Over $48 million in grants and material aid…
Over 1.5 million landless people settled on good land in Brazil…
Over 35 years of solidarity.
Amid a journey, you can lose sight of how far you’ve come. Since 1983, when Grassroots International opened its doors, we have built long-term relationships with movements for political independence, human rights, and sustainable livelihoods and lands. As we celebrate our 35th year, we are looking back, honoring and remembering the people, places and struggles that have shaped us. This is our #Grassroots35 series.
We want to look back at our early solidarity efforts, like the Donkey Project in Eritrea. Amid the country’s independence struggle against U.S. and Soviet-backed Ethiopian dictatorships, the Donkey Project brought grain to areas in hunger. Grassroots International funded the initiative, and the Eritrean people led it every step of the way. As our founder Dan Connell wrote, Eritrea moved from relief to self-reliance in a few short years.
We want to honor people like Janaina Stronzake, a former youth leader in Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement (MST). She started occupying land with her parents when she was just five years old. As she told us, “I probably would not have survived had it not been for the support and solidarity of groups like Grassroots International.”
We want to remember the volunteers and staff members, like 14-year-old Nithyani Anandakuga. After volunteering her time to Grassroots International, she volunteered her dance talents too. Last July she performed a dance recital that drew over 400 people and raised over $4,000 for Grassroots International’s work.
These are just some of the stories, the stitches, that make up the fabric of Grassroots International. Over the coming months we’ll be telling more of them in social media posts, videos, and blogs like this. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the #Grassroots35 hashtag, and look for our blog posts.
Lastly, we also want to invite you, our partners, our supporters, and our volunteers, to share your own stories of Grassroots International. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, videos, or reflections. Post your photos to Twitter with #Grassroots35. We may feature your remembrances over social media, and we may include them in our 35th Anniversary celebration in the fall. Building solidarity means building community, and you are an essential part of our 35 years of solidarity.