Thursday, 6 March 2008

Another First Thursday

If I'm not travelling I try to be in the chat room from 13.00 GMT on the first Thursday of the month. Last month our thoughts and energies in Minciu Sodas were focused on Kenya and the post election turmoil. We were on an amazing learning curve discovering how we (an online group including Kenyans) could work together effectively with few resources to alleviate the suffering and danger facing our friends and their communities. Anyone with an interest in researching topics such as conflict resolution; African politics; tribal conflict; ICT (phones and Internet); online communities; Internet and social action; grassroots activism; and various other topics would find a mine of information in the Minciu Sodas yahoo groups archives.

Now attention is shifting. Today we were looking forward, and also taking stock. The power sharing agreement has been made, so now there is a president and a prime minister, and parliament is meeting again - but the problems have not gone away, they are just different, as our current email exchanges demonstrate. I feel I should be
  • Analysing what we have learned
  • Sharing that information in appropriate forms
  • Joining in the work for the next stage
  • Helping to raise the necessary finance to support our Kenyan friends as they continue to work with displaced people; unemployed and angry youths; all kinds of people who are recent or long terms victims of poverty and/or violence.
But (like many others, now the urgent obvious pressure is over) I also need to rest and to catch up with tasks that have been neglected. I have not learned the best way to deal with this situation. What is the most effective way to share the information I have, so that it could lead to resources being directed to my Kenyan friends and their communities? I don't know, maybe I will start simply posting here some of the emails that come in from the group. If I do that at least there will be a slightly better chance of more people sampling what is being shared, and becoming interested. Even if I am not managing to summarise the discussions or put things into context at least I would be passing them on in some way. I will try to do that.

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