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Who We Are

Grassrooted-Team-in-India

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 of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity, those who have survived intimate partner and gender-based violence, those who face stigma and discrimination; these are the people we choose to represent, and they represent us, and so we believe:

We believe people must enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights, both sensibly and responsibly, regardless of HIV status, gender identity, sexual orientation or the fact that they use drugs or sell sex.

We believe in the transformative power of learning and education. Accurate and comprehensive information coupled with understanding the key concepts of respect (respect for self, other, and difference), being sensible (applying good judgment and thinking through to the potential consequences of one’s actions) and consent (understanding what constitutes consent and its violation) will help prepare our children and young people for life; help them respond positively to the human condition.

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.

We believe in people.

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