A New Year, new opportunities for positive change

Jeroen Douglas, Executive Director of Solidaridad Network, shares his 2023 message:

We’re just days into the new year and already have something to celebrate. Following his inauguration, Brazilian President Lula da Silva committed to setting aside 13 forest areas for indigenous peoples. This action represents a long overdue reparation for indigenous groups and a dramatic turnaround from the disaster of the Bolsonaro presidency. 

We desperately need these good actions to continue as we deal with the legacy of 2022.

It’s a legacy where the specter of a third world war emerged like a thief in the night. Along with the direct tragedies in the Donbas & beyond, we now face global price increases, rampant inflation, and a record 900 million people going to bed hungry every night. That is one of every nine people on the planet. The number of hungry people rose by 40 percent over the last year as a direct result of the global grain shortage.

We have entered an era of geo-political fragmentation with power blocks squabbling over resources and influence. The Ukraine invasion has been a true game changer, breaking the hegemony of a complacent West that has failed to bring prosperity to the grand majority of the global population. The West versus the Rest has resulted in a renewed sense of polarization.

Covid continues to spread unabated in large parts of the world, with China back in the eye of the hurricane. The eight-billionth inhabitant joined us on the planet, shifting concern towards our increasingly limited resources. Earth Overshoot Day – the estimated date that humanity’s demand for resources exceeds what the Earth can regenerate in a year – arrived the earliest ever on 28 July. And though the UN Climate Summit and Biodiversity Summit made important progress, we remain far behind the action needed (read our perspective here).

In this global context, solidarity may be the most beautiful thing that human beings can bring to the world. And Solidaridad is all about solidarity. 

Solidarity may be the most beautiful thing that human beings can bring to the world.

Jeroen Douglas, Executive director, solidaridad Network

I’m a strong believer that if we can continue to demonstrate solidarity through concrete solutions that deliver innovative and scalable change, we can show to others – including world leaders – that Acting Now means Acting Always to benefit the most vulnerable among us.

Let me thank you already for our continued partnership in this new year. Collaborating with Solidaridad is an act of solidarity to the world, and to those who need our support most: farmers and workers in underprivileged circumstances. Let us continue to work alongside the more than 2 million families we work with to solve the challenges ahead. 

Your commitment creates change that matters. Your optimism, your creativity and your support in the year ahead are desperately needed. It is through your dedication and commitment that we are able to serve and more importantly: make more impact than ever before.

Amidst all the turmoil in the world, I wish you a Healthy, Peaceful and Carbon Smart 2023.