What We Do?
The Foundation for Social Transformation (FST) is a not for profit, gender just, apolitical, indigenous philanthropic organisation, conceived, led and managed by people from the region to support forward looking grassroots initiatives in Northeast India. FST seeks to inspire and unite the people of Northeast India towards a common vision and encourage their participation in proposing solutions that benefit their communities and the region as a whole. Strengthening of the civil society in the Northeast has become an urgent need to being peace and stability in the region through people’s involvement in democratic processes promoting smooth governance and equal development. With this mandate, the foundation for social transformation was started in the year 2005.
We strive in attaining the core values of
- Respect for diversity and human dignity
- Democratic processes
THEMATIC AREAS – FST WORKS ON THE FOLLOWING THEMATIC AREAS
ENSURING GENDER AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
Improving governance, raising awareness about rights based approaches; redressing grievances and legally upholding and protecting rights of all citizens of the region; preserving identities and guaranteeing dignity for all especially of marginalized, and deprived groups including indigenous people and persons with disabilities; integrating all aspects of the right to life, particularly for vulnerable sections (women and children) by ensuring access to food, health, education and work; promoting tolerance and peace education; providing crisis interventions like shelter and sensitive counsel for conflict survivors; revitalizing existing shelters and safety mechanisms; documenting lives of vulnerable groups (women and children) affected by conflict; directly reducing violence against women; promoting gender equality; facilitating women’s participation in policy matters.
FOSTERING YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND ACTION
Alternative and inclusive education and training programmes for young people to prepare them for success at the workplace; strengthening life skills , exploring creativity and contributing to positive thinking and leadership qualities; creating spaces to learn about advocacy, dialogue, exchange, networking and negotiating on issues faced by the youth.
ENHANCING NATURAL RESOURCES AND LINKED LIVELIHOODS
Addressing environmental concerns like management and protection of natural resources; restoring ecological imbalances; innovating for new eco-friendly livelihoods, especially for women and youth through related skill building; engaging with corporate sector for discourse and action in areas like information & communication technology, business and knowledge processing, media & mass communication, hospitality, travel and eco- tourism, hotel management, horticulture, floriculture, food processing & preservation, indigenous cuisine etc.
PROMOTING REGIONAL ARTS AND CULTURE
Using indigenous art & culture as tools of social transformation for larger audiences through performing arts, posters, films, folklore etc.; documentation and dissemination of new and traditional creative art forms and expressions; preserving and improving livelihoods of artists; involving audiences within and beyond the region and fostering regional solidarity and understanding.
FST is also committed to developing institutional capacity by deepening clarity on vision, mission and thematic areas; assisting and upgrading knowledge and skills in documentation, effective communication and improved management of organisations through short term programmes and workshops.
Anchored on the principles of social and gender justice and a society free from want, fear, and discrimination, the foundation facilitates a social transformation of the northeastern region of India through people’s active involvement and enables cohesiveness, dynamism, ingenuity, and creativity of communities.
- Invest in support and promote the region’s abundant human, natural, cultural and creative resources including conservation and promotion of environment and biodiversity
- Enable communities of the region to be owners of the development processes
- Promote peacebuilding and rights-based approaches and gender equality and social justice
Channelizing the youth energies and potentials through innovation and creative activities to bring about constructive social transformation
The premise for FST as an indigenous philanthropy organization is based on certain issues. Some of these are:
- A large majority of people are economically, geographically and socially disadvantaged.
- The rich biodiversity is threatened and so is the livelihood and cultural identity of people dependant on it. Growing horizontal and vertical disparities over the years have exacerbated conflicts and further fuelled prolong socio-political unrest.
- The region is presently going through a host of issues such as ethnic conflict, problems of livelihood, survival, and access to and control over scarce resources, to identity politics of power sharing, inter-ethnic, communal and separatist conflicts.
- These issues also provide a sound rationale for sustained intensive social activism; and pose major challenges to civil society organizations working at the grassroots level on issues of social justice, equality, and community mobilization.