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Eyfa is a network of over 400 environmental and social groups throughout europe dedicated to social and ecological change.
What is eyfa??? Eyfa is an ever-changing, self-defining activist network. Around for 13 years now, the range of activities 'in the network' cover the full range of activism from building autonomous ways of living and working to non-violent campaigns against ecologically and socially unsustainable systems to cultural activism and alternative media. Eyfa gives activists an international perspective, but it is very important to us is that we keep our feet firmly in the grassroots of social and ecological change and that resources and decision-making is decentralised throughout the network. Who makes decisions? Eyfa is a non-hierarchical organisation, which means decisions are reached through consensus. Arriving at consensus requires cooperation and can be hard work and time consuming - but it means that no-one is excluded from decision making and implementation. Decentralisation means that power is spread throughout the network - ?there are no leaders?. There are four open decision-making meetings a year: in the spring, the summer (ecotopia), the autumn and the winter meeting. The International Coordination Team (ICT) and the office in Amsterdam facilitates the network. The ICT is chosen at the open decision-making meetings. The office provides information, coordination, funding support and inspiration! Ideas and projects are put forward at open meetings and decisions made in turn direct the office. The network is open to those who want to work with others in the network. There is no membership. Eyfa aims to represent current grassroots and alternative activity throughout Europe. To do this, ways have been developed to reduce language and financial barriers to participating in the network. How does eyfa support the network? Non-hierarchical methods empower people and communities. Eyfa provides a platform and practical support for new radical ideas to grow into their full potential ? some have even become independent long term projects. For example, creating positive alternatives such as fair exchange rates, information resource centres and ecological communities are creating infrastructures which give autonomy to the whole activist movement. Eyfa working groups and projects can receive: support from the office, grants, and prefinancing. Information is provided through magazines (primarily the green pepper), an info-room in Amsterdam, web-sites, database access and seminars. All of these are priced in ecos - our fair exchange rate. The eco rate is based on the principle that all people should have the same purchasing power. The challenge is to balance out the differences in economic wealth between different countries.
- Christina Kopernic-Steckle
- (0031) 20 665 7743
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