By Emilia González Clements
Fifth Sun Development Fund
The Changing Face of Grassroots Development: Pacific Northwest Examples
In the vast and expanding domain of “development”, there are different approaches, disciplines and players. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest, I have encountered several non-anthropologist practitioners. They may not use the words “development” or even “social change”, but they are working to help individuals and groups, usually marginalized people, solve contemporary human problems. I will read up on this new breed of practitioner and in future editions of the Newsletter, I will profile a few of these local social entrepreneurs, corporate responsibility managers, altruistic capitalists, ordinary citizens and committed students, among them:
- A woman who fundraises money to run marathons to promote awareness of women’s empowerment helped an African women she happened to meet; they have now created and support a self-help group in Africa
- Parents of a young mechanical engineering student create an agency to take over the work of their son, killed while working on improving irrigation systems in Central America
- A father-and-son scrap metal business pick up discarded bikes and refurbish them for local schoolchildren
- A renewable energy professor creates a program through which students work on village-scale energy projects
- A local bank helps fund local sustainability projects
- Students create opportunities to volunteer their time and expertise, locally and globally
Rob Duren, a student leader from Portland State University, will be working with the TIG beginning this month. Rob will introduce himself in the next Newsletter. He has wide interests and is particularly seeking an internship in Peru. Find him at the TIG display table.
TIG Annual Meeting: SfAA-Baltimore
The TIG meets annually at the SfAA conference, this year in Baltimore (March 27-31, 2012). Check the program for time and place. We invite your participation.