The Conference I want

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This text will be a little different from the others. I wanted, in some way, exteriorize a little from this space I’ve been dreaming about. I wanted that my next congress of Family and Community Health were within family and community. Better: if the congress was in rural medicine I wanted it to be in the rural area, in a partnership with the community in one of these places in the countryside. I wanted it to have public participation. The speeches would be a mix of speeches for the community and for the academics. 

This congress would have a varied line-up and the hosting would be done inside the community people’s homes. Lets discuss Family and Community Health within the community, in community. Use the income and expenses with the community. The coffee break and alimentation would be done in the community centres of each place, and not in classy hotels in a sea of inequality. This is not a crazy dream (just a little), but a good logistics, integration, safeness and leadership can change this perspective.

 The intention of all of this would be to integrate the different mediums. Share a little of this knowledge, open other dialogues. In my dream I see the artisans discussing health with doctors and managers. It would be living and not just passing through the congresses. It would be changing perspectives. Picture this idea spreading across the world. I would not get to know India or China: I would live the reality of that community (a little of the reality of the country, but still). I wish that on Sunday, when the congress was done, people went to their houses not just full with ideas, but different. Wiser, with different knowledge and wisdoms.

 I also think that this would be complicated, because in the same time that all the lights would be in that community, they would be turned off and we would have to know how to handle this well. I do not know what would be the impact of it, nor do I know if this is madness, but I also see the madness of the tied-up congresses talking about everything with too much confidence, expensive places out of my reality and out of the community’s reality. Big coffee breaks, big openings, big hotels, many gadgets, purses produced in the big factories. How about the handicraft? 

However, I will not stop dreaming with something more tangible, more “community”, more real. I can even imagine the call: “Come and get to know Caratinga! Come and get to know the central square of the city with less than 100.000 inhabitants, in the countryside of the State of Minas Gerais (Brazil)!”. Or in the rural area of Croatia (in honor to Veronika).. 

Or “Family and Community Health Congress in the slum of Maria Degolada, in Porto Alegre”. Just getting there would be part of the learning process. Not all the population is in the big cities, in the big centres. The coffee break would be at the local bar, would be the food the community eats. We could have an experience of how the rural work in a determined region is, or have a speech given by the local farmer. It could even have the circle with local healers and benzedeiras, women that cure many things with the power of the prayer, and have a vast program discussing Health and the life within Health. These are the idea of the congresses I would like to see. Although they might look like a dream, they are more real than the congresses I have been going.

Mayara Floss 

Translation Portuguese-English Augusto Carvalho

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