CEE Summer School, Hungary, Summer 2008

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For reasons outlined elsewhere in the report, the Summer School was organised in Hungary, from 16th to the 20th of July, taking place in Horány camp near to Budapest.

The main themes of the camp were:

  • Agriculture and Development
  • Climate Justice
  • Solidarity and Economy.

Over the 4 days a total of ....Hungarian participants joined the event, primarily from local universties and smaller NGOs, as well as the Czech partners, Glopolis, and Péter Wahl, as director of WEED. The event was truly international: exchange students from the Hungarian University of Economics also made most of the opportunity, bringing their experiences from Ethiopia, Serbia, China, as well as holding a session on Ethiopia and Fair Trade. We were also pleased the the gender perspective could also be better represented, with a member of KARAT (Poland) offering a workshop in the ‘free space’ made available for self-organised events.

The summer school was the ‘launch’ of the Climate Justice Pilot Project, and to this end two activists from the British student organisation People and Planet, presented their campaigns and organising methodology, as well as giving participants a first insight into Climate Change as a development issue. People and Planet are well respected due to their successful lobbying campaigns on British campuses, and the participants found their techniques stimulating and innovative. (Since then two activists have followed up on the new relationship and joined the People and Planet Annual conference this November, bringing new ideas to their own Universities) This was complemented by the participation of a trainer from ‘Transition network’, again a British initiative, activising local communities to take action on climate change and energy issues.

Both contributions went a long way to contributing towards the successful framing of the Climate Justice pilot project, as well as activating a core group of 20 volunteers now participating in the project.

The Agriculture and Development, and the Solidarity and Economy aspects of the Summer School were also well received. The participation of Patrick Mulvany (Practical Action UK), Heike Schiebeck (Via Campesina - Ausztria) brought the food crisis, sustainability and food sovereignty concerns to the fore, as well as giving an insight into European Union level lobbying and advocacy work.

The summer school took place in English, with translation into Hungarian in about half of the workshops. Cultural activities such as solidarity theatre, music and communual cooking created a wonderful atmosphere which made the event not only informative, but also motivating and memorable. The evaluations made by the participants were very positive, mostly minor organisational issues causing some concern, while the content was appraised as being excellent.

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Radical new agenda needed to achieve climate justice.doc38 KB