One year ago today we held our first training on a Justice Based Approach in Vietnam. A group of around 17 of us crowded into the meeting room at the Canadian Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City and spent two amazing days together talking about how human rights approaches are both poorly implemented and failing to address the reality we live in today.
Three hundred and sixty-five days later, we have just delivered the twentieth Better Development training based on a new approach. An approach designed to take us to the next level when working for social change. An approach based on the ultimate goal – justice.
The ‘Better Development: A Justice Approach’ training has now been delivered across twelve cities in eight countries. We have been inspired by 202 organisations and 492 individuals in these trainings and have been honoured to be able to bring incredibly diverse groups of people together into a network really focussed on justice.
We’ve worked with UN agencies, the Red Cross, government, local and national organisations and community leaders -- as well as international organisations such as Action Aid, Oxfam, WWF, Amnesty International, World Vision and many more.
We have learned so much over the past twelve months, both personally and professionally. But the most important lesson was summarized by one of our participants in Jakarta a few weeks ago. She is a refugee who is fighting for the rights and dignity of the refugee community in Indonesia. She said that every morning she wakes up and makes a decision: not to give up.
This last year has been full of people who never give up, people working against the current. People putting themselves at risk to stand up for the rights of others and the future of their societies. People trying to balance conservation priorities with the needs of communities. People trying to address the root causes of humanitarian crises. People trying to use their privilege to create a better world. People who are starting with themselves.
We’re so excited to see what the next twelve months has in store. Whatever our next steps are, we know that we’ll be working with change makers to transform our broken systems with alternative models for global justice.
You don’t have to be an aid worker or activist to be working for justice.
You can do it every single day in the way you live your life.