Benieuwd naar wat we vorig jaar allemaal uitgespookt hebben? Hier kan je CATAPA’s jaarverslag van 2019 downloaden, met onder andere een overzicht van onze activiteiten en projecten in Vlaanderen en Latijns-Amerika en onze vernieuwde missie- en visietekst!
Open Min(e)d International Speakers Tour 2020 – An overview
The extraction of life, gold and oil
We at CATAPA look back with pride at the 11th edition of the Open Min(e)d International Speakers Tour: the extraction of life, gold and oil. Hong Kong based speaker Lap Hang Au zoomed in on the unnessaccary poor labor conditions for workers in ICT factories in China. Yefferson Rojas Arango took us to Colombia and told us of his experience fighting the extraction of gold, a basic resource in all our ICT products, in his own hometown. And lastly, Antonella Calle Avilés put the ecological and social consequences in the spotlight of the extraction of oil in Ecuador.
Over the course of one week these three highly inspirational people toured through Flanders sharing their experiences with young and old, during fun events and interesting guest lectures they reached up to 1100 people with their stories!
Our week started at Breakfast with a Rebel, where Antonella was one of six rebels people could sit down with at the breakfast table. Over coffee and delicious vegetarian food she talked about extractivism and feminism.
Antonella was present at the very first edition of GEC Talks at the Gentian Ecological Centre, together with two other strong woman telling inspiring stories about gender equality and environmental justice.
Antonella, Yefferson and Au taught their guest lectures at KU Leuven, the University of Ghent, Arteveldehogeschool, HoGent, VIVES Brugge, the University of Antwerp and the Electronic Institute ELEC. Addressing classes of sociology, ethics, cultural history, social work, business management and many more. By the end of the week Corona countermeasures restricted our ability to visit the schools, but luckily we found creative online solutions for a couple of the lectures.
Our guest speaker Au even reached the Flemish Parliament at a conference on the Green Transition, by giving a presentation on the working conditions in Chinese factories where batteries for electric cars are made. He also was the keynote speaker during a webinar in a series directed to big buyers of ICT organised by the Fair ICT Flanders project.
All three speakers attended the network workshop Internationalisation of the Extractivism Struggle, exchanging experiences, tips and tricks on how to create sustainable and international alliances.
CATAPA is grateful for our amazing guest speakers, who were so motivated to share their stories, for their strength and determination in relation to their fight, for protesting against large companies which give too little voice to local communities and workers. This is why CATAPA organizes the Open Min(e)d tour every year, to say aloud what should have been recognized years ago and which despite today’s means of communication remains too discreet. Thanks to the help of our many Catapistas, it is possible each year to open the eyes of Flemish citizens, continue to learn that there are many alternative ways of consuming. So that together we may change.
After the summer break we are back on track, feeling more enthusiast than ever and looking forward to seeing what the upcoming year will bring. And this time it comes with some breaking news!
Let me introduce you CATAPA in de kijker, the first edition of a series of updates on our movement, partners, activities, and most importantly, our awesome volunteers. We will try to bring this news fresh to your doorstep – or Facebook wall. And what a couple of months have been to begin with!
Last June our selfie-expert office team started with the first team-building activity. Studies show that co-workers who get along well are proven to yield more efficient results. So office productivity will skyrocket from now onwards🚀. Or maybe it won’t, and I have just made this up. But check how happy we look 😀
Beginning of July, some CATAPA representatives joined Make ICT Fair partner People & Planet’s Power Shift training in the UK. Some insightful days of workshops on justice struggle, collective liberation, campaign strategies, creative and non-violent direct action, grassroots organising, building a movement and reactive solidarity were followed by a direct public action on Divestment within their campaign #DivestBarcleys. Fists raised and #BarcleysCleanItUp! coming out of everyone’s mouth put an end to almost a week of energetic and fruitful encounters, which our CATAPA flag proudly witnessed…
During the same period, but on the other side of the world, our GECOs and partners from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru gathered for the intercambio, a whole week full of exchanges and learning from each other and each other’s work that ended up with an even more solid and stronger international solidarity network. “Ayllu Masikunapa!”, roughly meaning “we are all one family and we have to take care of each other”, perfectly defines this beautiful experience.
As summer went on, our already traditional Vamos de CATAPAs social gathering was held during the Gentse Feesten in Ghent, to the sound of Peruvian band Los Wemblers de Iquitos. How often does it happen that a band straight from one of the very places where CATAPA works in Latin America brings some latino vibes all the way to Belgium! So we had to celebrate… And celebrate we did💃
And finally September begun. As usual our summer camp took place at the beginning of this month, and Catapistas gathered to discuss different topics. Important to mention a very intimate moment we shared with ourselves, each other and nature, thanks to a guided ritual that brought us back to the intercambioand our partners in Latin America.
Old and new faces came together somewhere in West-Flanders to set the direction of the movement for the upcoming months. And so we riverdanced our way into the new season.
Immediately after the Summer camp, on Monday 9 September, the learning pathway within project Fair ICT Flanders started with the first workshop. Catapa gave a presentation on the impact of the ICT supply chain. Saartje Boutsen (MVO Vlaanderen) taught us how we can create support within an organisation around sustainability. 22 organisations signed present👏! Towards a fair and circular ICT procurement policy in Flanders!
And the new season comes with new Catapistas. Our EVS volunteers Nóra and Laura sadly have to say goodbye to the office team😢. But it won’t be easy to get rid of them since as you all know, once Catapista forever Catapista. And these Catapistas are taking many good memories from this experience with them.
Let’s hope the new ESC volunteers can gather memories as least as good during their time at the office and in the movement. Martina and Daniela arrived a couple of weeks ago and can’t wait to see what this experience will bring!
With our brand new office team we will finish this first CATAPA in de kijker edition. We hope you enjoyed this innovative way of communicating our updates. Thank you for reading and ¡hasta la próxima!
In the first weekend of September, we gathered together for our traditional Summer Camp weekend with a lot of our Catapistas to discuss about our organization and to spend a great time together! Despite the rain, we camped in tents outdoors, we managed a great BBQ and we even finished Saturday night with a lesson on Irish traditional dancing.
We started Friday evening with a very interesting presentation about a research on the ICT supply chain of metals from Bolivia. The research was conducted by Catapistas Alberto and Silke, who travelled to Bolivia to find, first-hand, the ICT supply chain of metals starting from the origins: the mines. They shared some of their discoveries and experiences with us and they are working on a report about it.
Saturday was full of great activities. We started the morning with a traditional indigenous ritual! The ritual was shown to Charlotte during the “Intercambio” in Iquitos, Peru, where everyone could share what they are thankful for and try a traditional drink called “Masato”. Charlotte was able to make us feel part of this event through this great ritual. After this great exercise, she was very happy to share with the rest about the experience in Peru. During the “Intercambio”, two representatives of each of our partner organizations in Latin America, together with Charlotte and our GECOs, met in Peru to exchange their experiences and the realities about mining in their countries.
After a great lunch outdoors (because we were lucky to get some sunshine!) we all sat together for another brainstorm about the future of CATAPA as a socio-cultural organization. We discussed about the Mission and Vision and other future activities. This proposal is getting ready to be presented towards the end of the year.
To end the day we had time to relax with a great BBQ which ended with an improvised Irish dance class from Catapista Emily!
On Sunday, after a very nice breakfast, we started with a great presentation about one of our projects, Fair ICT Flanders. We discussed about the following action and activities that our Catapistas can support within this project.
To finish up, we had a workshop about volunteer management. Since CATAPA is a volunteer organization, we discussed the different roles volunteers have, how to support them, how to get more volunteers and how to keep them motivated and engaged as a Catapista. We had a brainstorm exercise about improvements and new initiatives that we could bring to our organization. This session will be continued during future events since for us it is very important to gather quality input from our volunteers to keep improving the management of the very essence of CATAPA!
The Summer Camp weekend ended with a lunch all together and a lot of ideas and thoughts for the next meetings. For sure we are all waiting for the next gathering… the Changemakers Weekend!!