Posted on Jun 19, 2013
Wednesday afternoon, Spark facilitators Aloys and Solange and Facilitator Coordinator Sydney attended a community meeting in Gatandori, a breathtakingly beautiful community with long stone walls of volcanic rock. The meeting opened with the community handing in its finished proposal, but the remainder of the time was spent on a new Spark initiative: Women’s Empowerment training. Community members discussed gender equality, breaking into groups to list tasks typically viewed as performed only by men and only by women. Solange then spoke to the fluidity of these roles, emphasizing the necessity of seeing many tasks as having the potential to be completed by both men and women, and a community member underscored her point by noting recent shifts in perception of gender roles, with women in the community participating in building, which would have been unthinkable a few years ago. The meeting ended with a strong affirmation of the value of women’s contributions, with Solange declaring that lack of female participation in the Spark process – and outside it – would result in a community that is only half as strong. In the next few weeks, Spark is looking forward to beginning trainings in many of the communities with which we work!