AMI is partnering with the Garifuna people in Honduras. The Garifuna, the only surviving speakers of Taino and Carib languages, are a proud people. The National Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras, or OFRANEH is the organization they have created to defend their beautiful and biodiversity-rich ancestral lands against theft and degradation.
Recently AMI helped the Garifuna recover 2,500 acres of their ancestral land located on the Atlantic coast of Honduras in Vallecito, Colon. They had been pushed off these prime coastal lands by increasing industrialization and privatization. In order to gain autonomy, food sovereignty, and to embrace cultural renewal, the Garifuna fought to recover their land. The recovering of their lands also provides for the resettling of Garifuna who were displaced due to land theft.
In August of 2012 the Garifuna organized a reoccupation of their land. AMI accompanied the Garifuna by organizing international solidarity and spreading the word through our expansive networks of allies. We were steadfast with the Garifuna until the land was resurveyed by the Honduran government and proven to be theirs.
AMI then organized an international gathering in Vallecito in Spring, 2013. Since then agricultural brigades have worked alongside the Garifuna planting fruit and mahogany trees, and staple crops in the lands of Vallecito. AMI walks with the proud Garifuna people and are proud to be their friends and allies for the long road.
AMI’s West Africa Initiative (WAI) supports the capacity of rural community groups in developing self-reliant and independent organizations that engage in food production and marketing. WAI’s goal is to support the improvement of community food security and the economic and social well-being of WAI members. WAI also supports the development of management and technical capacity of local partner organizations to fully assume the responsibility of operating the WAI program on their own.
Since its initiation in 2008, 22 groups in Sierra Leone have served 650 members benefiting some 4600 family members. In Liberia 10 groups have served 210 members and 1500 individuals benefited directly during the same period. In both countries, through these groups, more than 6100 people have benefited directly through improved food security, improved incomes and improved quality of life. However, the greatest impact is probably the fact that these groups are well on the way to becoming autonomous functional community based organizations working to improve the lives of people in their communities.
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