Saturday, October 22, 2011

#Uint11 UNISON Northern region “Solidarity Work in Southwest Colombia”

Sat pm: UNISON Northern Region Convenor, Clare Williams, together with local organiser, Patrick Kane gave the next related presentation on a project her region had helped set up in Columbia.

Firstly she explained "Why do we do it?" The global neoliberal economic model is responsible for causing and intensifying much of the world’s problems.

Then how they went about the project and how this initiative had benefits for both sides.  It was empowering, it changed lives, builds the union, it helped also build a social movement with a common vision and encourage an internationalist approach.

The project was to fund an education scheme for the wives, daughters and mothers of sugar cane cutters in Valle del Cauca in Columbia. In September 2007 15,000 sugar cane cutters went out on strike for 2 months. Region supported a capacity building project for the group. They had local contacts and made an expression of interest.  Followed by a proposal using the UIDF application form. Application was approved and funding sent out in instalments.

Lessons: Remember things will go wrong, it is a learning process! Not everything works first time.

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