Cooperatives

World Bank Arm Admits Wrongs in Honduras Loan

In an unusual statement, the World Bank’s private-sector arm has threatened to cancel a controversial investment in a Honduran palm oil company that has been implicated in serious human rights abuses, including numerous killings, over the past five years.

Digital Age Demands Educational Transformation, World Forum Says

The challenges of the digital age call for schools to develop an alternative model of education, with teachers who incorporate new technology and employ a more critical pedagogy, participants said at the Fórum Mundial de Educaçao (World Education Forum) in this southern Brazilian city.

Seedpods Worth More than Gold in Argentina’s Arid North

Tired of the drought driving away their men and killing their livestock, the women of Guanaco Sombriana, a town in northern Argentina, have found a new source of income by using the seedpods of native trees that up to now merely provided shade in this arid landscape.

Rebuilding Lives Skilfully

Farhat Bibi, 43, was left to fend for her three young sons after her husband was killed in a bomb attack in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) three years ago. A few days later, she landed at a camp for people displaced by violence. “The camp proved to be a blessing in disguise,” she says.

In Haiti, Planting Trees Is No Simple Matter

Reforestation and soil conservation programmes costing many thousands of dollars in this rural community have resulted in hundreds of small ledges built of straw or sacks of earth. In certain areas, the earthworks seem to be lasting, but in others, they are disintegrating.

Private Initiative Finds Garbage Profitable in Cuba

As self-employment and cooperatives expand in socialist Cuba, they are making incursions into new areas, such as waste picking and recycling – for many a means of subsistence, but for others, a gold mine.

Building a Better World, One Block at a Time

One evening in the small village of Ashton Hayes in Cheshire, England, someone started a conversation about climate change and energy at the local pub. It was 2005. Two years later, residents had cut their carbon dioxide emissions and energy costs by 20 percent.

Homeless Again

A police cordon kept everyone out of the Buenaventura “corrala” on Thursday after the police evicted 13 families living in the occupied building in the centre of this southern Spanish city early in the morning.

“Bring What You Want, Take What You Want”

Disillusioned with an economy that promotes individualism and ruthless consumption, thousands of people in Argentina are giving things away in street markets, organising car pools with strangers or offering free accommodation to travellers from abroad.

Sustainable Technologies Safeguard the Soil in Cuba

The furrows are hard to make out in fields of the Finca de Semillas, a farm on Havana’s outskirts, because its administrators, Esmilda Sánchez and Raúl Aguilar, protect every centimetre of soil with mulch.

Ecological Cuban Recipes Boost Sustainable Agriculture

Vilda Figueroa and her husband, José Lama, live in Marianao on the outskirts of Havana, where they share hundreds of recipes based on Cuban-grown foods and sun-drying, along with other ecological food preservation methods.

Building the Future Enterprise by Enterprise in Rural Peru

Women and young people are central players in dozens of small businesses and environmental protection plans that are changing the lives of poor rural families in the Andes highlands of southern Peru.

Haitian Farmers Lauded for Food Sovereignty Work

Work by the Group of 4 (G4) union of Haitian peasant organisations, along with assistance from the Dessalines Brigade -  South American peasant leaders and agroecology experts supported by La Via Campesina - has been singled out for promoting “good farming practices and advocat[ing] for peasant farmers” in Haiti.

Targeting Hard-core Urban Poverty with a Female Face

A new social programme launched by the Argentine government to fight hard-core poverty is providing unemployed mothers who are heads of households with education, training, work and an income.

Tapping Rural Culture for Development Potential

“I was a hunter. I killed many animals,” said Rosalino Ortiz, a representative of Mashiramo, a campesino organisation that monitors biodiversity in Colombia’s Massif range in the southern department of Huila.

Ensuring Microcredit’s Primary Goal Is Changing Lives

Microfinance is essentially social, but its expansion and evolution towards diversified financial services for those who are excluded from the conventional system has compelled it to develop new codes and practices to reinforce the message that its goal is people - particularly the poor.

New Cooperatives Form Part of Cuba’s Reforms

More than 100 non-farming cooperatives this month joined the independent sector of the Cuban economy, which includes self-employed workers and farmers granted public land to work, as part of the policy outlined by the government for modernising the management of state property.

Mini-Factories Emerging to Process Fruit in Cuba

Homemade machines for pulverising fruit and sealing cans of preserves, created by inventive entrepreneurs, are one of the pillars of a slight rise in mini-industries in different parts of Cuba, where food production is picking up.

Border Weakens Between Bombs and Cherries

It all happened within ten days – Syria’s civil war fought metres away from Israeli orchards abutting the ceasefire line; Austrian peacekeepers hastily evacuating the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that separates Israel from Syria; fears of a total collapse of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). All while the cherry-picking season is at its peak.

Award Spotlights Indian Women Helping Women

Jassiben, a self-employed potter from Nana Shahpur village in western India, loves summer despite the heat waves and frequent power cuts, because summer days always mean great business.

Indian Farmers Flex Collective Muscles

Chelmet Padmamma, 42, of Babanagar village in southern India’s drought-prone Medak district, is a happy woman: the rain has come earlier this year, thrice soaking the three-acre farm that she co-owns with four other women from her village.

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