Here’s a personal thought I’d like to share which popped in me after Wednesday’s AGA session ‘A path to social justice: Reaching Europe’s invisible children’. This talk provided us with the example of two NGO’s, in Moldova and Bulgaria, which work on tackling the exclusion of ethnic minorities, and who have a partner for this cause in The Global Fund for Children.
To achieve any form of societal change, social activism plays a crucial part, and in its very own way: sounding the alarm bell to highlight certain issues, pointing out why the issue needs to be tackled, putting in very factual and concrete terms the
reasons why this is happening, and gathering the right partners in order to achieve your objective. As one of the NGO representatives at the talk pointed out, social activism can initially take the form of a so-called barricade approach, which means you decide to take up a fight. The following step, however, is of utmost importance, and needs to be well thought through. How to go beyond alarmbell ringing and awareness raising, and move towards engaging in dialogue?
I believe foundations here can be extremely good listeners, as they not only have
the quality to bring the various concerned actors around the table, but they are
able to translate very different, divergent, convergent voices into a single shared
message. Might sound overly positive, but sometimes the most effective measures with
the greatest impact are pretty simple…
Prabhu Rajagopal is a project collaborator at King Baudouin Foundation