Who We Are
The Grassrooted Trust was set up to provide a safe space for marginalized communities, online and in the real world. The issues we discuss and work on, the issues that drive us, have their beginning in the world of HIV. Our core values and beliefs are defined by the people we’ve worked with, laughed with and comforted. We are also defined by our failures: The people we failed, and those who failed us. Our journey mirrors life, because for us, Grassrooted is not about philanthropy, or changing the world, it’s about dealing with our reality and ensuring that human dignity remains at the core of everything we do.
People living with HIV, people who use drugs, people who sell sex, those who identify as transgender, those who are gay, lesbian or bi-sexual, those who struggle to or refuse to be defined and neatly parceled, those who have survived intimate partner violence, stigma, discrimination… these are the people we choose to represent, and they represent us, and so we believe:
We believe it is possible for people to enjoy their sexual and reproductive rights, regardless of HIV status, gender, sexuality or the fact that they use drugs.
We believe that Accurate and Comprehensive, Age-Appropriate Relationship Education will help prepare our young people for life; and this is not just about what goes where, or preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. It’s about negotiating the human condition. It’s about preventing abuse; why you shouldn’t send a naked picture of yourself, and about accepting another’s life choice. Teach them respect and stigma and discrimination stops making sense.
We believe that grassroots initiatives can be effective, and life changing BUT there needs to be a paradigm shift. Development agendas have resulted in dependency. This must end. Those who claim to help communities become independent must now reflect on how little has changed. Capacity Building, Empowerment, Sustainability must necessarily move beyond project cycles. We need different answers, and so must frame different questions. We must also learn to listen to and for the difference.
Yes, we believe in people.