Interesting message about the MDGs went through our events (as a part of One World Week) in November. We brought to central event in Dublin what we created in Tralee – so from local to national level (but still with focus on global issues). KOWC group wanted to draw attention of Irish participants on – to look at the topic from local/Irish/European perspective, start from ourselves and take an action towards a fairer world.
On 13th of November Kerry One World Centre (KOWC – operated by KADE: Kerry action for Development Education) prepared Local ‘One World Week’ event at ITT in Tralee. The main task of this evening was to choose the proper photos from KOWC photopacks for a large poster of 8 photos (related to 8 MDGs) – and to bring it to Dublin during central OWW event as a happening: “living photo-exhibition”.
Why we don’t care enough about the MDGs?
During local OWW event we were talking about the MDGs – why people don’t know anything about them. More than a half of European citizens is not familiar with the concept of MDGs. One of the participants asked: “Why we don’t care enough about the MDGs? Why we are just talking and talking about the combating against HIV/AIDS or eradicating hunger and poverty in developing countries without taking any actions?” We were trying to combine the MDGs’ topic with the main theme of One world week 2012: “resilience” and the strategy – how to deal with global issues on local level.
The teacher from Dingle (who also attended our local OWW event in Tralee) explained us the need of coping strategy: “Youngsters are facing many challenges everyday. They don’t want to talk about it openly, but it is there! Maybe they are not that focused on the problems of their peers in Africa or Asia, but they are no completely blind. They are more or less busy about socio-economic problems in their families, un-employment or migration in their country. They would like to attend the universities, they would like to earn money and to have the newest IT toys in their pockets…”
During the Local OWW event in Tralee we wanted to create with the participants the proper poster from KOWC photopacks (as a part of happening: “living photo-exhibition”). The question on poster was clear: “Kerry One World Centre asks: what world do WE want to BE?”The main idea of our event was: to show people the poster and photos from photopacks, talk openly to them and give them an opportunity to express themselves – to say aloud the first association to a photo (illustration of 8 MDGs). Everyone has his/her own opinion about society and the problems on the other continents (the impacts of climate change, such as intercontinental migration, increase of child mortality, social conflicts or natural disasters).
To bring clear message from local to national event
So we prepared the poster with 8 photos, which were related to 8 MDGs. But the pictures were taken in Ireland, not in developing countries, because we wanted to look at MDGs from Irish perspective. We brought this large poster to Dublin on 17th of November, distributed recycled photos from KOWC photopacks, talked with youngsters about their first associations and responses to the photos and then we had to wait for the feedback – written on small colorful papers and clipped on the poster with the question: what world do WE want to BE. As we expected every person had a completely different opinion about each photo – they interpreted and understood it in many ways. Some of them were thinking about the situation on the photo (the woman changing car’s tire instead of man; young guy bagging on the street; mother feeding very slim child; the high-way full of brand new cars etc.) in local way, some of them were thinking more globally.
We received very clear reactions: “Why we are eating junk food?; I took a school for granted – I never saw it as a privilege!; We get too caught up in our own world and often forget others are struggling.; Realize how fortunate we are to be born healthy in a family that can feed us.; We complain about traffic jams, but would we rather have to walk on these roads for few miles?”
We were satisfied with all of these messages from young people who will plan and form our future very soon. And this is the way how development education works – also in KOWC we are trying to encourage people to ask themselves all these questions, to find dependences and connections between global North and South. But it is not enough just to ask why is this world full of inequality, injustice, social conflicts and global problems. To take an action is more important and challenging. During central OWW event in Dublin we saw some successful steps towards a fairer world. I hope in next few months (specially during Irish EU Presidency in 2013) we will see more follow-up processes…
Written by: Boba Baluchova (Media officer / Grundtvig assistant @ KOWC, Ireland)
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.