Aug 27, 2008

the price of indifference

Youtube is such a fantastic organizing tool. This video was put together by the Canada Colombia project. Not all that hard - you probably have pictures of your sister church, that delegation trip you took, etc.. You too could be using photos and music to build solidarity!

Easier yet than a video, you can put your pics up on picasa or something similar. To give you an example, my pics of a recent FOR delegation I took to the San Jose peace community in Colombia are here. I like picasa because it's so easy to add and read comments, which help tell the story.

I think photos are a powerful tool for building connection across distance and difference, but of course colonial patterns do sneak into photography. It's not my main focus, but I am interested in how that happens, and how we can decolonize our phototaking. Any suggested resources?

Aug 20, 2008

where there is no doctor

I was recently reminded by a compa of the dangers of the Doctors Without Borders model of solidarity. Yes, sometimes after disasters, wars, etc emergency hand outs are needed - but instead of coming for two months, these folks stay for two years, during which time existing health systems are wiped out, so when they leave, not only do they leave no one trained as a health worker, but the health workers that might have been there are out of work, doing something else. Oy. But sharing health knowledge with health workers who have less privilege and access to that knowledge is great solidarity work, and I certainly know other folks doing this in various ways - be it while living a two day canoe ride in to the jungle, or flying occassionaly to give in seminars at a University in Guatemala city.

All of this to point you to a cool resource. You've probably heard of the book, Where there is no doctor. It's a bit out of date now, but there are two processes underway to update it, so keep your eyes out. Meanwhile it's fabulous that Hesperian has made both this and their other publications available for free online, and many of them translated into Spanish. Their list of publications is below.
in English:

A Community Guide to Environmental Health
Where There Is No Doctor
Where Women Have No Doctor
Helping Health Workers Learn
HIV Health and Your Community
Where There Is No Dentist
A Book for Midwives
Helping Children Who Are Deaf
Helping Children Who Are Blind
Disabled Village Children
Sanitation and Cleanliness for a healthy environment
Water for life: community water security
Pesticides are poison

in Spanish:

Donde no hay doctor
Donde no hay doctor para mujeres
Aprendiendo a promover la salud
Donde no hay dentista
Un libro para parteras
Ayudar a los niƱos ciegos
El nino campesino deshabilitado
Saneamiento y limpieza para un ambiente sano
Agua para vivir
Los plaguicidas son venenos