, with around weaponry and better training to take on Islamists in Pakistan has made limited progress in improving 10 percent going on to complete degrees at colleges. the north. In what Reuters described as athe quality and reach of its education system, and Many, like Yasmin Nawaz, a 30-year-old mother of “spectacular own goal” the political havoc in themillions of children are missing out on schooling three who graduated from the school in 1994, south was a contributing factor to Tuareg rebelsaltogether in what the governments of Pakistan and became teachers themselves. and Islamist groups taking control in the north.the UK have termed an “education emergency”. “I finished middle school, grade 8. My parents Tall hopes to join the army when she Despite making education a fundamental couldn’t afford to send me to high school, but “graduates” but Mohammad Maiga, a formerconstitutional right in 2010, Pakistan has no chance Master Ayub said I must,” Nawaz said. “He paid for soldier who directs one of the camps, said heof fulfilling its Millennium Development Goal of my textbooks and my exam registration fee, and in knows recruits will not be accepted as they areachieving universal education by 2015. return, I taught here at the school. I then taught under-age. Over seven million primary-aged children do not elsewhere as well.” Mali is a party to the Convention of the Rights Despite the clear return on this investment and of the Child and its Optional Protocol, barring recruitment of children under 18. Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 6
  7. 7. News Analysis Global SouthPakistan’s pledge to spend at least 4 percent of its “After I study here, I understand my lessonsGDP on education, that figure has been decreasing. really well. I don’t forget and do well in tests,”Education spending today stands at less than 1.5 Samuel said.percent of Pakistan’s GDP, according PETF. “The government recognized this problem early Lack of resources not the only problemon. We’ve been working hard, on our own and with Meanwhile, Ayub says: “Do I think theour major partners, especially the British education system in Pakistan has let the children ofgovernment, to improve the situation,” Ali said. this country down? Sure… But the reason for that“Much more needs to be done but the government is not lack of resources. If resources were an issue,has taken some significant decisions and where did they get money for all these schoolimplemented them too.” buildings where teachers don’t teach… There’s just MBABANE, September 2012- The practice of men These efforts include investments in teacher no will to improve the situation.” marrying underage girls - which has been antraining, infrastructure and providing textbooks to Experts agree that just throwing money at the accepted social norm for centuries but has beenstudents, but it is not merely a matter of getting problem will not solve it, and that policy and linked in recent years to the spread of HIV - waschildren into school. The quality of their education governance are issues that have to be dealt with at recently declared illegal in Swaziland.also needs to be addressed, analysts say. the same time to achieve any lasting results. Known in SiSwati as ‘kwendizisa’, the marriage “One of the solutions you hear to the problems “Money is one of the main issues, but there is a of an adult man to an underage girl was consideredin Pakistan’s education sector is for the private problem with how policies are made. And they are a legal “grey area” prior to the promulgation of thesector to step up and fill the gap,” Abbas Rashid, constantly changed, not using the research that has Children’s Protection and Welfare Act of 2012.executive director of the independent Society for been carried out on the sector,” said Fareeha Zafar, According to the 2005 Swaziland constitution,the Advancement of Education, told IRIN. an independent education expert. some customary practices are allowed unless they“Around 30 percent of students are attending conflict with constitutional clauses.private schools, but what kind of education are “Swazi men marrying girls once the girls enterthey getting?” Accountability puberty is not a customary law. It is not mandatory. “There is the issue of governance, there are no It is tolerated because it has always been done. ButPoor quality accountability mechanisms. For example, even if times are changing, and Swaziland has the highestPrivate schools, analysts say, are preferred by you do have sufficient teachers - which we don’t - HIV prevalence rate in the world. This practice hasparents over government schools, despite the if they are not in school, it is not possible to added to the spread of HIV. It is a great victory forhigher fees, but the quality of education at these achieve anything.” public health and for the rights of girl children thatschools is often only marginally better. “The issue Achievement in(LearningSchools) project and The LEAPS Pakistan and Educational this outmoded practice must now end,” AIDSis: better does not necessarily mean adequate,” said PETF estimate that teachers in government activist Sandra Kunene told PlusNews.Rashid. Married adolescents are at greater risk of HIV According to the 2011 Annual State of schools, despite being paid more than their private infection because many of them are in polygamousEducation Report (ASER) compiled by the South sector counterparts and having time. Government unions, face sexual violence or are unable to are not present one-fifth of the greater job security,Asian Forum for Education Development, 45 negotiate safe sex. The girls also tend to have littlepercent of grade 5 students in public schools can schoolaction to protect themselves.connections and contact with their peers, restricted social mobility, union teachers often use politicalonly read a grade 2-level story in Urdu. The low levels of education and limited access to medianumber is only slightly better in private schools - not“Even if a senior officer attending teacher that is and health messages. performing or not even reports a school, it is57 percent. very difficult to take action because they will That parents are concerned about quality is involve the unions or go to an MNA [member ofreflected by the fact that many of the students at the National Assembly],” said Zafar.Mohammed Ayub’s school attend government “Even if you get that [teacher accountability],schools in the morning. Seven-year-old RimshaSamuel goes to a government primary school in the the all of this needs to be of textbooks,not an issue. quality of education, ismorning, and after lunch, heads to Ayub’s school Sospent on education, butconsidered, just what is how.” (IRIN)for further classes.BANGKOK, October 2012- Food losses in edible wasted food to people; turning it intoAsia due to disasters or poor storage, packing energy and agriculture inputs; andand delivery are set to worsen, and developing new technology to separate food KATHMANDU,September 2012governments are ill-prepared to stem the waste from other rubbish. Policymakers need Government oversight is preventing localwastage, according experts recently to take a “total supply chain approach” or communities from reaping economic benefitsconvened by the Centre for Non-Traditional else risk breaking Southeast Asia’s fragile from forests they have spent decades re-Security Studies in Singapore. food system, said the experts. generating, activists say. Possible solutions include redistributing “It is likely that the region wastes Communities “cannot make [the] best use approximately 33 percent of their available resources because of the of food, but accurate restrictions imposed and a complicated estimates are not available process of getting approval for harvesting of due to a dearth of any timber and non-timber forest products,” quantitative information.” Ganga Ram Dahal of the Rights and Increasing urbanization Resources Initiative (RRI), a global coalition means food will tend to promoting forest land tenure reform, told travel farther, something IRIN. that could exacerbate the The challenge is“safeguarding the rights” food waste problem. of communities, Bharat Pokharel, forester Governments need to better and deputy country programme director in fund the tracking of food Nepal for the Swiss development agency waste (especially fish, Helvetas, explained at a recent regional vegetables and rice), they workshop on forestland tenure held in the said. capital, Kathmandu.Today, community forestry covers 1.6 million hectares, or a quarter of all forestland in Nepal. Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 7
  8. 8. Photo Essay Aftermath of a warNicaragua is the second poorest By DIEGO CUPOLOcountry in the western hemisphere. The Text & Photosgoverning political party, FrenteSandinista de Liberación Nacional(FSLN), was brought to power afteroverthrowing longtime dictatorAnastasio Somoza in the 1979revolution. In the 1980s, the FSLN beganimplementing social programs aimedat reducing illiteracy and hunger, butwas soon forced to divert scantresources to fight Contra Wars againstU.S.-armed militias, which werenotably composed with Somoza’sformer guardsmen. Today, the nation is still recoveringfrom decades of violence and manyresidents, known as “Nicas”, lack basicfood items as they watch local cropsget shipped overseas. The following isa compilation of thoughts andconversations from the rural areas inthe northern Nicaragua one monthbefore the 2011 elections.Corinas story help farmers. We spent four days in a tunnel once. But we weren’t allowed to do that.During the war, the Sandinistas used Señor Reagan started the Contra War afterunderground tunnels to get from one house Somoza fell. He armed Somoza’s formerto another. It was a good way to trick military men, trained them in Honduras, andSomoza’s men and escape. there were always battles near the border. At one point they were bombing Esteli. It was a very hard time. "Now we’re back inThe military was all over the city. Soldiers The U.S. put an embargo on us, just like power. We havewould radio each other before bombing raids the one in Cuba, and they didn’t stop it until Daniel. He’s not soand say “take cover, we’re going to drop the FSLN lost power in 1990.candy.” Now we’re back in power. We have Daniel. great, but we don’t Twenty of us had to stay in a small tunnelfor four days during a period of very heavy He’s not so great, but we don’t have a better choice. He’s the least evil of our choices. have a better choice.bombing. I was the only one that would go Who else am I going to vote for? The Reds? He’s the least evil ofout in the street to see what was happening. I’m Sandinista. our choices. Who elseHow did we eat? We didn’t eat, it’s that It’s been hard ever since the revolution, am I going to votesimple. We had one bucket for piss and that sure. We’re in a transitional faze. I guess it’swas it. normal. for? The Reds?" The war was terrible, but it felt good to But the worst part, the absolute worstfight for something we believed in. I was a part about everything I’ve experienced innurse through most of the revolution. We my life is how the U.S. always gets involvedwent out in the mountains and gave aid to in our lives. They never leave us alone. Theyguerrillas in their camps. After the war I was want to control the world and here, in poora teacher in Esteli. We won the war and our little Central America, they really show it.main goals were to educate the poor and It’s like we’re their children. Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 8
  9. 9. Photo Essay Aftermath of a war El Viejito “He’s waiting to die,” she said. “He’s lived more than a hundred years and he lost his vision three months ago.” “He worked hard all his life. He was a tough man, but now he just stays in his room all day because he doesn’t want anyone to see him so old and so blind.” “He says he doesn’t like being with people anymore because he can’t see them. It makes him uncomfortable.” “He’s funny, though. Last night he was yelling for me to make him coffee. It was four in morning. He can’t see so he doesn’t know what time it is anymore. Night and day are the same for him.” “You know, he met Sandino in person when he was a teenager. After that, he went on to do a lot of work for the FSLN.” “Is he dead yet?” A voice asked from the kitchen. “No, I checked on him this morning, but maybe he’s dead now.”Javier stay in power. Not many people will speak badly help from Chavez lately, but he’s the same. ChavezNo, I’m not voting in the elections. about them. It’s dangerous to speak against them. yells and screams about U.S. imperialism, but inI already know who’s going to win. They don’t kill you or torture you like Somoza, but the end, he sells most ofVenezuela’s oil to the U.S.Daniel. they’ll ruin your life. It’s the same story in every Latin American There’s no real opposition and the FSLN has all You know, they have offices in every town country. We seem to copy each other, dictators andthe money. It’s corruption. where they give you a special document saying all.Let me give you an example. We have special you’re a Sandinista. If you’re against any of their Me, I just want to make a little money andofficers that count the votes in every election. policies they take this document away from you support my family.Normally, each party has their own officer, but all and this is important because most places require it It’s hard living here on the farm. We loose a lotof the officers are now part of the FSLN. Basically, when they hire you. of money and we don’t even have enough peoplewe have people counting votes for the parties Daniel is looking more like a dictator every to work the land anymore. Everyone’s moving tothey’re running against. year. the cities thinking they’ll have better lives, but they People know our government is corrupt, but It’s a shame really. The FSLN started with good just find more problems. You have to buythey don’t do anything about it. They think intentions: help the poor, vaccinations, health everything in the city and most of it’s purechanging our politics means another war so they services, education in rural areas. Now things garbage.don’t complain much. With the revolution not so changed. We’re not getting anywhere. I don’t know what to do, really. I feel stuck.far in the past, most people just want peace. Daniel always criticizes the U.S. in his speeches, Maybe something will change later, but for nowThe FSLN knows this and it’s part of how they but then he signs trade deals with them when he we have Daniel and Daniel promises everything gets back to his office. We’ve been getting more anddeliverslittle. "People know our government is corrupt, but they don’t do anything about it. They think changing our politics means another war so they don’t complain much. With the revolution not so far in the past, most people just want peace" Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 9
  10. 10. Photo Essay Aftermath of a warDoña Maria We couldn’t come back home until the late 80s. Fifteen years after weThe war was horrible. We never had ran away. When we arrived the FSLNenough to eat. had stolen parts of my father’s landIt was worse for the children though. and gave it to other people. It wasThey suffered the most. Children and part of their anti-poverty campaign.old people. Anyone who couldn’t run But we were lucky. We got to keepfast enough. This was my family’s land, but we most of our land. Other people came "The war was horrible. Wehad to move to Managua during the back and found new families living in their houses. I knew a woman, the never had enough to eat.war. It was too dangerous here nearthe border. There were troops FSLN took her house and she had to It was worse for the childreneverywhere. They passed by every move to Canada as a refugee. She had three children up there and stayed though. They suffered theday. They’d take people away and wewouldn’t see them again. there. I guess she’s doing well. most. Children and oldWhat happened to them? They killed Us, we have to stay here. This land is what we have. It’s not good land people. Anyone who couldn’tthem of course. They killed mymother. and not much can grow in it, but it’s ours. We grow coffee. That’s what we run fast enough" That’s what they did. It was worse do.during the Contra War. They came to At least we have peace now. That’spoor villages on purpose. They knew all I one would notice. No one was Do you want something to eat?watching. They did what they wanted I get worried when you don’t us. Silcreation offers a range of free distance learning courses every year. For 2012 and 2013, we are offering an exciting course: Want to apply? Keep checking Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 1 0
  11. 11. Cover Story Development Inspirations 201 2Initiatives and People Inspiring Action and PromotingSustainable Development from Around the World Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 11
  12. 12. Cover Story Development Inspirations 201 2 By IOULIA FENTON GSDM Assistant EditorI tend to get pretty depressed after readingmany economic, international development and Doctrine—a carefully researched and documented behind-the-closed-doors story of is a revelation of practical action that "throughenvironmental books—factual, fiction or how American “free-market” policies have individuals and serendipity moreotherwise. If you do not know what I mean, I come to dominate the world through communities—inclu than plan, I beganhighly recommend reading Daniel Quinn’s exploitation of disaster-shocked peoples and ding children and to slowly see1992 novel Ishmael. Set up as a conversation countries—had a similar, sinking effect. I youths—are makingbetween a teacher and student, where the simply felt powerless to be able to affect a in their fight for a things differently.former happens to be a hyper-intelligent,talking Guerrilla, the book slowly takes the change when so many of the world’s inequalities and injustices seemed to be better world. My most recent Living andreader through environmental philosophy purposely orchestrated by a powerful few that foray into Fred working inreasons for how we have managed to get are unreachable to so many of us. Magdoff’s and John differentourselves into the present day environmentalmess. Upon turning over the last page I felt And there are many more book examples like that—all with one thing in common: I felt Bellamy Foster’s 2011 What Every countries likeempty and angry at everyone, especially worse than before and immobilised after Environmentalist Bolivia, Thailand,myself. Being on vacation in El Salvador and reading them: I had no idea where to start. Needs to Know Nicaragua andstaying in an air-conditioned hotel room with Then, through serendipity more than plan, I About Capitalism Guatemala, foran outdoor pool, which already felt pretty began to slowly see things differently. Living also surprised me as,uncomfortable, all of a sudden felt like a and working in different countries like Bolivia, after a long example, I sawridiculous extravagance that was killing the Thailand, Nicaragua and Guatemala, for description of how many hardships,planet. I immediately understood why one example, I saw many hardships, but also many things have gonereviewer had said: “From now on I will divide small victories that ordinary people were wrong, the book but also manythe books I have read into two categories -- the winning by improving their lives and the lives ends with a long small victoriesones I read before Ishmael and those readafter.” of others. The sheer passions and determination that Edwin showed—a gentle giant of a man, chapter on what activists, academics, that ordinary The simple lack of available information or an artist and a teacher who found a dream job policy makers and people weretransparency around the use and effects ofchemicals in every product that surrounds our working for an educational NGO in Guatemala—was simply inspiring. He worked normal people should and can winning bylives—as well as more blatant and grievous long hours and weekends, through harsh demand to help improving theirreleases of chemicals into the environment by weather,illness and personal trauma, not change things lives and the livesarmy weapons testing and otherindustries—exposed by Yale Professor John because he has to got to work, but because he wants to help his indigenous Maya community. around. As I began to get of others"Wargo in his 2011 book Green Intelligence left My recent involvement with Worldwatch more and moreme feeling paralysed. The massive private Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project was inspired, the wordsefforts to shut the public out and the inadequate also enlightening. Recognising that the current ofpolicies and regulations in place to hold global systems are not sustainable and are, in Ghandi—recounted to me by a closebusinesses responsible for polluting the fact, destroying people and the planet, it friend—really helped put things in perspective.environment and human beings to the point of highlights individuals, initiatives and “Be the change you want to see,” he said when,disease and death was devastating—I just had organizations that are striving to make a in turn, quoting his own grandfather. So I haveno idea what I could do. difference. The projects are often small, started decided to make a pledge to no longer be The 2004 Confessions of an Economic Hit on someone’s spare time, with little funding inactive or feel paralysed because the size ofMan was one of only two books that ever made but a ton of commitment, enthusiasm and the problem seems too big for me to make ame literally weep upon finishing it. I remember heart. Yet, they are making huge differences in difference. We can all make small changes and,the moment vividly as I shrank deep into my people’s lives and in improving the as part of the GSDM inspiration issue, I pledgelong-haul flight airplane seat and quietly environment. to do everything I can—within the time that Isobbed on my route to do fieldwork in I also began reading books and works with can spare and within the confines of theGuatemala. The book is a personal life history the objective of looking not only for problems, changes that I can realistically make—to makeexposé by John Hopkins that claims that he, but good, practical suggestions on how to solve sure that my life reflects my ideals as much asand many people like him, were used to them. For this issue I reviewed Ecoliterate: possible. I will carry a thermos flask to makeconvince the political and financial leadership How Educators Are Cultivating Emotional, sure I never buy a bottle of water or take myof underdeveloped countries (often using false Social and Ecological Intelligence, written by coffee to go in a throwaway paper cup. I willprojections) to accept enormous development Daniel Goleman, Lisa Bennet and Zenobia carry a reusable shopping bag to make sure Iloans from institutions like the World Bank and Barlow of the Center for Ecoliteracy. It tells never use a plastic one. I will not buy clothesUSAID that saddled them with an impossible eight stories that start by outlining problems of unless I absolutely need them and I know thatdebt and perpetual under-development—while injustice, corruption and pollution that pertain they are sourced and made responsibly. And,the developing countries had to pay back loans to such things as the awfully destructive locally, I will work to improve my communitywith interest to U.S.-dominated institutions, mountaintop mining; poverty and unfairness in and be a greater advocate for sustainability,they were contractually obligated to use U.S. distribution of resources and quality of social justice and the future of humanity. Joinfirms for the projects that were the purposes of education in schools; and environmental and us, feel inspired and feel empowered to make athe loans to begin with, thus making sure that social destruction of oil drilling in indigenous change. After all, as the zen saying goes:internal development would not, in fact, occur. people’s traditional home environments. Yet, “Happiness if when what you think, say and do Naomi Klein’s 2008 The Shock the bad news only sets the scene and the book are in harmony.” Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 1 2
  13. 13. Cover Story Development Inspirations 201 2By IOULIA FENTON & ADAM NELSONThe world’s global food and additional people, while one billion ofagriculture system is not working. On their neighbors in the South face "Although thethe one end, the Green Revolution hasconverted much farmland into crippling problems of severe under- nutrition. The problem is complicated situation may seemindustrial agricultural production that by the fact that—as a result of an dire, there isuses man-made chemical pesticidesand fertilizers instead of methods that industrial food business system geared towards longer shelf-life and bigger something thatare more harmonious with nature. This sales and due to poor policy and everyone can do tohas led to the loss of biodiversity astillage and use of pesticides have killed individual decisions—much of the food that does reach both rich and poor make a or deterred other plant and animal consumers is highly processed and Fortunately,species. It has also helped fuel climatechange as more and more forests are loaded with salt, sugars, and fats, while lacking even the basic nutrients. individuals,cut down for conversion to agriculture, This has led to widespread obesity communities, andwhile chemical pollution has furthered throughout advanced and developing organizations aroundair, water, and land pollution. It hasalso led to the sprouting of a multi nations and more deaths are now attributed to related non-communicable the world are takingbillion dollar a year genetically diseases—heart attacks, type 2 action—big andmodified crops industry with plantsengineered in genetics labs to be diabetes, osteoporosis, and the like—worldwide than to any other small—to addresscompatible only with certain cause. different challengescompanies’ chemical agriculturalinputs. Far from delivering the Although the situation may seem dire, there is something that everyone along the food andpromised gains in yields and greater can do to make a difference. agriculture chain. Asincomes for developing countryfarmers, it has led to pesticide Fortunately, individuals, communities, and organizations around the world are part of the inspirationdependency and spiraling cycles of taking action—big and small—to issue, we bring you 12debt and death as smallholders fail tokeep up (see GSDM April 2012 issue address different challenges along the food and agriculture chain. As part of tales of such nuggetson Farmer Suicides in India for more the inspiration issue, we bring you 12 of positivity that provedetails). tales of such nuggets of positivity that that the scale of the On the other end of the system,every year the world produces enough prove that the scale of the problem need not cause depression, paralysis, problem need notfood to adequately feed and nurture and inaction. Rather, that taking on cause depression,every human being on the planet. Yet,already huge disparities in access keep smaller, focused chunks of the issue can lead to impressive results and real paralysis, andgrowing as advanced nations waste impact on the health and lives of inaction"enough food to feed three billion others. Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 1 3
  14. 14. Cover Story Development Inspirations 201 2 funding from the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) to create the first garden on a building rooftop donated by the city’s Affordable Housing Tlhago Cooperative’s Rooftop Harvest (Photo Credit: Tshediso Company (Afcho). The organization’s goal is to languages and so far, through tackle climate change (CC) by outreach and educational activities, it educating youth and community has transferred urban gardeningTlhago means nature in Afrikaans. members about its causes and skills to more than 100 people fromAnd it is nature that the Tlhago effects. It also teaches them how local communities. Since itsPrimary Agricultural Cooperative urban gardening can be part of the conception in July 2010, thehas brought to the roof-scape of solution to environmental problems, cooperative’s six organizers haveJohannesburg, South Africa. The while minimizing unemployment, planted two rooftop gardens at theproject was started in 2010 by poverty, and malnutrition. heart of the metropolis and theyTshediso Phahlane and his The cooperative does much of its dream of one day greening the entireenthusiastic team-mates by securing teaching in the communities’ own metropolis. Sustaination, organic baby PepsiCo U.K. is working towards a truly sustainable business model thanks to the or individual problems, but, in fact, work ofForum for the Future (Photo Credit: Forum for the Future) food producer Ella’s represent significant risk factors asForum for the Future—a global Kitchen, and Fair Trade-focused far as profitability and viability ofindependent non-profit that seeks Cafédirect—to help them see the PepsiCo itself.system-wide solutions to global world differently. The There is a big difference betweenchallenges—believes that, by PepsiCo Global Scenarios and being a little greener and being trulyfundamentally changing their Strategy 2030 project, for example, sustainable, and the ultimate visionoperating models, businesses can be included interviews with more than of the Forum is to help companiesthe key to future sustainability. They 100 experts from within and outside become the latter. For example, onework with major and smaller the industry and a series of of the Forum’s pioneer partnersindustry players—like PepsiCo, workshops to engage key people Kingfisher—a non-food retailer thatTarget, Unilever, supermarket chains across the business. It illustrated to sells things like lawnmowers andMarks and Spencer and Tesco, and leaders that things like obesity and paint—has developed a vision ofsmaller, dynamic enterprises like the climate change are not merely public becoming a net-positive company infarmer’s networking platform sources of healthy food options. Chicago’s West side. The bus has Their vehicle of choice? A converted been converted with multiple vertical city bus operating as a mobile rows of fruit, vegetable, and greens- greengrocer’s. filled greengrocer baskets on the inside (over 40 different products in total) and painted in crimson-red with ripe bananas, carrots,Sheelah Muhammad is the co- and watermelons on thefounder of Fresh Moves—a project outside. The produceworking for food justice in offered is as seasonal andChicago’s poorest areas. The local as possible—theorganization employs five people project sources goods fromfrom the communities in which they Chicago’s urbanoperate—prioritizing difficult-to- agriculture initiatives, suchemploy individuals who struggle to Today, under the slogan “No more Growing Power, andCity Harvest and as Windy The Fresh Moves Bus (Photo Credit: Fresh Moves)find work elsewhere—to bring fresh food deserts. The drought is over!” African-American farmers outside supportsfruit and vegetables to communities Fresh Moves operates a weekly route the city.that lack greengrocers or other stopping in 12 different locations in Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 1 4
  15. 15. Cover Story Development Inspirations 201 2 curriculum is implemented in the Ak’Tenamit boarding school, serving as an academy and practical training village. It houses an on-site restaurant and handicraft shop where students from hundreds of differentSteve Dudenhoefer is the founder rural communities receive some ofofAk’Tenamit, an indigenous-run their 3,000 hours of practical trainingnon-governmental organization in leadership, sustainable tourism,(NGO) in Guatemala. They sustainable agriculture, andrecognized early that the country’s community well-being, instead ofeducation system was de-linked training as accountants orfrom the potential job market and secretaries. Students also learnover the years have developed Ak’Tenamit’s 2010 Graduates (Photo Credit: Ak’Tenamit) about, preserve, and identify withtheir own methodology providing their Mayan language and culture,appropriate vocational training for their communities and generators of something that has been activelyindigenous boys and girls from rural their own wealth. Set in a remote suppressed throughout much ofareas to become future leaders in location on the Rio Dulce, the Guatemalan history. something about that. Initially going out alone, under the cover of darkness, he began to slowly flat in a large, grey, and secretly 1970s purpose-built, ex- reclaim the darkest of spaces by council authority block. planting grasses, shrubs, and flowers Unfortunately, as with on abandoned grim lots. most cities around the world, this relative He called it Guerilla Gardening, affordability comes at a blogged about it, and soon found that price—the surroundings he was not alone—at the last count tend to be as grey as the of his followers, there were more buildings themselves. than 83,000 gardening guerillas As a frustrated gardener around the globe causing gorgeous who grew up in the green havoc with nothing but green Richard Reynolds: Advertiser by Day, Guerrilla Gardener by Night (Photo Credit: Richard Reynolds)Richard Reynolds lives in a countryside, he decided to do fingers, a handful of seeds, clippers,relatively cheap, small, inner city and spades.In the Mukono District of Uganda, childDeveloping Innovations in School malnutritionCultivation (DISC) has set out to in the village.educate the next generation in hopes DISC Project DISC is helping to improve health and nutrition ofentire communities in Uganda. (Photo Credit: Project DISC)of continuing Uganda’s agriculturaland culinary traditions. At Kisoga coordinators, Edward Mukiibi and resort, but are starting to see it as aSecondary School in Kampala Roger Sserunjogi, have also been viable alternative with which tostudents are being taught to manage improving young students’ views make money and assist theira sustainable school garden that towards agriculture. Due to their communities. With recent supportproduces fresh fruits and vegetables. work in reversing stereotypes, form Slow Food International, DISCFood from the garden, served at students no longer see agriculture as has expanded its original program tolunch, has significantly decreased a burden, punishment, or a last 15 other schools. Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 1 5
  16. 16. Cover Story Development Inspirations 201 2 the aguadas, filtered for consumption with connecting silting tanks, they represent a manageable way to provide water for agricultural, drinking, and other needs. Now Dr. Akpinar Ferrand hasThe borders and teamed up withsurrounding regions of ethnographer Dr.Mexico, Guatemala, and Betty Faust on anBelize were once home to appliedmillions of people who project—reconstrumanaged to thrive despite cting an ancientthe area’s poor soils, canal irrigationclimate variability, and system with raisedpronounced wet and dry agricultural fieldsseasons. To this day, the to help thearea has never been struggling Mayanoccupied to the same farminglevels, partly because community ofmodern technology has not Pich, a village ofbeen able to practically 2,000 inhabitantsresolve these problems. In in the state ofan attempt to find a Campeche, Mexico. If Ancient Mayan sites like Tikal in Guatemala hold technological secrets that could help solve today’s problems. (Photo Credit: Ioulia Fenton)solution, Dr. Ezgi Akpinar made ponds called aguadas—that successfully reconstructed, thisFerrand—a Turkish researcher were lined with locally-sourced system would help nourish theworking at Southern Connecticut natural materials such as surrounding land, increase incomeState University—started conducting impermeable clay, plaster, and and water security, and be a modelresearch on a relatively simple stone—as an alternative to moreancient Mayan system of human- modern agricultural practices. With for other populations living in the plentiful water reserves collected in area. Popkin launched the U.S Beverage Guidance Panel, which successfully brought the discussion over the problem of sugary intake to nutritionists and policy makers in the U.S and around the world. He has gone on to contribute significantly toFollowing in the footsteps of the Mexican Beverageadvanced nations, much of the Guidance Panel, too,developing world is which eventually led toundergoing the nutrition 20 million people ontransition—rapid changes in government-funded foodthe types of foods that are programs to switch fromavailable and consumed that whole milk to 1.5lead to diets shifting from percent milk and totraditional plant-based and schools cutting outhome-cooked foods to meat- sugary beverages. Toderived and processed help governmentsproducts. This is accompanied measure the impact ofby an epidemiological the problem, Dr. Popkin Professor Barry Popkins has been dubbed the “Nutrition Transition King” for his work in food and health research and policy.transition from infectious to (Photo Credit: UNC) has conducted Nationalchronic, non-communicable diseases like theNutrition at theProfessor ofof Health and Nutrition Surveys in Global distinguished Universitysuch as obesity, diabetes, and North Carolina’s School of Public China, the Philippines, while also and thecardiovascular disease, which are Health, Dr. Barry Popkin, the United Arab Emirates,now killing more of the world’s solution lies in changing public advising decision-makers on nationalpeople than anything else. healthy food and drink policies and One culprit is the growth of the policies to make healthier options programs in South Africa, Spain, andsugary drinks industry, and for many, more widely available and easily accessible to the public. In 2006, the United Kingdom. Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 1 6
  17. 17. Cover Story Development Inspirations 201 2 addres sing the issue bySahel Eco is a non-profit continuing the work oforganization helping to improve the SOS Sahel Internationallives of those living in Mali’s desert UK. Members of Saheland semi-desert regions. Eco are showing farmersDesertification due to deforestation that proper treerepresents the biggest threat to management will protectMalian lifestyle, where 70 per cent soils and provideof the population lives on less than a economic benefits Sahel Eco is helping farmers re-green dessert soils (Photo Credit: Sahel Eco).dollar a day and depends heavily on through timber, fuel, forests, Sahel Eco has been buildingrainfall to water their fields and animal feed, fruits, herbal medicines, support for and improving localanimals. Working predominately in and even raw material for mats, knowledge of tree management tothe Mopti, Segou, and Koulikoro baskets, and hats. Through dramatically impact the encroachingregions of Mali, the organization is demonstrating the benefits of agro- desertification in Mali. urine. Then, a series capacity. This, in return, means of filtration systems Sakthivel spends less time and effort separates solid matter, re-working soils hardened by which is used for Mr. Sakthivel is turning animal dung into organic fertilizer gold (Photo Credit: The Hindu) chemical fertilizers, while increasingG. R. Sakthivel, an Indian sugarcane biogas production. his income. The system has thefarmer and a member of Erode’s The remaining nitrate-rich, organic potential to save farmers up toorganic farmers’ federation, has liquid is used as fertilizer and Rs.27,000 (about $500) per acre anddeveloped an ingenious way to filter dispersed through a drip irrigation promises to work for other crops,cattle waste to create higher system. The natural fertilizer not too. Already ten sugarcane farmerssugarcane yields while decreasing only increases yields, but also have adopted the system in thehis labor input. The system first increases the presence of earthworms Sathyamangalam region and otherscollects and mixes cattle dung and and the soil’s water-retaining are following suit with great results.Though generally not consumed by valuablemodern populations, the Maya Nut shade andhas historically been a vital and protectionnutritious staple of the Central from rainAmerican Maya. Incredibly andnutritious, it is high in calcium, fiber, erosion alliron, folate, potassium, antioxidants, yearand can be eaten by both people and around.livestock. It also provides many Now,ecosystem services to rainforests and with thepeople—it protects watersheds and help of thebiodiversity and the Maya Nut tree is Maya Nut The Maya Nut is transforming people’s livelihoods and benefiting the environment all across Central America. (Photo Credit: Maya Nut Institute) prepare the nut to produce savoryperfect for reforestation by providing Institute—which teaches rural and sweet foods, drinks, baked communities over 100 ways to Global South Development Magazine Oct 201 2 1 7