The Uncommon Man

September 23, 2007

Steven Writes En Route to Rwanda

Dear Friends,

James, Adin and I are 3900 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, on our way to Rwanda. It's a 20 hour journey (with a refueling stop in Rome and a change of planes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia).

In Addis, we will meet our colleagues from the Zambia Men's Network, Stephen Mbati and Stencilous Phiri, who will join us for the trip to Kigali (the capital of Rwanda). We will also be joined in Rwanda by our colleagues from the Ebonyi Men's Resource Centre in Nigeria, Ugo Nnachi and Uduma Uduma. We will be met in Rwanda by our colleague Fidel Rutayisire, founder and chairman of the Rwanda Men's Resource Centre.

We are gathering again (having been together in Nigeria last November) to conduct our training on engaging men in ending gender-based violence for members of the Rwanda Men's Resource Centre (RWAMREC) and others from the community. And to continue to build the network of connection and support among men and women in Africa who are doing this work. We are excited and humbled by the opportunity to continue to support these initiatives Men's Resource International has helped to launch over the past year and a half.

The challenges are daunting -- centuries of violence and oppression, cultural legacies of patriarchy, extreme pervasive poverty, lack of funding for programs. And yet, these leaders have committed themselves to pursuing the vision of building networks of men allied with women for ending violence and promoting positive masculinity.

Our three-day training, funded completely by individual donors to Men's Resources International, will include more than thirty Rwandans (in addition to the international delegates). With support from Dean's Beans Organic Coffee Company, four representatives from "up-country" coffee cooperatives will be attending. Following the training we will facilitate a strategic planning meeting with members of the RWAMREC board of directors.

During our second week in Rwanda, James, Adin and I will conduct a similar training and consultation with CARE International staff who are eager to develop male involvement in their violence prevention and reproductive health programs.

We will do our best to keep you updated on these experiences through regular blog entries, and photographs. You can send us your thoughts and blessings by posting comments on this weblog or emailing us at On behalf of all of us gathering in Rwanda, we thank you for your interest and support.

In faith, Steven

View of Kigali from Hotel Balcony

Representatives of the Rwandan Coffee Cooperatives
Sponsored to Attend the Training by
Dean's Beans Organic Coffee

Another Participant from the Rwandan Coffee Cooperatives

Posted by Jorge at September 23, 2007 04:54 PM


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