Colectivo Sustento and three days in January

Hi folks,

Please have a look at the above two links. The first describes a crowd funding effort for an extraordinary project in Chile. The second connects you with Colectivo Sustento, the organization in Chile that is sponsoring the project. I’m strongly recommending that you make some contribution towards this brilliant effort. You have THREE DAYS to make a mark: consider decide, act (either $10 or $50 or $100 or pass…). In recent years I’ve developed a pretty good grasp of the work being done in and beyond Chilean prisons by the Sustainable Collective facilitated by Australian Penny Glass who moved to Chile 13 years ago.

Those of you who know my history appreciate that I’ve long supported community and social enterprise but have also developed a painfully critical attitude towards ideological sloganizing, moral high grounding, sheep-clothed career building and coat tail fund sucking. All that I know of Colectivo Sustento’s work tells me it’s the real thing: well-conceived, well managed on a shoestring, highly focused and sustained effort yet multidimensional in intended impacts, resilient, flexible AND principled when tested (and be assured they are).

Check the website but in brief: this community based organisation has in the course of a decade gained the trust of the Chilean government, prison administrations, guards, social professionals AND prisoners and local community to work with prisoners, parolees and young offenders (including taking serving prisoners to perform in schools). The work: theatre (participatory planning, writing, performing), plus gardening and permaculture skills and produce marketing. Objectives: raise community and prisoner awareness, give hope (not false), motivate, build skills and constructive life alternatives to a prison career.

The current crowd funded project will bring young detainees into a training (“mentor”?) relationship with veterans to learn gardening and to see past a prison future. The very modest nominated target has been reached (AUD $3500) but funds you might choose to put in will extend the scope and duration of the project giving it a better chance of proving its worth to the kids involved. Even a $10 investment adds a valuable vote of confidence. In some rich countries they are building prison spaces faster than public housing. In some communities prison is the career path of choice. Wanna buck a trend? This is a great project. 3 days to go….


Merv Partridge.

See web links at top for details and how to invest (eg Paypal)

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