Print the page The end of a chapter, but a new book opened!

All the versions of this article:
All good things come to an end, and Hemispheres is no exception to the rule. After 3 years of experimenting, the first page has turned, and it concludes over two days of seminars and a day of symposium; a way to come back and discuss the Hemispheres experience.

The objective of the seminar: to review the knowledge and experiences acquired during these years in order to begin the last day with a constructive exchange in the presence of other makers of change in the areas of Youth, Education of Development, and Popular Education. An assessment was drawn, which gave way to envisioning, more concretely, the continuation of this program of training-action.

The most concrete result is the emergence of a multicultural and dynamic community that is thirsty for change. The connections that have been woven during these training sessions between the youths, the Northern partners and the Southern partners have promoted the “implementation of a network” of international scope. Furthermore, the program permitted the development of a solid partnership between Frères des Hommes and the associations of European youth, while reinforcing the existing partnership with the partners in the South.

Hemispheres has also represented an opportunity for several youths from less fortunate communities to be aware of issues that are sometimes too far removed from their daily lives. “Hemispheres was an incredible opportunity for the youths from the Fatima area (Southern part of Dublin), as this area is particularly at a disadvantage. We are trying to reflect on the possibilities to get these youths involved in more international projects,” Kate O’Connell, Fatima Groups United, an Irish partner.

Hemispheres also means the abundance of youthful spirits and therefore, imagination which serves international solidarity. This initiative has been able to meet the needs of a young generation seeking infrastructures and ways that allow them to channel their energy into a worthwhile project, while developing their creativity. “Everything depends on the new generation. I have learned so much from the youths, I’ve discovered new ideas, new alternatives, and other ways of thinking,” Duarte Barreto, Fedina, an Indian partner.

The closing symposium, held April 14th, opened up a time of sharing about the experiment conducted during the whole program. By ‘experimenting’, we mean the creation and the implementation of encounters and exchanges in a public space, in France and in Europe. It is this step that aims to recreate the memory of building up the experience, presented as a result of this day. Much more than a simple evaluation, this document (available upon request by mail) presents itself as a collection of experiences and of practices in the subject of raising awareness on international solidarity.

What is going to happen now? How do we concretize the momentum of this experiment into a sustainable movement? “How do we transform these local events into one collective action? How do we perpetuate this training and this awareness? As a response, we would need ten years not three!” Dianto Bachriadi, KPA (Consortium for Agrarian Reform), an Indonesian partner. What happens next remains open and full of opportunities for the youths, partners and Frères des Hommes, in matters of raising awareness on international solidarity. Hemispheres should remain a collaborative platform between change makers of different horizons and motivated and dedicated youths, with the hope that this consciousness becomes a more global, active mobilization.

“This should be bigger. This should have a bigger impact. This should be a bigger project,” Jonathan Meyers, Irish participant.

Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2012