Profession: Coordinator, Environmentalist, Communicator
Meet Manuela Wing. To say that Manuela wears many hats would be an understatement. She is the Coordinator of the Communication and Dissemination Unit at Centro Terra Viva (CTV), at once a land rights and environmental rights defender, and master communicator.
A native Mozambican, Manuela says the following:
“Despite the macro-economic “success story” in Mozambique, 69 per cent of Mozambicans still live below the poverty line and the Mozambican government has been giving land to foreign investment, which bring little to no benefits to communities. NGOs and civil society organizations across the country refuse to stay silent on the issue and we stand with them.”
How do she and her colleagues plan on doing this? By getting people talking, of course! A recent online discussion, hosted by CTV and supported by the Land Portal, is a first step in this direction. In true Mozambican fashion, the virtual discussion served as the catalyst and starting point, with former online colleagues now meeting in person on a regular basis. CTV has interacted with approximately 2,500 people via face-to-face meetings in the past year, with almost half of these being women. In an interesting turn of events, these face-to-face meetings are being recorded for later sharing online.
“Mozambicans are curious about technology and online platforms to discuss their concerns with regards to land rights, and are eager to continue learning more. The truth is, however, that in person conversations, the chance to vocalize the issues that matter to us, to gage reactions and sometimes, frustrations, to come up with concrete plans of action, will always be pivotal to the way change happens here. This is especially true for women, who wish to make personal connections. It is also steeped in a deep history and tradition of activism and social reform that we wish to continue on with.”