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Mekong Facility – Small Grants The Samdhana Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "Mekong Facility – Small Grants The Samdhana Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mekong Facility – Small Grants The Samdhana Institute

2 Global Greengrants Fund McKnight Foundation Maintain and increase equitable access to and control of village- based natural resources, to sustain livelihoods and improve economic conditions Support for both formal and informal community organizations Support efforts to increase self- determination for indigenous and ethnic minority communities Support efforts to increase community resource rights related to rural land, forests, rivers and coastal resources, and in some cases, urban landscapes GGF has supported 19 grants in Mekong Region since 2005 For July 2011-Feb 2012: McKnight = $23,904 GGF = $19,910 Total = $43,814 7 Grants in Laos 2 Grants in Cambodia

3 Lao Grantees 1.Creative Writers Group 2.Kha Mu Group, Houay Hak Village 3.CAMKID 4.Ounkeo Souksavanath 5.Pakpoun Village Women’s Weaving Group 6.Bru Group, Xetamoup Village 7.Huam Jai Asasamak Cambodia Grantees 1.Positive Change for Cambodia 2.Prey Lang Community Network

4 Challenges: Laos’ socio-political context, massive and inflicted changes to agricultural and environmental landscapes; Focus on CBOs need for very active mentoring in their proposal-making; Frequent and detailed communications with communities needed; Travel and transportation to communities needed; Unable to do field visit to Cambodia at this time GGF is processing its license to give grants in Myanmar Present grants are geared to impact on: Enhanced production and regeneration of raw materials which communities use for main source of income; Harnessing and enhancing indigenous knowledge and practices; Improve economic conditions of villagers

5 Additional sharing/notes on Mekong Region Lao context – massive land grabbing, resource colonialism; Chinese investments displacing many. So much repression, no freedom of expression and cannot go against the government; very brutal government We have to work very quietly and remain anonymous or inconspicuous; Melody would host “parties” wherein she and her guests would have meetings, so that this would not be obvious to many spies/observers sent out by the government There should be a sense of building the identity of the Lao people It is still difficult to connect to other countries like Cambodia and Vietnam

6 From PK’s reflection: – Lao people have no right to speak what they want to speak, no right to protect their own resources. They were taught to listen and follow, they were never taught to be brave or challenge people in power – Samdhana needs to support education, to go and learn/study tour with NGO/NPA and communities; support for communities to learn their ancestry and from their experience, for their empowerment Additional sharing/notes on Mekong Region

7 Thank you!

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