By Guillaume Charbonneau, Executive Director of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund.
The year 2022 saw a lot of action at the Steelworkers Humanity Fund, following two years marked by pandemic restrictions. Our partners around the world and in Canada were able to resume their in-person activities, often by maintaining virtual components that allowed them to reach an even greater number of participants. We have also seen important changes within the Fund itself, with the retirement of two individuals that contributed to making the Humanity Fund what it is today. They left behind big shoes to fill but also a richness and depth of connections with social justice activists around the world.
The worker exchanges that took place in 2022 reflected the strength of our partnerships and reminded us of the importance of human connections and face-to-face gatherings beyond our virtual work and digital engagement. Travelling to witness the daily reality of organizations that we support in Liberia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Mexico and India, Steelworkers from all over Canada learned about their local struggles and have become strong advocates for their work. Similarly, our partners attended key union events, such as the National Women’s Conference, held in Québec City, allowing them to gain a firsthand experience of Steelworkers in action.
It can be difficult to extricate ourselves from the business of our day-to-day lives. Steelworkers Humanity Fund delegations and exchanges allow us to reconnect with the common causes as workers, activists, and first and foremost, as human beings. By better understanding what brings us together, we are better equipped to defend each other’s rights, wherever we are and across borders. This annual report shows a glimpse of what we can achieve together.
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