Small Grants Reports, 2010-II

EarthRights is delighted to provide an update on the implementation of a number of projects by alumni from our EarthRights School Burma. These projects were funded under the Second Round of ERI’s Burma Alumni Small Grants Program. We have been receiving reports from successful grant recipients, and are happy to hear of the many successes our alumni are having in training future activists in Burma and fostering awareness about human and environmental rights.

A recent alumnus held three days of training in Burma to help the local farmers become more sustainable in their farming practices. The participants first learned about the environmental degradation caused by “slash-and-burn” farming, the traditional means of farming in the area. Secondly, the instructors were able to teach the participants how to create and use natural fertilizers and pesticides to ensure their practices become more sustainable in the future. This training was combined with community development training and the administrators were pleasantly surprised to find 170 people taking part in the training rather than the anticipated 30. It is expected that these participants will help share these lessons with the members of their communities and maximize the positive impact on the farming practices in these areas.

EarthRights is also proud to report that another alumnus led a successful 6-day seminar on human and environmental rights near the Thai-Burma border. This session involved participants from several organizations and helped to spread awareness of human and environmental rights in Burma. The organizers linked human and environmental rights with governance, the United Nations, and the violations taking place in Burma - particularly with dams and the Shwe Gas pipeline.

This training involved collaboration with many different NGOs from the border areas and helped to spread awareness of human and environmental rights throughout the community. It has also served to give all the participants the knowledge and tools to defend these rights when they are threatened. Participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive and organizers hope to run a similar course for women and children’s rights in the future.