There is something amazing in the CCIVS which is about gathering so much diversity: cultural, organisational, geographical,… in just one movement; with similar goals and vision, but so many different realities. The CCIVS is in over 90 countries (how many languages do we speak, how different are our lives, our conditions…) and however we consider to go in one direction, to search for common goals (peace, interculturality, sustainability,…) with common methodologies: workcamps, IVS.
And yet, what makes us amazing is also the source of some of our main weaknesses: our difficulty as a network, as CCIVS, to care, to monitor such diversity, such quantity of organisations within the movement.
The STEPS project was launched in order to start solving such fundamental challenge. If part of the mission of CCIVS is to empower its member organisations so that they achieve the goals of IVS; how is it possible that CCIVS is not able to know the needs of each of its members, to address the main challenges with support and training? The EC went around these questions for some years, and in the GA in Korea, 2014, made the decision to develop a Monitoring and Empowerment System for the network. And STEPS is the project to place the grounds for such system. With STEPS we are aiming to be in the 4 regions (Asia, Africa, America, Europe), developing a process of deep diagnosis with members, and at the same time implementing organisational development trainings which allow members to reflect and work on their own needs, challenges and potentials.
Up to now, we have had a STEP experience in Africa, with an international training in Ghana, hosted by Volu; and wonderful participants also from Astovot Togo, ADC Congo DR, UPA Uganda, VWAN Nigeria, who also hosted training processes in their countries. In Asia, a training in Cambodja, hosted by CYA, with participants from Ruchi India, VSA Thailand, SCI Hong Kong, IWO Korea. And in America, a training hosted by ACI Costa Rica, and participants from Siijuve Mexico, Chiriboga in Equador, BVBP in Perú, Subir al Sur in Argentina. The process, for those of us who are living it from within: participants, hosts, trainers, network representatives, is being so enriching! It opens up the detailed reality and histories of each organisation, the non-theoretical but very practical understanding of the needs and genuinity of IVS organisations in their countries; the belonging to local cultures, and at the same time the will and capacity to be working for a global dream.
A very important part of the training and research process we are implementing is also the fact that we are continuing with the Impact research of the last years (CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS), now focussing in the impact on communities. By interviewing community members who have been in contact with IVS projects we will end up the project with testimonies in 20 countries in 4 regions, which will contribute to the global research, and add up to the 40 professionals participating in international projects and more than 100 people trained in their own countries.
So as you see, we are doing STEPS forwards. Now in January it is time for the STEP experience in Europe: hosted by CID in FYROM, with also SCI-Hellas, Concordia and SJ France, SCI-Catalunya and Egyesek Hungarian participants. We better be ready for the challenge!
If you didn’t take the STEPS train with this first project, prepare your ticket now: we are already preparing a project to apply for a grant so that we can go on with the continuation of this empowerment process for the next years! The paths ahead are open: let’s STEP into them together!
(photo credit: Gianni Orsini)