Solidarity Rotative Funds - Center for Popular Education and Social Formation - CEPFS

Solidarity Rotative Funds - Center for Popular Education and Social Formation - CEPFS

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Social empowerment through access to water, in order to rescue solidarity and citizenship principles

About You
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Positioning of your initiative on the Mosaic of Solutions™ diagram:
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Non-affluent are not valued customers

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Leverage the stake individuals have in financial success of the group

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic

This field has not been completed. (333 words or less)

What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

Social empowerment through access to water, in order to rescue solidarity and citizenship principles

Describe what makes your idea unique—different from all others in the field.

The methodological approach that seeks to make the very people who benefit from the project to be the main actors of improvements, as it regards the farmers as important social actors who detain knowledge and experiences that can contribute effectively for a new paradigm of sustainable local development. “It’s important to know that to teach is not to transfer knowledge, but to create possibilities for its production or construction” (Paulo Freire, Brazilian educator, 1996). The Solidarity Rotative Funds awake the families for their capabilities where only people who had gone to university and learnt to manage businesses were regard as capable. The Funds revive solidary practices that were already in place in the communities in the past, but were reduced or disappeared due to the intervention of aid programs made by the government. The creation of a collective system of money savings using external support enables families to gradually achieve organizational, political and economical autonomy.

How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

Através de uma abordagem participativa, de modo a tornar evidente que os atores principais de um processo de desenvolvimento rural não são as organizações nem as instituições de apoio, mas, os agricultores e agricultoras. Os processos permitem o compartilhamento e socialização das experiências de tal modo que eles se apropriam tanto da construção que estão erguendo, como do processo de gestão e interagem entre si e para com a realidade de outras regiões ou países, numa perspectiva de reaplicação e inovação.

Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how did you create them?

This experience has a partnership with the Irish agency Trocáire. This partnership was born from the presentation of a work proposal when CEPFS foundation took place. During 2006 and 2007 the organization counted with support from BrazilFoundation and the City Hall of Cacimbas, both originated from CEPFS application and selection in social project contests in 2006. Another partner for small and specific projects on educational actions on the gender and income generation issue is the Ecumenical Coordination for Service (CESE), and the partnership was originated from the presentation of punctual projects on the issue, through the Gender Program.
Cooperations also occur with organizations in the Articulation Forum of the Semi-Arid Zone of the State of Paraíba, where there is a strong interaction process that continually improves the existing actions. Those partnerships were formed from the participation in the Forum and the interaction with other entities. In the local level, there are important partnerships with community associations and their collective groups that are essential for the articulation process, which were born from the practical working contact with the communities. Starting this year we have the partnership with Ashoka, born from the selection of one of the organization components to be an Ashoka Fellow.

In which sector do these partners work? (Check all that apply)

Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact.

“It has liberated a lot of people”. “We know these benefits are not gifts from the mayor, but generated directly from our taxes”. “We depend less from politicians and help each other more and more”.

Please list any other measures of the impact of your innovation.

Survey application in Mark 0 and Mark 1. Registering participation of community leadership in the meetings on shared community management; testimonials from community leaders and benefitted families.

Does your innovation address and/or change banking regulations?

It generates discussion over the need of change in the rules of the financial system. The Solidarity Rotative Funds are flexible to, according to the shared management within the communities themselves, meet the real demands of the families by financial or non-financial means. The financial system is focusing too much in the purely monetary aspect, not recognizing the importance of many aspects that express themselves through the solidarity between the families. The financial system’s rules no longer respond to the advances of these experiences, therefore they need to be changed.

How many people does your innovation serve or plan to serve? Exactly who will benefit from your innovation?

• 3,864 people, including adults, youth and children got adequate conditions to store about 13,424,000 liters of drinking water, through the building of 839 water tanks.
• Construction of 88 water tanks with Money from the Solidarity Rotative Funds, benefitting 150 children, 114 youngsters and 236 adults, adding up to a sum of 500 people that got adequate conditions to store about 1,408,00 liters of drinking water.
• Construction of 10 water tanks in Stone to serve as captation and storage place for the rain water, enabling families to storage about 1,184,000 liters of water, contributing to the water security of about 98 men and 108 women.

Financing source
How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

The initiative today has the support of Trócaire, BrazilFoundation, MIVA and Ashoka. We expect to get support in a large scale from the private sector, through corporate social responsibility initiatives, as the experience develops.
Sustainability has been constructed by two main approaches: in the actions implemented, as the issue of gender and income generation is developed, encouraging the collective search for viable ways to live within semi-arid reality, aggregating ideas from women, youngsters, elders and children. The initiative also develops financial and management aspects for community development, through the Solidarity Rotative Funds.

If known, provide information on your finances and organization:

• Annual budget: around R$ 250,000.00 (Two hundred and fifty thousand reais). The Solidarity Rotative Funds manage around R$ 35,000 (thirty-five thousand reais) a year – managed by the communities themselves.
• Revenue generated in the year: resource capitation from international cooperation responds for up to 98% of the budget. Only 2% are generated from the selling of agricultural products and services.
• Team size: 05 full-time staff people and 08 volunteers with specific dedication times.

What are the main financial barriers and how do you plan to address them?

To diversify financial partners in such a way that the experience may be co-financed and may achieve a reapplication scale in regional, national and international levels, especially in the African continent.

Aside from financial sustainability, how do you plan to grow the initiative?

Sharing the experience through documentary videos, participation in advertisement events, such as contests and awards, enabling others to involve and interact with it, improving it and spreading it elsewhere.

The Story

What was the motivation or defining moment that led to the creation of this innovation? Tell us the story.

The experience was born from the perception of the need of a methodological and participative approach to social actions, one that could benefit from the existing experiences and popular knowledge, placing them in evidence as the fruit of the efforts from farmers – and making farmers perceive their strength and importance in the change process they are inserted in. The social technologies for living within the semi-arid reality were improved using the Articulation Network for the Semi-Arid Region of the State of Paraíba. The initiative works so these sustainable technologies should be perceived as a means rather than an end. We understand that the poor families are devoid of information, but should not be regard as unable to change their reality, therefore needing support to foster their discoveries and innovations and generating more support with the Solidarity Rotative Funds, creating a new development paradigm for the whole region. With this approach, the social technologies developed are seen and reflected upon as instruments for generating other discoveries and initiatives, encouraging the awakening of those families as owners, consumers and also as managers of the environment where they live – which needs to be treated in a sustainable perspective.

Please provide a personal bio of the social innovator behind this initiative.

Im the son of a poor farmer,& I experienced great difficulties – the same ones that many who live in the semi-arid region still face today. I faced hunger during drought at 70s, when I need to eat leaves of a local tree, the umbuzeiro. I faced the challenge of going to get water in the cacimbas, little water sources,&not finding any – or finding water of terrible quality when I found some. I was president of the Rural Workers Union from 86-88. All that was enough to grant me the certainty that our path as human beings should be directed to help those who, for influence of domination, think they are not capable. With that understanding, formed from years of interacting with the farmers and living the many challenges involved, I continue working in CEPFS, where I’ve been involved since its foundation in 85.

a) Please identify the individuals that your innovation benefits (Please check all that apply)

Producers .

b) Do you help the people you serve to buy goods or services using financial innovation? If so, how?

In the experience with the Solidarity Rotative Funds, the families receive support to implement the social technologies, according to the need and adequacy of their properties, and they compromise to give it back for a Solidarity Rotative Fund, so it will foster the collective development of the participating public. It is an important innovation which the initiative has been encouraging, promoting and generating new development perspectives through the reviving of the practice of solidarity and the building of collective money savings. The Funds awake in those farmers their own capabilities to promote development, through social empowerment of the families and communities. All this goes against the traditional development programs - developed and defended by conservative politicians – that adopt dependence-generating approaches.

c) Do you help the people you serve to sell goods or services using financial innovation? If so, how?

We have been living a shared management process with the Solidarity Rotative Funds, where each community has the opportunity to benefit from the experiences of other communities. That has been the strategic way to convince not only people who are already participating in the experiences, but also to get new participants and get scale, Experiences have been being structured and diffused through data and documentary videos, aiming to achieve replication in other parts of the country and maybe the world. Therefore, the main strategy is to share the experiences in a diffusion horizon, replication and appropriation by the families, here in other regions.