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Charlotte Dougherty

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2 reviews

Review for Sustainable Harvest International, Boston, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Sustainable Harvest International is doing amazing things! Their unique approach is founded on the truth that "environmental degradation and rural poverty are unavoidably linked.”
In partnership with rural farming families, Sustainable Harvest is replacing damaging agricultural practices with techniques that stop deforestation and sustain the land for strong, self-supporting farming families.

Role:  Board Member
 

Review for Sustainable Harvest International, Boston, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have spent most of my professional life working on social change from the top down, assisting government agencies in creating programs and policies that promote environmental protection, conservation, and sustainable development. I have often been frustrated by political roadblocks, problems with implementation, or limited results on the ground. I am coming to realize that real social change happens from the bottom up in individuals, families and communities. This is how lives are transformed and positive impacts are sustained. This is what Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) is doing in Central America.

While in Piedras Negras, Honduras as an SHI volunteer, I witnessed the commitment that families make to alleviate their hunger – from the backbreaking tilling of small hillside plots of parched land, to hauling water, bottle-by-bottle from a distant stream to water tender seedlings. I experienced how community members supported and trained one another – sharing limited resources and tools, working together to build chicken coops and wood-conserving stoves for other families, and looking after each other’s children. I saw adults in the community care for the land - nourishing it for future generations and devoting themselves to teaching children sustainable farming methods.

I have returned to Piedras Negras with SHI several times since my first visit, and I am astounded at the palpable changes resulting from SHI’s work. I no longer see malnourished children. Miquel and Candia, (my hosts) are now happy and healthy – laughing and playing with their children and proud of their accomplishments. The plantains that I helped Evan and his family plant two years ago are not only a staple of the families improved diet, but are also a commercial crop providing needed income for the children’s school fees.

Sustainable Harvest International does an amazing job of motivating social change from the bottom up. The organization works in rural farming communities in Belise, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, providing seeds, training and support to families desparate to grow food and sustain themselves and their land. SHI is truly changing lives and the productivity of land that those lives depend on.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand its work to reach more farming families who desperately need the support and motivation.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Role:  Board Member