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OUTREACH Subgroup Chat Notes (April 27, 2010) from Initial Meeting

OUTREACH SUBGROUP Call Notes (initial meeting, 4-27-10)

Attending: Leonie Hermantin, Alice Backer, Marie Bonheur-Gulotta, Janet Feldman

Discussion: We had an excellent discussion about the work of the Lambi Fund (Leonie's affiliation), which provides funds for rural women's orgs and mixed groups with female membership. Leonie said that Lambi organizes leadership workshops for women in mixed groups in particular, and that they organize regional conferences (within Haiti) on gender issues.

I asked her whether Lambi would be interested in using this experience to collaborate on a possible Women's Summit, and she said yes, with the proviso that the staff in Haiti would need to be consulted and agree to take on such work. She mentioned peasant orgs like MPP and Tet Kole (which has a musical group now creating an edutainment CD of songs related to agriculture and other subjects pertinent to rural women and people).

We also discussed outreach from the rural to the global. For example, outreach to MPP, on the one hand, and to the Global Fund for Women, Huairou Commission, and World Pulse on the other hand. Lambi has links to the Global Fund, and AC has made connections with that org in Jan-Feb, especially with regard to their work with women in Haiti, and to a fund they have created for that purpose.

Note to Jade: I did some searches of the WP site for other orgs and individuals engaged in work in Haiti, but could not find much. I'm wondering if you could give us feedback on effective ways for me/us to search the site, and in particular for groups and people who might be "simpatico" with our focus and work, even if not directly involved in Haiti?

We discussed types of outreach (media including mobile phones, radio, Internet, and art, as well as personal and professional connections), the need to determine who will contact whom, what to say (do we include mention of the Gender Shadow Report, for instance), and creating spreadsheets and other forms of mapping.

Marie mentioned that Suzanne Robinson had sent her a doc on ORAC, a committee organization composed of groups and individuals in camps and underserved situations in the Carrefour Feuilles area. Their focus is on women and children. Alice then mentioned that Regine Zamor ( --a Poto member in Haiti--has been helping to create and coordinate this group. I searched for more info on ORAC, and voila, a posting at WP, with a PDF about their needs!

Main Points:

1) Mapping: Leonie suggested, based on the Lambi Fund's extensive experience in Haiti, that Poto engage women in Haiti directly in co-creating our outreach map. She said it is important to include women in Haiti while our mapping is still in process (rather than presenting it as a "done deal", to which they might add only a few details). We can still do mapping as a guide for Poto members internally--including with notes about who among us will do outreach to whom, for example--and be strategic in our approaches, while at the same time acting NOW by including women in Haiti in the process of mapping.

Along these lines, we mentioned media training for women in Haiti, so that they can participate more fully in mapping and all other activities linked to strengthening their presence (from the local to the global), their voices, and their work.

2) Strengthening Women's Voices: Leonie said that rural women's groups are dwindling in membership, due in part to microcredit, though she is not blaming microcredit per se. She explained that the microcredit process engages smaller groups of women with each other, who are focused on repayment of loans and on their work, making involvement with a larger group more difficult. I asked her if Poto might have a role in helping to strengthen these rural groups, and she said an enthusiastic "yes." We need to do a more detailed follow-up on "how".

3) Next Steps: to include the mechanics of mapping and outreach (spreadsheets et al, who will contact whom-what to say-when will this happen), get feedback from those members who are have been or are in Haiti (AC, Taina, Leonie, Edwidge, Marie, Michele, Alice, Regine Z, et al).

Next Outreach Subgroup call on May 11th, 12pm EST

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