Program Highlights: Summer 2007
Posted on: Wednesday, May 9, 2007
MADRE Speaks: Spring/Summer 2007
With MADRE's support, the women of our sister organization, the Indigenous Information Network (IIN), held a three-day celebration and human rights training for women. The event attracted more than 1,000 women from groups in Tanzania, Uganda, and Sudan.
MADRE's partner organization, CADAMUC Clinic, is expanding! We are supporting the construction of a new operating room and two recovery rooms and recently helped the clinic acquire a new ultrasound machine. This spring, a MADRE-supported mobile medical team in Waspam brought healthcare to communities along the Coco River, where people have little or no access to health services.
Recently, MADRE provided CADPI with a delivery of food and educational materials for three primary schools, and 10,000 packages of women's clothes and children's toys to distribute to families in 14 neighborhoods. At the same time, MADRE supported the drafting of a CADPI report about racism and discrimination against Indigenous People on the North Atlantic Coast. The report was submitted to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
MADRE supported a celebration of International Women's Day for hundreds of Indigenous women. A special activity was dedicated to the elders of the community, who play the crucial role of transmitting knowledge of healthcare and natural resource management to the next generation of women. The elder women sang, told stories, and danced during the celebration.
In March, a MADRE delegation traveled to Nicaragua. During the delegation, MADRE supported Wangki Tangni in organizing trainings for women on human rights and women's rights. The participants prepared a report on their rights as Indigenous Peoples and local conditions, which they will present at the upcoming session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in May 2007 at the United Nations.
NEW! Art Action, an Iraqi Youth Peace Project! MADRE and our partner, the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), are supporting a brave group of Sunni and Shiite youth who are coming together to demand peace. According to the logic of the civil war, these young people from warring communities should be enemies. But instead, they are joining together, using music and spoken word to call for an end to the civil war and promote human rights—including women's rights and freedom from occupation and religious coercion. In Baghdad, OWFI hosts Freedom Space gatherings—public performances where people come together to share their poetry and music. These gatherings have been banned by Islamists. Several members of Art Action have been attacked, but Iraqis who want peace are flocking to these gatherings despite the danger.
MADRE is supporting a community center in the department of San Juan for women and families who have been uprooted from their homes by Colombia's armed conflict. Because 80 percent of displaced families live in extreme poverty, the center offers free, nutritious meals for children.
With MADRE support, LIMPAL is providing women who have been displaced with counseling to address domestic and sexual violence and offer leadership training for women. LIMPAL has trained a team of six women leaders from the community, who are organizing other women and developing strategies to combat violence and demand rights.
MADRE provided video production and editing equipment and computers to our sister organization's Reinventing Life through Art project for young people displaced by war. MADRE volunteer Miguel Macias traveled to Colombia to train 16 young people to use professional digital cameras and video editing systems as part of this program, through which young people document the stories of children and young people affected by the ongoing armed conflict.
Human Rights Advocacy
As part of the 2007 UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), MADRE and the International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI) co-organized a panel using the findings of FIMI's 2006 report, Mairin Iwanka Raya: Indigenous Women Stand against Violence, to explore Indigenous women's anti-violence strategies.
Indigenous women and their allies have been using the FIMI report in workshops, discussions, and panels. The report articulates an Indigenous women's critique of the human rights framework; explores strategies to combat violence against Indigenous women; and bridges gaps between the global women's movement and the international Indigenous women's movement.
MADRE, FIMI, and Mulabi (Latin American Working Group on Sexual Rights) facilitated a roundtable discussion between members of the sexual rights and Indigenous women's movements. The dialogue led to the creation of a joint plan of action, and the incorporation of Indigenous women's views into the planned Convention on Sexual and Reproductive Rights in the Americas.