The Swallows India Bangladesh (The Swallows IB) is an organisation based on two fundamental values: solidarity and sustainability, which represent the cornerstones of our work.
For The Swallows IB solidarity means acknowledging the equal value of all people.
The Swallows IB fully acknowledges the Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainable development from 1987: sustainable development is a “development that meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Sustainable development is a complex concept involving environmental, social, political, economic and cultural sustainability. The Swallows IB sees sustainability as a fair use of resources and as environmentally and socially just production and consumption practices. In our view, sustainability can only be achieved if special consideration is given to the social and environmental conditions under which global products are created. Therefore, sustainability is a globally shared responsibility and it links together our everyday realities with global structures and politics in both North and South.
The measure of sustainability should be the “production of human wellbeing (not necessarily material goods) per unit of extraction from or imposition upon nature” (IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature).
Power is a controversial and intensively debated concept. The Swallows IB views power as relational, institutional and discursive. Power is continuously circulating in the most capillary places.
Knowledge and power are closely interlinked. This is why it is important to create space for other voices and knowledges to redefine development. In partnership we work to empower women and men and by that change power relations in the household, the civil society, the state and the market from the local to the global.
Social movement is one vehicle of social change. Historically social movements have been the drivers of revolutions and fast changes of societal structures. With globalisation, social movements have become even more important as carriers of communication, connection and identity. Globalisation is proved to have increased the deficit of democracy in the world. Social movements have a significant role to play in deepening the meaning and practice of democracy.
Poverty is multidimensional and includes lack of capabilities, freedom, rights and political power. Poverty is a subjective state and the psychological experience and impact of poverty are of uttermost importance for the poor themselves (“Voices of the Poor” Reports, WB 1999). It is about not being able to live in dignity and to realise your aspirations. The Swallows IB is committed to fighting poverty as defined by the poor people themselves.
Poverty is closely linked to inequality and injustice which are often the root causes of poverty. The Swallows IB is committed to addressing the root causes of poverty through fighting injustice and inequality by strengthening/ empowering people to assert their rights and by challenging the unjust structures that keep people in poverty.