Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico

by Iniciativas para el Desarrollo de una Economia Alternativa y Solidaria A.C
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico
Empowering 50 rural young people in Oaxaca, Mexico

In its more than twelve years of life, the school for the common good has experienced many changes, some have been the duration of the process, the language we use, for example: we used to talk about sessions and now we talk about meetings, we used to talk about projects and now we talk about initiatives; however, the heart of the school for the common good, which is to question our realities and build together the common good, remains intact.


Today we would like to introduce you to the initiative "amigos de las abejas" (friends of the bees). The initiative was founded by five young integrators in San Francisco Jaltepetongo, Nochixtlán. They have managed to create another group interested in the care and keeping of bees and now work as a single collective. They care for and train the bees together. Currently, practice and theory are still needed to become official beekeepers but the collective is well on its way! However, in order to achieve even better results, the collective needs suitable equipment and tools, which could be partly financed by the seed fund. The collective is working far away to train another group in another community, but the current sitaution does not yet allow training and workshops to take place regularly. Through their work, they have recognized the importance of the existence of collectives and collective work.


“The school for the common good helped us by transmitting knowledge, we had the idea and they helped us to make it more concrete. We learn from them and they learn from us and the best thing that could have happened to me is to have met and joined the school for the common good.”


Thanks to you, collectives like amigos de las abejas can continue to exist and do valuable work and encourage others to do the same. 

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Recently we held the last four collective virtual seedbeds of this generation and a face-to-face meeting to close the stage of thematic meetings and to initiate or start community initiatives of each participant. The follow-up and accompaniment of participants continues to be carried out by both the organization's team and the tutors. In the previous report we shared the incorporation of former participants of the School for the Common Good (SCG) Mixteca 2018, with the new role of tutors that would accompany the new participants of the SCG Mixteca 2020. This new role of tutors within the SCG has been fundamental for the accompaniment of participants of the current generation within the context of the health contingency, for two reasons: due to the geographical proximity and the experience of tutors as former participants of the SCG process. Between April and May of this year, the participants defined the idea of a community initiative that they wanted to carry out together with their groups. Ten participants presented initiatives, nine of which are currently being implemented.

Despite the Pandemic, with the support of all the people who have been with us this year, we have been able to continue transforming lives!

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Since to date, we have been working with 7 former participants of the School for the Common Good, Mixteca, who, based on a rethinking of the strategy of accompaniment to the 25 new young participants of the ebc, have been assigned other tasks and act as their tutors. In general, the activities they carry out are:

The tutors have made visits to the mentored persons, participated in monthly dialogues with facilitators to address questions about follow-up and about the issues that have been provided in the seedbeds.

Four online meetings-workshops were held with various themes aimed at improving community organization and reflection on caring for the space.

To date, the young participants are implementing six community projects in their communities in response to the COVID19 emergency, with actions to improve nutrition, food cultivation, rescue and use of traditional medicine, dissemination of information on health care benefiting at least 400 people. And they are about to start 10 new projects in the next few months.

About the problems we encountered while implementing the project: Since the activities have been entirely done in a virtual mode, the most difficult task has been to achieve clarity in the indications. Since being in the online sessions, communication is often cut off because the signal is unstable. Apart from the technical problems, the fact of minimizing face-to-face visits has been complicated, since in general, the Community IDEAS processes have always been designed to be close and thus
facilitate the connection with the participants and with the community, as well as to recognize the environment in which the activities proposed by the participants will take place.

Currently, It continues with remote tracking and online seedlings. The choice of tutors by geographical proximity has served to allow some of the participants to meet their tutors and achieve better results. The use of other virtual tools has also been opted for, and horizontality has been achieved in the process.

We are sure that although these are difficult times, the School for the Common Good will continue to carry out its activities, and the young people who have been trained so far will obtain good results with their projects for the benefit of their communities.

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Since August, we have been working with six different community initiatives. During September and October, we worked mainly on strengthening the skills of the seven people in charge of these six initiatives as social promoters. Several virtual meetings have been held with the participants who are part of this component to adjust the proposal by listening to their suggestions and considering the health measures that are being taken from their communities. Also, as part of their strengthening as community promoters, they were invited to participate in the sessions of the Education for the Common Good program but due to problems of connection and other inconveniences they were not able to participate in 100% of the sessions. Upon identifying this problem, we talked with each one of them to devise a way for them to have a better connection and to be able to participate in a better way in the virtual activities since they will be recurrent from this working approach, mainly at a distance.  

 

From November to January 2021, we will be working on the construction of a diagnosis that includes the thematic axes of the ebc, such as identity, gender, food sovereignty, territory, collectivity and community organization, so they can build more comprehensive proposals. In February, we will begin to implement the seed fund. The proposal is taht all the initiatives will include audio diffusion materials, recordings designed for community radio and social networks such as whatsapp and Facebook. Since during this pandemic, it was also visible that in many communities, radio continues to be the most accessible means of communication - that's why we will be working mainly on audio broadcasting materials.
Thank you all so much for your constant support and for being part of this project - we could not be happier! Especially in these difficult and uncertain times, it is even more important that we support each other where we can - slowly but steady we can make a great change. 
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In response to the COVID19 pandemic, in the months of May to July 2020, young former participants of the School for the Common Good in the Mixteca and other regions are taking action in their communities. Here are some pictures and progress on what they are doing to improve the health and food situation:

In the community Constancia del Rosario, Putla, Adolfo from the nursery "Esperanza", began with the first sowings of chilies and tomatoes, the production of organic insecticides, as well as their application. Apart from that, they continued with the weeding and the placement of netting in the place where the "Río Cantador" orchard will be established, the delivery of materials to members of the collective, the sowing of seeds in germination trays for later sowing in bed and also the sowing of sweet potatoes.

In the community of San Jacinto Tlacotepec, the project "Green Families facing the crisis of COVID-19" was initiated. In its first stage, the henhouses were built in order to have a better control of the chickens. The family gardens were also fenced and people were trained to start with the cultivation of the first vegetables.

Wendy from the Santiago Nundiche community, tells us: "We started with a meeting with the heads of families in the community in coordination with the municipal agent to talk about support for the women. We all agreed that those who would benefit from the pantries would be the elderly, 21 in total, (60 years and older) as they are the most vulnerable and many of them live alone.  43 women - supported with chickens as well as vegetable seeds - who on average house 7-8 people. After the meeting was over and hearing about the situation they are suffering as a result of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, it was decided to take a tour into the forest and have a look on the forts to see how else they could acquire food.

Together we went on a tour to  the community's forest, where we also took the opportunity to define the areas where we would be collecting the soil for the vegetables. We decided to include the children who came to the meeting so that they would get to know what the community is all about. We also went to visit one of the women who will benefit from the support of the mushroom production, to examine the area destined for the production. We listened to her needs and how support would help her family and community. We also received a small training about the correct planting of vegetables, to replicate it with the community later.”

 

With the support we received and the active participation of young people who have been trained at the School for the Common Good, we have managed to generate different actions to improve the lives of people in communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. The most important thing is to help and support each other, even more during this difficult time of the pandemic. Therefore, we would like to thank each and every one of you for believing in our work.

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Project Leader:
Angelina Clara Ruf
Oaxaca, Oaxaca Mexico

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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