For years, self-employed and unemployed women in Zimbabwe formed neighbourhood "clubs" where they pooled money together for everything from buying bulk groceries to be shared at the end of the year to meeting funeral expenses.
Until a decade ago, marginal farmers Gangotri Chandrol and Sunitabai lacked livelihood options in the post-monsoon season.
When the residents of Armstrong, a town of 15,000 in western Argentina, began to meet to discuss a renewable energy project, they agreed that there could be many positive effects and that it was not just a question of doing their bit in the global effort to mitigate climate change.
Nearby is an agroecological garden and a plant nursery, further on there are pens for raising pigs and chickens, and close by, in an old one-story house with a tiled roof, twelve women sew pants and blouses. All of this is happening in a portion of a public park near Buenos Aires, where popular cooperatives are fighting the impact of Argentina's long-drawn-out socioeconomic crisis.
Management areas in Chile for benthic organisims, which live on the bottom of the sea, are successfully combating the overexploitation of this food source thanks to the efforts of organized shellfish and seaweed harvesters and divers.
Lourdes Barreto, 47, says that as an agroecological small farmer she has improved her life and that of Mother Earth. "I love myself as I love Mother Earth and I have learned to value both of us," she says in her field outside the village of Huasao, in the highlands of the southern Peruvian department of Cuzco.
While the Cuban government's plans to increase production begin to bear fruit, Mireya Barrios confesses that she seeks every possible way to enjoy a cup of coffee every day, in the face of high prices and scarcity.
With the satisfaction of knowing he was doing something good for himself and the planet, Salvadoran farmer Luis Edgardo Pérez set out to plant a fruit tree on the steepest part of his plot, applying climate change adaptation techniques to retain water.
"All we ever wanted was to keep working. And although we have not gotten to where we would like to be, we know that we can," says Edith Pereira, a short energetic woman, as she walks through the corridors of Farmacoop, in the south of the Argentine capital. She proudly says it is "the first pharmaceutical laboratory in the world recovered by its workers."
Every other Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. sharp, a group of 26 Mexican women meet for an hour to discuss the progress of their work and immediate tasks. Anyone who arrives late must pay a fine of about 25 cents on the dollar.
The space consists of just 300 square meters full of green where there is an agro-ecological vegetable garden and nursery, which are the work and dream of 14 women. Behind it can be seen the imposing silhouettes of the high rises that are a symbol of the most modern and sought-after part of Argentina's capital city.
"We started making shampoos and soaps in the kitchen of a friend’s house in 2017. We were five or six girls without jobs, looking for a collective solution, and today we are here," says Letsy Villca, standing between the white walls of the spacious laboratory of Maleza Cosmética Natural, a cooperative that brings together 44 women in their early twenties in the Argentine capital.
"The biggest problem for family farmers has always been to market and sell what they produce, at a fair price," says Natalia Manini, a member of the Union of Landless Rural Workers (UST), a small farmers organisation in Argentina that has been taking steps to forge direct ties with consumers.
After climbing a steep hill along winding paths, you reach a huge water tank at the top that supplies peasant farmer families who had no water and instead set up their own community project on this coastal strip in central El Salvador.
Pauline Akwacha’s popular chain of eateries, famously known as Kakwacha Hangover Hotels and situated at the heart of Kisumu City's lakeside in Kenya, is facing its most daunting challenge yet. Akwacha and other women in business across this East African nation are bracing themselves for the post-COVID-19 economy.
International Leprosy Congress just wrapped up in Manila, Philippines last week. Alongside policy makers, diplomats, medical researchers, doctors, donors and academics, several Hansen's disease-affected people’s organisations also participated in the 3-day congress that was co-sponsored by The Nippon Foundation (TNF) and Sasakawa Health Foundation (SHF).
"Our philosophy is based on two principles: zero tolerance of pesticides or bosses," says Leandro Ladrú, while he puts tomatoes and carrots in the ecological bag held by a customer, in a large market in the Argentine capital, located between warehouses and rusty old railroad cars.
At more than 3,300 m above sea level, in the department of Cuzco, women are beating infertile soil and frost to grow organic food and revive community work practices that date back to the days of the Inca empire in Peru such as the "ayni" and "minka".
“It made me angry that a company from outside the region was making money from renewable energy and I wondered why people weren't getting involved," says Petra Gruner-Bauer, president of the German co-operative SolixEnergie.
The small pulp mill that uses native fruits that were previously discarded is a synthesis of the multiple objectives of the Adapta Sertão project, a programme created to build resilience to climate change in Brazil's most vulnerable region.
In the past, Lameck Sibukale only knew savings in the form of rearing chickens, goats and more importantly, cattle—a long cherished cultural heritage of the Tonga-speaking people of southern Zambia.