The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
Pacific Rising: A UUSC Partner Convening
By UUSC Staff on October 31, 2023
In June of 2022, UUSC convened a regional partner gathering in Pearl Harbour, Serua Fiji. The gathering created space for our partners to plan and map out what funding was needed to resource community-led initiatives to address climate impacts. True to commitments which were made in that gathering, UUSC dispersed the Loss and Damage funds that were secured from the Scottish government, through the Climate Justice Resilience Fund. Since those funds have reached the communities that requested them, UUSC has continued to provide support by ensuring the reporting processes have been simple and clear.
In October, more than one year after the first Pacific gathering, UUSC reconvened the network in Lautoka, Fiji, to share updates and learnings. Attendees came from the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Rabi and Kioa, along with three regional partners with members that cover the entire region.
The four main goals for the gathering included:
- Network Strengthening. The time shared provided an opportunity to learn about — and from — each other. Intentional coordination allows for collaborative network-wide strategies to build a strong approach to addressing Loss and Damage.
- Information Sharing. Gatherings like these foster a culture of information sharing, ensuring space is created for updates and report backs, honoring our feedback loops.
- Reflection and Evaluation. Steps along the path of movement building requires us to look back on the journey so far. We took time to celebrate the diversity of projects and the depth of the work and made time to really acknowledge how far we have come and what we have achieved.
- Designing the Future. Together, the network formulated strategies to build community resilience, power, political alignment, and strong analyses that keep the voices of the communities we serve at the forefront.
On the first day, it was heartening to hear many positive words about UUSC’s approach: gratitude for our flexibility, appreciation that we listen, and feeling supported by how we prioritize grassroots work and the way we see our community partners as equal partners.
Keep an eye out for future updates on the UUSC blog about learnings from these important sessions.