Relationships are as vital as blood

  • post Type / Young Humanists International
  • Date / 11 July 2010

Times without number, I have paused to ask myself how I found myself on the international humanist scene. Really, it is a question I have appreciated more as a critical point of reference to remind me of the wonderful friends and contacts who believed at that time (whether they still share the belief is up to them for I have not had contact with many of them in a while) that there should be a good link between the north based humanist organisations and those in the south. A wonderful idea that must have sprung as a thought on someone’s mind. If that person is still alive (I know the likes of Levi Fragell are advocates of such), then I want them to know that I AM ONE OF THEIR PRODUCTS!

Gea meijers and Vincent Lloyd gave my organisation a shot at good partnership when I was picked to do my internship at the Humanist House (with the Norwegian Humanist Association, Oslo, Norway) in September, 2003. While in Norway, I did not just learnt new issues and about humanist ceremonial services, I also linked up with the then Secretary General of HEF, Dr. Lar Gule who on receiving a letter sent by a dogged humanist I worked with at the time Mr. Leo Igwe (who despite our differences I want to openly tell that I appreciate so much) said at that welcome meeting that “he hopes Yemi’s stay will open up a good relationship between Norwegian and Nigerian humanists”. That hope, I can say boldly, has turned into a motivating beneficial partnership. Today, my group, Young Humanistas Network is enjoying robust support of the Human Etisk Forbund members (here I must commend friends like Anne Brinch Skaara, Christoffer, Kirsti, Hans Christian and others for pushing and supporting the idea of Norwagian-Nigerian humanists’ partnership).

Really, like words like “mum”, read it from the back or from the front, you will get the same word, it is only the meaning you chose to give it that might tilt the understanding. As for me, based on my experience, north-south partnership within the humanist circuit is undoubtedly important and vital. Not just because many of us in the south are too scanty to stand up to our dictatorial and fanatic fellow citizens but also because the shared ideal is better appreciated when you receive news, IEC supports and even books that will help improve your understanding of your conviction. The financial supports received for life-changing projects is also commendable. The IHEU-Hivos annual grant and the Humanist Action for Human Rights grant, I must commend, are worthwhile visions and those that initiated them surely deserve awards, whether they are alive or post-humously.

Surely, I can go on reeling reasons, because I have come to liken north-south partnership in the humanist world with blood. The global humanist movement is a BODY, and for any BODY to survive, it needs BLOOD. That blood, as I see it, is continued and sustained North-South partnership. It is commendable to continue with it!

Yemi Ademowo Johnson

PS: I want to thank YS readers for the supports offered during my work as a paid journalist with IHEYO. This is my last edition as IHEYO EC takes over due to financial issues. I surely hope to continue to contribute every now and then to the next issues. Thanks so much!

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