Sustainable Sharing with Guatemala (SSG)
The vision of Sustainable Sharing with Guatemala (SSG) is that the people they engage with live longer healthier lives and do not need outside support; we are stronger, healthier, self –sustaining individuals, families and communities.
SSG works with indigenous Mayan communities served by established organizations who share our vision and values to build working models across borders and cultures. These models promote and sustain social justice, education, agriculture, environment, and health.
SSG’s core values are:
All people & places on the earth are connected. The stronger we emphasize these connections, the better the chance to sustain the earth.
The indigenous Mayan culture is rich, beautiful and embodies global wisdom. Thus, it deserves to be valued, protected and shared.
Human and gender rights are integral for the survival to sustainability.
We strive for long-term, sustainable solutions for people and the planet.
Long-term sustainability for impoverished communities depends on raising awareness and support for health, education and agriculture.
Joy, inspiration, satisfaction and pride can result from working long-term and in integrity with these values.
Sustainable Sharing with Guatemala (SSG) is focused on optimizing resources in the United States to support effective Guatemalan organizations that spearhead practical community-based projects and achieve positive long-term impacts on the health, agriculture, and environment of rural indigenous Guatemalans.
SSG believes that those local organizations that engage with local Guatemalan communities to shape projects that respond directly to their specific needs for solving pressing daily problems are the ones that can facilitate real, lasting, on-the-ground changes that are owned and operated by the people themselves.
As these kinds of imbedded changes take time, SSG is committed to two inter-related strategies: 1) to provide ongoing support, in coordination with other funders, to selected local Guatemalan organizations who utilize effective community-based approaches to problem-solving in SSG’s focus areas, and, 2) to use this experience to develop useful, sustainable, replicable models for similar development projects in impoverished communities outside Guatemala.
ArkansasFracking.org’s mission is to inform the public and its servants of the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” in theFayetteville Shale natural gas play in North Central Arkansas. There are also dangers with other phases of oil and gas production like drilling and waste disposal.
There is no doubt that some of the residents of this great state have benefited from employment in this industry and/or from royalties they are paid from the leasing of their minerals. This income has helped Arkansans.
Fracking is an economic, environmental, and therefore political issue, but above all it is a human health and human rights issue. Some people benefit from this industry while others are negatively impacted. Water contamination, air pollution, noise, light, odors, road damage, nuisances, property rights violations, negative effects on businesses, and other problems are common complaints from area residents.
These problems not only impact the people in the area, but their pets, livestock, and crops. Wildlife and plantlife are also affected. Also, the effects are not confined to the Fayetteville Shale area, as the water people drink, some of the food that people eat, and the air people breathe may come from inside the Fayetteville Shale.
In March of 2011, Stop Arkansas Fracking was founded by Sam, April, and Emily Lane. After area earthquakes and rumors that drilling and fracking were to blame, the Lane’s set out to research the issue and talk to residents in the community. What they found was shocking. Not only was the gas industry responsible for the increase in local seismicity, they were also responsible for harming the property, health, and overall well-being of many families and businesses in the area. State regulators, we found out quickly, were slow to respond to complaints, rarely following up with residents, and rarely enforcing the regulations that were in place. The Lane’s could not sit idly by and watch their state and its people suffer at the hand of the fossil fuel industry.
The all-volunteer, unpaid force works very hard with limited resources (and wonderful support from Earthways and others) to educate people in the area. We also have produced a documentary film about the fracking issue, with particular attention paid to waste disposal and earthquakes. See trailer here:Land of Opportunity. In 2012, Stop Arkansas Fracking became ArkansasFracking.org and our mission has stayed the same.
We work for residents, industry employees and their families (who are put at great risk to bodily and psychological injury). We work for those who have willingly leased their minerals to those who were forced to lease. We work for those who live downstream and downwind. We work for all of Arkansans who enjoy the beauty and dignity of the Natural State. Unfortunately, our state’s splendors are in great decline. However, pockets of individuals and groups are working very hard for change and making headway. We are glad to be a part of the progress.
ArkansasFracking.org continually works to educate the Arkansas public, legislators, regulators, and others across the country who are also feeling the effects of the oil and gas industry. Our Board of Directors give regular public presentations in Arkansas and in other oil and gas producing states. Our film is publically screened (for free) in Central and Northwestern Arkansas, as well as Oklahoma, Tennessee, and parts of the East Coast. Several copies of the film have been freely distributed to academicians and federal officials throughout the country, and of course is made freely available to any member of the public. We believe in free access to knowledge, understanding that knowledge is power.
ArkansasFracking.org also has capabilities to sample air quality in the Fayetteville Shale and we have been doing so since early 2013–after being trained in Nov. 2012 by the International nonprofit group, Global Community Monitor. Currently, we are participating in a 5-state study on air quality effects around natural gas operations (with Pennsylvanian, Ohio, Colorado, and Wyoming). Our sample results will be released in October of 2014 and will show that the Fayetteville Shale is a Formaldehyde “hotspot.” Education about air quality issues in the Fayetteville Shale will be an ongoing effort for our group, and our hope is to share this information with environmental regulators and the public who can then take further action in the Fayetteville Shale with our unending support.
Project Directors: Emily Lane, April Lane, Sam Lane
For information on the documentary film: EGL02001@uca.edu
John Seed Small Grants Fund
EarthWays administers a funding program called “Rainforest Information Centre Small Grants Fund”. Over the last 25 years approximately $600,000 in grants has been made to grass roots groups throughout the world with an average grant size of $5000. Funds are provided by John Seed’s roadshows and workshops in addition to grants from foundations and individual donors.
Much of this money has been provided as “grantor of last resort” (a few thousand dollars at the time have gone to front-line projects in many the countries that John Seed judged would have difficulty in findings funding from conventional sources), or (2) emergency funding which could not wait for the long cycles of most funding agencies.
John Seed has been working full-time in the radical environmental movement since 1979 and has built up an incomparable network of contacts and friendships who feed him information on projects where a small amount of money may make a big difference or where money is needed immediately and cannot wait for normal red tape and funding cycles. Because of his strong reputation with many people in the environmental community, he can often “prime the pump,” i.e. sending $1000 to a group or individual who is doing important work but is not well connected with the granting community. Along with the grant, John Seed includes a list of potential funders and suggests that a copy of his letter be included with their further funding proposals. There is no doubt that many of these projects would not have started up at all without these small grants and the encouragement that came with them. With this support, many projects have grown, and their impact has been substantial.
In Australia, all of RIC’s work is carried out by volunteers like John Seed. In the Global South (third world), RIC provides financial support to their volunteers so the work is able to proceed. RIC’s mission is the protection of the world’s rainforest and other natural areas and the support of the old ways of their indigenous inhabitants.
Some of the projects that RIC is currently supporting include the following:
- Los Cedros, Biological Reserve in the Amazon headwaters of Ecuador
- Reforesting Arunachala, a sacred mountain in S India
- Protecting the Katkari indigenous tribe in India
- Protecting the largest rainforest in SE Asia, the Cardamom Forest in Cambodia
- Amazon Watch Allies Australia
- Opposing fracking in Australia.
Project Advisor: John Seed
Contact: Rainforest Information Center Box 20681 Nimbin , NSW 2480, Australia
e-mail email@example.com or: EarthWays 20178 Rockport Way, Malibu, CA 90265 tel: 310-456-8300
Rainforest Information Centre Small Grants Fund is a project of EarthWays: For the Earth, working in association with John Seed.
The World Wheel Center
After circling the globe through 20 countries over the past 28 years with the World Wheel, Global Peace Through the Arts project, Vijali Hamilton has recently found a home for this global initiative, The World Wheel Center, located in the Gallisteo Basin, 30 minutes south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, on 40 beautiful acres atop a mesa having a 360 degree mandala view of surrounding sacred peaks.
The World Wheel Project continues through the arts and to support indigenous knowledge and elders of many cultures, while creating international centers of community activity to serve as crucibles for maintaining wisdom necessary for the survival of our planet.
The mission of the World Wheel Center for Wisdom, Art and Life is to teach perennial wisdom, creative arts and ways of living, which are essential to a fulfilled life and peaceful world. Its focal educational program is designed to develop connectedness with the world and an inner state of spaciousness and equipoise for meeting the challenges of our times.
- Gatherings with elders to share their life stories and wisdom
- Ceremonies for women passaging into their age of wisdom and maturity
- Multimedia talks and dialogues exploring traditional and contemporary worldviews and wisdom ways for living
- Retreats into nature on the World Wheel Center land
- Audiences and teachings by guest spiritual masters and practitioner
- Sculpture, painting & writing workshops for unfolding life’s purpose
- Guided journeys to World Wheel countries and cultures
Green World Campaign
The Green World Campaign (www.greenworld.org) was founded by Marc Ian Barasch, a bestselling author, filmmaker, and media activist (www.compassionatelife.com) with a lifelong commitment to global transformation. The Campaign has been cited by OnEarth, the magazine of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for its bold agenda: Turn degraded lands green again. Raise the living standards of the rural poor. Combat climate change. Create new ways to work together for the health of our shared biosphere and the harmony of our global village.
The GWC connects those who want to help create a more sustainable world with on-the-ground projects that benefit both people and planet. We focus on providing ecological and social benefits where they’re most needed, seeking out effective grassroots partners, then finding the simplest, most direct ways we can all contribute to their success.
One method we use is “agroforestry” (aka “forest gardens”). This technique, dating back to the ancient Mayans, intersperses trees with crops, enriching the soil, increasing food production, and helping restore the local ecosystem. We are also planting on large swaths of barren land, using environmentally sensitive practices to maximize biodiversity.
We encourage linking environmental activities in the developed world with creating green self-sufficiency in poorer countries. We invite companies and organizations to affiliate with the Green World Campaign, shrinking their own carbon footprint while restoring the ecology and economy of the world’s poorest places.
The Green World Campaign makes it easy for anyone with a computer to click and fund treeplanting, with results we’ll all be able to see. We are designing interactive dynamic maps to chart our real-time progress toward a greener world. Each contribution will be “geo-tagged” (registered in the location it is planted), showing how trees are turning that area green. Other map overlays will chart reductions in the carbon footprint of homes, neighborhoods, businesses, and cities. People and organizations will be able register their use of energy efficient appliances, carpooling, biking, and public transport, solar energy, produce from local farmers, and, of course, planting trees.
We are forming alliances with schools, churches, corporations, and other institutions, with a particular interest in education. (Imagine an elementary school class planting a whole grove in a “sister village” for a hundred dollars–and then being able to communicate with that village’s children).
Today, hundreds of millions of people worldwide have awakened to a sense of allegiance to the Earth and to our common humanity. The Green World Campaign supports a thriving planetary civilization based on participation of all stakeholders in solving our common problems. We look forward to fostering holistic ways to live in harmony on this green earth.
We started the Green World Campaign with the seed of an idea: “What can we accomplish as global citizens if we really put our minds to it?” The answer: Just about anything.
Marc Ian Barasch
P.O. Box 3444
Boulder, CO 80307