One of the highlights of the year for Africa Rising is our annual meeting. We bring together people from each of the 14 organizations we work with, to learn from and teach each other and to gain fresh perspectives on the importance of the work of the Africa Rising organizations.
This year's gathering took place in July 2011 in Kenya. Over the course of several days, we encouraged the Africa Rising organizations to have a vision that goes beyond their local community or village to the greater East African community – to see themselves as teachers, creators, and leaders of entire African societies.
Relationships grew and ideas for strengthening the network flowed freely throughout the gathering. The most memorable experience for many was the visit to one of the members of the Africa Rising network, Shalom City. The 12,000+ residents (called internally displace people, or IDPs) are families displaced from their land in the post-election violence of 2007-2008 On the last day of the meeting, all the participants boarded a bus for the hour's journey to Shalom City where they heard directly from the leader of the group about the challenges of freeing an oppressed people.
The impact of the July gathering will be felt in organizations throughout Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Here are some thoughts from leaders who attended the gathering:
"I am writing to express my thanks to you and to AFRICA RISING for convening us together recently at Naivasha. I was very happy to meet fellow network members. The visit to the Shalom City left me disturbed and I am yet to recover from that experience." –Joseph Sekiku Founder of FADECO Tanzania
"On behalf of WOMEDA Board of Directors I would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation for the just ended Africa Rising annual meeting. We are a vibrant family growing day in day out. The composition of AR leadership and its members is amazing. The experiences and best practices we learned is beyond comparison." –Juma Masisi Founder WOMEDA Tanzania
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