In the 2013 issue of the Grassroots Development journal, we showcase the work of IAF grantee partners who are investing in the potential of young people as a means to support the communities in which they live.
“First-Class Citizens: Father de Nicoló and the Street Kids of Colombia”
This article details the educational and support programming for more than 40,000 young Colombians in Bogotá made possible by a streetwise Italian priest and his ability to see potential where others saw only problems. Father de Nicoló founded Fundación Servicio de Orientación Juvenil, an IAF grantee partner that has administered programs for young people elsewhere around Colombia.
“Soccer and Change in the Conurbano”
In what was then considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the suburbs around Buenos Aires, this article shows how one man’s enthusiasm for street soccer developed into a vibrant institution of grassroots engagement that continues to grow. IAF grantee partner Defensores del Chaco, led by Fabián Ferraro, worked to mobilize 35 organizations–ranging from soccer clubs to soup kitchens–to bring participatory budgeting to San Miguel.
“Mothers and Justice in El Vergel”
In a forgotten corner of Morero, Argentina, roads flooded with every rain, preventing school attendance, medical team visits and access by ambulances or the police. This article highlights the work of a group of mothers from El Vergel who, with guidance from attorneys representing another IAF grantee, renewed negotiations with authorities and played a major role in solving infrastructure problems that had long plagued their community.
“Hope amid Danger in Honduras: Education, Employment and New Entreprises”
Young people in Tegucigalpa are susceptible to joining homegrown gangs, which are thought to outnumber the police force and be better armed, and their assaults on civil society contribute to the high rates of murder and homicide in the Honduran capital. This article highlights the work of IAF grantee partner Grupo Juvenil Dion, which combats poverty and the absence of educational facilities by teaching young people marketable skills and helps its graduates lead productive lives.
“Landless Workers and Schools: An Alternative Approach to Rural Education”
The relationship between activists for the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra–the landless workers’ movement–and government officials differs across Brazil, creating a discrepancy in the level of access to education across the country. This article examines months of field research in three regions of Brazil that shed light on the conditions under which states cede power over education policy to social movements.
“Bonding or Bridging Ties? Social Relations and Indigenous Activism in Peruvian Amazonia”
This article looks at the role of social relationships and the resulting ties and networks in mobilizing thousands of indigenous Amazonians. Ties to nonindigenous individuals and organizations, including international donors like the IAF, have facilitated indigenous mobilization and have been essential to obtaining titles to land and undertaking development projects.
“Brazil’s Virtuous Alliance: How the Grassroots and the Government Joined Forces against AIDS”
When the AIDS epidemic arrived in Brazil in the early 1980s, the civic response from activists and the government was early and proactive. This article features Associação Brasileira Interdisciplinar de AIDS, which became the first IAF grantee partner funded for the express purpose of producing and disseminating educational materials on AIDS, particularly in favelas and in rural areas of the impoverished north and northeast. The IAF continues to support grassroots mobilization to combat the ongoing challenges.
“Examining Assumptions: Aid, Development and What Counts as Success”
In the article, Marion Ritchey Vance, a co-creator of the Grassroots Development Framework, describes the challenge of teaching a college course on the genesis and evolution of the IAF and breathing life into an era more remote for her students than was World War I.
Development Notes: “Grassroots Transformadores”
The IAF celebrates the winners of the first Latin American Grassroots Development Award, known as Transformadores, recognizing outstanding community development initiatives in Guatemala as well as the donors that financed, encouraged and otherwise supported them.
“A Book Conversation: The Long Lingering Shadow by Paula Durbin”
This interview with Robert J. Cottrol, author of a book on development and people of African descent, offers insight into his comparative exploration of race relations in the Americas over five centuries.
- “O Mundo Negro: Relações Raciais e a Constituição do Movimento Negro Contemporâneo no Brasil”
- “A Soapbox in Haiti— Recovery. One Speaker at a Time.”
“How the Salvadoran Diaspora Funds Options for the Future”
Here we highlight how IAF grantee partner Fundación para la Educación Social, Económica y Cultural helps hometown associations of migrants in the United States and residents of their respective communities of origin pool resources and invest in the development of young people for long-term results.
“Bridging Brazil’s Academic Gap”
Graduates from public secondary schools throughout Brazil usually do poorly on the Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio and vestibular, exams that make or break a student’s chances of being admitted to a university. This article features the work of IAF grantee partners, including ALTPET and Bahia Street, to address the academic gap so that young people from struggling families can pursue higher education.