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The Grassroots

When we refer to 'the grassroots', we are talking about the 'rank and file' -- ordinary, decent people in local communities, as opposed to politicians, opinion-formers and administrators. The term appears to have originated a century ago in the US, in the form of 'grassroots democracy', respect for town meetings and local consensus decisions.

In practice, the people that we are privileged to be working with -- our in-country partners and community organisers -- are anything but ordinary: they are people with compassion and drive who get things done; inspirational individuals who are concerned with people's health and welfare, and with social justice and basic rights.

We are not ourselves averse to working with people in authority. We do this routinely, more often than not, to lobby for changes in policies or practices that disadvantage ordinary citizens and make their lives more difficult than they need be. But our focus is on the grassroots.