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Bonjour - Hello! Welcome to Poto Mitan: Rebuilding Haiti (Rkonstrukyson Ayiti |Reconstruire Haiti)

Hi everyone,

This is Anne-christine (d'Adesky) and I'll be the initial co-moderator of this group (other co-moderator to be identified shortly).

I'll start our conversation on Poto Mitan: Rebuilding Haiti by saying hello and welcome to the initial members of our group who have come together to try to focus urgent attention to the needs and voices of Haitian women and girls in the wake of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti. This group and effort began with conversations I had with Haitian women from SOFA, Kay Fanm, Fanm Deside and Dwa ak Demokrasi in Haiti in late January and early February about how best to bring global solidarity and resources to help their Haitian women's movement recover and reorganize, and how to help accelerate a global response to the urgent needs of women and girls there, and the community-based groups and broader grassroots movement in Haiti.

One clear request was for women globally to link with the Haitian women and those in the diaspora and to centralize information and advocacy - and to try to bring Haitian women and their needs into the new discussions and forums taking place about Rebuilding Haiti.

I'm delighted by the passionate interest of my new colleagues in this venture who include Prof. Myriam Chancy, Janet Feldman, Edwidge Danticat, Leonie Hermantin, Sophie Toupin, Phoenix Soleil, Martha Wallner, Julie Sutherland, Taina Bien-Aime and my old colleague Jocelyn (Johnny) McCalla - and more will be joining us in the days to come from the FIRE Solidarity Camp on the DR-Haiti border, Moufed, Dwa Fanm, and other groups on the frontlines of this response including Alice Backer and Georgie Popplewell of Global Voices.

I'll be posting Minutes of two initial conference calls we had in the past two weeks that began the conversation. We will continue having a weekly Wed 9 am EST, Noon PST conference call, but this email forum will become the place for collective discussion and review of the emerging issues, agenda and group activity.

Please do introduce yourselves when you have joined, and let us know what you have been doing related to the group this week or hope to do in the coming days.

On the TO DO- BEING DONE list now is:

-More outreach/invitations to key women and leaders to join this group and solidarity initiative.

-Writing up/sharing minutes of Second Conference call with participants, and new members.

- Creation of a logo, securing permission for any images used, and group review of any proposed logo (design; Julie Sutherland, working with images provided by Janet Feldman).

- Writing of a draft mission statement (Anne-christine) for review by the group.

- Gathering of myriad recent and emerging Needs Assessments related to women, girls and different sectors impacting on women, girls in Haiti (Leonie Hermantin/Lambi Fund) , with goal of consolidating findings for review by the group and possible rough blueprint for determing our group's focus priority actions and issues.

- Finding a web designer to develop a website (Janet Feldman, Anne-christine)

- Creating a Calendar of Events (Anne-christine), and a group Contact List (Janet Feldman)

- Research into other Forums/Efforts that parallel or compliment this group (all members) including FIRE Solidarity Camp, Moufed, Dwa Fanm, Equality Now, etc. - and an invitation to share information and/or join this effort.

- Research into media and progressive Haitian /women's press (Martha Wallner)

(Note: I may have missed other tasks that have been taken up - others can fill us in).

Finally, I will have to post an invitation to new members to join, so let me know by sending me their emails to my private email (

We will either soon either OPEN up this group, or create a smaller Organizing Group for this effort that will be moderated. That will be an agenda for the upcoming conference call.

I leave you with one idea that has emerged: A Summit on Women and Girls in Haiti, to take place in Haiti, which would be attended by global feminist leaders and groups and would focus on support the emerging Haitian women's agenda, and defining emergency, interim and longer-term actions to benefit Haitian women and girls, and the broader progressive grassroots groups and movements in Haiti that include women's groups and include many women leaders and men supportive of gender equity and women's participation in the Rebuilding of Haiti.

A summit (I called it a women's conference) is something I proposed to Carole Pierre-Paul (SOFA) and her sister Liliane (Radio Kiskeya) when in Haiti, and with Danielle Magloire (Dwa ak Demokrasi) and Yolette Gentil (Kay Fanm), and Marie Ange Noel (Fanm Deside) in Jacmel and her colleagues. They are also in active collaboration with other groups and leaders including Olga Benoit and others women leadres, and their colleagues in the provinces. They were interested and asked for a little time to first do their Needs Assessments.

I spoke to Taina at Equality Now yesterday and she shared their proposal for a Summit on women (and girls) that would be modeled after a similar summit they organized for Afghan women. Equality Now has accepted our invitaiton to be part of our new effort and join forces to discuss this idea and many others.

For now, the most urgent issues for next week are the upcoming Beijing 15+ meetings and the desire of our group members (some of them anyway) to draft a STATEMENT or ANNOUNCEMENT about our nascent group and activities that calls attention to some of the issues we want to see raised at that forum - and at other forums that are coming up like the Donors Forum etc.

Let's discuss a fews issues that might be in this annoucement. I'll be happy to draft something, with help from someone else in the group. Anyone wishing to volunteer? ideally, we should try to have this ready by Sunday evening, for collective review Monday and release Tuesday (e-press release) and directed to organizers of the Beijing 15+ meeting.

Voila - - the start of our activities.

Welcome all. Bienvenue a tous.

-- Anne-christine (Moderator)

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