The Human Impacts Institute (Hii) went to the province of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, for December 2010 and January 2011 to pilot its international grassroots support program. Working with a local women’s land rights organization, Hii piloted its newest partnership program, which pairs enterprising youth with grassroots environmental groups in-need of capacity development, research, and temporary staffing.
Hii staff worked with the local organization to: develop their website; increase local partnerships for programming; develop an internship and hiring program; begin a local environmental justice program; and train staff and volunteers on issues of sustainable development, gender and human rights; among other things. In addition to this, Hii worked with local staff to streamline the office environment in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. Additionally, during 2010-2011 Hii selected and co-managed nine student volunteers (6 international and 3 local), who provided free research consulting and organizational capacity development services to the local organization. Hii also worked with local staff to document the stories of over 100 rural women to use for participatory policymaking, including the international climate change negotiations (COP 17) coming to South Africa in 2011.
A successful pilot in grassroots support and collaborative partnerships, Hii is looking forward to continuing this pilot grassroots support program with other international partners in the near future.
Thanks to support from Ecojot, UPS, and Webster University, Leiden, for making this pilot program possible!