By Luis Enrique Pérez Méndez. Puebla, Mexico
The 6th to 8th of October 2017 were days of recognition, alliance and preparation.
In Mexico City around 60 young people (between 20-30 years old) concerned about the defence of sexual and reproductive health and rights of LGBTI + population, women, men and adolescents, were gathered. 60 young people who were mobilized from their different states, there was representation from the north (Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Baja California, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Tijuana); from the centre (Puebla, Tlaxcala, Morelos, Mexico City, State
of Mexico, Hidalgo, among others); from the southeast (Mérida, Campeche and Quintana Roo); from the west (Guadalajara, Guanajuato and Querétaro); and from the south (Guerrero and Oaxaca).
The three days were of a lot of work, a very ambitious agenda that was achieved. The team of ACT! 2030 Mexico presented to these representatives of civil society, some students, tools to influence the public policy of the
country; among these we can highlight social accountability, the Making it count curriculum, and especially the research and development of data as a base to the claims made to the government.
The previous ones were very important approaches, mainly because they bring civil society organizations closer to alternatives to negotiate vis-à-vis with local governments, which is quite interesting due to the process of change that the Mexican public administration has undergone.
Personally, as a teacher and close to the beginning of ACT! 2030 Mexico, it was exciting and satisfying to meet so many young people who work hard to contribute to this society, which demystifies the idea that “young people
are apathetic or disinterested of their environment”.
The experience in this workshop has taught me that there are still things to improve, both, in the way that we mobilize and in the tools to make ourselves heard; the technique used during the workshop of combining academics and activism shows promising results, in addition to making visible issues that for social reasons we usually do not touch. The point, perhaps, is not to see the government totally as an enemy but as an actor with whom one must sit down to talk. Finally, it is worth highlighting recognition for the achievements made by the ACT! 2030 Mexico team in its work to participate and influence intergovernmental negotiations.
I hope very much that this example of preparation, guidance and accompaniment among peers will be replicated in other alliances, networks of civil society organizations and activists, I repeat, it seems to me that this is a worth proposal in order to achieve common objectives, since civil society organizations are close to people and its perspectives are worth to take up.