With our experiences as a group and as individuals coming from the South with a strong social and environmental compromise, having lived many years in the North, we find ourselves able to play an important role in order to establish laces between different visions and relations, and between cultures and social processes. We do this in order to promote the exchange of experiences and joint ventures of transformation at a local level, contributing to global change.
It is because of these factors, the great diversity of our contacts in the South and because of the institutional relations we have established with entities in the North, that our organization is able to serve as a bridge between worlds, strengthening local processes, intercultural understanding and the search for creative, sustainable and innovative solutions for development.
Among the institutional relations of friendship North/South which we have encouraged, we can name the following:
- The Sagene-Torshov Local Agenda 21 Forum, in the district of Sagene, Oslo, Norway befriended with the Cultural, Social and Environmental Center of Ceibo, in Maipú, Santiago, Chile, and its Eco-neighborhood project in Villa 4 Alamos. Both entities are environmentally oriented, working with sustainable development and processes for participatory democracy. They have been working at an urban level in order to improve environmental and social conditions of local inhabitants.
- The Steiner School of Fyresdal, in Fyresdal, Telemark, Norway, working with vocational training within the areas of organic agriculture, natural resources management and natural building, befriended with the popular peasants school of the indigenous organization Kabawil, from Guatemala. Both schools have established their curriculum within the framework of natural and organic agricultural practices as well as adequate use of natural resources.
- The primary school of Hovik Verk, in Baerum, Norway befriended with the rural school of San Francisco, Acandí, Chocó, Colombia. Children from both schools kept in contact through letters and drawings, allowing this way to get to know each other’s lives and surroundings. In addition to this, activities of leisure and culture were organized. At their own initiative, the norwegian children also organized a solidarity event through which several educational, sport and musical material were acquired and sent to the Colombian school in the middle of the Darien Rainforest.
We have many more contacts with various organizations that can be of an interest in order to establish friendships. If you are searching for possible associates in other parts of the world, let us know. We can help to establish these kinds of relationships.
We also promote exchanges South/South between our partner organizations for the exchange of knowledge, experience and material. Among such exchanges, we find:
- The exchange of a representative of the Solar Craftswomen Association, in the Elqui Valley, Chile, with the women of ASOMUCAF (Association of Women Head of Families) and their ecovillage project at Nashira, exchanging their knowledge of recycling of paper, transformation of other kinds of waste into resources, the use of solar energy for cooking food and appropriate technologies.
- The establishment of contact and relations between the Natural Reserves Network of the Civil Society and the Ecovillage & Alternative Communities Network, both Columbian networks. These relations allow the exchange of experience within the areas of sustainable management of natural resources and sustainability in general.
We realize how valuable and enriching it is to build relations between entities and organizations from different parts of the world. Therefore we hope to continue collaborating in the establishment of these kinds of activities.
At the moment we are developing a project together with the Peoples University and the Green Movement of Sri Lanka, in order to establish an intercontinental South/South exchange between organizations from 9 different countries that all work for sustainable development. We hope that this project will receive financial support in the near future.