♣ Trans-generational approach

"♣": Estrategias específicas empleadas por los estudios de caso para incrementar su nivel de auto-sustentabilidad.Pueden estar en inglés o español. Por favor usa el traductor del menú lateral 

"♣": Specific strategies used by the case studies to increase their degree of self-sustainability.They might be in English or in Spanish. Please use the side menu translator
  • Perhaps it is this conviction that has motivated El Apompal Ecouturism members’ persistence: contributing with resources, infrastructure, land or voluntary work. The one that has motivated their unstoppable efforts to create bonds with new communities and towns of the area, aspiring to consolidate an ecotourism network that becomes a profitable economic alternative, that allows reducing the abuse of the resources of this precious, rich, and environmentally sensitive region.
  • Although the initiative is in serious economic difficulty because of reduced government support, surviving members believethat ecotourism is more sustainable than the sale of natural resources or agriculture. They believe that local resources, such as waterfalls, and wildlife, are a form of capital that can attract visitors.
  • The detailed and holistic development planthat allowed Songshan to acquire the UNESCO label, considered aspects such as:
    • route plan for educational practice, science and research, including a Geology Museum
  • Obviously, this scheme benefits everyone because of the contribution it makes to reduce the environmental impact. Moreover, it benefits:

• GreenPrice, because it generates profits as a company that allows it to ensure the financial sustainability of the project — unlike if they were constituted as a non-governmental organization.

• Customers, because it allows them to access products that would otherwise be out of their reach, while contributing, in principle, to solving the ethical and environmental problems that GreenPrice addresses. Here it is important to mention that the niche population of the project are middle-class citizens, especially adults. Firstly, because the civil organizations that collect and redistribute food waste in Hong Kong — from restaurants and not from distributors or suppliers — focus on the poorest populations and the wealthier sector is not particularly interested in getting their products at a lower price. Second, because the type of products that GreenPrice focuses on are not essential— they are foods that are normally considered luxury and some other products such as cosmetics. Third, because young people do not seem to care too much about the high price of products.

• Suppliers, because it represents their only alternative, in addition to garbage dumps, to channel their products with dates close to expiration in a responsible manner, minimizing their monetary losses due to transportation, storage and disposal of these products — the GreenPrice initiative does not represent a risk for them because the project is still small and because the products it sells are not fixed, but depend on what suppliers provide it. In addition, some suppliers register their transfer of products to GreenPrice as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. Moreover, the sale of these products through GreenPrice allows them to approach a population niche that will potentially continue to buy these products through conventional means.

    • With the support of this network and in addition to the on-line consultancies, [This/the initiative] organizes activities to expand the opportunities of this population to adapt and improve their living conditions in their destination city. These include psychological care, book loans through a mobile bookstore, badminton, ping pong, karaoke, health training, courses on how to use a computer, get a job (write a CV for example), develop cultural skills such as theater, defend labor benefits, select and organize representatives to negotiate as a group with the employers (collective bargaining), etc. It also encourages members of the network to engage in public benefit activities — planting trees, donating blood, etc. — that help them organize and improve their surroundings. To date, more than 14,000 people have participated in these activities.

    • The opinion of Prof. He is that the model of the [This/the initiative] Market has the potential to reverse, at least in part, the migration trend. That is to say, although their primary target population is currently the elderly of the populations where they work, in the future these efforts could have an impact on young people, who may lose interest in migrating to cities if they find decent opportunities to improve their quality of life within their own communities.

    • Building the ground for sustainable change to emerge and sustain, and creating the conditions for dependency to be reduced, requires of adopting an overall trans-generational approach, and guaranteeing the physical and temporal spaces to  recurrently reflect upon what that approach means for the initiative and its social objective, what has been done to materialize it, and what still needs to be worked out.
      • Alumni work as, for example, solar engineers, coordinators of craft workshops or of the local early childhood education centres, cooks for the [This/the initiative] community, or as cultural workers in the community. Others extend the benefits of the program into the mainstream education system at the Siksha Karmi and Siksha Niketa schools. Further examples of this integration among projects lie in the training offered to teachers by the[This/the initiative]’s Health Centre to identify common health issues in their students, and in the vocational training that the children receive.
  • In summary, besides following the national curricula, the program puts a special emphasis on providing children with an education that is culturally and linguistically relevant for them and for their families, rather than a curriculum that would serve to encourage migration to the cities (and, possibly, a life in an urban slum)Many children in the program indicate a wish to become teachers. By initiating a first generation of learners, the program is contributing to educational sustainability in the sense of enhancing educational participation across generations. It is well established that educated mothers tend to seek ways to educate their children. This is particularly important in a region where the barriers to girls’ attending schools are not only financial but also cultural. These rural, poor, lower caste girls constitute the most disadvantaged sector of the population.Through the program, the[This/the initiative] is advancing a greater agenda of gender and caste equity, not least by the setting of an example: in addressing the particular needs of girls; in inviting individuals from the lower castes to work as Night Schools’ teachers; in seating children from different castes together; and in defending the right of everyone to drink from the same water source. Although prejudices are being overcome, traditional attitudes remain a challenge – particularly beyond the school, where other sectors of the community continue to impose traditional practices in which caste and gender influence children’s social relations and futures. Teachers deliberately hired from the lower castes by the[This/the initiative] are not easily accepted by all in the community. Because of this, the organization frequently has to hire men, given the additional prejudices against women. Nevertheless, because of their impact on the students, the teachers are, despite their caste background, increasingly valued and respected in the communities.
    • the[This/the initiative] Project and the[This/the initiative] was explored only to complement its information, both initiatives’ central objective is reducing their communities’ dependency on the peso-based national economy, which is not guaranteeing that resources flow into their localities, pushing their inhabitants to migrate or live in poverty

    By capitalizing on and promoting social trust and solidarity, the final aim of their project is to enhance social cohesion as the basis for improving the lives of the communities

    inspired by the[This/the initiative], which has operated from Mexico City since 1996 promoting alternative barter markets (of products and services), local university teachers in 2010 created an alternative market project popularly known as “The[This/the initiative] Project” as a tool to boost the local economy (promoting the circulation of goods which had no buyers due to the absence of conventional money in the place) and reduce external dependence (on resources and on the values from the printing and distribution of economic currency).

    The current economic model does not offer a solution to the problems of poverty, but reproduces them. We must create an option that represents an alternative to the current economy, which creates immense external dependence. Start creating it from the children, through an education that questions what is produced locally and what is missing, considering that the local production, however, is never enough. We need a trans-generational approach to transcend the economic dependence that creates scarcity, poverty. To exit the well we must stop digging.

    • On what are the Night Schools’ children going to live when they grow up? What is the economy in which these children are being educated about? Where does this education lead them?….We must create an option that represents an alternative to the current economy, which creates immense external dependence. Start creating it from the children, through an education that questions what is produced locally and what is missing, considering that the local production, however, is never enough. We need a trans-generational approach to transcend the economic dependence that creates scarcity, poverty. To exit the well we must stop digging

    The[This/the initiative] Project’s model is not intended to be scalable, but the local autonomous economy model that promotes solidarity and local production is. Retrieving experience from the[This/the initiative] Project and[This/the initiative]’s initiatives (or from any other of the many thousands of alternative currencies – economies – that today are being multiplied in the world) can become a tool to reinforce the self-sustainability in the implementation, and therefore the scope, of the programs undertaken by the[This/the initiative], by attacking the roots of dependency with a systemic, integral perspective

    • The success of the project resulted in its absorption by the Brazilian Ministry of Health and in its escalation to State level in 2010.
    • Nowadays, [This/the initiative]’s general coordinator considers that the organization’s health mission is accomplished because it has not only achieved its objective of providing health access to the populations in the area it serves, but it has been escalated in the whole state thanks to the organization’s pragmatism and its acknowledgement that the State’s delivery and funding capacity is bigger. Therefore,[This/the initiative]’s role in the area of health has changed. Now it is focused on training communities for the management and social control of these social policies to monitor the State intervention’s quality, which has implied a great detachment effort for the organization.
    [This/the initiative] has never had schools. Compulsory Education’s coverage in the area is almost 100%, partly because of[This/the initiative]’s advocacy efforts in the last 20 years. It rather had focus on complementary activities to the work of public schools. Since more than 53% of the local population is below 19 years old,[This/the initiative] mainly works with children and the youth with programs for community and environmental education, cultural promotion and diffusion, digital inclusion, and complementary actions for schools. During the latter, local education-related actors (communities, schools, and multiplier of actions) are trained to create supporting regionalized learning materials with participatory methodologies. This counteracts the lack of relevance of local schools’ curricula.

    As with the health program, while[This/the initiative]’s efforts where concentrated until not long ago into complementing schools’ activities, they are now focused on a partnership with 5 schools, the Carlos Chagas Foundation, and the Education Ministry of Santarem municipality, to work on a pilot project for making education for the Amazonian populations more relevant.

    For this purpose, they also use the participatory mapping methodology. Children draw maps of their communities that include not only their inhabitants, but also their institutions, geographical conditions, resources, etc. This methodology helps both[This/the initiative] and educators to identify the perception children have about the place they live, what is important, whose concepts are embedded into their mindset, etc. Based on these concepts and images,[This/the initiative] helps educators and school authorities to sensitize teachers about what is relevant in the region (many teachers are not from the communities where they work), and adapt local materials and the curricula with images, subjects, and methodologies that are more familiar to the children.

    The objective of this partnership is to set an example of how to improve the quality of the public schools in the region that, if successful, is to be scaled to the whole municipality. That is, as the case of the health program, to serve as a demonstrative experience that aims at being escalated by the State, with the argument that it is the latter’s responsibility to provide access to quality education for all. The project so far has been stopped because the Carlos Chagas Foundation cancelled all of its funding this year.

    • integrating the work of different areas, consolidating the model’s impact
    • [This/the initiative] also ensures that all its programs are supported by training to form “multiplier” agents, that is, local leaders that can manage and disseminate the programs independently.
    • the[This/the initiative] could profit by innovating new means to motivate local production and vocational trainings to create long-term economic autonomy both for the people and for the schools program.
    • the option of creating local entrepreneurship initiatives (like[This/the initiative]’s communitarian ecotourism) that provide children with future options for employment, help the organization to disseminate its programs abroad, and function as parallel enterprises that not only incorporate Night Schools’ alumni into the local economy but help in the funding of the Night Schools. If programmed well, this specialized tourism could also help to diversify the Night Schools’ funding sources.
    • Consolidate a network of “multiplier” agents with the Night Schools alumni, especially those that participated in the children’s parliament
    • family planning trainings
    • it promotes interculturality – the national curriculum is reinforced but they place strong emphasis on the relevance of education and the appreciation of rural life and local knowledge, which has immediate effects in the community’s life and, as a result, in the involvement of parents in the learning process.
    • It is trans-sectorial because it promotes the formation of skills as the basis of entrepreneurship (including those for pacific coexistence, health, garbage management, environment, etc.). They emphasize on children’s application of their knowledge within their family and community. One of the main successes of[This/the initiative]’s model is that it offers very concrete elements to motivate children’s participation with the community. It is important to say that creating these entrepreneurial skills has been a useful tool to prevent rural children’s migration to the cities.
    • Other strategies are specifically addressed to avoid creating dependency relations. In concrete, the community sponsorship programs are intended for a specific target: ensure the community’s self-sustainability in an agreed period of time. The money to find the partner enterprise comes from [This/the initiative] ’s main office and it is recovered from the money the enterprise provides in the sponsorship budget. [This/the initiative] is an officially registered civil organization and each of its local offices is an officially registered civil organization as well, and not a part of [This/the initiative] ’s main office. So the budget goes to increasing the community’s Civil Association’s self-sustainability through capacity building programs (training them on getting funds, managing programs, establishing cooperatives, increasing social participation, etc.). The enterprise and [This/the initiative] make an agreement where the local Civil Association (the community organized) ensures results in a certain period of time (10, 20 years), and if there are not results (periodical evaluations are made) the funding is stopped. In short: the partnership contemplates an Exit Plan for both the enterprise and the [This/the initiative]’s main office with the intention of ensuring a decentralized development program.
    • Herramientas informáticas de apoyo. El desarrollo de softwares que faciliten dinámicas de colaboración, también podrían ayudar esta labor. En este sentido el [Esta/la iniciativa] puede aprovechar softwares ya existentes (como Nvivo, Mindjet, etc) que han sido diseñados precisamente para tal fin. También puede inspirarse en ellos para crear softwares propios, reduciendo sus gastos a futuro.
    • Integración:

    Intentos de integración, lazos entre cosas que se refuerzan entre sí-:

    • a nivel proyecto (hospedaje, comedores, temazcal, generador eólico/solar, observatorio, espacio para eventos)

    •A nivel comunitario (gallinas, donas, etc)

    No se trata de acaparar sino de fortalecer a la comunidad. No gallinas propias, mejor comprar las de la vecina.

    • [Esta/la iniciativa] se dedica a dar asesoría legal y fiscal a organizaciones de la sociedad civil (OSC) para su constitución legal y como donatarias autorizadas, con el fin de fortalecerlas y abrirles las puertas a más apoyos. El régimen de donatarias autorizadas facilita que las iniciativas de desarrollo consigan apoyos financieros (porque pueden ser deducibles de impuestos para los donantes) y les exenta de pagar impuestos. El proyecto surgió con un curso impartido para estudiantes de la Universidad Iberoamericana en la Ciudad de México llamado “Marco Legal y fiscal de la filantropía”. En éste se buscaba llenar dos huecos a la vez, sin necesidad de una gran inversión en trámites y recursos financieros: por un lado, ayudar a “saciar el hambre de asesoría del mundo de las OSC”. Por el otro, contribuir a la formación en este rubro de abogados fiscalistas que pudiesen adquirir experiencia brindando asesorías gratuitas a varias iniciativas durante todo un semestre.

    Desde que concluyó esa etapa de cursos,[Esta/la iniciativa]   ha dado consultoría a autoridades hacendarias, con la intención de sensibilizarlas respecto a las necesidades particulares de las iniciativas de desarrollo más vulnerables. Desde la perspectiva de[Esta/la iniciativa] , los encargados de diseñar la legislación fiscal conocen poco de la realidad que se vive fuera del ambiente urbano y es por ello que han privilegiado mecanismos bastante estandarizados para la certificación y distribución de apoyos, que han reproducido las condiciones de desigualdad entre las iniciativas de desarrollo, al tener pocas previsiones para su trato diferenciado y por ende equitativo. Como resultado de lo anterior, muy pocas organizaciones culminan el trámite de reconocimiento como donatarias autorizadas con éxito.  De 60 organizaciones asesoradas por su grupo a la que se les dio seguimiento, menos de 10 lo concluyeron. Esta deserción se explica en parte por el hecho de que el proceso es complejo y no gratuito, y la desidia por parte de las OSC mucha, pues el trámite o es costoso (cuando la mayoría carece de recursos) o es gratuito pero lento y tedioso. Además, los costos del notario no se pueden evitar. Más aún, la estandarización de la normatividad favorece a las iniciativas con mayor grado de: 1. Estructuración (solidez, desalentando la innovación); 2. Vinculación con los donantes (son mundos que no se juntan); 3. Capital intelectual para enterarse y competir con éxito en las convocatorias por fondos, especialmente las internacionales (por idioma, formación, acceso a los medios, etc); 4. Capacidad económica para cubrir gastos de constitución legal (asesores en el proceso, notarios, transporte a las oficinas administrativas en las ciudades, principalmente la capital).

    Por lo anterior, para[Esta/la iniciativa] contar con el estatus de donataria autorizada no es para todos, y no basta para resolver las necesidades financieras de una organización porque las donaciones son pocas y difíciles de adquirir. Aún así, le considera una herramienta útil, de apoyo.

    • Para facilitar la venta de los árboles fomentan dos tipos de colaboración que aseguran la integridad del proyecto y con ella su mayor proyección y atractivo sin la necesidad de invertir recursos extra:

    Colaboración estrecha y de mutuo beneficio con otras Sociedades Anónimas (S.A.):

    -Una ofrece paseos de integración, retiros y pláticas a la medida para empresas (Coca Cola, El Metro, Coppel, etc), lo que le sirve a [Esta/la iniciativa] para hacerse de recursos extra y publicidad.

    -Otra, Hacienda X (desde 1999), ofrece alojamiento (hotel y campamentos); visitas culturales al Museo de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz y al Museo de los Volcanes, al laberinto inglés, al parque de los venados, las águilas y las serpientes acariciables; instalaciones de deportes extremos como la tirolesa. Todos estos servicios y más están disponibles gratuitamente a los clientes de [Esta/la iniciativa]. Además, la Hacienda le envía sus clientes a éste último en visitas diarias a cambio de lo cual éste les regala pequeños árboles, les ofrece pláticas sobre manejo sustentable de los bosques y paseos por el vivero y el bosque.

    -Otra más organiza visitas escolares que son reconocidas por la Secretaría de Educación Pública, pues están diseñadas de manera tal que sirvan para reforzar la enseñanza de materias del plan de estudios como ciencias, educación ambiental (manejo de basura, aprovechamiento del agua de lluvia, etc), civismo, etc. Estas visitas (van como 20 escuelas al día) tienen un costo de$140 pesos por alumno y representan un ingreso extra para [Esta/la iniciativa], quien a cambio obsequia cupones de descuento en árboles de navidad para cada alumno, un árbol pequeño del vivero y un certificado de participación. Aunque esta colaboración le es redituable a [Esta/la iniciativa] en términos financieros y de publicidad, un reto que tiene que vencer para asegurar un mayor impacto de su objetivo de sensibilización ambiental es la significativa apatía que parece caracterizar a buena parte de los alumnos y maestros que les visitan (una tercera parte según nuestra fuente).

    Además de dichas colaboraciones que ayudan a multiplicar el impacto del proyecto para la sensibilización ambiental en diferentes sectores de la población (empresas, escuelas, familias),[Esta/la iniciativa] busca promover su modelo y escalarlo a través de cursos de capacitación técnica para la instalación y mantenimiento de viveros, de sistemas de captación de agua de lluvia, etc, que ofrece de forma gratuita a campesinos y otras organizaciones tanto nacionales como extranjeras que les visitan. También ofrecen pláticas de sensibilización ambiental.

    • Se está desarrollando un proyecto de “ecoaldea” urbana. Se construyen casas en las que se proyecta que vivan voluntarios que trabajen en los diferentes proyectos durante residencias de seis meses a cambio de alimento, residencia y experiencia. No se ha decidido si estos voluntarios tendrán que pagar por realizar estas residencias de “capacitación”. Según los dueños, esto convertiría a[Esta/la iniciativa] en un “proyecto vivo” que realmente forme modos de vivir alternativos, no solo experiencias de un día
    • En tercer lugar, se ofrecen talleres, capacitaciones y visitas escolares, de manera que se transmite el conocimiento y la sensibilización de temas ambientales con el público en general a todos los niveles. Esto haría al proyecto más sustentable en la medida en que sus actividades tengan un alcance a largo plazo en la población que participa
    • [This/the initiative] 75 years of experience working with marginalized children and their communities in 31 countries (approx. 17.8 million children and their families participated by 2012) subsidizing the scarce local resources to “empower a cycle of improvement that touches every member of society” and “create the environments children need to thrive” (x). They also work with local groups and parent committees to identify key local problems and possible solutions, all of them family oriented, such as:

    a. Trainings/awareness programs about child protection (e.g. for parents).

    b. Early childhood psychosocial, health, and education support.

    c. Youth unemployment skills training.

    d. Health care and sanitation (nutrition: establishing renewable resources of food and safe water).

    e. Basic education (building schools, vocational skills)

    f. Micro-enterprises/jobs for generating family income.

    g. Emergencies programs for children that are victims of wars and natural disasters.