Groundswell International, founded in 2009, is a global partnership of development organizations and individuals committed to creating a better food system. Their approach is unique because the organization has a “focus on building local capacity and using local resources to address needs rather than importing outside solutions.” Within each country where they work, a local organization leads the way with support from Groundswell’s international network.
As part of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), Food Tank highlights six of these local projects that have a global perspective.
Burkina Faso: The Association Nourrir Sans Détruire (ANSD), or ‘the association that feeds without destroying,’ leads Groundswell’s work in Burkina Faso. ANSD implements a training program for farmers in ecological farming methods like rainwater harvesting and composting. They empower women and local communities through leadership and organizational training, and by creating credit opportunities. ANSD is also involved with the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration Initiative (FMNR), a project for regenerating tree cover that has been successful across Africa.
Ecuador: EkoRural strengthens the capacity of local communities in Ecuador to produce food by improving local organizations, linking farmers to markets, improving the quality of local seed varieties, and promoting health program. EkoRural emphasizes a local community-led strategy for development.
Ghana: The Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD) promotes the adoption of agroecological methods in Ghana to address food shortages, improve soil fertility, and raise standards of living. As in Burkina Faso, Groundswell is promoting the FMNR initiative in order to restore tree cover and soil fertility. CIKOD is also working with women’s groups organized through Rural Woman Farmers Association of Ghana (RUWFAG) to create sustainable income-generating activities like raising livestock and gardening.
Guatemala: FUNDENOR helps Guatemalan community organizations address challenges facing poor families. They promote economic opportunities in agricultural development, collaborate with national and international partners, and emphasize strengthening the capacity of community organizations. FUNDENOR takes a holistic approach to development; family health and attention to cultural values play a large role in this approach.
Haiti: Partenariat pour le Développement Local (PDL) has been working with Groundswell since its inception in 2009. The Haitian NGO supports smallholder farmer organizations representing over 150,000 people. PDL is working with families to develop community-managed seed banks to increase food supply. PDL is also implementing a ten year plan designed to develop rural Haiti as a model for overall national growth.
Honduras: Vecinos Honduras, based in Tegucigalpa, promotes the development of marginalized regions in Honduras through sustainable agricultural practices within a holistic community health perspective. Groundswell and partners has launched the Responsible Consumption campaign, which advocates for healthy foods grown with agroecological methods by local farmers. The campaign makes use of radio, community gatherings, and theater to spread awareness.