May 02, 2009
MRI in Cote d'Ivoire
Saturday, May 2
Sitting in the John F. Kennedy airport in New York, we are once again en route to West Africa. This time our destination is Cote d'Ivoire.
Based on our collaboration with the International Rescue Committee in Liberia, Men's Resources International and the IRC are now partnering to create a male involvement component of their Gender Based Violence program in neighboring Cote d'Ivoire. During this visit we will provide training and consultations to staff, and facilitate a meeting with community leaders from the six rural villages where the initiative will be launched.
James and I are joined for this trip by Simeon Afouda, a native of Benin (another West African country). For the past few years Simeon has been a graduate student at the Center for International Education at the University of Massachusetts. His doctoral research focuses on school as an institution of cultural transmission and the impact of gender on girls' school experience in West Africa. Simeon is also bi-lingual in French and English. In preparation for our work in Cote d'Ivoire, he translated much of the MRI training handbook, and he will provide valuable help in translating language and concepts while we are in the country. We are grateful to have Simeon as part of our team.
The next flight takes us across the ocean to Accra, Ghana, followed by a short hop to Abidjan, the capital of Cote d'Ivoire.