An Inter-American Foundation (IAF) grantee partner dedicated to promoting economic, social and cultural empowerment of Afro-Peruvian youth recently received national attention for its efforts in Peru. Ashanti Perú Red Peruana de Jóvenes Afrodescendientes (Ashanti Peru) received honorable mention in the area of civil society engagement for the 2016 National Digital Democracy Award.
The award, organized by the Peruvian nonprofit Democracy and Development International, encourages citizen participation, as well as how to use new technologies to share ideas and knowledge, increase access to public information, transparency, accountability and inclusion.
Ashanti was one of 57 participants in the competition, receiving recognition for its School of Afro-descendant Youth Leaders program, which is implemented with support from the IAF and the Afro-Peruvian Association for Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (ASONEDH, for its acronym in Spanish). Through the program, Ashanti Peru provided training on participatory democracy and human rights and mobilized youth to participate in regional and municipal elections through a virtual training platform.
Moving beyond elections, the group will continue with IAF to organize a program to promote more inclusion of people of African descent in the next Peruvian national census 2017.
Talk about community-led development!
By sustainably harvesting forests, Mexican community organizations are stemming deforestation and ensuring opportunities for all people to thrive in their home communities.
Few would have imagined in the early days that former IAF grantee partner Fundación Defensores del Chaco would become a youth-led powerhouse mobilizing entire towns to advocate for themselves. But what started as a street soccer team became a space where young people and their communities could bring their problems and find solutions together.
"Government is not separate from the people. “Government” is us. But the government doesn’t necessarily automatically carry out the will of the people. It responds to scrutiny. It is the responsibility of every citizen to know what leaders are doing," said Ramón Daubón, former IAF Vice President for Programs, in our recent conversation.