The Uncommon Man

May 26, 2008

MRI in Liberia: Ministry of Gender and Development

This morning, after sitting in on the Montserrado County GBV staff meeting, we met with the leadership team to debrief from last week's training and provide consultation on next steps for program development. The morning ended with an overview of the training for the staff who had not been able to attend.

In the afternoon, we traveled with Gertrude to the Ministry of Gender and Development (MGD). We met with the Assistant Minister of Research, the Honorable Patricia Kamara, who was eager to learn more about the developments in IRC's GBV program. She expressed keen interest in the male involvement project, saying that many other organizations and groups are recognizing how important it is, but don't know how to do it. She asked if the Ministry of Gender field staff could be trained in this approach. We suggested that there are now IRC staff, with extensive training from MRI, who can provide this training. Ms. Kamara told Gertrude that she would like to make this happen as soon as possible. IRC's commitment to working closely with the Ministry was affirmed, and it was beautiful for us to witness these two Liberian women working together for women's safety and empowerment. Our training day ended after meeting with the core GBV staff from each of the three counties and the National Coordinator. She and her team expressed their appreciation for learning about gender dialogue skills and how to hold each other accountable. The men and women shared their challenges with walking the walk in their own personal lives. They were magnificent in their vulnerability, and were excited to continue supporting each other on a regular basis.

It was great sitting outside in this open structure with the view of the Atlantic Ocean on the horizon and a fresh breeze cooling our skin. We decided to meet in our compound because the IRC is like Grand Central Station with cars, trucks and people moving at a furious pace and the noise from generators humming at deafening decibels.

In connection,
Steven Botkin

To read all Liberia entries in chronological order and to see photos from the trip, click here.

Posted by at May 26, 2008 12:14 PM

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