Reflections on the World Social Forum 2024 in Kathmandu

Posted by Spalding Hurst

February 19, 2024

Several of us from the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth had the privilege to participate in the World Social Forum (WSF) that took place in Kathmandu, Nepal, from Feb. 15-19, 2024. The WSF stands as a significant gathering of global civil society members, NGOs, INGOs, and individuals committed to creating a space for dialogue, sharing concerns, experiences, and strategizing for actionable steps towards a more equitable and democratic world.

Participating in the opening day rally was an extraordinary experience. As we moved through the heart of Kathmandu valley, the diversity and unity of the participants were striking. The 16th edition of the WSF was marked by a vibrant procession of individuals from various backgrounds—workers, farmers, trade unions, women’s groups, LGBTQI+ organizations, indigenous and ethnic groups, and many more, all united under the rallying cry “Another World Is Possible.” This march, which began and ended at the Bhrikutti Mandap ground, was a powerful display of global solidarity.

The WSF, which originated from movements opposing globalization in the late ’90s, has grown significantly since its first meeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2001. This year, the forum welcomed over 50,000 participants from 98 countries, representing more than 1,400 organizations across six continents.

Our group, including SCNs Aisha, Joel, Maya, Priya Oraon, and myself, Roselyn, engaged deeply with the forum’s diverse agenda. Sisters Joel and Roselyn were proud to represent The Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace, India, among other men and women religious. The discussions covered a wide range of critical issues, including war and peace, climate change, human rights, minority protections, migrant worker rights, and environmental preservation.

Each evening, the forum came alive with cultural events and performances that brought social concerns to the forefront. A standout moment for us was the performance by the differently-abled children of Navjyoti Centre, Kathmandu, on the evening of Feb. 17. Their presentation, filled with music and dance, was a testament to the WSF’s commitment to inclusivity and peace. The enthusiastic response from the audience underscored the universal desire for harmony and understanding.

Sister Lisa Perekkatt, the director of Navjyoti Centre, expressed gratitude towards the teachers for their dedication and the WSF organizers for providing a platform for these talented children.

The WSF concluded with the issuance of numerous statements and declarations from organizations around the world, all dedicated to the pursuit of a more just and equitable global community.

As we reflect on our experiences at the WSF 2024, we are reminded of the power of collective action and the importance of continuing our efforts to foster a world that embraces diversity, equity, and justice for all.

Roselyn Karakattu, SCN

8 Comments

  1. Bindu Raj Sapkota

    19th February 2024, the meeting and discussion program of Nature-Human Centric Peoples Movement (NHCPM) was completed in the Meeting Hall of Temperate Horticulture Center Kirtipur in connection with the conference of the World Social Forum(WSF). In the program, Indian scientist Sagardhara spoke about the Climate Crisis in the world due to climate change and the measures to reduce the rising temperature. Sajjan Kumar of NHCPM India said that the global corporate system has led to the extinction of the biological society. Another presentater from India, Sukdev Singh, said that the grave is going to be the same, and emphasized that natural farming should be adopted as a solution to the Crisis in Agriculture due to climate change.
    Similarly, in the same program, Nepal’s agricultural expert Chabilal Paudel said that due to the increase in temperature and climate change, on the one hand, the melting of snow in the Himalayan region and on the other hand, the increase in the amount of salinity in the seashore water will also affect the cyclic system of rice.
    As a participants in the program from Adarsh Madhyamic School students asked what kind of measures can be taken from their level to solve the climate crisis, and what is the role of the government and the public in this matter.
    Similarly, other participants also presented their own suggestions.
    Bindu Raj Sapkota, vice president of NHCPM Nepal, spoke about the NHCPM development model as well as the World Social Forum and Nature-Human Centric Peoples Movement in the event.
    The program was presided over by Krishna Prasad Gautam, president of NHCPM Nepal, a program conducted by Gyan Bhakta Dangol, welcomed by Mithila Phuyal, and ex-president Uttam Kadel presented the justification of the program.

    Reply
  2. Mary Gene Frank

    What a great honor for the Nav Jyoti Organization and the children. Congratulations all

    Reply
  3. Marie elena Dio

    Roselyn, Thank you for going and representing the needs. I remember our time together when the forum was
    held in Mumbai. Much love, Marie Elena

    Reply
  4. Maria Brocato

    Dear Roselyn, this event gives us so much hope. Thank you for being there for us.

    Reply
  5. Monica Boggs

    It must have been an awesome experience to participate. Thank you for your report.

    Reply
  6. J. Venneman

    Keep up the great ministry of presence, education, and advocacy!

    Proud to be part of our global sisterhood!

    Reply
    • Tess Browne

      Thank you sisters and Nav Jyoti kids, for representing us in such an important forum with our global siblings. Roselyn, thank you for the vibrant glimpse of WSF 2024

      Reply
  7. Maggie Cooper

    Wow, Roselyn,
    The experience sounded wonderful!
    Thanks so much for sharing it with us.
    I was truly inspired.

    Reply

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