Unprecedented Movement

 

The Field Hearings represent an unprecedented global movement…

 

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(Field Hearings in India)

From informal recyclers in Mumbai to displaced farmers in Kunming;

 

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(Field Hearings in DR Congo)

from fisherwomen in war-torn Eastern Congo to immigrants in the vast squatter camp of Diepsloot, South Africa;

 

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(Field Hearings in Pakistan)

from relocated tribal members in Zambales Province, Philippines, to desert farmers in Sindh Province, Pakistan;

 

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(Field Hearings in Burundi)

from urban slum-dwellers in Abuja, Nigeria, to hunter-gatherers in the forests of Burundi;

 

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(Field Hearings in Hungary)

from Romani communities in Hungary to economically struggling Black and Hispanic communities in the American Midwest —

 

This is an unprecedented global movement. Never before have so many poor and marginalized communities around the world come together to speak out – collectively – to influence policy, and to take their rightful place at the table as solutions are developed.

Most of the communities we work in are not connected to the rest of the world via internet, major languages, education, money, or political influence. IfE’s local partners talk with community members face-to-face to learn what they are experiencing, how they analyze it, and what their top priorities for action are. Then we amplify these voices nationally, regionally and globally.

 

Just conducting Field Hearings is powerful in and of itself…

 

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(Field Hearings in Malawi)

“Community members cried and told me this was the first time that anyone had ever asked them what they thought” (Field Hearings partner in Malawi).

 

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(Field Hearings in Kyrgyzstan)

“Participants of Hearings were really glad to know that their voices would be presented at Rio+20 and [Sustainable] Development Goals dialogues. The idea that their opinions will be listened to at international events inspired them very much” (partner in Kyrgyzstan).

 

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(Field Hearings in South Africa)

“These kind of gatherings are important… because we listen to and learn from each other… This is a good networking session.” (community member in South Africa).

 

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(Field Hearings in Philippines)

“… the process of interviewing was a big step, as this facilitated reflection not just on the part of the respondents but also the interviewers” (partner in the Philippines).

 

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(Partners travelling to Field Hearings in Cameroon)

“We travelled to the community through public transport vehicles from Yaounde to Bamenda and to Ndu. From Yaounde we bored a boss [boarded a bus] which left by night to Bamenda at 10:00 pm and arrived at 6:00 am. After 3 hours of rest at the car park, we took another car to Ndu and arrived at 3:00 pm… After a night in Ndu, we hired motocycles to transport us to the community Nshih-o-Doh 4 km from Ndu town” (partner in Cameroon).

 

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(Location of coastal Field Hearings in Nigeria)

“The only means of accessing the community [was] through the sea by a canoe” (partner in Nigeria).

 

The process of conducting Field Hearings is powerful in and of itself. It is often the first time that community members have been asked what they think and want, or have held an organized discussion on the problems and potential solutions. It is also a moving experience for the partners who conduct the Field Hearings. They establish strong bonds with the communities through listening to their stories and ideas, and their advocacy is made more powerful and on target through what they learn.

 

Learn about the Field Hearings and how you can conduct one yourself (see Sidebar Menu to the left). Then join us!