On the weekend 6-8 of March, RE:ACT provided with a weekend filled with knowledge and fun at Montana Hostel in Bergen. The overall theme of the weekend was human rights and climate change and how these are interconnected, and what we as an organisation can do to act towards a more sustainable world free from poverty. The first presentation was from Kristin at the Strømme Foundation. Here, the project of waste management in Mali was presented and the possibility of collaboration on this would give us a chance to influence local government and the global community on waste management. This is something we need to assess later on and come up with a strategy with the different sessions in RE:ACT.
The second presentation was by Minotenk were we talked about identity and belonging to small and big communities. We had a little workshop where we wrote down four key points of our identity and then remove two. This was an interesting exercise where we found out that the character of our identity is often based on how we differ from the big community, for instance as queer or black.
The third presentation was at the Rafto House in the centrum of Bergen. Here, we discussed different dilemmas with climate change and human rights violations and tried to find solutions to problems such as an alternative to aeroplanes and the shortage of time. Then, we divided into smaller groups and answered/ discussed different questions/statements where we got a bigger perspective of how climate change affects human rights and vice versa. After the visit, we had a little walk in Bergen, but due to the weather, we went back to the hostel rather fast.
The last day, we had the Church City Mission who presented their project of integration and diversity. They talked about how integrating especially women are both good for the society and the women themselves, and how they integrate people via a three-way (no pun intended) division; the first one is a native Norwegian, the second someone that has lived in Norway for a few years, and the last one someone that is a new immigrant. This way of integrating people makes sure that people get familiar with the Norwegian lifestyle, language and the community.
The next, and last, the presentation was from the former leader of RE:ACT who is now working in politics, Katrine Nødtvedt (MDG). Nødtvedt talked about how we as an organisation can influence local politics and how we can work better together. The topics of sustainability, equality and justice are necessary to see in connection with each other to influence political change both in the local and global level.
At the end of the programme we had a workshop where we talked about what RE:ACT stands for, what we should focus on in the future, what the red thread of the weekend was and lastly, what the slogan for RE:ACT should be. This discussion summed up the weekend nicely and we shared how the presentations were interesting and that we learned a lot about the climate and the economic system of exploitation.
For future projects or collaboration, Strømme Foundation has a few projects that RE:ACT could collaborate on, such as waste management in Mali. Further, we need to assess how the sessions and the local teams can cooperate better.
Written by Marianne Sønsteby