Silence can sometimes say more than a thousand words. When colleagues from our partner organisations tell us their stories,* our reaction is often silence; a dejected silence.
September 22nd websites of civil society organisations and NGO's all over the world will go black, in protest and solidarity. Protest against the shrinking space for civilians and organisations to speak out, unite and protest peacefully.
The counterpower does not accept 'business as usual' because it is not fair. The race after the big money is not leading to happiness for everyone, and is usually not good for, for example, the environment or women.
Guest blog by Debora Calheiros, Brazil
To me, our partner organisations are a significant counterpower. Both ENDS supports them to raise their voices in policy discussions. This way I also see myself as a 'counterpower' against the current economic system.
When governments assign areas for development purposes such as mining or large-scale agricultural production, often women are affected most. Women are often responsible for their family's food security, relying on access to natural resources such as land and water. At the same time, women have little or no access to decision-making procedures. By empowering women in the Kenyan Tana Delta, Both ENDS' partner Nature Kenya has effectively build counterpower and convinced local and national decision makers of the necessity to include women in land use planning.
Sharif Jamil is the riverkeeper. In 2009 he started protecting the severely polluted Buriganga River, becoming Bangladesh' first riverkeeper. "We have to make people responsible for their own environment."