Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is a US 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti. We believe that the path to sustainability is through transformation, of both disempowered people and discarded materials, turning apathy and pollution into valuable resources.
What We Do
SOIL promotes integrated approaches to the problems of poverty, poor public health, agricultural productivity, and environmental destruction. We attempt to nurture collective creativity through developing collaborative relationships between community organizations in Haiti and academics and activists internationally. Empowering communities, building the soil, nourishing the grassroots.
Maintaining soil is the essence of sustainability from both environmental and social perspectives. The basic elements that make up living matter all come from, and return to, the soil. Nutrients from the soil are constantly flowing through all living organisms. Healthy soil retains and cleanses water resources and protects communities from natural disasters. All of humanity is dependent on soil, biologically, economically, socially, and spiritually. Human health, livelihood, and well being are inextricably linked to the soil.
Liberation Ecology: The Philosophical Roots of Waste Transformation
In nature soil transforms organic matter, sustaining ecological systems by converting one organism’s wastes into another’s resources. It is from the soil that our organization has borrowed both our name and our philosophy. We too, believe that the path to sustainability is through transformation, of both marginalized people and discarded materials, turning disempowerment and pollution into participatory production.
I determined that my posture, within the community and before life, should be that of, in a humble way, taking sides. I decided this when I saw so many honorable misfortunes, lone victories and splendid defeats. In the midst of the arena of the Americas’ struggles, I saw that my human task was none other then to join the extensive forces of the organized masses of the people, to join with life and soul, with suffering and hope, because it is only from this great popular stream that the necessary changes can arise.
Pablo Neruda “Towards the Splendid City” – 1971 Nobel Lecture