Day six of the conference marathon. I’m averaging about 3-4 hours of sleep a night. The days are so non-stop that I often forget to drink anything. It has been raining without release, but it has done nothing to dampen the spirits of the conferencees. (yes, I just made up a new word I’m pretty sure)
The IMA was an amazing success. Over 100 grassroots organizations were present, 35 countries represented, with 69 voting delegates and a 15 person executive committee formed. The chairperson is a personal friend of mine, a colleague and only 6 months older than me. She is 27 years old and the chairperson of the world’s first International Migrant’s Alliance! What an honor for her and a blessing for the body she will serve in! Congratulations to Eni!
With the founding of a new Alliance, especially one as historical and ground-breaking as this one, there is much to do. The Constitution has to be written, revised, rewritten, voted on, discussed, re-voted on and adopted. There are are resolutions to accept, committees to elect, issues to establish. It could have been easy to get lost in the details. I won’t lie, there were times that it the afternoon teetered on oblivion in nuances, but someone always drew the group back in to what was important; the first ever alliance of migrants worldwide. All the details, suggestions, revisions and votes, led to an Alliance grounded and bound by the need to assert their rights, fight imperialist regimes that keep their nations in poverty and force migration, and find strength in solidarity. There were moments that I couldn’t keep from tearing up. I was privy to witness something so amazing, so beautiful. Strength, determination, loyalty, determination. Hope in its rawest form.
“For many years, many have spoken on our behalf. This time, we will speak for ourselves.” ~Eni Lestari. I’m glad I was hear to listen.