Connecting local responses around the world
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: http://youtu.be/hiPmyLpJGd8
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.