Senior Community Organizer Rachel Ramirez traveled to Hungary, Romania and Slovakia this month, training and collaborating with service providers interested in learning more about community organizing.
The Great Lakes Consortium (GLC) for International Training and Development offers the organizing exchange between the U.S. and Central Europe.
“As an organizer, I benefit from this trip because I apply my skills in different contexts and learn from people,” said Rachel, who organizes for CCH in Latino shelters and community reentry programs.
In Europe, Rachel offered mentoring to young organizers and met with local officials. She also met with the director of the Central and Eastern European Citizens Network.
She also worked closely with Slovakian Jozef Kakos and Romanian Ioana Urs, who visited Chicago in May during a three-week exchange with CCH.
After training in Chicago, Jozef hired an organizer to work at his homeless service agency. Ioana recruited colleagues who also work with homeless Roma people to Skype in during CCH’s three-day organizer training in June.
“Organizing is a method that has genuine capacity to empower change in society,” said Rachel. “The hope is what we have to offer is something people can use to strengthen democracy and create a more just society in their countries.”
Since 2012, CCH has sent five organizers to Europe and hosted nine European organizers. Two fellows from Hungary will visit CCH in October.
– Cydney Salvador, Media Intern