The Uncommon Man

October 28, 2006

Steven Botkin: Leaving for Liberia

Today I’m getting on a plane to Liberia. Six days later I fly to Nigeria. In both places Men’s Resources International will be working with women and men who are committed to ending violence in their communities.

In Liberia MRI has been contracted by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to help develop and launch a “Men’s Involvement Project.” The IRC already has gender-based violence programs providing services to women in many of the countries where they work. When I land in Monrovia on Sunday night, I will begin five days of consultation with IRC staff and the Liberian Ministry of Gender and Development with whom they are working closely. We will be preparing for a return visit in early 2007 when MRI will conduct an extensive MRI training of Liberian men to be outreach workers and facilitators of men’s involvement in gender-based violence prevention.

Next Friday, a short flight will take me to Lagos, Nigeria. At the airport, if all goes well, I will meet up with Fidele from Rwanda (who just started the Rwanda Men’s Centre), Stephen and Stanislaus from Zambia (leaders of the Zambian Men’s Network). Together, we will travel via air and car to the Nigerian city, Abakaliki. MRI Associate Director, James Arana, (who will have already been in Abakaliki for two days), and I will then conduct an MRI training for the Ebonyi Men’s Resource Centre, where the MRI training will take place.

We return together to Massachusetts on November 14.

As you can imagine, I am filled with excitement by the many challenges and opportunities of this journey. We will do our best to send regular journal updates and photographs to Daniel Coyne, at MRI headquarters in Springfield, who will post them on our website weblog, where you can also post your comments and questions.

Our mission, “mobilizing networks of men, in alliance with women, to act as role models for violence prevention and positive masculinity,” is guiding us in the journey. Your love and support is welcome and deeply appreciated. We know we do not travel alone.

Posted by Daniel at October 28, 2006 01:32 PM

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