European health activists gathered in Belgium for TWHA's first Summer school

12 health activist from all over Europe gathered in Lokeren (Belgium) for TWHA's first summer school form 7-9 July. They discussed health as a social product and found out what role they can play to reach better access to health care for everyone.

This training gave me the confidence to start a new local PHM circle in my home country, Liberia!

Italian TWHA policy officer, Chiara Bodini and American health activist, Leigh Haynes, provided the content of the training. On top of that, the insights and experiences of the participants from Liberia, France, UK, Egypt, Nepal & Belgium gave an extra dimension to the discussions.

Critcial analysis of commercialization of health

The training with the very emotionally engaging film “I, Daniel Blake”, directed by Ken Loach, about the harsh circumstances of the working class in Great-Brittain. The movie gave concrete examples on how social factors can determinate the health of the people. Different interactive sessions continued to explain this vision during the weekend. The current tendency of privatisation of health care was critically analysed and we did a brainstorm on the role of social movements to make health care accessible for everyone. The green site of “Verloren bos” in Lokeren provided a calm and relaxing learning environment, with lots of opportunities for informal exchanges as well.

The highlight of the training was a session on the new manual by PHM and THWA: “Building a movement for health”. This e-book is a collection of years of experiences of the Peoples Health Movement and can serve as a basis for discussion for social organisations that struggle for the right to health.

A training to boost engagement

The participants left with lots of ideas and new theories, they promised to discuss with fellow activists and colleagues. Aletha Wallace, a former intern at TWHA, stated afterwards that the training helped her to get the confidence to start a new local PHM circle in her home country, Liberia. For two British participants, the training meant a new energy and new motivation to boost the local PHM-UK circle. Other participants who were not really familiar with TWHA or PHM before the training, were happy to have learned about the existence of a movement for the right to health that links countries in the world through political struggle and solidarity. .

You were not able to participate in the summer school, but you're curious to find out more on the topics? Here are some links:

=> Free e-book: Manual - Building a movement for health

=> Online training module: Access to health care: our health is not for sale