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Support Up to Six Community Leaders in Honduras

by The Solidarity Project
Support Up to Six Community Leaders in Honduras
Support Up to Six Community Leaders in Honduras
Support Up to Six Community Leaders in Honduras
Support Up to Six Community Leaders in Honduras

Majada Verde is a small village located in the mountains surrounding Talanga, Honduras. It is about a half day’s hike from Talanga’s center, a well-trodden path among residents of Majada Verde who travel to Talanga to work, shop, and meet friends. While unmatched in its beauty, Majada Verde lacks basic infrastructure like electricity, clean water, and plumbing. Nevertheless, its residents have a lot of pride and are dedicated to constantly improving the livability of their hometown. 

The Solidarity Project planned and held a Mesa Comunitaria event in Majada Verde in December 2018. During the planning process, our Project Director supported community leaders as they conceptualized ideas to improve their communities and created proposals to pitch to their friends and neighbors. These ideas were pitched at a community event on December 15th, and two winners were chosen by residents. The first installed electricity and a new light fixture in Majada Verde’s community center, enabling meetings after dark and enhancing the building’s safety. The second repaired a community well, thereby increasing access to water and improving water safety and quality. Both of these projects were finished in January and February 2019.  

While working in a remote mountain village presented some challenges, we are thrilled to report that The Solidarity Project is expanding its footprint in the Talanga region and is being welcomed by new communities. Six more Mesa Comunitaria events are already scheduled for 2019, and we can’t wait to support emerging community leaders and create sustainable and lasting changes in Honduras. 

Visit our sites for info on Solidarity Month 2018
Visit our sites for info on Solidarity Month 2018

Hello Donors, Friends and valued members of the Solidarity Project Community, 

In our last report of 2018, we are excited to share that due to your support of Community Leaders in Honduras this year, we successfully tested our new initiative, Mesa Comunitaria, and we are excited to announce that it will now be the main part of our regular partnership work in Honduras for years to come. Thank you for your willingness to support an innovative new project, TSP, and Honduran Leaders.  

To refresh your memory, Mesa Comunitaria is modeled after the successful Detroit Soup method of participatory development in which local leaders present ideas for community impact at a micro-granting lunch and attendees vote to select the projects they value most. Micro-grants are small cash awards given to winning community leaders to implement their ideas that have been selected by the community.

This year, we partnered with the communities of the Nueva San Diego (NSD), Quebrada Grande (QG), and most recently the Majada Verde (MV) in the Department of Francisco Morazán, Honduras. Since our last report in August, TSP has been very busy as we work to surpass our initial goal by supporting two more Community Leaders and projects in 2018. Currently, we are partnered with the Majada Verde to host their first Mesa Comunitaria event. Majada Verde is a very isolated and vulnerable community that is nestled in the mountain ranges outside of Talanga. Due to the very limited infrastructure and transportation options, our work in Majada Verde presented certain challenges which delayed our initial timeframe to host the event. We are happy to announce that the event will be held on December 15th. 

In the last few months of the year, we are also re-partnered with Quebrada Grande to host a second micro-granting event in 2018. The QB community is extremely excited about how they can organize and leverage the Mesa Comunitaria project to improve their community. Shortly after their first event, Community Members organized themselves and requested to hold another event before the end of the year. We are happy to support them with another Mesa Comunitaria on December 22nd and we look forward to supporting two more leaders and community projects.  Please invite you to visit our website and follow us on The Solidarity Project Facebook Page and Instagram to remain updated on Mesa Comunitaria’s success and outcomes in 2018 and expansion in the coming year. 

 TSP also report that we are just a few weeks away from surpassing our goals for the Mesa Comunitaria Project this year. By the end of 2018, we will: 

  1. Hold four micro-granting events (Mesa Comunitaria), surpassing our initial goal of three
  2. Support eight community leaders through micro-grants and capacity building, surpassing our initial goal of six
  3. Directly impact close to 400 community members who'll attend the micro-grant events in 2018; and 
  4. Indirectly impacted close to 3,500 community members who'll benefit from the improvements made by the eight winning projects.

The Solidarity Project remains 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 also invite you to participate in our 1st annual Solidarity Month. You can learn more on our website social media accounts (The Solidarity Project Facebook Page and Instagram

Your contributions, interest, and belief in our mission have made this work happen -our success is your success. Thank you again for your support and we hope that you will continue to stay engaged and support The Solidarity Project's work this year and throughout 2019. 

All the best, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year,

The Solidarity Project Team

MC Winner in QB and his Completed Project Sept. 18
MC Winner in QB and his Completed Project Sept. 18
2nd Winner in QB and his completed project Sept.18
2nd Winner in QB and his completed project Sept.18
Committe Members in Majada Verde, Honduras
Committe Members in Majada Verde, Honduras
Visit our sites for info on Solidarity Month 2018
Visit our sites for info on Solidarity Month 2018

Links:

Mesa Comunitaria Event in Quebrada Grande Aug 2018
Mesa Comunitaria Event in Quebrada Grande Aug 2018

Since our last update in late May, we are excited to report that Mesa Comunitaria, continues to roll out and have a tangible impact throughout communities in Francisco Morazán, Honduras! Since our first event in on May 6th,  in Nueva San Diego (NSD), Talanga, we have expanded our impact to the Community of Quebrada Grande (QG) in Cedros.

To refresh your memory, Mesa Comunitaria is a new project that The Solidarity Project is piloting in 2018. It is 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 vote and select the projects they value most. Micro-grants are small cash awards given to community leaders to implement their ideas.

Since May, the NSD Community Leaders who won micro-grant funding have completed their projects and presented their results to The Solidarity Project. The Community also looks forward to planning a new event. We invite you to see more results about Community Leader, Norma Caseres' completed project at The Solidarity Project Facebook Page.

This past month, on August 5th, The Solidarity Project hosted our second Mesa Comunitaria event of the year in partnership with the Quebrada Grande Community. The event boasted over 100 community members in attendance who enjoyed a day of traditional Honduran music and dance performances from the local school children, a hearty lunch prepared by committee members, and of course, voting! Four community leaders presented their ideas and two winners were selected through the voting process. The winning projects and Community Leaders are:

  1. Installation of a drainage system on the main road to improve health and sanitation in Quebrada Grande, presented by Community Leader, Oscar García.
  2. Improvements to the infrastructure of the school to make the experience for both teachers and students more comfortable, presented by Community Leader, Javier Arteaga.

We also want to recognize the amazing work of the QG Mesa Comunitaria event committee. This group of emerging Community Leaders worked diligently for the two-month planning process of the event and they formed a strong, creative and responsible team that launched an exciting community event. A community member stated, “I’ve been to so many community meetings, but this was different. It was actually fun! I am excited to see the projects happen.” Winners from QG have wasted no time, and have already reached out to The Solidarity Project to share that they are very close to finishing their projects. We look forward to sharing the final results over our social media sites and in our next report!

Lastly, our Project Director, Gloria, started our third and final Mesa Comunitaria launch of the year on August 22nd, in the rural Community of Majada Verde. Gloria held a community meeting with close to 40 individuals in attendance. Majada Verde is a very isolated and vulnerable community that is nestled in the mountain ranges outside of Talanga. Lack of economic opportunities and a very limited infrastructure are factors that make our work in Majada Verde challenging. However, this community is filled with many resilient and positive individuals that have enthusiastically welcomed the Mesa Comunitaria project. We look forward to holding the micro-granting event in November of 2018 and reporting back to you! 

Currently, TSP is more than half-way there to our achieving our goals for the Mesa Comunitaria Project in 2018. To date we have:

  1. Held two of three micro-granting events (Mesa Comunitaria);
  2. Supported four of six community leaders through micro-grants and capacity building;
  3. Directly impacted close to 200 community members who attended the micro-grant events in 2018; and 
  4. Indirectly impacted close to 2,000 community members who will benefit from the improvements made by the four winning projects.

The Solidarity Project remains 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 Majada Verde, Quebrada Grande, and Nueva San Diego. Your support, interest, and belief in our mission have made this work happen - our success is your success. Thank you again for your support and if you are interested in learning more about our work, please visit our website and follow us on The Solidarity Project Facebook Page to see more results!

MC Winners in QG! Javier Arteaga and Oscar Garcia
MC Winners in QG! Javier Arteaga and Oscar Garcia
Community members voting for projects in QG
Community members voting for projects in QG
Team of Committee Members in Quebrada Grande
Team of Committee Members in Quebrada Grande
Gloria presenting Mesa Comunitaria in Majada Verde
Gloria presenting Mesa Comunitaria in Majada Verde
Mesa Comunitaria Launch in Majada Verde
Mesa Comunitaria Launch in Majada Verde

Links:

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.
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

Links:

 

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Organization Information

The Solidarity Project

Location: Seattle, WA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Carolyn Neuhaus
Treasurer
Seattle, WA United States
$7,043 raised of $7,000 goal
 
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