With narratives, nods, and smiles, 24 leaders from 8 countries began a 3-day organizing workshop last month in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Some of the Equity Initiative fellows had left behind daughters who were sick, and some of them left teams who depended on the fellows to move forward, but all of them brought the spirit to learn and showed up at 8:30 am sharp!

One by one, as they shared their expectations – to be enlightened, to move people, to create stories together, and to be and become better versions of themselves – we saw the unfolding of a hope to create a bold community of organizers deeply rooted in agency. Although their organizations targeted issues from reproductive health to disaster relief and democratic governance to community theater, they found solidarity in a commitment to justice, access, and opportunity values.

This shared commitment gave rise to four promising cross-country campaigns in blood donation, empowerment of mothers in rural Indonesia, organizing youth for elections in Thailand, and community-based emergency response in Myanmar.

During the workshop, Aditi Parekh mentioned significantly in her ‘Story of Us’ that the courageous fellows were “comfortable not knowing, being in that uncertainty, and pushing anyway; that’s what leadership is.”

LCN is honoured to have the brilliant camaraderie and solidarity of the phenomenal trainers— Noorulain Masood, Shivani Kumar, Junko Yoda, Mais Irqsusi, Aditi Parekh, and our genuinely supportive partner organization for this workshop— The Equity Initiative and the dedicated EI fellows.

This is just the beginning as the Asian Dream Team of trainers propels their efforts to coach in strategizing and driving action with sheer commitment to the campaigns that emerged in the workshop and the leadership capacity that will be built long after the workshop!

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