Building People-to-People Relationships:
Supporting Grassroots Efforts for Change
Solidarity partners are two organizations or groups with a mutual relationship in which both benefit from an exchange of ideas, friendship, trainings, and resources across boarders. At the heart of the CIS solidarity partners program are people-to-people relationships supporting grassroots efforts for social and economic change. Through visits, letters, and the assistance of the CIS, you and your partner community will get to know each other on a personal level. Your will learn how to provide support and accompaniment without replacing community and government functions for your Salvadoran partner, and you will learn how you can best accompany your partner so that they can reach their community goals. You will also learn more about the global economic context that affects your partner, and your home community as well.
We prioritize Salvadoran groups who are not already receiving accompaniment and other aid from other NGOs. It is necessary that both partners are organized groups or communities in order to avoid assistentialism and to create a strong relationship
What are the objectives of the solidarity partners program?
- Moral accompaniment. In the global context of capitalism, many communities are increasingly isolated from each other, and your partnership will help reduce this feeling of aloneness.
- Developing a political relationship. Advocating for community and basic human rights, like housing, education, health, water, electricity, and the right to organize, is an important activity you will be called on to participate in.
- Economic support. Your community will help facilitate your partner community’s initiatives to become self-sustaining. The goal of your economic support is not to replace support that the community should be receiving from the Salvadoran government, but rather to facilitate projects that are initiated by the community and would be difficult for them to complete alone.
- Consciousness-raising for your group or organization. Through your relationship, you will learn about the reality and conditions that Salvadorans, and most of the world, face everyday. You will also learn about the global context that generates these conditions
How do we become a solidarity partner?
- Contact the CIS with information about your group and interests, and about the possibility of becoming a solidarity partner.
- Visit El Salvador, getting to know more about the country and visiting some potential partner communities, taking into account the focuses and goals of your community and the partner communities.
- Return to your community to discuss options with your group. Decide which partners you would be interested in following up with.
- Formalize the relationship through the CIS, with delegations, visits, and projects.
Who are some of your current solidarity partners?
The CIS is currently facilitating 11 partner relationships. Included among those are:
- St. Robert Bellarmine parish (US) and their connection with Cinquera’s city hall, association for reconstruction and development, women’s group, and their pastoral and youth groups.
- El Salvador Solidarity Network (ESNET – England) and their partnership with El Paisnal city hall to facilitate work brigades, donate computers, and give computer training.
- The Consortium for Reconstruction (Canada) and their relationship with ASCES, the Association of the Blind, supporting their cultural center.
For more information about other partners or about becoming a partner, please contact us!