If you are a new student in Trondheim this fall, you’ve probably heard that there are a lot of student organizations here. Or if you don’t know that yet you will soon see it. This year we have the parliamentary elections on top of it, so the political parties are going to be all over you. It might be a little hard to choose which organization to join in this swarm. If you don’t speak Norwegian it gets even harder to find a suitable group. That’s why I write this to make it easier for you to make the right choice. In Spire Trondheim we haven’t used English in our meetings before, but if we get any English speaking members we can start doing that.
So why should you choose Spire? The rich countries consumes up to 10 times as much natural resources as poor countries. And the development countries are the ones that are suffering most from climate change. Spire is working for a just and sustainable distribution of the world’s resources. We aim to examine the big connections that create injustice. Therefore, we focus on the environment, food safety and international trade. Spire influences politicians in Norway and internationally to create change. We work with youth in the South and run information campaigns to inspire Norwegian youth to action. We are the Development Fund’s youth organization.
In Trondheim, Spire has usually been cooperating with other organizations in the area, and this is also characterizing our activities the upcoming semester. First of all we are focusing on the parliamentary elections together with a lot of other organizations in an alliance called “Klimavalg 2013” (= climate election 2013). Our goal is to get climate change and climate action up on the agenda, both among politicians and voters. After that we are cooperating with our “mother organization”, the Norwegian Development Fund, on a campaign called “Superbonden” (= The Super Farmer).
Spire’s main campaign this semester is about land grabbing. China, other rich countries and large companies are buying land areas in Africa and South America to produce food for its own population. The small farmers that have been living on those areas for generations don’t have any papers or other evidence to prove their rights. The job they were offered as a compensation for loosing their land areas doesn’t always exist. Spire Trondheim and Café NorthSouth is collaborating to arrange a debate meeting about land grabbing in the end of September.
We have one meeting a week in our local chapter to plan future events. Sometimes we also gather up and eat dinner together (usually vegetarian), and maybe watch a movie or go and grab a beer. If you join us you should set aside some space in the calendar for the autumn seminar in Oslo. There you can get to know the rest of Spire and learn a lot about the subjects we are working with. Our facebook page is called Spire Trondheim, so you are welcome to like us.
At last, on behalf of Spire Trondheim I would like to wish you a good semester!
Written by Hans Inge Alander, Leader of Trondheim local chapter