In our on-going work to protect and promote human rights, it is important to acknowledge our accomplishments - no matter how small. Human rights work is a powerful and fulfilling vocation. And it is equally challenging for human rights practitioners, which is why it is important to take the time to appreciate what we've achieved.
Here at New Tactics, we know that human rights work victories come in all sizes. Achieving even small tactical goals are important steps towards reaching your human rights goals.
We invite you to take a moment to reflect on the human rights victories you've accomplished - big or small. Let's recognize and celebrate these important accomplishments. Share one or two accomplishments to this conversation by adding your comments below.
Thank you, and congratulations on all of your human rights accomplishments!
Here are a few examples of human rights accomplishments that came from our online dialogues this past year:
- The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) has facilitated a “wellness area” for participants during their international forum, where self-care, safety and security were encouraged and supported with wellness practices, as a strategy for the sustainability of the women’s movement. Additionally, AWID and the WHRD International Coalition have developed a mapping of Urgent Responses for Women Human Rights Defenders. The publication outlines different types of available responses, from action alerts to engaging UN mechanisms, from emergency grants to psycho-social support. These victories were shared in our 2012 dialogue on Tactics for sustaining the well-being and security of defenders.
- The Lebanese women’s co-op Nasawiya hosts Girl Geek Camps and other events to familiarize young girls with the power of social media and bridge gaps within diverse environments. This tactic was shared in our dialogue on Physical spaces as catalysts for greater digital citizen participation.
- In Kenya’s Mathare slums, Map Kibera mapped all public defecation areas and presented its findings at a community forum to demonstrate the lack of clean, open spaces for children to play. As a result, community members worked together to clean up the areas, and the local government began installing toilets in the neighborhoods. This accomplishment was shared in our 2012 dialogue on Empowering communities with technology tools to protect children.
First off, congratulations to New Tactics on their beautiful new website. It's so inviting, making all the important work you and other human rights defenders so accessible and actionable.
This is a great thread. Reflection is not what I do best, but I know I should do more of it, so here goes.
This year, Social Media Exchange has proposed more answers to our guiding question of how best to build digital literacy among engaged citizens in Arab countries. We published our guide Creating Facebook Pages with Impact in Arabic and (today) English, hosted digital storytelling workshops for rural Lebanese women, and developed a new online training in digital advocacy, called NetHawwal (which means "we transform" in Arabic) that will launch early next spring.
But what we're most proud of is watching graduates of our 2011 MADskills program take back Lebanon. They have organized relief efforts using social media after the October assassination of an intelligence chief in a residential neighborhood, spoken about blogging about being veiled (a project inspired by a New Tactics training) at the Share conference and about starting an NGO at TEDxBeirut, and as a result of the success of social media accounts started during the program, launched a new website, including a citizen-reporting section, at a major Lebanese newspaper.
And what is reflection without resolutions? Next year, we want to get better at telling our stories, at reaching out to our virtual neighbors in this field, and, of course, at reflecting on our accomplishments.
Looking forward to hearing what others have to share!
Well, you all at SMEX have been very busy over the past year! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. I'm so glad that the New Tactics training we hosted at SMEX was useful. We'll definitely let you know when we add more resources to our new Training section on our website!
Regarding our resolutions, I think there are many human rights organizations out there that could relate to your desire to get better at telling the story. Perhaps we could make this a 2013 online conversation topics...
Best wishes in 2013!
We are very excited for this launch of our global website and look forward to the launch of our first regional website for the Middle East region in Arabic soon. The human rights success story I would like to share with you today comes from the West Bank in the Palestinian Territories. Come-ME is a joint Palestinian/Israel non-profit that helps the Palestinian residents of South Hebron Hills who live shanty- villages without grid-connected electricity or any source of electricity cope up with this reality. Comet-ME builds and installs hybrid power renewable systems of solar panels and wind turbines to provide the residents with their basic needs of electricity. Their projects have received many demolition orders from the Israeli army, but Comet-ME capitalized on popular support and protest and was able to survive and even build a permament renewable energy center in the area. German radio Deutsche Welle did this report in which they interviewed Palestinian and Israeli project managers of Comet-ME on their success.
Being able to build a permanent renewable energy center in the West Bank is a great accomplishment - thanks for sharing this, Mohammad! I hope we can learn from how they accomplished this through our Arabic online conversations in 2013.
Congratulations on the new website, and we hope that 2013 brings many more accomplishments for the entire community.
We have been very pleased with the emerging partnership with New Tactics, primarily with the concept and format of the online dialogues. Over the past 18 months, we helped organize two dialogues focusing on underrepresented languages and citizen media and physical spaces as catalysts for greater citizen participation.
Especially the dialogue about endangered languages really helped us connect with some amazing language activists and we were able to learn more about their work. The dialogue also helped launch our languages initiative, which has become one of the pillars of our work with Rising Voices. Since then, we have been able to feature many of these projects on our website, and provide them with the recognition that they deserve.
In addition, as part of our microgrants program, we were able to fund and support two projects that have been using citizen media to revitalize their indigenous languages. For example, the project Llaqtaypa Rimaynin in Peru has been engaging rural migrants in Lima and teaching them how to record podcasts in their native Quechua. And the Powhatan Language Project in the state of Virginia, USA has also been exploring ways to develop a new generation of speakers of this extinct Native American language through the use of digital media.
Finally, this ongoing work will also be a part of an upcoming workshop that is being organized by the Living Tongues Institute in Santiago, Chile next month. Based on our previous work with these language communities, we will help train and support twelve language activists across Latin America in the use of these citizen media tools in their work. We'd like to acknowledge and thank New Tactics for the opportunity to bring together all of the participants in the online dialogue that helped demonstrate the ongoing need for this work, but also to help facilitate these meaningful connections. All the best in 2013.
Thanks for sharing this Eddie! We're so happy to hear that these online conversations have helped you to continue to bring practitioners together to learn from each other. Thank YOU for bringing together such an creative group of practitioners to share their experiences online. This exchange has been a benefit to our entire New Tactics community!
What ideas do you have for 2013 conversation topics? Share your ideas here!
Looking forward to working more with you and your network in 2013 and beyond...
Greetings all and congratulations on the new website - looks great! I hope it's not cheating to start before 2012, but we began our work in 2011 with a research initiative to investigate the role of new technologies in the Egyptian uprising. In the months after that event, through a combination of quantitative and qualitative interviews, we realized that there was a lot of important human rights advocacy occurring, a lot of international actors who wanted to support such initiatives, but not enough bridges between the two groups. We aim to try and make it easier to build connections between advocates and support providers with a specific focus on support for the strategic and safe integration of new communications technologies.
One of the first steps in this process is something we're proud to be on the verge of releasing and that I thought I'd mention here. It's called the Social Tech Census, and its aim is to be an easy to use directory of organizations and individuals who are committed to helping human rights defenders take advantage of new technologies. We hope that as the tool evolves it will be useful for human rights advocates looking to integrate technology into their work. We're excited to launch it in early 2013 and get everyones' feedback, so stay tuned!
Again, congrats to everyone at New Tactics on this site and thanks Kristin and team for all of your support this past year. We are so appreciative.