Resistance, care and learning

By Global Fund for Children | March 6, 2020 | The Americas | Gender Equity, Youth Empowerment

This story was originally published in Alliance Magazine. Gilda Álvarez is a social worker at Sin Fronteras IAP in Mexico City and a participant of the Gender, Youth and Children on the Move conference in Tijuana. These are her reflections for funders translated from Spanish.

‘Insist, persist, resist, and never desist…’ I found this phrase on a sign on a wall one day as I walked down the street, and the only thing I thought was: ‘Now, what is going to happen? What will I do in my job? How am I doing it? Am I providing support in a sensitive way, close to the people seeking it?’ I especially reflected about this during the Gender, Youth, and Children on the Move conference that happened in Tijuana.

One of things I would most like to emphasize, amid the diversity and richness of knowledge of the people who were there, is the friendliness and caring with which they approached the way that each person sees, interprets, and knows their reality, and the way of being able to share that information. I imagine if you could graphically see the words that most resonated during the conference, they would be: resistance, struggle, care, accompany from the heart, exchange, alliance, etc. From these words you can revive and redefine the ways in which we address different themes, the ways in which we generate information and interact with other people. This allows those of us who are in these spaces to be able to take time to reflect about this wisdom, about how to continue in this fight, about how to not feel alone in supporting others.

Thinking about spaces like this conference helps me see how these processes of reflection, of questioning, of proposals, of knowledge of new ways of doing things helps teams become sensitized after so long, helps stop violent or abusive processes from becoming normalized, and helps take into consideration people’s needs and difficulties.

Without the support of donors, it would not be possible to carry out conferences, forums, and meetings of this magnitude, given that many times organizations face limited financial and human resources. For this reason, often the majority of our team cannot join these spaces, or only those with a greater specialization around the issue can. I thank and invite donors to continue supporting exchanges like the one carried out [in Tijuana], as these spaces benefit sensitization, exchange, learning, institutional strengthening, the generation of networks, among many other things.

I’m thankful for having been at the conference and having been able to count on the timely support of organizations and colleagues, as well as the possibility of reflecting about what I do and how I do it, and knowing that we find ourselves together in the process. It brings happiness to know that there are many people fighting for the same dream: ‘A world without borders.’

The header photo was taken at the Gender, Childhood, and Youth on the Move convening. Photo © Jeff Valenzuela.

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