Training Haitian Women – What Have I learned?

Training Haitian Women – Part 2 The 3 days in Haiti as one of the 5 Global Ambassadors selected by Vital Voices, I had the unique opportunity to be part of a long-term task undertaken by the Haitian women: developing the Women’s National Platform. The exchange of ideas, experiences and the sharing of hope and dreams for our women taught me: Investing in leadership of women is necessary to give women the confidence and knowledge to lead and to make real difference for the society as a whole. Training of women is to give women the self-confidence to lead. it is on-going and it should be inclusive. I was assigned to mentor a lawyer who will run for the 2nd time for a seat at the Senate. I admire the strength and honest commitment Me Marie Giselhaine Mompremier demonstrates in her hope to get elected. I was also fortunate to have spent the rest of the time with Florence Vinoweth, Minister of Agriculture of Liberia. She, like her president, Ellen Johnson Serleif and the Liberian diaspora fought for over 25 years to topple Charles Taylor and other warlords. From a failed state, Liberia is now a UN member that owes nothing to any donor country. And they did it in 6 years. The team lead by the president puts everything back up in 6 years and now they are aiming at Liberia of the 21st century. Half of the cabinet is led by women with Ph.D in their own fields. No question of incompetence and no question of corruption. They all fly coach and they never serve champagne even to a visiting head of state. The minister said it to the president of Haiti, Michel Martelly. He stood to congratulate her and is now sending his adviser to Liberia.But I don’t think Haiti will ever make it. It has been a tremendous trip that teaches me more about leadership and how to lead from conflict, to reconciliation, to being in power and finally to be in control our people’s destiny. It all comes to : we set our own agenda and put the international community aside. They will only jump on the plane when they know that it is secure but they will not take the risk with us, nor for us. it teaches me that we must address the people and that our message is with the people and about the people. What SRP has at the base is an incredible force for tomorrow. I intend to show it off to the man I will be meeting in New York. I will make sure that you will be signing the contract that I am going to negotiate for. Finally, I can say that my contacts have trust in us. It is not the State Department because they do not have our agenda. When Sec. Clinton and Obama go to Cambodia, it is not important whether or not we meet them. It most important that we work on our agenda with our people and challenge them to meet the requirements they have failed to fulfill.
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