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Food Justice in Asia - using CLCP to let churches plan for action

As a Constellation coach, I have facilitated quite a number of Knowledge Fairs.  I have recorded dozens of stories on video to develop Knowledge Assets and spread the valuable experience of communities around the world. But today was special. Today I actually couldn’t keep my eyes dry during the video recording. The story was too touching. It went straight to my heart. Normally I urge people to stick within 3 minutes, but even though this story went on for 7 minutes, I remained silent. I actually wanted this story to continue…..

This was a female farmer from the Philippines and activist for the rights of peasants for over 40 years. She has been detained for years, yet is relentless in her strive to fight for the people that work hard to bring the food to all of us. I won’t share more. Just watch the video: (I will post it on Ning soon as well).

Today was the last day of a 5 day event that I facilitated together with Girlie from Pinoy Competence for the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA). EAA is a Geneva-based international network of churches and church-related organizations committed to campaigning together on two common concerns: HIV and AIDS and Food Justice. This Manila-based workshop brought together 25 religious leaders from 9 Asian countries to share experiences and plan for action for advocating for Food Justice. The event was hosted incredibly well by the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).

Day 1 was fully dedicated to SALT visits to three farmer communities. After a SALT briefing, the groups appreciated, stimulated and learned from the farmer groups. We learned about sustainable agriculture, the links between faith and taking care of our earth. We heard profound personal experiences of the communities regarding their fight for their land with multinational or with raging typhoons. The remarkable resilience of these communities still impresses me until today. Today, we as visitors wrote letters including photos to each one of the communities. In the letters we described the strengths that we observed and how our visit contributed to our own learning and transfer. Isn’t that the biggest ‘present’ that we can give to communities?

Day 2,3 and 4 were dedicated to our own road to Food Justice competence. We developed beautiful dreams, extracting our self-assessment framework on Food Justice with 14 practices and planned in three regional groups for action. In between session, we had panel discussions with ‘experts’ from the field. Remarkable and informative case studies from farm leaders to members of parliament. All in all, an interesting balance between CLCP and expert knowledge.

Thanks to generous planning by EAA, we were blessed with sufficient time for all the process steps. Participants did not feel rushed and could let their reflection and creativity flow. This led to high-quality action plans for Advocacy that all participants felt ownership of. Now it’s time for delivery!     

The self-assessment framework of West-Africa last year and Asia this year on Food Justice. 



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Comment by Gaston on February 1, 2013 at 3:10am

Dear friends, if you want to know more about this workshop and what happened afterwards, visit this link and the latest newsletter of EAA attached

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on December 4, 2012 at 6:47am

Hi Gaston,

Thanks. Its great to learn from your experience, yet again.

I was reading the self assessment framework for Asia. Where was it derived from? Facilitators dream? I ask because for level 5 in some places it says We and the community. I compiled a self asssement for a project where the facilitators had done a similar thing and when they did their self assessment they started evaluating the community. We had to redefine the level:-) I have so much to learn on SAF but its my dream to be very strong in this tool. I love it for the thinking process it triggers.

Haven't bothered you on skype for ages and saw this as a good opportunity:-) Warm greetings!

Comment by Bobby Zachariah on December 4, 2012 at 2:13am

Inspiring indeed Gaston!


Comment by wiwin winarni on December 3, 2012 at 9:48am

Thanks for your Blog Gaston!

I'm learning SAA framework and will be back to some inquiries.



Comment by YERUVA ANTHONY REDDY on November 30, 2012 at 12:35pm

Gaston, Thanks for sharing. Inspiring video and kudos to Angie Ipong for her grit and determination. She stayed postive in difficult circustancesm worked on strengths. A true practitioer.

Comment by Olivia Munoru on November 29, 2012 at 3:20pm

Wow Gaston. Congratulations to you and Girlie. It looks as though you have  both done a fantastic job as coaches and facilitators of this process. I am so pleased to hear that they now have a Self Assessment for Food Justice competence. This would be very interesting to the communities working on Agricultural Agricultural Systems Competence in Zambia, which has a significant food justice component. Would you please share with us the 14 practices?

Once again, thanks for such a lovely, inspiring blog. !


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