At its General Assembly, the Education and Solidarity Network renewed its commitment to remain a trusted, expanding and innovative network promoting health and well-being in educational settings the world over.
More than thirty participants, including education trade union representatives and health organisations, from the United States, Morocco, Belgium and the United Kingdom, assembled in Paris on 9 July for the Education and Solidarity Network (ESN) General Assembly.
The Mutuelle générale de l'Education nationale (MGEN) Group’s President Roland Berthilier opened the meeting by underlining that “at the dawn of its tenth anniversary, the Education and Solidarity Network is recognised as an important area of exchange between the worlds of education and health, but also as an observation tower able to identify innovative projects and practices.”
“Beyond linking people and organisations, our network has become a hub for skills. By turning to ESN, a project leader accesses a pool of expertise in the fields of health promotion at school, community health, insurance, mutuality, education, project management, influence and fundraising,” ESN President Matthias Savignac added.
The first part of the meeting gave three representatives of unions affiliated to Education International (EI) the opportunity to showcase their experiences:
• Gary Phoebus of the National Education Association (USA) talked about the relationships between Donald Trump and education unions. His intervention was entitled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”;
• Christian Chevalier of the Union nationale des syndicats autonomes-Education (France) familiarised participants with the reforms and new practices put in place to develop their union; and
• Gareth Young of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (United Kingdom) presented the results of a survey on health and well-being of his country’s education professionals.
The second part of the meeting focused on ESN statutory issues, including the presentation of its 2017 activity report, and on welcoming seven new members of ESN, including the Zambian National Union of Teachers, an EI member organisation.
Participants were presented with a school health promotion project to be carried out in 2018 by ESN with education unions in Haiti, thanks to the financial support of Wallonia-Brussels-International Cooperation.
The ESN was created in 2009 by the MGEN - France’s leading healthcare mutual society in the public sector -, in partnership with Education International (EI) and the International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies (AIM), and with the support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). It aims to build bridges between education stakeholders and health and social protection stakeholders, in order to work for the well-being of the education community worldwide.