Europe – Latina America – Africa
The Fratelli dell’Uomo is an international cooperation NGO that was founded in Italy in 1969. It derives from Frères des Hommes, which was founded in France in 1965, and that is also present in Belgium and Luxembourg. It operates in Latin America and Africa with local partners, supporting projects and initiatives, with a constant focus on strengthening the processes of democratic participation and the capacities of local social players.
THE FAI’S SUPPORT
In 2013 the FAI supported the “Strengthening the capacities of the communities of Guatemala in the defence of land resources and food sovereignty” project. This initiative is a response to the conflicts that became more intense because of the process of readjustment of the economic, political and legal systems after the Free Trade Agreement with the USA and the Agreements with the European Union were signed.
The aim was in fact to support the local committees so they could play an active role in protecting the natural resources on which they depend, improve the level of strategic information they acquired, and their skills in negotiation and in proposing laws. This was carried out with a strong local partner, the SERJUS – Servicios Jurídicos y Sociales, that defends human rights and the rights of the Mayan communities.
The Fratelli dell’Uomo and the SERJUS have been a testimony to how valuable and useful joint work can be at a national and international level. The international visibility given to the project has in fact made it possible for the SERJUS to be even more incisive and give the local operators even greater guarantees, and therefore prevent the authorities from abusing them.
This project has brought about some important changes:
– Sustainability: because it made it possible to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Commission – 1987).
– Awareness and the protection of resources: thanks to the training course, the local communities have decided not to sell their assets but instead use them in a sustainable way.
– Proposal for a Law on Water: the topic of water has united communities, associations and local organizations in a process that has also reached the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala, with the presentation of the proposed water law, submitted in May, 2016.
– Alliances: the process initiated through the project, funded by the FAI, has made it possible to set up new partnerships and collaboration networks between different players who will continue to work together on these issues.