In the Holi for Peace festival in Oaxaca, an initiative of the project “Active Citizenship Hub”, more than 120 students and the representatives of 15 civil society organizations focused on one main theme: “Yo construyo la Paz” (I build peace).
On 7th February 2020 at the University of the Central Valley of Oaxaca, different groups of discussion were held in order to discuss economic, social and environmental issues; an area committed to informative stands of the civil society organizations; a time for political debate and an occasion for celebration with music and the throwing of colourful powders “holi”.
Students got to know the activities of the organizations that were there, working in different fields: from biological production, to health care and preservation of natives languages. A chance to find out different ways of volunteering and to be part of that active citizenship, committed to protection and development of their own territory.
César Carrizales Becerra (deputy in the Congress of the San Luis Potosí state) told his personal work and life experience: ex-gang member and former addicted to alcohol and drugs, he founded the People’s Youth Movement in 2002, to help street children and vulnerable citizens, the invisible and forgotten ones, and he is the promoter of different campaigns for the environment and against violence on women and animals. “Politics is the most beautiful job in the world, but only if it is a mean to help others”.
The manager for AVSI Mexico, Rossana Stanchi explains: “We decided to close with throwing coloured holi powders to express how anyone, with their own perspective, can give something for a more colourful world, creating different nuances that only dialogue and meeting can generate. It has been a profitable day where different people from civil society met and exchanged ideas, this was one of the aims of the hub. It was interesting how both students and activists participating pointed out the importance to engage and attract interest regarding the main subjects: economic development, social inclusion and environmental protection. And thanks to EU funds we do: we support civil society organizations in making their actions more efficient and spreading out their intentions to more and more people”.
Within the hub, with the aim to have a more efficient and qualified staff, AVSI Mexico in collaboration with Loyola University in Acapulco held an online course about citizenship, peacebuilding and advocacy in public policies.
The course ended in Oaxaca where 30 participants got their degree, attended by Marie Augouy, from the EU delegation in Mexico, who highlighted: “civil society organizations are extremely important to make positive changes happen across all the community”.