Acting Together For A Just World
The city of Montreal has always, to my understanding had a strong process of assimilating new ideas into an existing cognitive structure taking into consideration its citizens and ensures the involvement of its people in civil society. The fact that the Venue for the CIVICUS world Assembly was right here in Montreal did not come as much of a surprise when the opportunity to participate in the same were extended to us.
At the CIVICUS I witnessed how few people who come together with an organized thought and an extended vision could transform the lives of millions of others across the world. A sense of hope is what we saw to say the least. Discussions and presentations were made on the challenges and the solution to meet economic justice the discussions took each group to various perspectives on how civil society could be a part of contributing to the Millennium Development Goals and to the welfare of standing up for the fight against Poverty and climate injustice.
The uniqueness of the conference was that the forum was always open and there was enough and more opportunity to extend the understand from the Plenary session to the workshops where questions often not weighed or even thought of were discussed. An issue that is often talked and worried about was finally on the table to be dissected by us the representative of the Civil Society to comprehend and assimilate perspectives.
The catastrophic effect the earthquake left on the survivors in Haiti, the effectiveness of development and the different perspectives on social development with that of participants from across the world was but a pleasant reminder of how much in common we shared through the unity of thought on goodness. For us Sauvé scholars who came from different parts of the world, it was more than an opportunity to dwell on issues close to our heart and hope with like-minded individual leaders through a community that addressed social, economical and Human rights issues impartially and uniquely.
In a certain workshop where we broke down for consideration of constituent parts on working together to eradicating poverty and surprised ourselves when the result showed surprising trends. Factors were pinned on to a board and saw that we had one or more incisions reaching to the mid rib of an issue so large. Sustainable community development is a topic close to my heart and the workshop on tapping into uncommon wisdom for participatory and inclusive governance was in Joanna Ashworths’s words “Arts serve as vehicles for public learning and engagement” It was more or less a re affirmation of my thoughts on using theatre as a tool to educate and empower the underprivileged and the ones who have no access to a decent education. Meeting people who have dedicated their lives to a certain cause leads future leaders of change like us Sauvé scholars learn through their years of experience and wisdom.
What was even more interesting was the choice of topics for discussion. The economic role of Women and Men and the questions on how to link practical needs to strategic interests, I felt was relevant in the context of any culture or country, In fact that frames the very economy of a country. There reached a point where I felt that this one conference gave a socially responsible citizen a certain level of understanding in the phenomena that evolves from a previous phenomenon. The energy was unstoppable and the learning continues. Acting together towards a just world now seems just a percent of what than CIVICUS world assembly initiated and wished to achieve. With it was born many believers.Believers in togetherness, believers in Global Citizenship, Believers in accountability for life of others across the world..Count me in, if you didn’t already!
Anu George Canjanathoppil