What is Development Education?
A new campaign
There are many different ways to describe and understand the development education agenda and what is contained within it. For trade unions it is about understanding how the world works, learning who the players are, identifying the balance of power, the interconnectedness between workers and working in solidarity with ALL workers to transform the practices which perpetuate injustice and inequality around the world. Development Education equips activists to understand why poverty, sweatshops, child labour and the denial of human and trade union rights continue to exist and how we might work together to eradicate the worst excesses of our world.
Congress are currently involved in a communication campaign with IDEA to raise public awareness about development education, highlight its importance and why organisations are involved.
The campaign will be officially launched on Monday 10th December in the Camden Court Hotel, Camden Street, Dublin 2. Details of this programme are available on the campaign page.
Global Solidarity programme
Development Education is a core element of the Congress Global Solidarity programme. Coupled with our international trade union solidarity actions it forms a solid basis of our work.
There are many different ways to describe Development Education. The definition is important because it decides how we act. But in this case we do not need to formulate a definition, because Irish Aid's definition of development education is so clear:
"An educational process aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of the rapidly changing, interdependent and unequal world in which we live. It seeks to engage people in analysis, reflection and action for local and global citizenship and participation. It is about supporting people in understanding, and in acting to transform the social, cultural, political and economic structures which affect their lives and other at personal, community, national and international levels"
Certified Global Solidarity Champions in December 2009. From left; John King SIPTU, Niall McGuirk PSEU, Mutale Kampuni IMPACT, Stellan Hermansson GS Officer ICTU, Ciara Melinn CWU, Mamadou DIallo ITUC, Vivienne Lawler ICTU, Adrienne Power CWU, Berni Power UNITE, Robert McDaid Sligo Council of Trade Unions, Deirdre Canty SIPTU. Photo: John Chaney.Irish Aid's definition clarifies that it is both about understanding our unequal world and about engaging and acting to transform the world which is what our programme is about. During our training workshops we provide information to our Global Solidarity champions but also discuss actions they can take and encourage them to use their existing structures to raise awareness of international issues and take action.
We engage trade unionists in studies and interactive learning processes to better understand the causes of exploitation and poverty. This knowledge would just be depressing, if it was not linked to concrete solidarity actions for transformation of the social, political and economic structures. Therefore the development education in Congress is closely linked to our work for international trade union solidarity.
The development education project is funded by Irish Aid and aims at raising awareness of the Global Solidarity issues amongst our members.
The international trade union solidarity work and campaigning is the responsibility and commitment of Congress and its affiliates.
For more information on our Development Education work, events, training workshops and other activities please contact Fiona Dunne at the Congress Global Solidarity Office.