Racism exists in the development sector as it exists in wider society. Therefore, we must acknowledge how it manifests and take action to address the negative impacts it can have on ourselves, our colleagues, and the communities we work with. The aid sector exists to alleviate poverty, but the power dynamics of aid can reinforce power structures and systems that grew through colonisation. We must recognise this, and work with our partners openly and honestly to address racism.
The Welsh Government’s Wales and Africa programme seeks to increase solidarity and partnership globally. It is not enough to be non-racist; we should move forward to be an actively anti-racist sector, ensuring we don’t perpetuate racist behaviours and systems when working with racialised communities, in Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa.
This charter is for small charities and community groups based in Wales who work internationally, in particular with partner NGOs and community groups in Sub-Saharan Africa, on development or solidarity projects and activities.
We encourage all groups and individuals working in this sector to sign up and actively deliver the commitments in this anti-racist charter. Hub Cymru Africa and the Sub Sahara Advisory Panel can support groups and individuals to realise the aims of the charter through the toolkit below and free annual training sessions.
1. We commit to addressing racism. It is everyone’s problem, not the burden of a single group of people alone, and ending it is beneficial to all
2. We will use our positions to challenge racism where we see it, think critically about the racist structures we unknowingly uphold, and dismantle them
3. We will work in a manner which recognises and prioritises in-country expertise and knowledge to lead our work and support this with an equitable pay structure
4. We will commit to taking ownership of developing our own deeper understanding of the issues of racism and how they impact our thinking
5. We are an organisation that welcomes critical feedback, with a view to learning and improving our work. We will act without defensiveness or negative repercussions for those highlighting racist or colonial practices and create accountability mechanisms within our work
6. We will review all of our policies regularly, with an anti-racist and intersectional lens and seek expert help when needed
7. We commit to actively improving the diversity of our boards, teams and volunteers to achieve more informed and equitable decision-making
8. We will adopt appropriate and thoughtful language, storytelling and images. We recognise that they have meaning, can cause harm and can reinforce racism
9. We will ensure all work takes a social justice approach, to promote the self-sufficiency of all partners including equity in opportunities
10. We will always promote sustainability (Social, Human, Economic and Environmental) in our work, and partnerships
11. We will consider the wider global injustices in our work and consider the negative impact of our actions on the climate and environment and mitigate them, acknowledging that the people with the lowest carbon footprint are the ones that feel the greatest impact
12. We will commit to involving our partners, board, volunteers and broader audience in our work on this charter.