Aug. 3

I’m sitting in a French-speaking meeting about the upcoming CRWRC country evaluation of Senegal.  The partners are all here and I’ve finally been able to visualize how we all fit together.  FYI, each Program Consultant works with an average of two partners.  This is much more than it seems on the outset though, let me assure you.  Two partners may mean working with numerous projects and is a large undertaking, not to mention any relationships a consultant may have with other organizations that are not as involved as those with the partners.

Anyway, they are currently working on a draft of the visit schedule for the evaluation team which consists of three CRWRC people from other places and will include one Senegalese outside of CRWRC.  The evaluation is of CRWRC, not the partner organizations but CRWRC’s work cannot be done without the partners so they are very intertwined and will be very much a part of the evaluation. 

I am getting some translation which is great and there are treats and ceiling fans, what more could I ask for?

This is our last day with Wyva, the Program Consultant for Senegal, for a week as she is leaving to take Melissa to Senegal on Sunday.  Chichi and I will accompany Ndeye and two members of a partner organization to a town about 3 hours southeast of here, Fatick.  We will be visiting three other towns nearby where this partner works.  They recently held a social justice workshop focusing on HIV/AIDS and we will be working with the follow-up on that project.

In preparation for that trip we’ve done a few things. 

  • We went over the Action Plans from various committees.  These plans are the result of the above mentioned workshop put on by CRWRC.  Some of the injustices were heartbreaking like pedophilia, wife inheritance and early marriage. 
  • We have read the actual training that was provided.
  • We have read the trainers evaluation of that training.

Last night I watched a DVD which consisted of 15 scenarios on HIV/AIDS.  These come out of an annual competition and the ides come from young people here in Africa.  It’s called Scenarios from Africa and you can get more information here.  We have heard good things about this contest and another partner had a group win this competition last year.  Their scenario has yet to be filmed for the new DVD.

This evening we watched A Closer Walk, 2003.  This is a film I highly recommend.  It’s about 85 minutes and is narrated by Glenn Close and Will Smith.  It gives a very real look about how the world is now in regards to HIV/AIDS.  This is a film that you can watch as a group or family and then discuss.  In fact, it would be hard to watch it without discussing it.  Again, I highly recommend this film, you can get more information here.

A third video that is much shorter, but still very powerful is called Living With Slim, 2004.  I know that this can be found here, but you may be able to find it other places as well. Slim is a euphemism for AIDS in parts of Africa.  There is a short version and a long version on the DVD and is interviews with children whom have HIV/AIDS. 

I know that this is only the tip of the iceberg and I will return from this trip with my eyes opened much wider.  HIV/AIDS is something that I know so little about but that is changing.  I hope that you are learning with me.