Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Giving the Poor a Voice & a Conference

In response to the UN MDG Summit in New York, the idea for a conference featuring the world's actual poor (and not just word leaders and celebrities) was born from a Twitter discussion about the lack of grassroots voices at the Summit.

This idea became the "Villages in Action" conference, which was held on November 27 in western Uganda. Almost 600 villagers gathered to have a conversation about the state of development in their region, and whether or not that development was in line with achieving any of the Millennium Development Goals. The conference was broadcast globally and with the help of the internet the rest of the world could engage directly with the grassroots people.

As the co-founder of Project Diaspora describes it, this conference was less about the numbers, charts and power-point slides, but more about the local community working together and celebrating everyday life. "It was about making sure everyone knew that their efforts contributed to a whole. This was about showing the power of ubuntu – "I am because you are"."

-Clare O.

SOURCE: The Guardian