Ciao Stéphane

83873854_2646868238714637_1123010008032739328_n

Ciao Stéphane,

your premature and sudden departure has left us without words to express the big sufferance we are feeling now.

We have lost a friend, a comrade, a colleague.

We have lost one of the best human beings we ever met.

You were kind, gentle, honest, patient, altruist, committed to advance the rights of people.

For those who weren’t so lucky to work with you, they have to know how much work, energy, time, you put into the work to ensure the legitimate land rights of the small scale producers, indigenous peoples and landless. How much you worked to ensure that private investment didn’t grab land to the most vulnerable communities. How much research and efforts you put to advance the agroecology agenda at global, national, and regional level. How strong you were to support women’s rights across all the processes.

You spent your last time in Oxfam, and within a big NGO, you were a paladin of the alliance with the social movements at the front of the struggle. You were always ready to support the strategic thinking, the writing of pieces, the oral interventions in front of institutions to defend the rights to land, to seeds, to food sovereignty of those who produce most of the food.

You were the best comrade someone can have, serious but always ready to spark a laugh. We’ll never forget your sense of humor, your French-style English, your gentle and smiling eyes. Your cakes and quiches after long negotiation days. Your music.

You were a pillar in the CSM, we have enjoyed working with you, sharing many struggles together. We’ll miss you, but we’ll always keep a seat for you because we know, that you will be there struggling with us.

With this message the CSM wants to convey its condolences to Stéphane’s family, friends and colleagues who shared with him, day by day and heart by heart, a truly inspiring life.

Buon viaggio amico.

The CSM

 ——————–

On behalf of the Interpreters’ collective supporting diverse organisations meeting in Rome, we would like to send our sincerest condolences to the family, loved ones, friends and colleagues of Stéphane Parmentier.

It’s not always easy to communicate emotions during difficult times such as these, but it’s not hard to find the words to express our feelings and respect for someone like Stéphane, with whom we’ve shared so much with over the years. We’ll always remember a warm and kind person who was a tireless activist for food sovereignty in Rome; sitting taking notes at his computer, microphone in hand, striving for a better world.

We feel lucky to have shared these things with Stéphane, and we’ll never forget him. When we are together again in Rome we’ll probably imagine we see him in the distance, want to say hi and ask him where we’re going for dinner that evening.  Raising his eyes, he’d give his characteristic gentle smile before replying.

Arrivederci, dear Stéphane