The Uncommon Man

October 31, 2006

Thoughts from Liberia

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 18:02:37

Dear friends and colleagues,

I've made it to Liberia. The country is completely amazing. Bombed buildings and UN peacekeepers everywhere. Hordes of yellow taxis honking their way through streets crowded with colorful people. A country in post-war jubiliation and trauma, reminds me of traveling to Israel one month after the 1967 war.

The International Rescue Committee is one among many major international NGOs (non-governmental organizations) with high visibility. This is a world I am quickly learning to understand and navigate.

The people in the GBV (gender-based violence) program are a wonderful mix of internationals (from the U.S., Kenya, Ethiopia among other), and Liberians, many of whom have been involved during the war. The new male involvement coordinator, Joseph Bala, is very intelligent and compassionate and has a smile that is even bigger than mine. Today we met with a number of the male and female staff of IRC. They now have a very good feeling for the MRI strategy and style, and I can say confidently that there is a feeling of alliance that is already very strong.

Tomorrow we meet with people from the Ministry of Gender and Development, another important constituency to build relationship with.

I am thrilled about these challenges, and miss having my colleague James with me to share them. I am sending my love out to him as he travels today to Nigeria.

With love to you all from Africa,
Steven

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Steven Botkin
Executive Director
Men's Resources International
sdbotkin@mensresourcesinternational.org

Posted by Daniel at October 31, 2006 01:56 PM

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