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12 May 2011

Bringing Prout to the people in Venezuela

Something very different is planned for the Global Prout Convention in Venezuela this July. Baba indicated that our duty is to inform the world about Prout, so that is the goal of this program.

First we are organizing a free public conference July 7, 8 and 9 in a major auditorium in the center of Caracas that seats 650 people. The title is "Building a Solidarity Economy based on Ethics and Ecology," so the focus will be cooperative enterprises, environmental protection and moral leadership. Each morning we host panels with prominent speakers on these different themes. Simultaneous workshops will take place each afternoon with music and theater performances. Approximately 20 speakers are confirmed, and though several are very sympathetic to our cause, we still need a few more good speakers to explain different aspects of Prout.

Unfortunately Venezuela is polarized between supporters and opponents of President Hugo Chávez, and the lack of dialog between the two groups is a tragic loss in the public debate. The opposition generally refuses to accept the positive social achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution, while chavistas generally refuse to admit the seriousness of problems such as corruption and crime. Our conference is not about this political argument, rather it aims to be constructive and positive, so we include speakers of both persuasions.

In the lead-up to the conference, we are also doing a publicity campaign throughout Caracas and some other cities. Prout posters, leaflets, bumper stickers, shopping bags and T-shirts are designed to raise awareness among the public. Interviews with conference speakers that will appear on radio, TV and in newspapers are designed to build momentum and share ideas about Prout.

The day after the public conference, Sunday July 10, is a free day for sightseeing and collective meditation in the botanical garden that Baba visited in 1979.

Then on July 11, 12 and 13 we host an intensive Prout seminar in the Prout Research Institute office for approximately 100 Proutists from Venezuela and overseas. The focus is how to create organizational networks, design appropriate Prout materials and do publicity campaigns in each city and country so that our support base grows. Our aim is practical capacity building and sharing to bring Prout's message to the world.

On July 14 we will visit the successful Master Unit, Centro Madre, and on July 15 the most successful cooperative network in the country.

When Baba visited Venezuela, he said “Prout will be accepted like hotcakes in Latin America.” We are trying to make that happen. We hope you can come.

For further information about the conference, visit: www.priven.org. For those willing to help as volunteers during the conference, we offer a big discount in the price.

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