Founded in 1994, Alternatives , Action and Communication Network for International Development , is a non-governmental , international solidarity based organization in Montreal , Quebec , Canada .
Alternatives works to promote justice and equality amongst individuals and communities worldwide. Active in over 35 countries, Alternatives supports local, community-based initiatives working with the greater economic, social, and political rights of people and communities affected by poverty, discrimination, exploitation, and violence.
The organization Publishes the Le Journal des Alternatives newsletter, a publication inserted every three months in Montreal’s French paper Le Show . Alternatives also publishes the Alternative International Journal , a monthly publication in English distributed electronically.
Alternatives Montreal is the headquarters of an International Federation consisting of nine NGOs spread across the world. Alternative-Niger , Asia Alternatives (New Delhi), Alternative Information Center (Jerusalem), Forum of South Macrocain Alternatives , Initiative for Another World , Institute Alternatives Terrazul , Khanya College, and Teacher Creativity Center .
Alternatives knows that, through the development of sustainable societies, another world is possible. This belief is grounded in the commitment, experience, and values of alternatives and social movements to which they belong.
• In this world, women, men and children will live in dignity and respect, and will equitably share the power and resources they need to live and thrive.
• In this world, the diversity of peoples and persons will be respected, as will the human, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights of all of its inhabitants.
• In this world, solidarity, cooperation, respect for the environment, participatory democracy, and peace will be the pillars that hold it aloft.
• In this world, founded on sustainable, just, and democratic social and economic development, construction has already begun at a local, national, and global level.
Alternatives’ mission statement (2009) reads: “Strengthened by our vision and national and international experience, Alternatives is an organization that works for solidarity, justice, and equity the world over. Of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. ”
The organization says that it will “strengthen citizen action and reinforce the contribution of social movements in the construction of sustainable societies.”
Alternatives is present in Latin America , Africa , Europe and the Middle East , as well as Central, South and Southeast Asia .
Alternatives Montreal is the headquarters of a federation consisting of nine NGOs spread across the world. Alternative-Niger , Asia Alternatives (New Delhi), Alternative Information Center (Jerusalem), Forum of South Macrocain Alternatives , Initiative for Another World , Institute Alternatives Terrazul , Khanya College , and Teacher Creativity Center .
In each of these regions, the organization works in direct partnership with groups of women and men who are struggling for progress, respect and justice; as well as the peace and sustainable development of Their community, Their Environment, and Their area.
Alternatives support networks creation between groups so that they can benefit from their shared experiences and successes. Network training is crucial since it allows a deepened analysis and understanding of the conflicts affecting their communities from the outside.
Alternatives ‘and its partners’ international solidarity projects are centered on:
- The environment and sustainable development
- Rehabilitation of communities affected by war
- Good Governance
- Socio-economic justice and equality
- Civil, political, economic, social and human rights
- The fight against poverty
- Women’s rights , equality between genders, the inclusion of women in all spheres of society
- Education and inclusion of youth
- Civil society development, management, and autonomy
- Freedom of organization, of information, of the press, and of religion
Alternatives has been criticized as a political organization supporting “left-leaning causes” through taxpayer funds, provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) . Hezbollah and Hamas, as Ali Mallah, Vice-President of the Canadian Arab Federation. ” In addition, the government was reported to have been concerned about a 2008 “education camp” at Saint-Alphonse de Rodriguez in Quebec, was attended by “500 motivated militants” from Lebanon, Iraq, and Venezuela. 
Youth Internship Programs
Alternatives organizes overseas youth internship programs (such as Alternatives’ NetCorps program), with the aim of developing a sense of solidarity and curiosity about other regions within youth. These internships emphasize understanding Third World realities and encouragement actions that will advance Alternatives’ message of justice. Thanks to the internships, hundreds of young people have had the opportunity to participate in uncommon professional, cultural, and human experiments.
Alternatives’ Internships Program for 2009-2010 offers internships funded by the Quebec Without Borders Program of Quebec’s Ministry of International Relations.
The 2009-2010 Program offered 4 types of internships, under the following 3 themes:
- Communications and Journalism:
Bolivia: Andale! An environmental voice for workers in Bolivia
Ecuador: Documentaries for the rights of youth and children in Ecuador
- Environment and urban agriculture:
Mali: Roots around the world: urban agriculture in Bamako
- Information and Communication Technologies
Cameroon: Yaounde: education in Yaounde
Also, one position of the OCI program of Quebec Sans Fronitères was available at Alternatives’ offices in Montreal:
- Community sector management and institutional development
Assistant to the Quebec Without Borders (QSF) program: from Africa to the Americas
As part of the Youth Eco Internship program of YMCA of Canada, Alternatives offered 2 internship positions in Montreal:
- Environment and urban agriculture:
Assistant to the environment and urban agriculture program Urban agriculture mobilization and education officer
Alternatives in Quebec and Canada
Alternatives is an organization that produces and participates in many conferences, which publishes a newspaper and several Web sites, and that organizes educational and informational activities.
The Alternatives newspaper, a monthly compendium of international, national, and cultural news, has a distribution of 50,000, creating a window of alternative information on the world.
Whether in Quebec, Canada, or the world, Alternatives works to raise awareness of the links between them. Through its information and educational campaigns, Reflecting our concerns with equality and justice for the South, Alternatives goes beyond the general public to reach policymakers. [ Citation needed ] At the local level, our work involves environmental concerns, participatory democracy , out-reach and solidarity programs with immigrant communities and the promotion of pro-social policies.
For the last 16 years, Alternatives has been hosting the Alternative Days , a three-day retreat with Alternatives volunteers at Camp Butterfly of St-Alphonse de Rodriguez. The retreat promotes reflection, commitment and education.
Alternatives’ Rooftop Gardens Project in Montreal
Since 2003, Alternatives has funded and promoted a rooftop gardens project , which has been exploring new ways to interact with urban environment and the food cycle, for a greener city and healthier communities. The Rooftop Garden Project is a combination of hydroponic cultivation, permaculture, organic agriculture and collective gardening. It has inspired numerous initiatives in Quebec, Canada and elsewhere in the world.
The new green community spaces have been designed as collective gardens, making possible participation in both public and private areas. This is the first time in the history of urban development and urbanization.
In 2008, the Rooftop Garden Project earned The Highest environmental distinction in Quebec, the Phoenix of the environment , and received the 2008 National Urban Design Award from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada , the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) and the Canadian Society Of Landscape Architects (CSLA) for its collaborative project with McGill University ‘s Minimum Cost Housing Group and Santropol Roulant.
Alternatives to major international organizations and organizations, International Organizations and Governments.
Individuals across Canada contribute to Alternatives as donors, members, or by subscribing to the newspaper.
Many activists, journalists, and public figures from Quebec, Canada, and the world support. Among these are:
- Margaret Atwood , award winning novelist and poet
- Judy Rebick , politically engaged writer and researcher
- Françoise David , leader of Quebec Solidarity , ex-President of the Quebec Federation of Women , co-founder of the World March of Women
- Gil Courtemanche , activist journalist and writer
- Madeleine Parent , feminist and long-time union leader
- Ariane Émond, General Director of Culture Montreal, journalist and researcher
- Stanley Péan, writer and cultural broadcaster for Radio-Canada
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu , Nobel Peace Prize winner
- Asmaa Jangir, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
- Noam Chomsky , linguist , philosopher , cognitive scientist , and political activist .
- Jump up^Ivison, John (December 5, 2009). “Funding for the leftist group to be cut”. National Post .