The International Human Rights Training Program came to an end a month ago, on June 22nd. We are glad it was very successful, with 108 participants from 56 countries, who worked together for three weeks to build the foundation of a global culture of human rights.
During the closing ceremony, Ian Hamilton, Executive Director at Equitas, while wishing a good trip home to the participants, reiterated what the training is all about: “Ultimately, it is you and the people you work with who will make a difference in your community. Remember what we first said, the IHRTP is the beginning of a common adventure. We are already looking forward to hear more about your initiatives and projects.” All went home with a strong will to create change.
And one month later, we are getting great news back from the participants. Here are some examples, to give you an idea:
A participant from China got involved in a workshop on the Convention on Rights of the Persons with Disabilities in order to make it more accessible and more tailored-made to the reality of the learners. Her ideas surprised the group, but most of all inspired the resource people to the point that they are now applying her innovative methodology learnt at the IHRTP.
A participant from Mauritania created a workshop to support women’s rights groups in the camps for Malian refugees. Two participants from Armenia joined the regional IHRTP alumni network to create a local version of the IHRTP, which will be delivered in September. In the past month, they adapted and translated the documents from the Montreal training to make it more understandable for their peers and fellow community leaders. In the Ivory Coast, the network of alumni, together with the 2012 participants, delivered a workshop on LGBT rights, with more than 20 couples attending.
It is incredible to think that this is only the tip of the iceberg of all the transformation which will take place. This year’s participants are going back to their organisations with a renewed energy and joining the existing alumni networks to make a concrete difference in their regions.
The Mauritanian participant told us: “It was very intense and instructive. I am coming out of this training a completely changed person: I am now eager to raise awareness on human rights in my community.”
It will be a pleasure for us to keep you updated about their successes and their activities which inspire us. To read another example of what has been accomplished through the years following Equitas’ initiatives and our strong partnerships, I would invite you to read this story.
– Laura Cliche