AJWS grantee OFRANEH awarded 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize

We’re proud to share that AJWS grantee OFRANEH (The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña) is the international winner of the 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize!

The Food Sovereignty Prize spotlights grassroots activists working for a more democratic food system. The honorees are recognized for promoting food sovereignty by raising public awareness, organizing on-the-ground action, developing and implementing programs and policies; recognizing the importance of collective action in bringing about social change; building global linkages into their work; and prioritizing the leadership of women, indigenous peoples, people of color, migrant workers and other food providers marginalized by the global food system.

OFRANEH was founded in 1979 to represent and advocate for the interest of Honduras’ Garífuna people.  It is the oldest and largest Garífuna organization, representing all 46 Garífuna communities along Honduras’ Caribbean coast and islands. Supported by AJWS, OFRANEH‘s mission is to protect the Garífuna’s capacity for self-determination, including programs for the political, social, economic and culture advancement of the Garífuna as well as for the defense of their human rights and ancestral lands. OFRANEH encourages all Garífuna, and especially youth, to participate in the making of decisions related to Garífuna welfare at the local and national levels.

The photos and text below were originally published on The Food Sovereignty Prize’s page. Visit the Food Sovereignty Prize page here.

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The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) was created in 1979 to protect the economic, social, and cultural rights of 46 Garifuna communities along the Atlantic coast of Honduras. At once Afro-descendent and indigenous, the Garifuna people are connected to both the land and the sea, and sustain themselves through farming and fishing. Land grabs for agrofuels (African palm plantations), tourist-resort development, and narco-trafficking seriously threaten their way of life, as do rising sea levels and the increased frequency and severity of storms due to climate change. The Garifuna, who have already survived slavery and colonialism, are now defending and strengthening their land security and their sustainable, small-scale farming and fishing. OFRANEH brings together communities to meet these challenges head-on through direct-action community organizing, national and international legal action, promotion of Garifuna culture, and movement-building. In its work, OFRANEH especially prioritizes the leadership development of women and youth.

Coordinator Miriam Miranda said, “Our liberation starts because we can plant what we eat. This is food sovereignty. We need to produce to bring autonomy and the sovereignty of our peoples. If we continue to consume [only], it doesn’t matter how much we shout and protest. We need to become producers. It’s about touching the pocketbook, the surest way to overcome our enemies. It’s also about recovering and reaffirming our connections to the soil, to our communities, to our land.”

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Visit the Food Sovereignty Prize page here.