NGO

We never think about eating as a political act, even though our choices are directly linked to social and environmental issues. Fair production and trade, water consumption of each product we buy at the market and carbon footprint of food transportation are only a few of the concerns we should take into consideration before giving the first bite in an apparently innocent snack. The organization Slow Food International does a great work raising awareness into the civil society and promoting fair, healthy, harmonic initiatives that both respect the environment and communities. Here are highlights of their interview!

Wheat farmer in Australia
Wheat farmer in Australia

1. What is Slow Food International’s purpose?

Slow Food is committed to restoring the value of food and to grant the due respect to those who produce it in harmony with the environment and ecosystems, thanks to their traditional knowledge. Since 1996 Slow Food has started to work directly with small-scale producers in order to help them safeguard agro biodiversity and traditional knowledge through projects like the Ark of Taste, that collects small-scale quality productions that belong to the cultures, history and traditions of the entire planet and today have almost 4,500 products on board. Or Presidia, that sustain quality production at risk of extinction, protect unique regions and ecosystems, recover traditional processing methods, safeguard native breeds and local plant varieties. One of the projects Slow Food is most proud of is “10.000 Gardens in Africa”, launched in 2010. The Gardens are created by local communities who plant traditional vegetables, fruits, culinary and medicinal herbs using sustainable techniques, involving young people and drawing on the knowledge of the elderly. The aim is to promote biodiversity, value African gastronomic cultures and raise awareness about big issues like GMOs, land grabbing and sustainable fishing. Around a third of the gardens are in schools, serving as open-air classrooms with an important educational function and often supplying healthy, fresh vegetables for school meals. This, in turn, is training a network of leaders aware of the value of their land and their culture. The other gardens are run by communities, and the produce is used primarily to improve the nutritional value of the community members’ everyday diet, while any surplus is sold to generate supplementary income.

In 2004, Slow Food launched the Terra Madre network, which brings together food producers, fishers, breeders, chefs, academics, young people, NGOs and representatives of local communities from 160 countries. In a world dominated by industrial production, Terra Madre, which means Mother Earth, actively supports the small-scale farmers, breeders, fishers and food artisans around the world whose approach to food production protects the environment and communities.

2. What is your mission and vision of the world?

Slow Food was founded to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and to encourage people to be aware about the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. Slow Food envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good, clean and fair. Good, because it is healthy in addition to tasting good; clean because it is produced with low environmental impact and with animal welfare in mind; and fair because it respects the work of those who produce, process and distribute it. For this reason Slow Food works to defend biodiversity and to promote a sustainable and environmentally friendly food production and consumption system; to spread sensory education and responsible consumption; and to connect producers of quality foods with co-producers (conscious consumers) through events and initiatives.

Farmer's market
Farmer’s market

3. The Slow Food movement has gained more momentum in the last years. What would you consider as the main reasons behind the increased global awareness of the way we consume food?

We think that today, due to the increasing level of illnesses related to our daily food, people are starting to realize that their actions and daily choices have a repercussion on their health. People are starting to be more accurate in their food choices, on where they buy their food, on what’s inside what they eat. Also the concerns about the environmental challenges, like climate change, has increased the attention consumers are paying to how their choices can mitigate them. The industrial food system of production and consumption is in fact the first cause of pollution, CO2 production, loss of biodiversity. Today, Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers and academics in over 160 countries. Among them, a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members are linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide.

4. Are you committed to the Sustainable Development Goals or do you address some of the SDGs with your projects?

Some of the Sustainable Development Goals share our philosophy and our aim. Our philology, good, clean and fair tackles several SDGs, naming good health and wellbeing, responsible production and consumption, decent work and economic growth. We are working to address the huge problem of food waste, by organizing events like Disco Soup through our Young network, where people cook only food that would have been thrown away. That means that we are trying to help reach the zero hunger goal and that we vision sustainable cities and communities that would weigh as less as possible on the environment. Industrial animal production (linked to high levels of meat consumption) is responsible for 14% of greenhouse gas emissions, if we take into account the whole chain from food production to final consumption. Similarly, aquaculture consumes immense quantities of fishmeal, pollutes the water and, in many parts of the world, is responsible for the destruction of wide swathes of mangrove forest. On 2015 Slow Food launched an appeal called “Let’s not eat up our planet! Fight Climate Change” which aimed to sensitize the public on how much the agriculture weights on the climate change issue. Also for the “life on land and below water”, we are really sensitive about animal wellbeing, and we organize every two year an event called Slow Fish completely dedicated to sustainable fisheries and marine ecosystems.

Slow Food International has built a network with chefs worldwide
Slow Food International has built a network with chefs worldwide

5. Do you think food industries are getting more committed to producing food with less environmental, health and social impact? What are your main challenges to get them on board?

We have recently seen an increase of attention regarding these aspects. If industries are interested in finding more sustainable solutions for the environment and the health (in a serious way and not for marketing reasons) we are ready to facilitate the process and give advice.

6. Horyou is the social network for social good. What’s the importance of internet and social media to spread the message of movements like Slow Food and other positive initiatives?

We think that internet is a fundamental tool that can be used to share ideas, visions and experiences all over the world. For example people, especially youngsters and producers, could share their experiences to see how a same problem is tackled in different areas of the globe. Conversely, we don’t think it’s a useful tool if it takes place of human interactions and communications.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbons
Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbons

October is the month of breast cancer awareness. According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women both in the developed and less developed world. However, due to the lack of early detection or resources to treat the disease, 58% of deaths caused by breast cancer occur in poorer countries.

For this reason, many cancer organizations and national health offices join forces to spread the word about the disease. At least one third of cancer causes are preventable – it is the most cost-effective and long-term strategy for the control of cancer. Even with few resources, women can detect lumps, swelling or painful parts or rashes trough self exams. They are all attention signs that should require further exams.

Besides raising awareness and spreading the word about breast cancer prevention, you can support the Pink October Campaign by funding or volunteering in one of the many organizations that support cancer research, alleviation and treatment. Our Horyou community gathers some of them – click on the links and discover more about their work!

You can participate in social events in your city, such as bike rides and runs, which help to bring attention to the cause, or even talk to women in your entourage to be sure they will take care of their health. Act for breast cancer awareness!

Want to help?

Here are some Horyou members who support or are engaged in the cause, and join the campaign.

Fundação Laço Rosa https://www.horyou.com/org/fundacao-laco-rosa

Keep a breast https://www.horyou.com/organization/keep-a-breast

Campanha de combate ao câncer de Araçatuba https://www.horyou.com/organization/campanha-de-combate-ao-cancer-de-aracatuba

The Herts Milk Bank https://www.horyou.com/org/the-hertfordshire-milk-bank-cic

IBRAPPER https://www.horyou.com/org/instituto-brasileiro-de-apoio-e-pesquisas-a-pacientes-oncologicos-em-reflexologias

Education is key, and the young people are the future. This is the motto of the  Society for Academic Development from Serbia. Let’s have a closer look at this young and dynamic NGO that is a perfect example of the new generation!

Alisa Kockar and Milan Simonovic were interviewed by Horyou blog
Alisa Kockar and Milan Simonovic were interviewed by Horyou blog

1) Could you please present to us briefly Society for Academic Development?

Society for Academic Development is a small NGO from Serbia, founded on 16th April 2013. Most of our members are young people, so problems that we deal with are usually tailored for youth, but not always. So far we got engaged in promotion and preservation of cultural heritage in Serbia, as well as corporate and social responsibility, cultural diplomacy, anti-corruption actions, etc. We truly believe that every human being has a unique gift or talent that they need to share with the world. If they do, amazing things can happen and we are trying to show everyone that kind of results. We are setting an example and we motivate others to do the same.

The main line that separates us from most NGOs in Serbia is a lack of hierarchy in the decision making process. It basically means that we do have official leadership, but only for external presentation of our Society. In internal affairs we have a unique decision making process – every member has equal vote and equal legitimacy to express his or her opinions. Our rewarding system is based on meritocracy – how much effort you put in the benefit of Society is how much you will receive credit for it. We think that NGOs must be different from corporations, so we tend to apply that strategy everywhere we can. We appreciate every member we have and try to nurture them.

2) What are your memorable exploits / projects and what are the biggest challenges you faced since the Society for Academic Development was created?

One of the biggest challenges is maintaining the NGO. We are doing our best to stay out from political influence. Corruption is a big problem in Serbia and it goes all the way through the system, so there is a big chance to bump on one of its roots when you are dealing with some social problems. When you want to get an office for your NGO headquarters, to have proper funding for your projects, to develop quick actions for the common people, we run into it. We are desperetly trying to make our initiatives work their way through municipalities without getting stuck between the interests of the major political parties there. For example, we’ve submited our initiative to name one of the streets in our capital city, Belgrade, after a famous French statesman and a true friend of our country who helped our grandfathers during the WWI, Aristide Briand. A few months later we got the reply from our City Council that praised our idea, but we are still waiting for it, and two years have passed since then.

However, the biggest project that we have ever done and that we are very proud of is «Kultura na DAR» (Culture as a gift) – a campaign for the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage in Serbia. It was our first project ever and we are currently preparing its fourth round. The basic idea is that everyone should get engaged in promoting the cultural heritage in their community. Kids, young people, mothers, fathers, teachers, folks, students… everyone can make a three minute video about their favourite place, person or event that has something to do with culture. We also organize a big award ceremony where we praise the best ones, but also award everyone who dedicated their time into joining our cause, as a sort of motivation to keep doing a good job. This year we will make a change and include a photography contest. Thanks to this project, during the last three years, the public got to know about 100 sites or people and events that did not enjoy any fame, but are important to our culture.

"Corruption is (not) an option" seminar
“Corruption is (not) an option” seminar

3) Is there any project, action, realisation that had a specific impact or importance for your organization over the past years?

Every two years, we choose new types of goals for our organization and last summer we decided to get involved in anti-corruption projects, because we saw them as an opportunity to help solving this problem in Serbia. «Korupcija (ni)je opcija» (Corruption is (not) an option) was a complex project, but at the end of it we got better results than we hoped. After six months of various activities, including seminars, meetings, group sessions and outdoor activities, we formed a partnership against political employment in which many individuals, organizations and even some political parties signed in. Our hope is to upgrade Partnership in the near future and to involve more social actors, so that this topic can be seen and talked about in the media. That’s how we’ll make some real progress.

4) Do you have any project that you want to develop in the near future that you want to tell us more about?

Society for Academic Development is preparing a project that targets young women in Serbia, aged between 15 and 17, by teaching them about their rights. This social group has many issues and very little support in society, which makes it so hard to see. It is a kind of a hidden problem that just waits around the corner and emerges every time when it’s too late to do something. That is also a reason why it is very hard to raise funds for it. We would like to teach girls that they have rights that they really need to use: such as the right to education from elementary to universities. Also they have the right to be equally paid for the same job position as men, and also they must have an equal opportunity to be elected for available job positions. They must know that they should never be victims of violence or any kind of torture, the same as every human being, and also to have their voice be heard in politics. They need motivation and mentorship, so we made a plan in order to provide it.

Society for Academic Development team
Society for Academic Development team

5) What do you think about Horyou and its community which you are an active member of? What does it bring to you and to your organization?

Since we first heard about Horyou, we thought that it is a very smart idea – to connect people from all over the world via a network so that they could exchange their ideas and thoughts. Making changes in one place is a very productive way to impact the world. Online and a few months later physically in Geneva in 2014, we met so many extraordinary people and exchanged so many ideas. Hey, after all, we are all wearing Beyond Beanie bracelets now!

We are eager to continue our journey with the Horyou community and even willing to make it even bigger, as big as possible. We talked about it with many of our fellow countrymen and they are getting to know how awesome Horyou really is. It doesn’t mean it can’t become even more awesome, but we all have to make it work. Only joint actions worldwide can have a real impact on the lives of communities all over the globe, and we think that Horyou has a capacity to initiate them.

6) What is your message for the Horyou community?

Every time you think about Serbia, or the Balkans, remember that there are young people living there, joined in a Society that is always ready to work with you and help you, so that our community can benefit from our joint actions. Let’s make a world worth living for..now!

Written by Hannah Nunes

Organização não governamental com sede no Rio de Janeiro, a Argilando promove o voluntariado e apoia a gestão de outras organizações não governamentais, somando forças na defesa de diferentes causas sociais. Nessa entrevista, a Argilando compartilha sua visão de trabalho e seus projetos com o nosso blog!

Apresentação de flamenco de uma das voluntárias Argilando
Apresentação de flamenco de uma das voluntárias Argilando

1. Apresente brevemente a organização Argilando.

A história começa com um pequeno grupo em 2004 organizando algumas campanhas e ações de voluntariado. O grupo cresceu e se constituiu juridicamente em 2008. Desde então, ações pontuais se transformaram em projetos e programas, que em 2016 completam 12 anos de muitas realizações.

A Argilando é uma organização não governamental que atua em duas frentes. A primeira é promover o voluntariado, pois acreditamos que somos capazes de sermos agentes de transformação de nós mesmos e do espaço que nos cerca. Essa crença deu nome à organização. “Argilando” é uma metáfora com a argila e a capacidade que temos de moldar, criar e transformar, sendo ao mesmo tempo o artesão e a matéria-prima da mesma obra.

A segunda frente de atuação é apoiar a gestão de outras organizações não governamentais para juntos somar forças na busca de soluções efetivas para as demandas da sociedade.

Construímos pontes entre voluntários, instituições, empresas e órgãos governamentais, transformando necessidades sociais em oportunidades de participação solidária em prol de diferentes causas sociais. Para a Argilando, mobilizar pessoas e apoiar outras instituições é a melhor forma de fortalecer a nossa sociedade na busca de um futuro melhor.  

2. O que é o projeto 365 dias de Agir?

O projeto 365 Dias de Agir consiste na construção de um calendário de um ano com ações diárias de voluntariado. Com a proposta de não deixar nenhum dia em branco, cada voluntário escolhe um dia do ano e juntos construímos um calendário com 365 dias consecutivos de boas ações.

As ações podem ser simples ou complexas e também podem ser realizadas em qualquer parte do mundo.

O objetivo central é comprovar o grande impacto que podemos conquistar a partir da união de várias ações e pessoas. Além de valorizar atitudes simples, o projeto tem como foco inspirar oportunidades e gerar visibilidade para causas e instituições.

Todas as pessoas e organizações de quaisquer natureza dispostas a contribuir com mudanças positivas estão convidadas a participar do projeto.

O projeto já consolidou mais 300 ações e tem 229 voluntários participantes. Além disso, já realizou ações em nove países diferentes (África do Sul, Colômbia, Estados Unidos, França, Inglaterra, Polônia, Romênia, Sérvia e Uganda) e 10 estados brasileiros.

3. Quantos projetos a Argilando realizou em 2015?

O ano de 2015 foi de muitas conquistas, fruto do resultado de cinco projetos principais, entre eles o Banco de Doações, que trata da arrecadação e distribuição de doações para instituições e iniciativas populares e o Argilando Vai ao Teatro, que visa o fomento da cultura através do acesso gratuito ao teatro.

Foi um ano intenso na realização do projeto Assessoria Social, que oferece diferentes formatos de consultoria em responsabilidade social e voluntariado de forma gratuita para ONGs, iniciativas sociais e pessoas físicas empreendedoras sociais, do qual se destaca o apoio técnico a organização Junior Achievement Rio de Janeiro no atendimento a mais de 44 mil jovens em programas de empreendedorismo, o Movimento Rio Presente, um programa de voluntariado empresarial desenvolvido para a empresa Infoglobo e as ações com as empresa LAMSA – Linhas Amarelas S.A, Concremat e EVEN.

Em 2015 também celebramos o quarto ano do projeto Levantando a Bola, que promove atividades esportivas com 30 crianças e contou com o sucesso de uma campanha de crowdfunding e o apoio da empresa italiana Varlife.

No projeto de protagonismo Atitude Jovem, tivemos a implementação de três edições com a participação de dois colégios estaduais e uma instituição, formando 9 equipes de jovens empenhados em desenvolver ações em prol de um mundo melhor. Após dois meses de treinamento, todas as equipes executaram com sucesso os projetos desenvolvidos em sala de aula, colocando em prática o conhecimento e dando um show de atitude.

Palhaçaria, uma atividade de voluntariado da Argilando
Palhaçaria, uma atividade de voluntariado da Argilando

4. Conte-nos sobre a realização de maior importância da Argilando nesses últimos anos?

Uma pergunta difícil de responder! A adesão de cada novo voluntário e parceiro e o resultado de cada projeto executado são motivos para celebrar. A consolidação da parceria com a organização Junior Achievement em 2010 e a aquisição de uma sede em 2013 são marcos tão importantes quanto a criação de cada projeto que a instituição possui.

Para cada membro Argilando, a realização de maior importância está alinhada às suas conquistas frente ao senso de propósito, tornando a Argilando um espaço concreto e colaborativo para o encontro de diferentes pessoas em busca de objetivos comuns.

5. A Argilando tem algum projeto que deseja implementar em breve?

A próxima meta agora é formatar a segunda edição do projeto 365 Dias de Agir em uma nova versão, que permita o uso da tecnologia para a consolidação de um método replicável em escala em qualquer parte do mundo, de forma orgânica e pública para que qualquer instituição possa se apropriar da metodologia e assim gerar novos ciclos e calendários de 365 dias mundo afora.

6. O que você pensa da Horyou e da comunidade na qual você é um membro ativo?

Acreditamos ser um lugar que reúne as pessoas e exemplos que precisamos ter no presente, sendo uma forte ferramenta de comunicação para aproximar instituições e pessoas em prol de atitudes necessárias nos dias atuais.

Identificamos na Horyou uma nova forma de compartilhar experiências e conhecimento mediante especialistas preparados para oferecer soluções apenas para os membros da comunidade, mas também para todos os públicos com quem seus membros conversam com a crença de quem acredita que a informação conecta, inspira, mobiliza e contribui para o desenvolvimento e comprometimento com os resultados.

7. Qual a sua mensagem para todos os membros da comunidade Horyou?

Obrigado por vocês existirem! Acreditamos que todos nós, se estamos aqui reunidos é porque ainda temos muito trabalho para fazer e que nosso desafio está apenas começando. Desejamos a todos força e resiliência para continuarmos sonhando, inspirando e agindo. O mundo precisa de todos nós juntos e aqui não estaremos sozinhos. Gratidão!

Por Edriana Oliveira Major

En hommage à une petite fille nommée Medina dont les fondateurs se sont occupés, une association est née. Depuis plus de 20 ans, l’ Association Medina vient en aide aux victimes civiles de conflits là où il n’y a jamais assez d’assistance.

Convoi au départ de Bourges pour la maternité en Syrie
Convoi au départ de Bourges pour la maternité en Syrie

1. Pouvez-vous nous présenter brièvement l’association Medina?

L’Association Medina, créée le 11 mars 1998 et basée à Bourges, est une organisation de solidarité internationale à structure associative selon la loi 1901. L’association agit de façon totalement indépendante de tout parti politique et de toute confession religieuse, elle est reconnue d’intérêt général. Son principal objectif est d’intervenir auprès des victimes civiles des conflits au moyen de projets d’urgence, de post-urgence et de développement, tout particulièrement lorsque les régions ou populations concernées bénéficient peu des actions des autres organisations non gouvernementales.

2. Votre association travaille principalement dans des zones en situation de conflit, notamment en Syrie ou encore dans la bande de Gaza. Comment s’organisent les interventions d’urgence comme celles-ci et comment s’appréhendent-elles?

Travailler dans des zones comme la Syrie ou la Bande de Gaza n’est pas facile. Afin d’agir et de proposer des projets de qualité, avant toute action, l’Association Medina met en place un réseau dans la zone d’action souhaitée. Rapidement, elle recrute un coordinateur local formé et représentant de l’Association Medina sur place. Pour la mise en place de ces activités, nous essayons de développer des partenariats locaux. L’objectif est de répondre aux demandes de la société civile locale. Nous organisons des missions de terrain sur place afin de rencontrer les acteurs et d’identifier les besoins et les moyens disponibles localement. Donc l’Association Medina programme son projet en lien avec le coordinateur local et les acteurs de terrain. Une fois le projet planifié, nous contactons nos partenaires financiers et nous faisons notre possible pour rassembler la somme nécessaire à la concrétisation du projet. Nous assurons une vieille constante avec nos partenaires, ainsi, nous sommes prêts à modifier et ajuster le projet afin de répondre au mieux aux besoins des populations locales.

3. Medina a lancé un projet de maisons d’accueil pour les enfants dans la bande de Gaza. Ce projet s’inscrit dans un programme plus large de soutien à l’enfance dans la région par l’association. Pouvez-vous nous en dire un peu plus sur ce programme?

Le programme a été ouvert dès 2009, suite à un constat : 1,7 millions de personnes vivent dans la Bande de Gaza (4 751 habitants / km2) et 45% sont des enfants de moins de 15 ans. Des milliers de Gazaouis sont sans abri, 85% des habitants sont dépendants de l’assistance humanitaire, 25 % de la population (environ 450 000 personnes) n’a pas accès à l’eau courante. La majorité des 784 000 enfants traumatisés par le conflit subissent cette précarité et ont besoin d’un soutien psychosocial. L’objectif du programme est donc de répondre au mieux à ce constat et d’apporter aux enfants gazaouis des espaces et des solutions concrètes. Depuis 2009, l’Association Medina a accompagné l’ouverture de trois maisons d’accueil dans la bande de Gaza et en 2015, une équipe mobile de soutien psychologique est venue renforcer l’action des maisons d’accueil.

Consultation pédiatrique dans la maternité en Syrie
Consultation pédiatrique dans la maternité en Syrie

4. L’association apporte aussi parfois une aide financière à des projets dans ces zones touchées par les conflits. Ce fut notamment le cas l’an passé d’un centre de soins de gynécologie obstétrique et de néonatologie dont le but est d’offrir des services gratuits aux patients dans la région d’Alep en Syrie. Avez-vous d’autres projets de ce type?

L’association a soutenu l’ouverture d’une maternité en zone de conflit, dans la banlieue d’Alep. Nous continuons à soutenir ce projet d’envergure, nous avons fait notre possible pour développer les moyens disponibles et les activités proposées au sein de cette maternité. Actuellement, la maternité propose des consultations gynécologiques, pédiatriques et psychologiques ; une pharmacie distribue gratuitement les médicaments aux patients et des distributions gratuites de couches, lait maternel, couvertures, vêtements sont régulièrement organisées pour l’ensemble des familles de la zone. Les besoins sont énormes ; qu’ils soient originaires de la zone ou déplacés internes, tous profitent de ce centre de soin, d’échange et d’entraide. Toujours en Syrie, nous essayons d’apporter notre soutien au camp de déplacés internes de Bab-Es-Salam. Nous avons pu réaliser une distribution de NFI (Non Food Item) en novembre 2014: matelas, couverture, bottes, vêtements. Nous souhaiterions pouvoir développer ce type d’action, malheureusement, nous n’en avons pas encore les ressources financières suffisantes. En effet, pour permettre une réactivité efficace et développer ces actions d’urgence, nous avons besoin de fonds propres importants.

5. Avez-vous un projet que vous espérez mettre en place prochainement et dont vous souhaiteriez nous parler?

Dans le cadre du programme de soutien à l’enfance dans la bande de Gaza, nous avons préparé un projet qui vise à améliorer l’accès à l’eau et à l’assainissement dans les écoles. Ce projet d’envergure a été préparé en lien avec les autorités locales. Reconnu comme un droit humain par les Nations Unies en 2010, l’accès à l’eau potable et à l’assainissement est une condition d’amélioration de la santé publique. Les spécialistes de l’environnement, les représentants d’ONG et les fonctionnaires sont unanimes, la situation est critique en ce qui concerne l’accès à l’eau pour les habitants de la bande de Gaza. Près de 28 000 enfants dans la bande de Gaza n’ont pas accès à l’eau courante et 56 000 enfants ont accès à l’eau seulement une fois par semaine. Pour répondre à cette urgence humanitaire, l’Association Medina propose la mise en place de son projet « Amélioration de l’accès à l’eau et à l’assainissement dans la Bande de Gaza». Nous sommes actuellement en train de chercher des partenaires financiers prêts à soutenir le projet, malheureusement, il est très difficile de trouver des partenaires pour ce type de projet considéré « trop » politique ou « trop dangereux ». Nous appelons tout organisme, personne privée ou publique intéressés par cette question à nous contacter. Si nous voulons concrétiser ce projet, toute aide est précieuse et nécessaire.

6. Que pensez-vous de Horyou et de sa communauté dont vous êtes un membre actif? Qu’est ce que la plateforme vous apporte dans le cadre de votre action?

Horyou est un nouveau “genre” de réseau social car il est au service de l’humanité. Grâce à cette plateforme, nous pouvons rencontrer des particuliers et organisations qui agissent en faveur de la solidarité internationale, tout comme nous, à travers la devise d’Horyou ” Rêver, inspirer et agir”, qui résume toute l’ambition de cette récente communauté du bien commun. Horyou est un espace qui permet de partager, de montrer que l’on peut contribuer à faire évoluer le monde, qu’un mieux vivre ensemble est possible grâce à des valeurs fortes, des volontés sincères et des actions humaines et pleines de sens. Horyou, c’est un réseau social pour ouvrir les yeux, s’engager et agir directement au quotidien à quelque niveau que ce soit. En étant membre actif sur cette plateforme, nous avons ainsi eu la chance et l’opportunité d’assister physiquement au SIGEF 2015 à Genève. Cette opportunité constitue un véritable tremplin pour se faire connaître, c’est un moyen de rencontrer et d’échanger avec d’autres acteurs de la SI qui partagent les mêmes idées, mais c’est aussi l’occasion de créer des partenariats.

7. Si vous pouviez partager un message avec l’ensemble des membres de la communauté Horyou, quel serait-il?

Le message que nous souhaiterions adresser à l’ensemble de la communauté Horyou c’est que la thématique de la solidarité internationale nous concerne tous, on peut tous, en tant qu’être humain s’investir et participer à des actions de solidarité internationale. La SI c’est une affaire de tous, une aventure humaine qui est extraordinaire et à laquelle l’Association Medina croit.

Écrit par Laurie Martin et Hannah Nunes

Una de las organizaciones latinoamericanas más activas en nuestra plataforma Horyou, Conexión Cultura Errante es un grupo con proyectos multidisciplinarios: sus miembros son activistas en el ámbito de la cultura, el medioambiente, el arte y la educación. En entrevista para el blog de Horyou, Jaime Velasco Meunier habla del colectivo a nombre de todo el equipo que trabaja desde el estado de Veracruz en México.

Conexión Cultura Errante es un grupo con proyectos multidisciplinarios
Conexión Cultura Errante es un grupo con proyectos multidisciplinarios

1. ¿Cómo nació la idea de Conexión Cultura Errante?

Conexión Cultura Errante A.C. está conformada por un grupo de amigos que hemos trabajado juntos (aunque de manera intermitente) en diferentes proyectos de índole artístico-cultural desde hace dos décadas o un poco más. Lo hemos venido haciendo en revistas literarias, grupos musicales o proyectos enfocados a promoción de la lectura, etcétera.

Como asociación civil llevamos conformados tres años. La idea central de nosotros es la promoción, difusión y defensa de la libertad de expresión, y como consecuenciaactividades relacionadas con cualquier forma de expresión cultural y/o artística. También tenemos otras actividades que parecieran no estar tan relacionadas entre sí como son la promoción de software libre, programas de activación física, o por ejemplo talleres para el cuidado del medioambiente, que en realidad responden a lo que nosotros entendemos por desarrollo humano sostenible.

2. ¿Cuáles son sus principales proyectos?

Tenemos dividas nuestras actividades de la siguiente manera. Cultura Errante. Lo consideramos un conjunto de medios cuya finalidad es la promoción, difusión y defensa de la libre expresión. Está conformado por: dos blogs , un canal de Youtube , audiopodcast y una revista digital .

ActivaMente es un programa de activación física creado por nuestro compañero Jesús García y tiene la finalidad de ayudar a todas las personas interesadas en iniciarse en la práctica regular de actividades físicas. Se creó un plan de entrenamiento y acompañamiento, los cuales han dado excelentes resultados. Opción libre es el proyecto donde promovemos, difundimos y enseñamos el uso de software libre y opciones tecnológicas alternativas. Entorno es un proyecto orientado al cuidado del medioambiente con un enfoque social, vinculándonos con otras asociaciones que están en defensa de los ríos, contra la privatización del agua y otros recursos naturales, el fracking y otras prácticas similares que resultan aberrantes.

3. La organización Conexión Cultura Errante ha trabajado con temas de tecnología, como software libre y educación informática. ¿Por que la opción por este enfoque?

La educación debe ser libre y gratuita para todos. Uno de los principales problemas sobre todo en México (y en gran parte del mundo) es que se invierte muy poco en esta área y como lógica consecuencia existen muchas escuelas con carencias económicas espantosas. La educación tecnológica es muy necesaria, imprescindible en esta era digital; una escuela que a veces no tienen ni aulas, menos tendrá para pagar equipo de cómputo nuevo y mucho menos licencias privativas como las de Microsoft. La ventaja del software libre, además de ser gratuito, es que se adapta a cualquier equipo, por obsoleto que sea y funciona bien. Todo lo que pueden ver en Cultura Errante ha sido creado con software libre. Uno de los proyectos que tengo en mente es recabar equipo de cómputo, restaurarlo, instalarle software libre y donarlo a las escuelas que lo requieran e incluso enseñar a los niños a hacer esto para que ellos puedan replicarlo en el futuro.

El equipo de reportaje de la revista en las calles mexicanas
El equipo de la revista reportando en las calles mexicanas

4. La revista es muy comprometida con temas sociales y ambientales. ¿Cuál es la idea detrás de este proyecto de comunicación?

La revista es el resultado de la participación de muchas personas, nosotros sólo somos los compiladores. La gente crea Cultura Errante con sus textos, fotos y diseños. La idea es darle oportunidad a todo aquel que desee participar la libertad para expresarse, es un espacio abierto en el cual todos pueden aportar. Cultura Errante digital es libre y gratuita, creada completamente con software libre. La revista es el reflejo de lo que es Conexión Cultura Errante A.C., está dividida en cuatro segmentos que son justo las áreas en las que nos enfocamos y representa en mucho la ideología de la asociación y sus integrantes.

5. ¿Cuáles son los principales objetivos de Conexión Cultura Errante para 2016?

Justo ahora está apunto de salir impreso el primer número de Cultura Errante (en versión fanzine). Era uno de los objetivos que no habíamos podido concretar. Tenemos el plan de crear una editorial para autores nuevos, pues ya contamos con cinco libros editados pero nos hace falta imprimirlos. No tenemos los recursos económicos para esto, pero lo lograremos. Este es un objetivo prioritario en este momento. Queremos consolidar el canal de Youtube porque es un medio increíble para la difusión de ideas y proyectos.

Otro objetivo para este año 2016 es el de vincularlos con otras organizaciones tanto nacionales como internacionales y establecer mecanismos de colaboración. También unos de los objetivos fundamentales, aunque banal, es la de crear proyectos que permitan a la asociación ser autosustentable económicamente,incluso buscando recursos económicos externos. Es un tema de lo más superficial pero desafortunadamente necesario.

6. Horyou es una red social que tiene como filosofía Soñar, Inspirar y Actuar. ¿Qué significan estas palabras para Conexión Cultura Errante?

Soñar es, por decirlo de alguna manera, un requisito indispensable para todos aquellos que nos dedicamos al trabajo comunitario y quizás el sueño recurrente deberá ser el de crear un mundo mejor, más justo e igualitario. El trabajo que realicemos será la mejor fuente de inspiración para otras personas, no podemos perder mucho tiempo pensando en el cómo o en una fórmula que resulte inspiradora, eso correspondería más al ego y éste es el peor enemigo del trabajo social. Actuar es la consecuencia de lo soñado. De lo previamente imaginado. Hay muchas cosas que podemos hacer para mejorar nuestro entorno. Si en verdad queremos construir un mejor mundo para todos, cualquier lugar es bueno para empezar: la calle donde vivimos, la colonia, la comunidad e incluso nuestra familia.
Creo que lo primero es enfocarse en lo que esta a nuestro alrededor, lo que cotidianamente vivimos.

7. Dejen un comentario para la comunidad Horyou.

La idea de crear un espacio como Horyou es maravillosa, un punto de encuentro en donde se pueden intercambiar ideas y conocimientos,con la finalidad de alcanzar el bien común. Nosotros hemos contactado algunas organizaciones e individuos a través de esta plataforma e iniciamos algunas colaboraciones (para empezar en la revista). Creemos que es posible aprovechar mucho esta oportunidad para estar más en contacto y enriquecernos mutuamente con el trabajo y conocimiento de los demás e implementar lo aprendido en nuestras comunidades. Al final de cuenta estamos todos aquí para seguir luchando por un mundo mejor.

Por Vívian Soares

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