Since 2001, a small team of motivated people, in France, Switzerland and Burkina Faso, has found out that a community, a village, as precarious as its territory can be, is able to become autonomous, without subsidies, nor dependencies, only with some shared ideas and a small fund (a 2’000€ loan), which both will be handed over to another village, thus starting an endless chain of « UpStanding Villages »!
The method: Only local stuff! All is elaborated, realized, evaluated by inhabitants of the territory.
More information: A book: « The Territory Listened To » 2014, 40p, self edited and free to download here.
The goal: to create a circular and solidarity economy, in four steps:
- Drive the inventory of the territory, find out its wealth and its economy
- Bring about its economic potentials and realize profitable activities
- Choose which public service is to be elaborated and financed thanks to the benefits
- Monitor the situation, document the experience and share with another village
- Unite: it’s the first condition for a village to stand-up. It has to be as a single body
- Give: the community commits and realize
- Receive: every inhabitant benefits from what has been accomplished
- share: the experience, the knowledge, the finance, withe the next village
Within the village, different groups are identified, for example: the board of elders, the ring of women, the team of youngsters. These groups have representatives, and those representatives compose a super-group: it’s the project’s comittee, which will facilitate all interactions, explain, sensitize, motivates and is accountable to everyone. They create an association for the whole village, in order to give legal and operational frame to all forthcoming activities, among whom the first one is the territory’s inventory.
Once the village is united around the project, its inhabitants mobilize in order to create a circular economy within the village. It leads to, for example, the creation of a common shop, where everyone will find what to buy, while insuring all profits, from every little purchase, are staying within the village. At the end of an economic cycle (a year), activities and benefits are evaluated. Then the village gets together.
During the end-of-cycle meeting, the village assesses the benefits and decides, with a large consensus, in which public service they will invest. Altogether, they realize and manage it. Meanwhile, the Village Debout team deploys a wide range of smart and simple tools, best practices and know hows, so that in every field of activity in the village, autonomy rhymes with ecology!
Once the circular and solidarity economy is well set, and loans are reimbursed, it is time to find a new village. The standing-up village will allow another village to raise as well. They are going to twin-up, and pass on all acquire knowledge, experience and funds.
We are at your service!
Whatever the size,the identity, the territory of your community, autonomy is at hand!
A benevolent hand, full of solidarity and dignity
In Switzerland and France: contact(at)villagedebout.org
In Burkina Faso: soumanatoukoro(at)gmail.com