The Responsible Endowments Coalition (REC) is embarking on its first Student Solidarity Exchange to the Philippines in 2016. For two weeks in June, two REC staff a 12 fossil fuel divestment youth will be working with grassroots people's organizations directly impacted communities in the Philippines. This powerful trip is an opportunity to learn about climate justice organizing in the Philippines, a country with a vibrant environmental and economic justice mass movement. The students will be visiting communities affected by coal fired power plants in Batangas, integrating with Typhoon Haiyan survivors in the Visayas, and finally seeing the Lumad struggle against foreign multi-national corporations in Mindanao.
Our team's goals are to:
- gather and strengthen international solidarity for Peoples’ struggles in the Philippines that are fighting climate and economic injustice
- establish people-to-people relations with communities on the ground most impacted by climate change and environmental destruction (particularly Typhoon Haiyan survivors and the indigenous Lumads of the Philippines)
- establish people-to-people relations with other climate justice activists and human rights defenders
- learn about international implications of fossil fuel investments in the context of the Philippines and Southeast Asia, and
- create relationships between participants’ organizations and Philippine organizations through coordination of an international campaign
With the passage of a watered-down and predictably disappointing Paris Agreement this past December, it is imperative that climate justice youth organizers take steps towards building a global peoples' movement for climate justice and grasping the importance of genuine international solidarity. Youth and student movements cannot operate in isolation or in silos—they must learn from and act in solidarity with directly affected peoples that are fighting injustice on the ground. This is why REC created an international solidarity program to the Philippines for US-based youth and students interested in fossil fuel divestment and climate justice.
In order for this program to happen, our team needs your help. All proceeds will go towards fare from the U.S. to the Philippines, and also travel within the Philippines. A donation in ANY amount brings our team one step closer to contributing to the global climate justice movement.
Thank you for your solidarity, and moving this work forward!
(Lumad performance during the Peace mission’s solidarity night. Photo by Nina Macapinlac)