CAN held a ‘core’ team meeting in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in July with the theme ‘Transformation’. Representatives from each country shared their current work, and together discussed the restructuring of new funding by Misereor and new coordination of CAN in Southeast Asia.
Kabir attended from Bangladesh, Nad, Tee and Maurice from Thailand, Nylen from Cambodia, May from the Phillippines, Lumanti from Nepal, and from the host country Indonesia Cakcak, Yuli, Mayang, Ivana, and Ariel. The workshop opened with participants sitting in a circle around a collection of meaningful objects, sharing stories and dreaming together about our aspirations for the future.
Over the course of the workshop these hopes and aspirations guided CAN’s reorientation and management. The Impacts and Indicators for Misereor funding require: CAN working in 6 cities in 6 countries per year, and three cities plus one country to advocate for pro-poor policy, engagement with 50 YP, 7 universities and 3-4 technical institutes, 10 communities must get support via workshops and/or training, and six books should be produced over 2 years. Such processes are already in motion across the CAN network, so the template helped structure the evolution of CAN towards increased sub-regional and sub-themed management.
It was acknowledged that in order to decentralise CAN coordination and decision making in a sustainable way, it is critical to catch “real” demands and interests happening on the ground and open new spaces of communication at a sub-regional level for learning, working, supporting and inspiring each other as neighbouring countries. While sharing our personal and country-related goals and aspirations, we discovered sub-themes and patterns, and experimented with possible scenarios of sub-regional coordination.
Workshops are becoming regarded as an important pillar of the CAN network, functioning both as a singular event to push projects forward as well as a longer term process of trail and error in developing coordination and collaboration.
The timing felt particularly uncanny for many who attended, in parallel to planning together a restructuring of CAN, we also shared about personal matters of the heart, “stepping back” and the need for balance was a recurring theme. Such sentiments were expressed with positive self-reflection on the need to sustain yourself.
Many of the group had attended the first CAN core meeting in 2010, in which the management of Rockefeller funding was planned together. The first generation, or“oldies” as Maurice often referred to himself, reflected on how different the second generation, or “young professionals” are. Working more often with artists, artisans, new technologies and the youth, collaborating with universities and alternative architecture practices, the movements of the network today is able to find grip in more diverse places – as can be seen in the diversity of applications for the Perween Rahman fellowship. The meeting concluded with a feeling of optimism in how CAN was evolving, scaling out not just numbers of communities involved, but diversifying our areas of engagement, and despite growing in diversity continuing to be united by our enthusiasm and belief in people-driven change.