WLP Convenes First Regional Institute in Central America

 We spend so much time encouraging the development of others. This has been a rich time to promote our own growth, both personally and professionally. 
— Regional Institute Participant

Central America Institute, Nicaragua

Women's Learning Partnership (WLP) and Fondo para el Desarollo de la Mujer (FODEM) convened the first Central America Regional Training of Trainers Institute for Women's Leadership from January 28th-February 1st in Managua, Nicaragua. The Institute brought together twenty-four participants from seven countries in the region: Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and El Salvador. Facilitators included Malena de Montis, founder and current Board member of FODEM; Sonia Morin and Luz Veronica Flores, members of FODEM’s training team; and Amina Lemrini of Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM), WLP’s partner in Morocco.

FODEM held a book launch event on the first day to introduce Liderazgo Para La Toma De Decisiones, the spanish version of Leading to Choices: A Leadership Training Handbook for Women. Leading to Choices outlines WLP’s leadership concept which is participatory, horizontal, and dialogue-based, and is the foundation for workshops and Institutes. The participants, all of whom were experienced trainers and activists, welcomed the leadership concepts and methodologies offered in the manual, as well as the application of the leadership concept and methodology to diverse fields, including economic justice, women’s health and reproductive rights, violence against women, indigenous rights, human rights, youth advocacy, and microfinance. Topics discussed during the Institute included the Central American social and political context, dynamics of power, how to communicate effectively, how to attend to diverse interests, as well as developing a shared vision and plans of action.

Central America Institute, Nicaragua

As one participant observed, "We spend so much time encouraging the development of others. This has been a rich time to promote our own growth, both personally and professionally." Another remarked, "This training has made me recognize my values as a woman and has led to my personal empowerment." Participants shared their perspectives and determined ways to strengthen regional cooperation and unite in the women’s struggle for justice. Participants concluded the Institute by establishing several shared commitments including holding more workshops, collectively remembering and sharing with each other more local case studies to include in trainings, building solidarity and relationships between activists in the region, drafting a letter of support for the struggle against the criminalization of abortion in Nicaragua, and reconvening in the near future to continue the work that was begun in the Institute.

S:SSO to Sakai