We have not started the project to save our soul with charity work, but see ourselves as a political project with a clear objective. Our main goal as SKS is to show that solidarity work and structures can succeed by organizing solidarity to overcome the problems caused by the economic crisis. Solidarity means more than just a helping hand. Solidarity structures may then have a great effect, when solidarity is part of our consciousness, not only for our patients, but also for their families, and the neighborhoods in which they live. During such a process, it is made clear that supportive structures can be created not only in the health sector, but in all the other areas of our lives also. This process of awareness is very difficult to set in motion. If we are here to stay however, if we only create a functioning health centre, our work has been for nothing. We are successful when we manage to make the SKS part of a general movement with the goal of social self-management and solidarity not only in the city, but also throughout the country.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up