On the 11th of September I was that lucky to happen to be in Ghent, a city in the north of Belgium (around 40 minutes from Brussels). Therefore, I participated in the "Waiting Night", better known in the Flanders as "Wachnacht". This event was organized by a coalition of Belgian NGOs active in the North-South movement, called '2015 De Tijd Loopt' (2015 time is running out), and with the city of Ghent. More than 15,000 people, including elders, women, children, families, and many Youth, met in Saint Pieters Square, the main square of the city centre, with the aim of sending to the world leaders that are meeting in these days in New York to discuss about the MDGs. Ghent believes that more effords could and shall be made in order to reach the goals by 2015. And apparently, I was not the only blogger of this platform to be there, right Hanna Clarys? ;) http://development.thinkaboutit.eu/think3/post/mdg_festival_belgium_is_waiting_at_wachtnacht/
Ghent has understood that waiting is no more an option, that we are only 5 years from the deadline but still, extreme poverty has not been reduced, while every year more than 2 million people die of AIDS. Ghent is not gonna wait... decided to meet in the main square to send a clear message to the world! It has been recorded a videofilm to be submitted to politicians in Belgium, in the EU and in NY for the MDG Summit calling them to keep to their promises made in 2000.
In the afternoon, a public debate on the challenges that lie ahead has been organized in the University of the city, as well as a photo exhibition and a film screening of "8." After these initiatives in the University area, the activities moved to Sint-Pieters Square, where many musical performances were organized, while children enjoyed the kids village. The very unformal athmosphera, typical of Ghent as a whole, made the initiatives very very friendly indeed, and easly enjoyable.
Since 9 pm, a free concert with the Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour took place as well as Stromae, with its famous hit "Alors on danse"
Differently put, an amazing day, where global challenges saw local actions take place and most important thing, local and normal people becoming involved and aware of these issues. I believe that with this event, a great success, many steps have been made, at least in raising information on these issues.