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learning as a federation

The learning workshop that took place in Swaziland in November 2007 was another first ever attempt at starting a discussion within the federation on how we can integrate learning into all aspects of our work. The learning people spent their workshop sharing ideas about what helps people learn. What are common elements, what are obstacles to effective learning? True to our commitment to learn by doing, the learning group decided to collaborate with other teams and set up specific learning projects around activities that are being organized within the network. These could be at the level of programs and campaigns, membership or communication. Based on the experience of that learning exercise, the team will aim to build more concrete learning strategies to be implemented throughout all FoEI’s activities.

swaziland 075Learning from each other and from our experiences is an important part of our strategic plan, and many activities focused on learning took place throughout the network suin 2007.

courses, schools and educational projects
Many Friends of the Earth member groups in the federation have highly developed learning programs aimed at enabling the sharing of experiences and and education of campaigners, community members, and members of the public. These initiatives include FoE Honduras'  School of Social Ecology and Environmental Justice, ATALC's School of Sustainability and FoE Colombia's Youth School, and FoE Ghana's Youth School on the Impacts of Mining.

exchanging experiences, exchanging inspiration
Over the past couple of years, FoEI has facilitated a number of exchange programs between member groups, and between member groups and communities. Many of these exchanges have taken place within the framework of our Economic Justice – Resisting Neoliberalism program with the goal of strengthening groups' work on corporates and international financial institutions. Friends of the Earth International also views these exchanges as an important part of our internal learning process.


In 2007, staff exchanges included a FoE England, Wales and Northern Ireland (EWNI) corporate campaigner visiting FoE groups in South Africa and Swaziland; a forests campaigner from FoE Netherlands spending time with her counterparts at FoE Cameroon; and a FoE Slovakia trade campaigner visiting some of our groups in Latin America.

In addition, community exchanges were carried out between communities impacted by the West African Gas Pipeline in Togo and Ghana; between Nigerian and South African communities impacted by oil, mining and gas activities; and between communities in El Salvador and Honduras struggling with mining, dams and other large infrastructure projects.

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