May 29, 2018

Mesa Comunitaria Winners in Talanga and Expansion to a Quebrada Grande!

Mesa Comunitaria Nueva San Diego Talanga
Mesa Comunitaria Nueva San Diego Talanga

The Solidarity Project has made a lot of exciting progress since our last update in February. We have achieved one of our major goals for 2018 by holding our first Mesa Comunitaria event in the community of Nueva San Diego (NSD) on May 6. Mesa Comunitaria is a project modeled after the successful Detroit Soup method of participatory development in which local leaders present ideas for community change at a micro-granting lunch and attendees select the projects they value most. Micro-grants are small cash awards given to community leaders to implement their ideas. 

The Solidarity Project was impressed with the creativity, ingenuity, and commitment that the NSD community showed as they came together to work for the two-month planning process of the Mesa Comunitaria event.  Our history of successful collaboration with this community continued as event leaders planned, organized, and hosted this day of community engagement that involved music, food, games and boasted an attendance of 75 NSD community members! Micro-grants were awarded to two of four community projects:

  1. Repairs to the NSD Kindergarten to improve the learning environment for 35 children who attend the school. The project was designed, presented, and led by Norma Caceres. 
  2. Construction of wooden benches and tables to furnish the newly built NSD Community Center. The project was designed, presented, and led by Dania Mejia. 

The Solidarity Project looks forward to supporting the implementation of the ideas of NSD’s leaders and will keep you updated on the results of these projects in the coming months. 

The Solidarity Project also started the rollout of Mesa Comunitaria in our second community this year. On May 23, our Project Director, Gloria, led a community-wide meeting in Quebrada Grande, Cedros to introduce the project. Quebrada Grande is a village located in the rural region of Cedros in the Department of Francisco Morazan recognized for its annual cultivation of mandarin organges and coffee. The village is populated by many collaborative and resourceful community members seeking to mitigate the lack of economic opportunity and limited infrastructure related to the community’s distance from major urban areas. More than 60 community members attended this first meeting. Community members expressed enthusiasm about the project’s transparency and accountability to the community and are excited to host Mesa Comunitaria as an innovative way to execute community projects and have their voices heard! 

We remain committed to supporting talented local leaders, fostering engagement, and sharing stories of solidarity and resilience from Honduras. We are thrilled to provide a venue to directly empower community members with projects that they design and select. We will keep you updated on Mesa Comunitaria’s progress, successes, and expansion in Quebrada Grande, Nueva San Diego, and the additional community where we plan to launch. Your support, interest, and belief in our mission have made this work happen - our success is your success. Thank you again for your support!

  

Mesa Comunitaria Project winners in Talanga!
Mesa Comunitaria Project winners in Talanga!
Community Members listen to Projects Presentaitons
Community Members listen to Projects Presentaitons
NSD voting for their projects. May 6th, 2018
NSD voting for their projects. May 6th, 2018
1st Community Meeting in Quebrada Grande, Cedros.
1st Community Meeting in Quebrada Grande, Cedros.
Gloria and Quebrada Grande Leaders on May 23rd.
Gloria and Quebrada Grande Leaders on May 23rd.
Feb 27, 2018

Updates from The Solidarity Project: Honduran Leaders on the Rise!

Community Meeting Nueva San Diego
Community Meeting Nueva San Diego

The Solidarity Project is excited to report the launch of our new community micro-granting project, “Mesa Comunitaria.” Thanks to your generosity during our December GlobalGiving campaign, we have made important strides in the early months of 2018 to implement this project.

Micro-grants are small cash awards given to individuals and/or groups for short-term community projects. Mesa Comunitaria is modeled after the successful Detroit Soup method of participatory development through micro-granting. By the end of 2018, The Solidarity Project will support up to six micro-granted projects that are designed, chosen, and implemented by community groups themselves. We are planning competitions in three different communities around Talanga, Honduras.

Despite a turbulent political environment in Honduras due to a contested presidential election in November 2017, The Solidarity Project has completed the first steps to implement Mesa Comunitaria.

First, we hired a local community leader as our  in-country Project Director for Mesa Comunitaria. Gloria is a psychologist who prevoulsy worked with The Solidarity Project on two programs: Amigos de la Educacion and Comedor Infantil Talanga Honduras.

Second, we completed the country- and site-specific adaptation of the Detroit Soup model into Mesa Comunitaria.

Third, we initiated Mesa Comunitaria in our pilot community, Nueva San Diego, a complex and vibrant neighborhood in Talanga, Honduras that has historically been affected by poverty, lack of educational opportunity, and gang violence. The Solidarity Project has a history of successful collaboration with Nueva San Diego through Comedor Infantil, which was founded in 2009. We remain committed to supporting talented local leaders with inspiring ideas, fostering engagement, and sharing the stories of solidarity and resiliency that are seen throughout this community, and we are thrilled to provide a venue through Mesa Comunitaria that will directly empower community members with the projects that they design and select.

On February 25th, Gloria and one of our board members, Lauren, led a community-wide meeting in Nueva San Diego to introduce Mesa Comunitaria. More than 50 community members attended! The community expressed great interest in the idea of developing their own projects, as expressed in this quote: “Mesa Comunitaria seems like a new way to collaborate on projects and where our voices will be heard.” The Solidarity Project looks forward to implementing the ideas of Nueva San Diego’s leaders, and will continue to keep you updated on Mesa Comunitaria’s progress, successes, and roll out in Nueva San Diego and two additional communities. You have made this happen; our success is your success. Thank you so much!

Gloria, Project Director for TSP
Gloria, Project Director for TSP
Mesa Comunitaria Presentation Feb. 25th, 2018
Mesa Comunitaria Presentation Feb. 25th, 2018
In Solidarity with Honduras
In Solidarity with Honduras
Meeting with Women Leaders Feb. 7th, 2018
Meeting with Women Leaders Feb. 7th, 2018
Meeting with Women Leaders Feb. 7th, 2018
Meeting with Women Leaders Feb. 7th, 2018

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