On the 30th June 1999, the General Assembly adopted a new charter: Charter 2000 which reaffirms and explains the specific goals of Islands of Peace as a development catalyst and not as an organisation of immediate humanitarian assistance.
Three objectives1. Improve the living conditions of populations of the South by the reinforcement of food security and the development of the rural economy First objective aimed by our actions: support, when needed, both at the technical and organisational level, to the population of a delimited area in its efforts to improve its living standards. Priority is given to the reinforcement of food security as well as to the development of natural resources.
What is food security?
Food security implies the capacity of individuals to have access to food in sufficient quantity and quality. In Europe, for the past several years, whenever the notion of food security is mentioned, it often only implies the quality of food. In fact, that is known as the security of the sanitary conditions of food. Moreover, food security is more than simply the availability of food: whereas it can be available but to expensive for people to afford it.
We pursue the objective of food security in various ways: First of all, by stabilising and increasing the revenues of agriculture and live stock-farming for the improvement of local agricultural systems and techniques as well as the improvement of the access to factors of production (inputs, land, water and credit). Secondly, the installation of mechanisms of stocking and conservation of harvests should enable a stabilisation of the prices of food as well as create better opportunities for marketing. Finally, food security can be achieved by a diversification of sources of income thus activities and employment in rural areas; which implies that our action is not limited to agricultural and stock-farming sectors.
2. Build the development capacities of people and organisations The durability of a dynamic of development is conditioned by the actor's capacity to manage his own future, which requires analytical, decision-making and management skills. It is thus essential to reinforce these skills through training or self-training activities: literacy classes, vocational training, South-South co-operation,... In the same way, we support community organisations or local administrations responsible for the management of collective infrastructure in the improvement of their functioning through actions of capacity development (organisational, methodological and technical support).
In the "training" part, our contribution is mainly methodological. By contributing a method, we empower our partners to build their own knowledge.
3. Creating awareness in the North of the realities of the South Since 1970, our association is invested in an educational project regarding realities of development: creating awareness in order to produce action and reaction, sensitising the North to the realities of the South through our experience on the field systematically analysed and assessed. Avoiding all demonstration of human misery or reductive simplification, we endeavour to create awareness of the collective actions and individual enterprises of the local populations, as well as of the positive aspects of their social and cultural heritage for the engagement of such actions.
Three stages of actionThe support of Islands of Peace to a local development dynamic takes place in three successive stages, essential in order to respond to the expectations of the population and to insure the irreversible nature of the transformations.
1. Common Analysis This stage pursues a double objective. On one hand, it enables Islands of Peace and its partners to improve their knowledge of each other. Together we analyse the realities and constraints generated by the development of the region and develop the opportunity for a further stronger collaboration. On the other hand, this stage must enable the local organisation as well as Islands of Peace to establish a common plan for action.
This stage can also be the opportunity for initial actions of institutional and methodological reinforcement.
Indicative duration of the stage of common analysis: 3 to 12 months.
2. Support At this stage, partners implement actions identified during the stage of common analysis. In order to achieve this, we provide them with 2 types of support:
an institutional support which should lead to the reinforcement of local dynamics on the organisational, methodological and technical level, a financial support which enables the partner to overcome the obstacles with which he is confronted in the achievement of its objectives: productive collective investments, training, credit funds,... A common mechanism of assessment of the collaboration is built and enables each other to contemplate, if the case arises, the reorientation or even the termination of the partnership or project.
The indicative duration of the stage of support: 5 to 7 years.
3. Continued solidarity During this stage, the communication with the partner is maintained in a spirit of exchange and capitalisation of experiences. Punctual interventions of technical and institutional consolidation are still conceivable, if needed.
The indicative duration of the stage of continued solidarity: unlimited
Two geographic areas of concentrationFor the moment, Islands of Peace concentrates its support to local dynamics of development in two distinct geographical areas. According to opportunities, exceptions may of course exist.
1. The landlocked Sudan-Sahel region of West Africa
The landlocked Sudan-Sahel region of West Africa comprises countries such as Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso,, East Senegal, North Togo and North Benin. This region is characterised first of all, by climatic conditions detrimental to agriculture and second of all, by a certain isolation in regards to global markets.
In this area, we have previously been active in Mali (Timbuktu 1975-1994) and in Burkina Faso (Yalogo 1982-1999). At present, actions are underway in Burkina Faso as well as in North Benin. A regional structure of Islands of Peace accompanies the dynamics of this area since Fada N Gourma, a town situated in East Burkina Faso (2000-...)
>further reading about our actions in West Africa
2. The Andes Region of Latin America In this area which stretches from the North to the South of Latin America, we are working with Indian populations. This region is characterised by extremely difficult agricultural conditions (cultivation on the slope of mountains) as well as a marginalisation of the Indian people in society. We are active at the moment in Ecuador and Bolivia.
>Further reading about our actions in Latin America