Reconstruction Partnership Project, Burundi
The Karusi Province of Burundi was one of the most seriously
conflict-affected areas during the 1993-96 crisis after the assassination
of the first democratically elected President of Burundi in October
1993. This sparked the massacre of 250,000 Hutus and Tutsis and
the massive displacement of the Burundian population into regroupment
camps (mainly Hutus), displacement camps (mainly Tutsis), and refugee
camps in neighboring Tanzania, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of
Congo through 1996. In 1997, the Burundian government disbanded
all regroupment camps and the returning population had not much
to return to.
In response to the shelter needs of the Karusi Province, an agreement
with CIDA and World Vision Burundi (WVB) was signed in July 1998
to reconstruct 600 houses in the Karusi Province for the returning
population of the Canzikiro Regroupment Camp. In partnership and
with financial contribution from other international donors such
as Habitat for Humanity International, UNHCR, and Irish Aid the
Karusi Reconstruction Partnership Project was initiated in October
1998. In order to benefit from the construction material, it was
imperative for the Hutu and Tutsi community to work together. The
labour was in the form of volunteer time from community members
who participated in the formulation of the project plans and created
a community where the two groups would co-exist peacefully.
The Burundian Authorities identified 600 vulnerable families who
would be in greatest need of shelter assistance and through this
program, 2250 people were living in decent shelter within 9 months
of the start of the project. Of the total beneficiaries, 48 were
orphan-headed households and 365 widow and widower headed households.
As a result of the efficient use of materials and staff, an additional
150 families could be added to the initial 600 in July 1999.
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Corvera de Asturias mix race council, Spain
Corvera de Asturias is a municipality with 17,000 inhabitants located
in the Avilés region, a historic territory which acts as
a background to five municipalities that assemble, in just 200 km?,
more than 130,000 citizens. It is a highly industrialized area and
is among the top ten in the country in which iron and steel and
chemical companies predominate. Corvera de Asturias developed in
the later 1950s with disorganized housing creating urban "ghettos"
and urban ruins. The emigrant population in the 1960s increased
from 5,000 to 20,000 without facilities and infrastructure. Later,
the decline of the steel industry and other sectors made unemployment
grow to limits unbearable for peaceful living in the community.
Corvera "Mix-Race Municipality" is a Local Initiative
of Integral Action against racism and xenophobia that has been developed
in the municipality since 1996. It is considered as a "work
in progress" against social exclusion through the general improvement
of the life conditions. For this purpose, there are several programmes
that are in place that encourage interaction between different races
and increases the participation of community members in Municipal
affairs. It is a pioneering initiative that was institutionalized
in an Act approved in a Town Council Plenum, in March1996. The anti-racist,
anti-xenophobic agenda is propagated through street action and through
a regular publication.
The various programmes including local development plans and rural
development plans called for the cooperation and integration of
all financial and human resources. Community members are involved
in the decision making processes through the various existing associations.
As a result of the initiative, the common outbursts of racial tension
have ceased and courses arranged for the exchange of knowledge of
different cultures have been well attended creating awareness and
respect for other community members. The ethnic minority groups
have received quality education, which was previously unattainable.
Avilés, Langreo, and 25 other municipalities have adopted
the Manifesto and declared themselves "Mix-Race Municipalities",
following the Corveran example.
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Brent Council- Working in Partnership for Safer Community,
Prior to the formation of the Community Safety Sub-Committee in
1995, there was no clear local political lead for crime prevention.
No specific budget for community safety existed. There was very
little partnership action with the police and other agencies and
there was no GIS crime mapping and no community website.
The priorities of the initiative were to secure top level political
and chief officer support for crime prevention, write a crime prevention
strategy and action plan, secure significant budget, and bid for
external funding and to consult and involve Brent's ethnically diverse
Brent's Crime Prevention and Community Safety partnership brings
together different public agencies to tackle crime and disorder.
The objective is to make Brent a safer community and to improve
people's quality of life. Brent Council recognises that crime is
so complex that no single agency can tackle it successfully alone.
Brent Council believes that local authorities have a responsibility
to citizens to make communities safer and has led the partnership
with the Police, Health Authority, Probation Service, Fire Service,
NGO's and private sector. The Partnership objective is to provide
a clear strategy and action plan across agencies to reduce crime
and promote a safer community. Bringing agencies together adds value
and targets resources more effectively. The partnership has improved
public policy by demonstrating action that works.
Political support was secured for an annual anti-crime budget of
?250,000. Successful funding bids were made to various central government
programmes for anti-racism, drugs prevention, CCTV, youth crime
prevention, burglary reduction, crime analysis and community empowerment
projects. There has been a very significant improvement in citywide
co-ordination between partner agencies. Brent's crime prevention
strategy has influenced local and regional policies as well as policies
in cities in other countries. The initiative has successfully influenced
institutional change. Crime prevention and community safety is now
clearly recognized as a corporate responsibility for all Brent Council
directorates and by the Police and partner agencies.
As a result the initiative has raised the awareness of decision-makers
in different local organisations and central government about key
issues influencing crime and community safety. The initiative demonstrates
to Brent's ethnically diverse community a "joined up"
approach between agencies to make Brent a safer community. Brent
has won numerous awards and secured considerable external funding
from government and Europe. Brent's crime prevention strategy has
been described as a "model" not only for London but also
for the UK and as "leading community safety in London".
Brent Council is an Executive Committee member of the European Forum
for Urban Safety and has presented its partnership work and achievements
at conferences in Canada, South Africa and Europe.
Brent has emphasized sustainability by actively involving the community
and developing "local solutions to local neighbourhood crime
problems". Efforts have been targeted at gender equity (women's
safety and domestic violence), equalities (racial harassment and
crime against ethnic minorities), excluded young people, elders
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Human Rights Activists Against Discrimination, Badia Polesine,
Before this initiative began it was very difficult for foreigners
to rent houses and apartments. Women also faced discrimination,
as they could not find employment once they are married or pregnant.
The organization administers human rights act against racism and
sexual discrimination. The Commission promotes principles of equality,
seeks to eliminate discriminatory practices and contributes to more
equitable, productive and inclusive environments in which to work,
learn and live, by enforcing the Act and educating the public about
human rights and responsibilities. This is a non-governmental association,
which promotes projects for human rights development through monitoring
and public education, advocating law reforms, addressing complaints
and networking with others who share the same concern on human rights
against racism and gender imbalance.
Financial resources in the beginning came from the organization
itself. The municipality also contributed financial and human resources
for the organization. The initiative is against any form of racist
jokes, slurs and insults. There is promotion of activities such
as inter-cultural music or film festivals where various guests are
invited to speak on racism, human rights and gender equality. In
addition, they sponsor posters or essay contests, show films on
prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination, segregation, and racism
and equality. The contents of television, film, radio and newspapers
are scrutinized before release for stereotypes. Schools are encouraged
to develop policy and social statement against all forms of racial
and gender imbalance.
As a result of this initiative foreigners were able to rent flats
improving their way of life. Public meetings also resulted in sensitizing
people on gender issues enabling women to get employment opportunities
regardless of their marital status. One of the main lessons learnt
was racial joke and gender imbalances leave the victims to be fearful
and helpless. It also affects productivity of the workers. The other
lessons was that women face gender discrimination in Europe and
not only in the third world. The program benefited a large society
across the country as it was designed to bring conflict resolution
training to elementary school levels to end violence, isolation,
solitude and sexual discrimination.
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Actions for Co-existence, Colombia
Actions for Coexistence is a public contest of the City Hall of
Bogota done through its Administrative Department of Community and
Citizen Participation (D.A.A.C.D.) where the public and private
sector converge with community organizations. The purpose of the
initiative is to promote citizen participation and community organizational
processes, creating cohesiveness among neighbours and a sense of
belonging to build together a better city where people can coexist
despite different racial backgrounds and improve living conditions
in their neighborhoods.
This programme encourages alliances among Base Line Community Organizations,
but also between these organisations and local authorities in order
to implement the decentralisation process. This process allows neighbours
to plan, decide, execute and supervise those strategies designed
to improve their living conditions in a responsible and transparent
way and is open to any neighbourhood community organization. The
prize at the end of the contest is the financing needed to develop
Nine lines of action are developed through the programme: Arts
and Culture, Arborization and Gardening, Security and Coexistence,
Neighborhood Development, Public Space Maintenance, Community Communication,
Recreation and Sports, Preventive Health, and Emergency Prevention.
In order to develop these lines, several local authorities provide
their support such as the Tourism and Culture Institute of Bogota,
the Botanic Garden, the Secretary of State of Bogota and the Secretary
of Education of the city.
Actions for Coexistence offers during its first phase training
and advise so participants can propose a solution to a particular
problem in their environment. The proposal should become a viable
project ready to be executed, with a high degree of people participation
and according to the Development Plan of the city. If the project
is selected, Actions for Coexistence searches for a partner for
the organization in order to finance the proposal, awarding US$
3,500 on average. The community provides no less than 15% of the
cost, through economic resources, materials or labour. In addition,
Actions for Coexistence supervises the execution and investment
of resources along with the community. The programme is a channel
of communication between community organizations and public entities
interested in working on each line of action.
As a result, there are better recreational areas, more environment
training and awareness programs, community libraries, waste management
campaigns, art activities and sports camps organized by communities
in more than 900 neighborhoods throughout the city.
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Instrumental Group and Chorus Andes Music Embassy, Argentina
The Embajada Musical Andina (EMA) is an instrumental group and
chorus formed by children and youth from Antofagasta (Chile), Tilcara
y San Salvador de Jujuy (Argentina) and Cochabamba (Bolivia) that
has been working for cultural integration through music since 1993.
The Director selects the repertoire that should be practiced throughout
the year in each local workshop, together with the musical co-ordinator.
This repertoire is assembled in bi-annual get-togethers in Tilcara.
This get-together awakens and models the huge range of feelings
particular to adolescents, accentuated by the different cultures.
The EMA has presented its message of peace and integration in the
most prestigious concert halls of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela
and France. Besides these presentations, the EMA never abandons
the task of taking the music where it cannot reach, institutions
such as prisons, hospitals and homes for the elderly.
The EMA was named by the UNESCO in 1998: "Embajadora de paz
ante la juventud" (Peace Ambassador to the Youth) and in 2001,
it was chosen as the only South-American chorus member of the EU
International Federation of Choruses, and was named "Cultural
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Building up a Native Indian-Oriented School Education, Brazil
Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira is located in the region of Alto Rio Negro
in the northwestern part of the State of Amazonas, along the borders
with Colombia and Venezuela. Its territory of 112,255 square kilometres
represents 7.8% of Amazonas' total area. 25,000 native Indians with
origins from 19 ethnical groups (classified in two large linguistic
families: Tukano and Aruak) live within this space. The native population
is distributed over 406 communities, 4 district-centers and the
Municipal Government Seat, with a 90% native Indian population.
One of the main objectives of the initiative is to contribute to
the implementation of a native Indian-oriented school education
in the region, in accordance with the legitimate aspirations of
communities and granted by the Federal Constitution and by Law No.
9394/96 - Guidelines and Basis of National Education. Another objective
is to make possible, for the native Indian schools, to develop their
own curriculum and rules, effectively assuming their role in adding
solutions for problems faced by the communities, acting as constructive
centers of the different aspects of knowledge: academic, popular
Some objectives proposed have already been achieved, such as: the
introduction of bilingualism in classrooms, which reduced the high
flunking and evasion rates; the continuity and frequency of qualification
courses for Indian teachers and the First Municipal Conference on
The Indian peoples of this region are becoming increasingly aware
of their history appointing their representatives with appropriate
skills and are actively involved in the issues that concern them.
With the new awareness of traditional knowledge, it is imperative
to understand the dynamics of society and master new fields of knowledge,
to assist the direction given to new situations.
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Life in Jacksonville: Quality Indicators for Progress,
The Jacksonville Community Council Inc., private, non-profit, non-partisan
citizens' organization was established to improve the quality of
life in Northeast Florida by positive changes resulting from the
informed participation of citizens in community life, through open
dialogue, impartial research, and consensus building. With an open
membership of 750 citizen volunteers, and a twenty-year track record
of citizen studies and community improvement, JCCI is known for
consensus in decision making and the thoroughness, fairness, and
accuracy of its research and community planning. Thus, JCCI was
well equipped to undertake this quality-of-life project.
The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, a powerful and respected
voice of business and economic development, funded the project.
Chamber members were involved in the committee work, and the Chamber
itself has used the annual report as an economic development tool
in formulating its annual work plan. The partnership of JCCI and
the Chamber has worked well. In recent years, the City of Jacksonville
has provided primary funding, in recognition of the value of the
project. Corporate sponsors have donated printing costs and the
cost of the annual telephone survey.
The Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) convened a diverse
group of residents from all sectors of Jacksonville to define progress
and to develop a model to measure, monitor, and improve the quality
of life for both current and future generations. The model consists
of nine parts: education, the economy, public safety, health, the
natural environment, the social environment, government/politics,
recreation/culture, and mobility. Participants came from and brought
with them perspectives from many community institutions, such as
the Florida Community College at Jacksonville, the University of
North Florida, the Northeast Florida Manufacturers' Association,
local government, the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP), health and human services organizations,
many private corporations, and neighborhood associations. Committee
members received assistance from JCCI's professional staff and suggestions
from experts, but the residents, made the final decisions by consensus.
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Women Spirit, Inc Circles of Hope, USA
Woman spirit, Inc. is a non-profit, faith-based community development
organization led by a self-governing board of grassroots women facilitating
women's empowerment through circles of hope peer-directed support,
education and action groups. The circles of hope process were developed
by a group of low- to moderate income African-American women to
build economic self-sufficiency and promote alternatives to violence.
Woman spirit fosters grassroots women's leadership in the St. Louis
area by claiming safe community space for women's mutual support
and training, gaining access to government funds for women's economic
development, and achieving positions in local, regional and national
Woman spirit created a cross-cultural circle called women think
tank with a long-term commitment to building relationships of trust
among diverse women. It includes women of different religions, races,
ethnicity and classes. Many of the members are partners with woman
spirit. Women think tank expresses the principle of women's unity
in its ongoing work to dismantle racism, sexism, homophobia and
other oppressions. Woman spirit's local, national and international
activities also bring marginalized women into positions of decision
making within the mainstream women's movement.
From 1997 to 1999, circles of hope members gained economic and
financial education; increased personal income; achieved formal
education goals; established over 20 new women-led businesses; expanded
existing businesses; developed marketable computer skills; acquired
two properties for women-owned businesses; and provided self-employment
training, including welfare-to-work.
The Circles of Hope group process provides a framework for ongoing
analysis, evaluation, and updating of strategies. Members of one
group have become leaders of others and have replicated and sustained
this process throughout the region. The women have written training
manuals and established a computer information network to share
circles of hope initiatives with women throughout the world.
The sustainability of the program was insured through property
ownership and planned income-generating activities with minimal
outside funding. Increases in skills and income among our participants
enrich the community through increased tax revenues and improved
land use as well as improving their families' quality of life. Woman
spirit is a participant in the St. Louis area sustainable neighborhood
project and a member of sustainable America.
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Centre for Municipal - Aboriginal Relations (CMAR), Ottawa,
Numerous initiatives - comprehensive claims, treaty and self government
negotiations, treaty land entitlement, sectoral governance, program
policy renewal, fiscal restraint and downsizing and the rapid growth
of a young aboriginal population in municipalities represent significant
challenges to relationships between municipal, national governments
and aboriginal communities. Yet, in many instances, mechanisms were
not clearly in place for municipal involvement in the policy initiatives
and practical dialogue was not well established.
In this context, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
focussed on the municipal interests arising from Aboriginal policy
issues. A working group on municipal - aboriginal relations was
transformed into a Board Standing Committee on Municipal - Aboriginal
Relations that addressed the following issues; harmonisation of
laws and regulatory regimes between jurisdictions, tax loss compensation
between governments, achieving appropriate economies of scale for
services through intergovernmental agreements, designing sensitive
programming for aboriginal citizens as well as creating avenues
for aboriginal political participation in municipal governments.
Too frequently municipal and aboriginal communities have grappled
with these complex issues in isolation.
To address these issues, the FCM and the Indian Taxation Advisory
Board (ITAB), with the support of the Department of Indian Affairs
and Northern Development, have joined forces to establish the Centre
for Municipal - Aboriginal Relations. The Centre has three broad
functions: serve as a national clearing house on effective municipal
- aboriginal relations (based on mutual recognition and responsibility,
respect and sharing); conduct research to document best practices;
and facilitate dialogue between municipal and aboriginal leaders.
A national database has been developed that contains a number of
research reports, documented best practices and a web site has been
developed to ease inquiries, access to, and dissemination of information.
The Centre adds a new, institutional capacity to the municipal and
Aboriginal sectors by introducing a national overview and greatly
improves the relation between the two.
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Pedagogia Del Afecto, Colombia.
Colombia is a country of significant natural
resources, and has a diverse culture reflecting the indigenous Indian,
Spanish and African origins of its people. But it has also been
ravaged by a decades-long violent conflict, involving guerrilla
insurgencies, drug cartels and gross violations of human rights.
The fourth largest country in South America and one of the continent’s
most populous nations, Colombia is endowed with substantial oil
reserves and is a major producer of gold, silver, emeralds, platinum
and coal. The country has a population of 44.2 million (UN, 2003)
and a Gross National Income per capita of US$ 1,820 (World Bank,
2002). Cali (population 2.3 million) is a city
in southwestern Colombia, located on the Cali River. 70% of Cali's
population (estimated as two million inhabitants according to the
last national census) does not receive income of more than two minimum
salaries (minimum salary is only £90 a month. Economists estimate
that four minimum salaries are required to allow a family to afford
all basic needs). According to the figures of the Education Secretary
for Cali Council 200,000 children do not have access to the education
This initiative aims to eradicate violence against
children especially within their families. It acknowledges that
mistreatment of children - 47 % of children are victims of various
forms of violence in Colombia - is the leading cause of school drop
out cases. It emphasizes a caring approach ("pedagogia del afecto")
based on the needs of children by parents, teachers, formal or informal
educators. It began in 1994 through a pilot programme in Cali, which
adapted progressively the lessons learnt from related international
experiences. The pilot programme involves FAMI (Family Women and
Infancy programme of the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare
ICBF) in partnership with Dutch Government. The programme is based
on careful analysis of educational process within Colombian families
and on the specific needs of children. It elaborates an appropriate
thematic focus whose contents are transmitted, mainly through workshops,
to parents or educators. The project trains selected persons from
government agencies who interact with communities and have the opportunity
to meet with parents. Since 1996, close to 720 trainers and 6,300
mothers have been involved in the programme.
The results, which are regularly evaluated, have
shown a significant (70%) change in attitude of the parents. The
evaluations have also necessitated the programme to review specific
cultural practices in order to eradicate practices, which do not
respond to children needs. In that sense this initiative, implemented
in partnership at national and international level, is a permanent,
rigorous and creative learning process.
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Human Security and the Urban Poor: a holistic
approach to social exclusion and Violence, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
The regional context of armed violence
in MERCOSUR countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay,
Uruguay) includes the following general characteristics: an emphasis
on urban violence and criminal activities; increasing privatisation
of security agencies and a lack of effective control over their
operations; an increase in armed violence related to drug trafficking;
problems with corruption in security and justice institutions; legislative
loopholes and lack of operational mechanisms to enforce compliance.
Rio de Janeiro, with a population of 6.2 million, has been grappling
with these realities for some time.
This practice demonstrates a holistic approach
to combating urban insecurity in a country and city affected by
high crime rate and insecurity. It aims at developing a culture
of peace, reducing stigmatization of poor people and indiscriminate
repression, while promoting social inclusion of groups at risk and
inhabitants of marginalized neighbourhoods.
A set of different and coordinated activities have
been initiated to include poor neighbourhoods in the wider society.
Among them are: job creation; vocational training; access to micro
credit; education and sports for children and youth; community support
to youth at risk; community policing; design and implementation
of city-wide plans. Viva Rio works in partnership educational institutions,
three spheres of government, multi-lateral agencies and the private
sector. More than 700 local partners offer infrastructure, personnel
and knowledge of local conditions. Viva Rio is involved in project
planning, implementation, technical assistance and monitoring. Through
TV, radio, newspapers and training material, the communication strategy
of Viva Rio, is a model to give voice to people, to reach out to
decision makers, and to eliminate prejudices against poor and people
Since 2001, this initiative has been combining
community development and security at local, state and national
level with social inclusion of children and youth at risk, weapons
control and criminal justice system reform. A set of multi-sectoral
projects has been launched in partnership with all stakeholders.
They include more than 20,000 persons in income generation initiatives,
around 100,000 young people in vocational training. In addition,
more than 110,000 small arms were publicly destroyed. Around 5,000
policemen have participated and benefited from community policing
training. People receive legal assistance through "Citizens’ Counters".
The projects promoted by Viva Rio are considered as "prototypes"
that could be replicated by local communities.
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Circo Volador (Flying Circus): Youth & Popular
Culture in Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico is home to a diverse mix of people and landscapes.
It is also a nation where affluence, poverty, natural splendour
and urban blight rub shoulders. In 1987, Mexico City was bombarded
by the media on youth violence and gangs. "Drug addicts, assassins,
pickpockets, rapists, alcoholics, vagrants and gang members" were
some of the terms used by both government and the media to describe
youth in working-class districts. Mexico has approximately 25 million
young people ages 12 to 24, at least half of whom live in poverty
or extreme poverty, and no social policy has been designed to deal
with their problems. Mexico’s population is over 104 million and
the youth represent a quarter of its population. Mexico’s gross
national income per capita is US$ 5,920 (World Bank, 2002).
In 1987, Action-Research began working to assess
the situation of working-class youth identified as "gangs". Their
aim was to curb the growing violence and find mechanisms that would
enable them to be reincorporated into a society that regarded them
as adversaries. The name ‘Flying Circus’, is derived from
meetings held on the streets between the initiators of the programme
and the youth. Majority of the latter group had animal nicknames:
The Cat, The Flea, The Dark Animal etc. and they would contend that:
"We are a bunch of animals, as though we were a circus…but with
nowhere to land, …….we are a Flying Circus" (sic).
As a result, the initiators mobilized members to
locate premises to "bring their proposal down to earth". The group
managed to obtain a lease from the municipal government to occupy
an abandoned cinema hall in exchange for restoring and maintaining
it through the collective work of the young people involved. Flying
circus is an innovative approach aiming at youth at risk and offering
space for the promotion of their cultural and social values. Circo
Volador Cultural Centers afforded youth at risk the opportunity
to express themselves through rock concerts, radio Programmes, graffiti’s
websites and to allow them to reconstruct the social fabric between
youths between different social sectors. Some of the results of
the intervention include: 50 training workshops (over the past 3
years); 350 radio programs focusing on youth-based themes; and 250
concert and musical performances
This cultural expression helped to reinforce identities,
gender empowerment, and direct tackling of social exclusion. The
creation of youth observatories, monitoring and actively proposing
public policies, provides sustainable means for youth’s social development.
The programme has realised tangible results through the creation
of Youths Nets sharing new opportunities which are more effective
because arise from youths own interests and values.
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