Education, Advocacy and Rural Networks
A critically important component of helping communities adapt to climate change is education followed by community advocacy. Low-income, poor, rural and minority communities are often without knowledge, organizational capacity and resources to effect change necessary to combat unfavorable policies and recover from devastating events.
There is a need to build local and global partnerships of equity focused organizations and institutions to link the Environmental Justice movement with the growing worldwide Food Sovereignty movement. This requires a long term vision and involves capacity building and education, which AMI does through our training and technical support of rural organizations, and through the integration of partners into regional and global networks that address the issues of Environmental Justice and Climate Change. We are engaged in and committed to building the cross sectoral capacity of rural people and organizations able to give voice to issues and policy initiatives that further the social justice agenda of rural, agriculture and environmental advocates.
Education and Advocacy
Aimed at providing education and information to our North America partners and their constituency for action and advocacy on issues such as economic justice, food security and the environment that affect the global community of rural people. We provide information, education and training for advocacy on issues that are of importance to rural communities and peoples. With our current focus on the issues of food and climate justice, we are engaged in broad based advocacy, grassroots training and coalition building to promote food sovereignty by preparing partners to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
An integral part of all our programming, rural networks promotes and facilitates global exchange of people and knowledge among and between individuals, community groups and organization for purposes of accompaniment (i.e. mutual support and solidarity), problem solving and development of common agendas and strategies for confronting unjust structures and practices. This program also facilitates and organizes exchanges between North American Churches and ecumenical agencies and people’s organization within the United States and internationally for purposes of experiential education and accompaniment.
Methodology: We use experiential education and advocacy methods such as study tours, on site consultations, and speaking engagements by farmers and community development workers from developing countries to build and vet extensive global rural networks. Global networks are linked to North American constituencies through advocacy campaigns to support movement building and accompaniment of poor communities in the US and developing world.
Capacity Restoration and Rural Sustainability
Our Capacity Restoration program targets Rural Sustainability and is aimed at building resilience to climate change through agriculture and education. Beginning at the local level, our program successfully prepares leaders and groups to lead efforts that improve community food security and the economic and social well-being of their members. We are effective because we engage a comprehensive approach, providing all the necessary components to assure independent long term continuation and ownership by groups.
This program accompanies rural people in developing sustainable communities through building of the necessary infrastructure, human, social and material at the local level. An integrated component of Capacity Restoration and Education and Advocacy, this program emphasizes the following as essential components in all training and advocacy: environmental, social, and racial justice, gender and development, culture and spirituality, human rights and food sovereignty.
This program provides partners long-term capacity building assistance in the restoration of their communities, organizations and programs following devastating events such as war or natural disasters. We work with local partners to develop human, social and economic capital and build infrastructure that restores their capacity to fulfill the role they are called to do during and after the crisis. This program is not an emergency response program in terms of food, medicine, water and other material resources. The critical role of our capacity building is to ensure that our partners, in these times of crisis, are capable of protecting and advocating for the interests of the most vulnerable sectors of the population against discrimination, forced relocation and exploitation that are often commonplace practice following disasters.
Methodology: Key to the sustainability of our approach is local organizational and institutional building and human resource development. We train our partners in land use and production practices that support and strengthen the capacity of rural community groups to develop self-reliant and independent organizations engaged in food production and marketing. This, we believe are integral and essential in the urgent effort to mitigate and adapt to climate change.