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[CALL FOR PARTICIPATION] FUNDING FOR THE TEACHERS’ MUTUAL SOCIETY IN BURKINA FASO

d.desplanques
July 31, 2014

In Luxembourg, three education professional organisations which have recently joined the Education and Solidarity Network decided to help teachers in Burkina Faso set up their mutual society by providing part of the required funding. In order to find other organisations willing to support the project as they are doing, they have launched an appeal, details of which can be found below. 

In Luxembourg, three education professional organisations which have recently joined the Education and Solidarity Network decided to help teachers in Burkina Faso set up their mutual society by providing part of the required funding. In order to find other organisations willing to support the project as they are doing, they have launched an appeal, details of which can be found below. 

Appeal to other education professional organisations to contribute to the development of the Burkina Faso teachers’ mutual health society

The Fédération Générale des Instituteurs Luxembourgeois (FGIL) together with the OGBL Education and Science Union (SEW/OGBL) and the Ligue luxembourgeoise de l’Enseignement recently joined the Education and Solidarity Network as they believe the Network’s watchword of “working to promote the globalisation of solidarity” reflects their ideals perfectly.

We have decided to become involved in funding the project of setting up an education professionals’ mutual society in Burkina Faso. Launched by the Education and Solidarity Network and the country’s 8 education unions including original Network member, SNEAB, the project aims to provide cover for all basic education professionals for health-related risks and serve as a pilot mutual society for the implementation of universal health insurance by the government.

By funding part of this project and asking our members to help set up this mutual society, we aim to oppose a policy of widespread competition which negates the creativity and effectiveness of solidarity-based initiatives. Unfortunately neo-liberal policies, which are becoming ever more widespread due to the recommendations of the OECD, IMF and the World Bank, focus purely on the drive for competitiveness and productivity gains without taking account of the common good and people’s genuine needs.

By backing this mutual society, participating teachers from Luxembourg intend to show that there are alternatives to an approach of “every man for himself” and that working together can lead to very concrete results. These ideas are not only valid for our “southern partners” but also for western societies which are seeking to break down solidarity among citizens through their encouragement of competition, their evaluation and their stigmatisation which are more likely to stir up conflict and hatred than to result in shared projects.

We believe this project is particularly beneficial since it involves teaching colleagues who, through their work and permanent contact with young people, are able to educate children and their families on developing solidarity-based systems such as mutual societies.

Education professional unions in Burkina Faso have now united behind this project. Together, they are working with the Ministry of Education to develop the mutual society and link it in with the development of universal health insurance in the country.

As this is a large-scale project, both in political and practical terms as well as in terms of funding, associations from a small country like Luxembourg, which inevitably have fewer members than those in larger countries, do not have the means to support this project alone. This is why we are looking for other organisations to support this project.

FGIL would be particularly pleased to find partners for this project among teachers’ organisations via the Education and Solidarity Network. Our cooperative owes its existence to the brave teachers at the beginning of the last century who did their utmost to free primary teachers from their subordinate status by liberating them from church supervision as well as certain practical constraints.

Naturally, we believe it is beneficial to forge links with primary and secondary teachers in Burkina Faso in order to develop a shared vision of the globalisation of solidarity. However, we would also be delighted to work with other teachers’ trade union or cooperative organisations on implementing this project in order to enrich our thinking on educating people about solidarity through this exchange.

Monique Adam

President of FGIL

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