This year, lean into the spirit of giving and support an organization making a positive impact in the world.

The spirit of the winter holidays, more than anything else, is one of giving. Beyond our friends and families, it’s a great opportunity to provide generosity where it’s truly needed by supporting an important cause.

Whichever issue you’re passionate about, supporting grassroots organizations can often make the biggest impact. The term “grassroots” refers to an organization or movement rooted in community. That, like the name suggests, takes a bottom-up approach with folks who are often closest to the issue, thereby encouraging autonomy. Grassroots organizations typically operate as a collective at the local level in order to create change locally, regionally, or internationally.

Supporting grassroots organizations promotes dignity and empowers citizens to make a difference in a way that’s meaningful and sustainable because it lets those affected define what their goals are.

There are countless grassroots organizations in the world doing incredible work. Here are just a handful of worthy causes to consider supporting this year.

 

Grassroots Law Project

This initiative is composed of the same people who campaigned to free Rodney Reed, Michael Thompson, stop the execution of Nate Woods, and demand justice for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. The Grassroots Law Project uses community organization and shared legal knowledge and expertise to fight systemic injustice, including defunding police, reforming migration, ending police violence, and establishing independent oversight. Learn more here.

Photo By Miko Guziuk

 

Mosqoy

Mosqoy works with remote Quechua communities in the Peruvian Andes to foster economic and educational opportunities that nurture their threatened Indigenous culture. They do this through three different initiatives. The first is a social enterprise that helps ensure the resiliency of Quechua woven arts—beautiful hand-woven natural fibres that are at risk of being replaced by machine-produced versions. Mosqoy provides outlets for the Quechua weavers, capacity-building initiatives, and community-led development projects. Their field school is another social enterprise that provides culturally responsible tours in Peru that promote conscious travelling. Funds from both of these enterprises support their youth program that provides education scholarships for youth in remote communities.

Photo By Persnickety Prints

 

Small Projects Istanbul

This non-governmental organization based in Turkey supports people who have been displaced by conflict in Syria, North Africa, and the Middle East by providing a safe space for families to network and integrate. They offer a variety of community services, including activities for children to play and develop language and motor skills, homework support and computer skills for youth, and a women’s social enterprise that teaches handiwork skills to gain independence and connect with each other.

 

​Black Girls CODE

Black Girls CODE “has set out to prove to the world that girls of every color have the skills to become the programmers of tomorrow.” Black households are less as likely to have internet access than those belonging to white families, and Black Girls CODE is working to ensure that’s not a barrier to young girls of colour learning digital skills. Through workshops and after school programs, they teach beginner programming skills to girls who may not have the privilege of learning it elsewhere, helping them to build self-confidence and enter the field of technology.

Photo Black Girls Code

 

Bahama Plastic Movement

Founder Kristal Ambrose came up with the idea for this organization after sailing the Pacific Ocean to study the infamous Western Garbage Patch. Known by many as “Kristal Ocean”, she came home to the Bahamas to start a revolution to prevent plastic from polluting the oceans. Bahama Plastic Movement attacks the problem from all angles: research, education, citizen science, and policy change while empowering local Bahamians to take on environmental leadership.

Photo Bahamas Plastic Movement

 

Trans Women of Colour Collective

Trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people of colour experience higher rates of homelessness, trauma, criminalization, under-employment, and incarceration. TWOCC works closely with, and amplifies the voices of young people who have been affected by racism and transphobia to foster safer communities, restorative justice, and shift the narrative “from surviving to thriving”. The organization accomplishes progress in this work through community teach-ins, advocacy workshops, direct actions, visibility campaigns, and funds supporting education, survival, and wellness.

 

Global Mangrove Alliance

Mangrove trees are a vital piece in combating climate change due to their ability to store far more carbon in their soils—unfortunately, they’re also at risk on Kenya’s South Coast due to illegal logging. Two remote communities in Kwale County who rely on Mangrove trees for their livelihood have taken the tree’s conservation into their hands. Mikoko Pamoja is a community-based organization working to protect mangroves in Gazi Bay. All proceeds from the organization go straight back into the community, ensuring the sustainability of both the trees and their livelihood.

Photo By Aristedes Carrera

 

FORWARD

The Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development is an African Woman-led organization dedicated to ending violence against women and girls, inlcuding female genital mutilation, child marriage, and domestic and sexual violence. They work to connect communities, develop skills, share knowledge, and support and inspire African girls to become the leaders of tomorrow.

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