Montreal: collaborative project with NGOs
in collaboration with Solidarité Union Coopération (SUCO), Outils de paix (Montreal), the Centre d'information et de documentation sur le Mozambique et l'Afrique australe (CIDMAA) and Vidéo Tiers-Monde (VTM).
Produced as part of the public participation program (PPP) of CIDA, the project was led by Nouvelles solidarités, a group of civil society organizations which included Alternatives. This project aimed to promote greater visibility of these organizations and facilitate coordination amongst them, because they often act in a fragmented and dispersed way, although they share common values and common goals that make them belong in the same social movement.
The overall objective of this project was to enable the working classes "to exercise their right to participate in the society redefinition that the current global changes impose." To allow the public to have its voice heard, several conditions must be met:
- write the program in a broader set of activities also including overseas programs and institutional development;
- reach large and diverse audiences;
- think and realize the education program in coordination and complementarity with the activities of other social actors.
The program was mainly conducted in the Montreal metropolitan area with the participation of various partners: social movements, the academic community, the elementary and secondary schools, the public and cultural communities. The education program was structured around three main themes: justice and democracy, environment, and communications.
The project enabled the harmonization of documentation activities of several NGOs through the establishment of a unified documentation center. It also allowed the distribution of the newspaper Les Nouvelles solidarités, which was inserted in the Voir, distributed freely in the Montreal area. Activities announced in the newspaper attracted important public participation. For example, it attracted more than 500 people from all sectors of society in activities related to the week of international development in February. Several topics covered in that newspaper were also discussed on radios, on televisions and in print. Links have also been forged with several community radio stations that address topics discussed in the newspaper.
A large number of documents of various types have been published by Nouvelles solidarités and its members. These documents have enjoyed a considerable diffusion, particularly through community radios and televisions. These were video documentaries, magazines, books, radio, etc. Numerous lectures on international development issues were also organized.