New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

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issue 138

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ADOLESCENCE [image, unknown] Action

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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Mothers for Peace
30 Gledhow Wood Grove
Leeds 1S8 1NZ, UK
Tel: (0532) 667552

AIMS

To break down the barriers of fear and suspicion which prevent disarmament. To create a safer world for our children, free from the threat of nuclear annihilation and from starvation and disease perpetuated at present through the misuse of resources.

METHODS

By sending mothers to the USA and USSR with messages of peace and friendship. By hosting mothers from the USA, USSR and Europe to discuss together and reach a better understanding. By promoting group twinning and penpals.

SUCCESSES

We have made warm friendships with mothers overseas and are increasing international contacts. Earlier this year two delegates toured the USA with Soviet and Danish mothers and a simultaneous visit to the Soviet Union took place. We believe we have greatly influenced American-Soviet understanding at the very limited personal level at which we work. We have published two pamphlets about the exchanges. Recently we established a part-time office and have a growing mailing list of supporters.

FAILURES

We have not adequately promoted our work, nor pursued international contacts because of limited resources. We have probably made no impact at government level and have largely been ignored by the British media.

FUTURE PLANS

Following on from our earlier visit, a second delegation will tour the Soviet Union in October. We are hoping a meeting of Eastern European mothers, from East Germany, Bulgaria and Hungary, will take place in 1985. We intend to invite mothers with children to Britain next summer.

HELP NEEDED

Volunteers to organize support groups, talk to women’s organisations; mothers to host visitors or offer to go abroad; linguists to translate/interpret; typists and general helpers.

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The Resource Centre
Box 4726 Albuquerque,
New Mexico 87196 USA
Tel: (0505) 266-5009

AIMS

To target specific companies and government agencies whose policies and practices allow them to make a huge profit at the expense of the people they hire.

To produce materials easily accessible for solidarity groups and churches to use to inspire change.

METHODS

We generally write books and produce slide shows. The books are in an easy-to-read style, set up so they can be used as a reference book. We also produce slide shows, because they are more accessible to the general public than filmstrips, so more people can see them.

SUCCESSES

We recently formed an Advisory Committee with 15 women and men we are proud to have our name associated with. Because of each person’s different expertise, they will be an invaluable help to us and our materials will be better quality.

FAILURES

Research tends to be long and difficult because of our remote location so far away from New York and Washington. We must order things through the library; that can take weeks to arrive, slowing down the research.

FUTURE PLANS

To continue to work on projects that will have the direct effect of promoting change in Latin America. We hope to gain the reputation of being experts in the area of oorporate and government research in Latin America.

HELP NEEDED

We want to know what kinds of materials and specific topics would be the most useful for the public to have. Our materials are only valuable if they are used.

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Fundación Para el Desarrollo de la Comunidad
y Ayuda Infantil, AC
Calle Sufragio Efectivo 240 Sur, Altos
Apartado 182 CD. Obregón, Sonora
Mexico
Tel: (641) 3 1488

AIMS

To improve the standard of living of rural peasants through a process of human development. To develop representative community committees to organise and lead their communities and form larger federations from these committees. To train and educate the peasants to identify and tackle their own problems with confidence and dignity. To give the children a better opportunity for adequate physical and mental growth.

METHODS

Through community-based integrated rural development, local community committees, with the initial motivational support of the Fundación, list the major problems facing themselves. These challenges are prioritised and projects are designed to resolve the problem. The community is the major participant in these projects and is expected to provide at least 50% of the resources needed. The Fundación and other agencies provide technical assistance and other financial resources. A continual process of group training takes place.

SUCCESSES

Through production projects more food is available to the malnourished communities; health and nutrition projects have improved the general level of health; the rural communities have become more organised, more self sufficient and motivated, able to identify problems and to help themselves to overcome them.

FAILURES

We have not yet designed a successful revolving fund credit system for subsistence farmers. Also, not all projects have reached a complete level of self sufficiency, i.e. the second year they still need outside financial input.

FUTURE PLANS

To expand our programme into other poor areas of the country, to institutionalise and seek more funds from Mexioo itself. We plan to phase out of areas as communities reach a certain level of self sufficiency.

HELP NEEDED

Human resources with experience in semidesertic areas to expand our appropriate technology work; information from agencies working with rural communities that are hosting refugees; people interested in expanding the funding sources on the Fundación.

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