In 2022, a selected group of activists and community groups in the Global South working on climate and social justice initiatives was supported through the Zovu Fellowships. They received storytelling coaching, technical support and a small grant to develop content about their work. Here are some examples of participants and the videos they produced.
Fondo para la Paz
In the indigenous Mixtec region of Oaxaca, Fondo para la Paz promotes conservation agriculture, a farming technique mixing innovative and traditional practices that boost crop production while safeguarding the soil and the environment. This improves the farming communities’ economy and reinforces food security. This approach has changed the lives of thousands of people in rural areas and also had a positive effect on the ecosystem.
Associação Indígena do Povo Katurãma
In the midst of a tough and lengthy rebuilding process after the 2019 rupture of Vale dam in Brumadinho, the indigenous community of Katurãma village, of the Pataxó and Pataxó
Hã-hã-hã-hãe ethnicities, struggles to resume life in the same way as before. Following the destruction of their homes, their land and their displacement, they find that their traditional practices, knowledge and culture are under threat. The reparation of their land goes hand in hand with a national campaign aimed at supporting the rebuilding process and the protection of their historical way of life.
Red de Defensoras del Ambiente y del Buen Vivir
Climate change is making farming seasons increasingly unpredictable to farmers. This is a serious problem in northern Togo, where droughts can severely threaten food security in rural communities. OPAS leads community development in the village of Tchitchao, where a solar-powered water pump has been installed, allowing people to water their fields even when rain is scarce. Aside from this project, OPAS accompanies and trains women farmers in agroecology so as to regenerate the land, correct damage done by monocultures and pesticides, and promote a sustainable way for families to earn a living.
Society for the Improvement of Rural People (SIRP)
Through their ‘Paradigm Shift’, SIRP seek to normalize menstrual topics in the community. They involve people of all ages and genders in the conversation in an effort to normalize periods. This initiative includes an environmental and economic perspective whereby participants are encouraged to use reusable pads to reduce plastic waste in the community, and also taught how to produce and sell sustainable period products as a way to earn a living.
Reciclar para o Futuro
Cecilia is a young Brazilian activist working on promoting recycling. Concerned about the lack of waste management and the increasing accumulation of landfill waste, she founded Recycle for Future. her initiative seeks to link private and commercial waste producers with a recycling cooperative. This strategy not only allows for an increase in recycling rates and reduces contamination, but it also provides new jobs and lifts people out of extreme poverty.
Disaster Risk Management in Africa (DRM Africa)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Established in eastern DRC, where Tanganyka lake floods are becoming more and more frequent, DRM Africa is determined to strengthen the community’s resilience to natural and anthropogenic hazards. They do this by using open data to identify, assess and communicate risk and disaster management measures, increase communities’ preparedness to disasters as well as restoring and preserving the ecosystem to restore and prevent future damage. As Zovu fellows, DRM Africa produced a film on the effects of climate change in the community and the solutions diverse actors are adopting.
CLIMALAB is a laboratory generating innovative ideas to address climate change. Created in 2017 by a group of friends concerned about the impact of climate change in Colombia, it has become a reputable youth organization over the past few years. CLIMALAB’s work has reached more than 4,500 people in the country. They mainly focus on communication, climate action and public policy advocacy. The team believes that climate education is one of the most powerful tools at hand. Raising awareness and encouraging citizen action in different communities is essential to address the climate crisis.
Haiti Youth Biodiversity Network
Considered as one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change, Haiti has suffered several floods, hurricanes and droughts affecting the lives of thousands of people in the country. The Haitian Youth Biodiversity Network works to reduce the country’s vulnerability to climate change by protecting its nature. One of their lines of work is waste management. This initiative does not only help to reduce the rates of CO2 in the ocean, but it is also a source of employment for youth.
Known as the “Smiling Coast of Africa,” will the Gambia continue to becalled as so if nothing is done to fight the effects of climate change? Fortunately, there are plenty of citizen initiatives tackling climate change in the country. Madeline Ileleji and her organization, Jokkolabs Banjul, have produced a documentary on local climate heroes portraying some of the local leaders working for the planet.
Many communities in Guwahati, the largest metropolis in Northeast India, face flash floods beyond their control on a yearly basis. They will continue to experience them as the climate crisis worsens. On top of this, they experience social injustices with the absence of basic human rights such as safe housing and access to water and sanitation. Despite the challenges, the youth steps up to support and uplift the communities in Guwahati through organizations like Yuva.
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, several projects and social movements arose to face the intersecting crises of health, hunger and economic inequality in Brazil. The Movement of Struggle in the Territories for Agroecology and Popular Power (Movimento LUTA) was born to fight food insecurity and guarantee quality, organic, and agroecological food in the communities and slums. By proposing ecological approaches to food security, Movimento LUTA aims to contribute to the transformation of the farming industry.