The other faces of the economy. Invest in people.
What is the campaign about?
Uniterra program actors work to build fair, democratic and inclusive economic systems. In order to accelerate poverty reduction processes in developing countries, it is essential for communities to bolster their economic power and see this reflected in other areas of society (health, education, etc.) in positive, sustainable ways.
To do this, the Uniterra program and local organizations it supports work to grow the private sector, building local and national markets in rural and urban areas. The program helps with start-up and operation of small craft industries and cooperatives. It enables several businesses to thrive and small producers to improve their living conditions.
The Uniterra program also puts resources at partners’ disposal to help marginalized groups move into economic arenas and play an active role. These resources back valuable human potential, rather than financial capital.
Why invest in people?
- Because it’s an action that fights poverty.
- Because this is what enables disadvantaged people to boost their economic power, to value their own resources and to move from poverty to independence through work and effort. Taken together, this is what enables them to take their future in their hands (on social, political participation, health, education and gender equality levels).
- Because it is a long-term investment which will benefit several generations. It is an investment in the future of humanity.
The campaign’s 3 issues
Work enables individuals to earn incomes, provide for their needs and those of their families, to grow and to succeed. Millions of women and men in developing countries earn less than a dollar a day, which imprisons them in a daily struggle for survival. Disadvantaged people and young people live with challenges: being jobless, under-employed, among the working poor, minimum-wage earners or working under dangerous conditions.
In Vietnam, Uniterra is strengthening professional technical training programs. This kind of training helps young people, in particular those from disadvantaged communities, to learn technical skills linked to job sectors in demand. Workplace training, professional courses and learning job-search skills provide practical experience and the tools young people need to enter the workplace. In turn, they secure economic independence and their future.
More than 50% of Uniterra’s program activities are set in the social and solidarity economy. The program supports cooperative, mutual and associative organizations which produce, transform and market agri-food or craft products in Africa, Asia and in Latin America. These organizational systems enable communities to pool resources and efforts to get the best results and make money, which is shared equally.
Our projects and our volunteers support focused local development efforts, building capacity within organizations and with people who work on production, management, transformation and market access as well as participatory democratic management, and policy dialogue.
In the social sector, we work with organizations offering community health and education services, including several social and solidarity economic organizations: community health and patient service centres, literacy services for women and girls, and non-formal education organizations.
The Uniterra programm distinguishes :
- Fait Trade, where North-South exchanges are the basis of the trading system, and where exhanges are realized through different certification systems and the participation of different international actors; and
- Solidarity Trade, operating on the basis of internal trade at local, national, regional or sub-continental level, and based on the principle of solidarity between communities and organizations sharing the same vision of development.
In several countries where we work, Fair Trade and Solidarity Trade are tools mobilizing solidarity-based economic development, serving communities.
In Guatemala, Bolivia, Mali and Nepal, the Uniterra program and its partners support producers’ associations, distributors and exporters in their efforts to further publicize emerging Fair Trade challenges and accomplishments. This support comes alive through multiple information and training projects on Fair Trade practices, norms and certification, as well as training on accessing local, national and international markets at fair prices.