The Uncommon Man

February 16, 2007

MRI in Liberia: Saying Goodbye

This morning, with mixed feelings, I packed my bags and checked out of the hotel. James and I spent most of the morning with Kelly, debriefing the past two weeks, sharing our recommendations, and planning for the additional week of James’ stay. We all agreed the consultation and trainings have been tremendously successful, and see great value in continuing to build on the IRC/MRI partnership.

James and I took Ballah out for lunch in appreciation of his dedication and hard work in launching the Male Involvement Project and taking care of us during this visit. He expressed deep gratitude for the key role that MRI has played in his professional development and in establishing a strong foundation for the project.

Before departing for the airport, we helped Ballah and Kelly draft monitoring forms for the men’s action groups, and a form for gathering feedback about the men’s groups from the women’s action groups. We were also treated with a visit from Gertrude (GBV National Program Coordinator) and her 2-month-old baby, Berit.

After heartfelt goodbyes, James accompanied me on the 45-minute drive to Roberts International Airport for the long journey home. We were both sad to be separating, but grateful that he will have another week for additional consultation and training. He will be supervising the Monrovia based MIP trainers in their two day practicum. Then, the IRC trainers from Lofa, Nimba and Montserrado will come together and he will provide additional feedback and group facilitation training. If possible, a follow-up meeting with Ministry of Gender and Development staff will also be arranged.

There is no doubt that our time together with the IRC team in Liberia has been used effectively and produced great value for many different groups (IRC staff, men’s action groups, women’s action groups, Ministry of Gender and Development, international NGOs, community organizations, and MRI). We are grateful to IRC for the vision, commitment and courage to launch a Male Involvement Project. We know we have also learned as much as anyone.

— Steven Botkin, Executive Director
Men's Resources International, USA

To read a compilation of all blog entries from Liberia with pictures, click here.

Posted by Daniel at February 16, 2007 01:54 PM


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