Friday, July 14, 2006

A Trip to the Up Country, then Wrap up and Goodbyes

By the time you get this, the visit is memory, but what a lovely memory it remains for those of us who hosted the delegation from Calvin and Kuyper Colleges. In four and a half days, we met with the staff of Mother Patern College over its proposed BSW curriculum, visited government and large agency chiefs, toured two communities-- one sub-urban and one in the interior, visited agricultural and women's empowerment programs (one in the same, it turns out), tasted Liberian food and night-life, and saw about as much of Liberia as one can see in the amount of time available.

The purpose of this visit was to introduce Liberia to a team of higher education professionals who are interested in how they might serve the country as it rebuilds. I think it went about as well as possible, and now the three colleges move on to figure out next steps. Will keep you informed.

Below is our Tuesday trip to one of Mother Patern's women's development programs. MPCHS works with trauma and gender-based violence survivors all over the country. At the Koons Town site, the women engage in a number of individual microbusiness projects, but all the women are involved in cassava farming. In addition, there are workshops on trauma healing and community peacebuilding. A few weeks ago, Renita was here conducting some personal and microbusiness budget classes.

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