The Boston Ujima Project - Approaches to sustainable funding
“UJIMA (oo-JEE-mah) is a Swahili word, and the celebrated Kwanzaa principle for "collective work and responsibility". Ujima inspires us to take responsibility for our communities, to see our neighbor's problems as our own, and to build collective power to solve them together.”
This is part of the description that can be found on the Ujima Project website, and that gives an accurate idea of what is the main objective of the project. Since 2015, more than 500 people have been involved in the project which aimes at providing an alternative to capitalistic investment funds and loan system, through the creation of a fund owned by low income people with the objective of financing local social and solidarity economy initiatives.
Boston is home to a diverse assortment of SE ventures, from employee-owned green businesses like Cooperative Energy, Recycling and Organics, which collects and composts food waste and sells the soil to farmers, to the Greater Boston Community Land Trust Network, a patchwork of community-owned tracts that offer affordable housing, urban agriculture and other services oriented toward the public good. The Ujima project is the proof that although difficult, it is possible to rethink the way in which we invest, work, buy, own, advocate.