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North and South Come Together in Sélingué

February 2007

Margaret Curole, North America Co-coodinatorWorld Forum of Fish harvesters and Fish workers (WFFF) writes from Nyeleni:

Today was a perfect day. I started it by just trying to organize a meeting between fisherfolk.

Sometimes it feels like a lesson in futility but then when success comes by way of chance encounter with people willing to help, it’s all worth it.

As an American, in meetings like this, I can feel very unwanted and insignificant. I usually try to blend into the background.

Today I found my voice. I told the trade working group that trade agreements hurt not just developing countries, but developed ones as well. It is not a North v. South issue.

I wasn’t sure if my voice was heard until one after another, people from around the world came to me and said, “We had no idea, please tell me more.”

The exchanges made at times like this are what make these forums important. People teaching people, finding common ground and building bridges.



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