In the People’s Health Movement (PHM) we have been discussing for some time now the need for a tool to support movement-building at the country level, and to contribute to the creation of a global movement for health. What you are looking at is the result of this effort.
Words don’t build a movement (…but they may help)
We know that a book or a website can only be tools within a broader strategy for movement building. However, we also feel that the wealth of experience within and around the PHM needs to be shared more, in order to increase the generation of mutual knowledge and help us learn from each other.
What you will find in this page is not meant to be a guideline nor a toolkit, but more a source of inspiration for those who are engaged in the struggle for health. The stories illustrated speak about the building of a people’s health movement – not just any kind of mobilisation for health. It means that a focus is kept on people’s engagement and people in the movement having control over the actions.
Sharing our stories
We felt that the best way to learn and share about how to build a movement was to collect stories from local actions that happen within the broad network of the PHM. When we say “broad network”, we are referring to the groups, networks and circles that are part of – or affiliated with – the movement and also those who consider themselves allied or sympathisers with PHM.
In order to collect these stories, we issued a call translated into different languages1. We selected 25 case studies from those received, covering most world regions. A group of PHM volunteers from different countries worked together for two months to look at the stories, identify the practices, or key elements, of movement building (how the different groups got organised to lead action), and describe them in what later became the chapters of a book and now the content of this section of the PHM website. A call for pictures was also issued, to collect further documentation and to accompany the stories from the movement with the faces of its people.
From a book to a living library of shared experiences
We are aware that it is extremely difficult to represent the richness of experiences in the movement that also capture the challenges and opportunities in different local contexts. For this reason, starting from the book we are now engaged in an ongoing effort to document movement-building practices in the struggle for health. We are doing this by creating an online library of experiences, open to contributions from everyone, as a tool to greatly expand the knowledge about how people effectively act together for Health for All.
We want to hear from you!
We hope that this work will give people new information and insight on movement-building as well as strengthen our movement for Health for All. We would love to hear your comments, reactions, and stories. Please submit your stories, experiences and practices through this form; you may also leave us a comment on our facebook page or send an email to [email protected]