Laura Marcenaro

In May, Bridge 47 in collaboration with Fingo organized a three day training on Building Strength in Plurality in Global Citizenship Education. The course offered an opportunity to take a reflective and proactive pause during these times shaken by COVID-19, and also aimed to generate collective intelligence on the topic of Global Citizenship Education (GCE).

Carminda Mc Lorin, trainer and founder of Katalizo, gave concrete tools for building strength in the context of plurality in the field of GCE. Laura Marcenaro was one of the participants who attended the online sessions. In this blog post, she reflects on her learnings in relation to her own country context, what it means to be a global citizen and the topic of youth involvement:

It took me a couple of days to reflect on what to say about the course after it was completed. In order to confront Colombia’s warring landscape I realised how many elements needed to be incorporated when it came to fostering more respectful and critical educational projects. When I think about education in my country, I think about all the faults of its system: the lack of diversity, the lack of understanding of students' environments, the disregard for social and economic situations, the profound disparities between public and private institutions, and particularly the problems with violence and human rights that affect our youth directly.

Throughout this experience and by talking to people from other parts of the world, my eyes were opened to the fact we still don't have much information about what it means to be a global citizen; such as how we handle the reality of immigration. In my case, this is a current issue that started with the immigration of Venezuelan people to Columbia. Furthermore, despite our territories' many diverse identities, there are still not enough tools to work through the segregation, racism and wealth gaps that we face.

It is sad to realize that, even to this day, education is a privilege in the entire continent, and as such it is a privilege to identify ourselves as global citizens. In the projects that I am conducting, I work mainly with women of all ages, university students and protestors. It was the first time that I stopped to think about how the things I wanted to impact must not only take into account adults, but the youth as well.

After the course, I decided to homeschool my son. This change prompted me to seek conversations with other parents, especially surrounding what changes must be made during the COVID-19 crisis. Realizing many of the participants were mothers too, it finally connected youth and the work I want to do with maternity in my mind.

The three day course impacted me very deeply. I'm convinced the present situation is a breakout point for the world. We need to be very conscious about what we consume everyday: food, music, films, but especially what information is entering our brain.

As was highlighted during the course, after the COVID crisis, we still have to deal with climate change, which will require empathy, unity and the realization that we are one and that everything that happens in the world affects us all.

I am very thankful that I met all the participants, because it is easy to get caught up in one's own reality and to never look beyond. Talking to them made me see once again the great diversity in the world, the many ways to perceive it and to face reality. From now on, I will continue to be committed to my work with women, protest music, social activism and to engage in more and more discourse to teach and to share with everyone else.

About the Author

Laura Marcenaro