In profile: Social movements and philanthropy

Alliance magazine

Movements are often easier to discern by the tracks they leave behind than by their form. Here’s a flavour of some of the varied social movements around the world, those who support them and their relationship to philanthropy.

OFRANEH, Honduras

Cooper Hewell from The Fund for Global Human Rights comments: For over 20 years, the Honduran Black Fraternal Organization (OFRANEH) has defended the land and resource rights – as well as other civic, political, economic, and cultural rights – of Honduras’s Garifuna people. As a cornerstone of the country’s civil society and a leading Indigenous organisation in Mesoamerica, its work has advanced the rights of Indigenous people in the entire region.

OFRANEH functions as a registered NGO, with offices, staff and executive leadership. In Honduras’s highly volatile environment, that structure allows OFRANEH to direct resources and advocate effectively. But OFRANEH is actually a social movement, born out of decades of collective advocacy and resistance by the Garifuna people. Nearly 50 Garifuna communities have organised local assemblies and committees to guide OFRANEH’s work, on issues ranging from women’s participation to sustainable development. Channelling this grassroots energy, OFRANEH has helped amplify thousands of Garifuna voices as the public face of a social movement.

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