Spinning and weaving together: A journey of siblinghood and solidarity #KAIROS20
KAIROS is celebrating 20 years as a social, ecumenical, and environmental justice organization. From its beginning we began to work together. Our organizations, spinning and weaving together.
We always find harmony in the struggles against the impacts of oil and mining activities, climate change, and the role of Indigenous peoples and women in the defense of territories; historical, social and ecological debts; human rights, and the rights of nature.
We have had moments to gather, at the international level, for example, to denounce false solutions and the cooptation of corporate power in the face of the climate crisis or in territories affected by oil activities in Ecuador and Canada; or together with the organizations in resistance against mining. Recently, during the pandemic, new ways of having bridges have brought us together virtually, but this has not affected quality nor solidarity.
The siblinghood with KAIROS has paid off. For example, KAIROS facilitated the exchange between Indigenous people of Canada and Ecuador to strengthen resistance to the oil activities of a Canadian company in Rukullacta. This action was successful because the oil company left the country.
In mining, our sister Gloria Chicaiza accompanied KAIROS on countless occasions in KAIROS’ activities, especially on the subject of mining and the struggle of women. People from different parts of the world were united thanks to this accompaniment.
KAIROS is, without a doubt, a fraternal organization of fundamental importance in its country, Canada, but also at the international level, thanks to its commitment and clarity in the face of the suffering of peoples.
Thank you, KAIROS, for existing! Thank you, KAIROS, for working for gender justice! Thank you for advocating for ecological justice! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your dedication and solidarity with the peoples of the world! Long live KAIROS!
For many years, we have had actions together with KAIROS. But we would like to mention the last one that took place on June 28, 2019. That day, we held a beautiful exchange between KAIROS and Acción Ecológica, whose protagonists were defenders of rights and territories. KAIROS facilitated the Blanket Exercise as a metaphor for the territory, while Acción Ecológica facilitated the body-territory exercise. Our sister Gloria was present, even though her health had been broken.
It was a moment of mutual learning, which also made it possible to raise awareness among the participants, to strengthen inter-community relations, and to awaken mutual relationships between defenders who live situations of violation of rights.
KAIROS gave us this powerful education tool that uses principles of popular education. KAIROS shared with the people of Ecuador a journey through the history of colonization in the territories; we were able to consider Indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant people’s relationship with the invaders, conquerors, and later colonizers. This exercise allowed us to contribute to our dialogue with communities on relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples with other communities and to call into question colonial dynamics.
This exchange had a very positive impact on human rights defenders. Everyone wanted to do the Blanket Exercise in their communities. It was a memorable and celebratory moment on the road to a more just and sustainable world in Ecuador. We learned a lot from KAIROS on this path of kindness, with humility, of recovery of memory through the metaphor of the blanket as territory.
We put here some photos of that wonderful meeting. We hope that it will not be the last and that we will follow this beautiful path of siblinghood and solidarity.
By Ivonne Yanez, President, Acción Ecológica, Ecuador