Advocacy Training in Latin America

To be effective, the work of ERI in Geneva very much depends on having an active Edmund Rice Network engaged in advocacy at the local level. This has required the appointment of a ‘contact person’ in each province or region.

Again in order to carry out the role, the contact person needs the support and assistance of others and needs to be resourced both in time and with training.

Members of the ERI Team have visited different parts of the world to offer training workshops and have also provided training in Geneva for contact people, however a lack of knowledge of Spanish has prevented the Team from offering training within the Latin America Region up until now.

It was for this reason that ERI seized the opportunity to participate in a training course offered by Franciscans International in Bolivia earlier this month. Here is a report on that program provided by Renato Llerena cfc, a participant in the program:-

“The American Regional Leadership of Franciscans International organized a Workshop to explain the mechanisms of the UN, and to learn about Human Rights issues and extreme poverty.  The Workshop was co-ordinated by the Bolivian Franciscans International.  In attendance were members of the Franciscans Family from Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and two guests, ATD Cuarto Mundo – Bolivia and the Christian Brothers – Bolivia.

There were various expositions that gave an overall view of real situations of extreme poverty in our continent.  The situation of Indigenous Peoples, the Environment and Women were  topics of relevance, that generated, in the various groups present, a commitment to continue working so that those who do not have a voice in their own countries can reach and be heard in international forums, in this case, the United Nations.

We, the Christian Brothers, made a commitment to continue working together with the marginalized people, in existing margins and in the new margins of Latin America. We will help to coordinate and collaborate on joint actions to make visible and achieve lasting rights which justice demands.

We continue to work and pray that God will bless us with sufficient madness to believe that we can make a difference in this world and that we will continue to try to do what others claim is impossible.”

The photo shows Br Renato Llerena (front row 2nd from left) participating in the FI training workshop in La Paz, Bolivia.

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