Blue Sky Weeks provide Linking Organisations (LOs) in the same region with the opportunity to meet for discussions and to share their knowledge and experiences. This year it was held in San Salvador, El Salvador, hosted by our LO, Asociación Atlacatl Vivo Positivo.
“For me it is an honour to have our brothers and sisters of the Alliance here” said Odir Miranda, Director of Atlacatl in his welcoming speech. He added “It is important for us that you feel at home here, as the Alliance is a big family sharing many ideals, interests and points of view.”
Participants included directors and a board member from LOs in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Haiti and the Caribbean, the presidents of two regional networks, as well as secretariat staff from the US, UK and Argentina.
The meeting comprised three and a half intense days of group work, presentations, and debates, which centred on the Alliance’s new strategy, and its implications for the LAC region.
Participants stressed the need to ensure that civil society is at the forefront of the response over the coming years as the funding environment shifts, and the onus is increasingly on national governments to fund their response.
LAC partners also advanced on discussions on emerging themes and trends in the region, such as new HIV laws that criminalise transmission, and Treatment as Prevention and its financial and human rights implications. Javier Hourcade, the Alliance’s Regional Representative, ran a workshop on social networks that participants found very useful.
The organisations highly value the opportunity to interact, learn from and share with each other, and the friendly atmosphere at the meeting creates an ideal environment for them to do this. The active participation of the LOs board members this year was repeatedly praised by participants.
Luis Martinez, Atlacatl's Communications Officer, has blogged about Blue Sky Week for Corresponsales Clave, you can read his article here (in Spanish).
In September 2012, Blue Sky Weeks for the Africa and Asia and Eastern Europe took place in South Africa and Thailand respectively. You can read more here.
Blue Sky Weeks are not the only way that we help to facilitate learning between of LOs. We also organise regular horizontal learning exchanges, during which LOs visit each other to share their experiences in key areas. You can read more about the scheme here.