5 Reasons why we’re a solidarity - based organization

                                                 Mural on the wall of the Casa Managua

                                             Mural on the wall of the Casa Managua

Casa - Pueblito is a solidarity-based non-profit organization.

Often, when we’re giving a workshop at a school or explaining our work to a new community member, we’ll get questions about what that means.

Today, we decided to break it down!

 

Below are 5 reasons why Casa - Pueblito is a solidarity based organization:

1. Solidarity is horizontal

"I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical.
It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal.
It respects the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people.”
- Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan writer

You may have seen this famous quote by Eduadro Galeano before. It captures why we believe it’s important to work from a place of solidarity. Solidarity means working alongside other people. It means we listen to our community partners and respect the knowledge and expertise they have, ensuring they design and implement our community development programming, rather than prescribing projects to them.

2) Solidarity asks “Why?”

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” -Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian Liberation Theologist

Working from a solidarity based perspective means we ask WHY our community partners are facing obstacles like structural poverty and food insecurity. It means that we look to history and contemporary social, political, and economic systems like neoliberalism for explanations. Thus, we not only better understand pressing community issues, allowing us to address them more efficiently, but we utilize a structural analysis when we do our work and avoid blaming individuals for their material conditions.  

3) Solidarity is Community-Focused

Solidarity means we work alongside and learn from our community members. It is rooted in the assumption that the communities we work with know their needs, and the solutions to address those needs, better than an outside NGO possibly could. This ensures we’re not ‘parachuting in’ and causing harm. For us, solidarity is a reciprocal relationship in which people work together to challenge oppression through mutual respect and valuing of each others’ contributions towards common goals. 

4) Solidarity Looks at Power

A solidarity-based analysis looks at relationships of power to better understand pressing social issues. Casa - Pueblito understands that we do not lack the means to solve pressing social justice issues but rather that the powerful have a vested interest in maintaining the global status quo. We know it’s not random chance and the 1%’s hard work that saw 82 percent of global wealth generated last year go to one percent of the population while the bottom 50 percent saw no increase at all.

5)  Solidarity works for our mutual liberation

Finally, Lilla Watson said it better than we ever could:

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” –Lilla Watson, Indigenous Murri Activist speaking in Australia

We look forward to working in solidarity with you this year for a better world!