Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

Introducing myself and my journal: GUINEA-BISSAU A TREASURE TO DISCOVER

About Me:
I'm a peacebuilder and mediator from Guinea-Bissau. I studied languages and administration in Lisbon, Portugal and graduated in 1983. Upon my return to Guinea-Bissau in 1994, I worked as USAID Executive Officer and later served as U.S. Government person of Liaison with Guinea-Bissau Government. After the 1998-1999 war, I became Managing Director of SOFIB (Financial Company Western Union Agent). I'm a founder and acting Chairwoman of the Catholic Association of Professional active mainly in education, agriculture, health and sensitization; founder and Chairwoman of a Women's Peace Building and Micro Finance Institute, know as Soldiers of Peace, advocating for the reduction of armed conflict and poverty in Guinea-Bissau. I was also the Chairwoman of the Chamber of Agriculture, Commerce and Industry of Guinea-Bissau (CACI) and now Vice-President for International Cooperation and Regional Integration of the unified Chamber (CCIA); I'm member of the Regional Chamber of Commerce (CCR); Member of African Union Women’s Committee; Chairwoman of Fundei Board of Directors (Swedish/Bissau Guinean Foundation), assigned by the Swedish Government. I have received an Award for Heroism from the U. S. Government; referred to in the French National Day Speech, for my courage and I was among the 1000 Peace Women. I have been the local leader for BEFORE activities in Guinea-Bissau since 2008. Member of the National Pilote Committee of the Peacebuilding Committee for Guinea-Bissau.

Now I am also trying to develop a hotel project in order to create job for the youth and women, promote our local products and culture. Apart from promoting peace, the economic aspect has to be considered in order to reduce violence and cycles of instabilities in a country that is blessed by God. Please have a look at Seeing this website, don't you think it will be worthwhile giving an oportunity to this impoverish country and thus win the battle against the bad angels.

I will never lost hope for my country as Job did.


My Passions:
Supporting the youth, women and needed ones, assisting anyone ready to contribute for a positive change in Guinea-Bissau

My Challenges:
Telling the truth and fighting against social injustice to eliminate violence and conflicts

My Vision for the Future:
Society of truth and social justice

My Areas of Expertise:
Businesswoman, administration, peacebuilder, mediator


I think you might be!

Ila Asplund
Half Sky Journeys
+ 1 (503) 877-4759
skype: half_sky_journeys
Portland, OR 97232 USA

Investing in women through meaningful travel

Mrs. Macaria BARAI's picture

Goodmorning, Yes. I'm the


Yes. I'm the first member from Guinea-Bissau. As a result of e-mails from Melanie Kawano of !BEFORE and Jensine Larsen and Cynda Collins Arsenauld of PULSEWIRE, I was invited to register myself in this interesting website.

Please wouldn't you mind to identify yourself!

Best regards

JaniceW's picture


Macaria, we are so honoured to have you as a member of our PulseWire community. Your resume is very impressive but it is your peace-building efforts that touch me the most. Your country has had such a turbulent history of political upheaval since independence was established back in the 70s and I wonder if next month's elections will bring the much needed hope and stability to your country.

As you clearly stated, a poor economic situation often sets the stage for unrest, violence and civic disruption, and so your plans to develop a hotel to offer employment opportunities is very admirable. Hopefully, development plans such as your own will help reduce the extreme inequality of income in Guinea-Bissau and return some of the country's income to its citizens.

When you have a chance, take a moment to browse through our group directory ( where you may find a group with similar interests to your own. Or, you may consider starting your own group where you can build a powerful network bringing together PulseWire members with similar visions who want to share ideas or actions. You could then share some of your thoughts, concerns and experiences with the group journal, so that members can help brainstorm solutions, pose questions, test ideas and create a support network for your visions.

I look forward to reading more from you. Again, welcome and I know that you will find PulseWire to be engaging, inspiring and thought-provoking.
PulseWire Community Director

Janice, thanks for your note and for learning more about my country. The situation my country has been experiencing for the last three decades hasn't been the desired one for the guineenses and friends of Guinea-Bissau. We're very optimistic that with last month's sad and horrible events, the country will start a new chapter. Saying that, we've been trying our best to put in the heads of people words like "consensus", "dialogue" and "truth". It seems that the message is passing. The political parties have agreed to sit and come to consensus date for the elections, as the constitutionalist never dreamt that in less than 24 hours the country will be without the Chief of the Army and the President. Thus, everyone was faced with how to respect the constitution.

Our constitution says that the elections should be organised within 60 days of the death of a president, while the electoral law states that 100 days are required for the preparation of elections and 30 days for the 2nd round. Amidst this incompatibility, the Interim President can't appoint the Chief of Army, can't promulgate the program voted by the Members of Parliament, etc. In sum, the Interim President has very limited powers. Therefore, the promotion of dialogue these last 30 days has been very useful and finally yesterday, with the consense of all political parties, they got to the agreement on the date of the antecipated presidential elections, 28/06/09. We (representatives of civil society organisations) were also heard yesterday by the President and I was among them.

Now our next challenge within the next months, will be with the media and some members of political parties. The contension of words at this very sentive moment is crucial. There're some politicians who use the media, provoking the militaries and panicking the population, using unappropriate words, not taking in account that we do not have a very strong justice to handle the situation. We've two cases already, that after heard on the radio of provoking statements by a lawyer and a politician, and without the immediate reaction of the Prosecutor, these two provokators were just beaten at night and then taken to the hospital. As the hospital doesn't have conditions, now wanted to be sent abroad for treatment, at this difficult period when salaries are not paid, money needed for the elections, food security issues, etc.

In sum, it's becoming very important to re-educate the public actors on the wrong use of words. They've to understand that the use of inappropriate words is one of the cause of Guinea-Bissau poor economic situation and cycle of conflicts. The inocent people want to create their well-being are being penalised with the politicians we've.

This coming Saturday, I'll be participate with representatives of the media on a radio debate and would like to your insights/contributions to enrich my view on how to have a peaceful elections. I count on you and other friends.

FYI, I do not have access to internet all the time.

Genice Jacobs's picture

Greetings and thank you

So nice to meet you and have you as join our Solar for Empowerment group. I was very impressed by your resume and so honored to have you as part of our group. I will be very interested to learn more about your peace building experience. At some point, I would love to tap your brain regarding the need for solar products in your country. The hotel project sounds very interesting. Also, if I can be of any assistance in helping you connect with others let me know. I am an executive recruiter so I definitely know how to work the network and get to who I need to. It would be an honor to help you in your nobel efforts.

Best regards,

Genice Jacobs

Genice Jacobs

Mrs. Macaria BARAI's picture

Genice, I got the solar

Genice, I got the solar painel installed by two youths at home, since September 2008. Since then, I became a free woman from the rest of the population without city power for decades. I'm aware of the advantages and the savings that I'm getting with this new acquisition, compared to using the generator.

On the other hand I would like to learn more in order to contribute for the environment, job creation for the youths and savings and better living conditions for the already poor population. I've the intention to use just solar products in my hotel project. The only contraints I've with the project right now is to find a partner, ready to face the challenge with me in order to discover the hidden treasure and stabilise the country with job creation.

I'll appreciate having your support on whatever assistance you could provide. The people of Guinea-Bissau are nice, one day you'll discover it.

By the way, my birthday is today, April 1, but I don't like to ly. AH! AH!

Best wishes

JaniceW's picture

Happy Birthday Macaria

Just wanted to wish you a wonderful day from the PulseWire team. Be safe and I will keep your country in my thoughts through these turbulent times.

Macaria, I would like to introduce you to our new member, Xosei, who is a Global Justice and Reparations Activist. I think you would have much to talk about and ideas to share in regards to your upcoming elections. She can be found at: Best wishes...

JaniceW's picture

Another connection

Xthina-Avila is a peace correspondent who has worked for CNN, NBC and Telemundo, and has studied Culture of Peace and Conflict Resolutions. She can be found at:

Genice Jacobs's picture

connecting online

Please email me directly. I am happy to assist you with researching solar options for the hotel project. Let me know how I might be of help. I only recently started researching solar lanterns. So I'm not an expert by any means, but may have some suggestions.


Genice Jacobs

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative