Mulheres Mil Methodology Training

Last Friday wrapped up the training of new managers on the Mulheres Mil program. New campuses from the northeast and central north regions of Brazil gathered in Brasilia for a week full of project start up, implementation and permanence training.

I’m incredibly thankful to Stela Rosa, the Mulheres Mil national coordinator, who extended an invitation to me for this wonderful week.

I was moved by this training session;
 -the emphasis on life experience as oppose to academic knowledge
-the inclusion of women in planning their own curriculums
-the acknowledgement that women are a powerful source of dissemination and empowerment for their communities

One particular session hit me quiet hard. Once women are recruited to the Mulheres Mil program, each campus is required to hold a “Life Map/Mapa do Vida” exercise with them. This exercise more then anything is for the women to reinforce to themselves that they have knowledge already within. It illustrates that they have come a long way and most importantly that those long difficult paths count. Those are strong starting points.

During the training session for new managers we were all asked to create our own life maps. Chronologically each person documented their story by what they felt impacted them most personally and professionally.

Brazil has never been economically rich. This means most of the current Mulhers Mil managers have had serious hardships in their own lives. This all came out during the Life Map/Mapa do Vida session. Person after person stood up and traced for all of us who they were, who they are and who they wish to become.

Mulhers Mil is much more then a social inclusion program.

Inspiring day at the Mulheres Mil Methodology overview session. Paul Singer, professor,economist, and heavily published writer gave a great speech which I will post tonight or tomorrow.

Patricia Barcelos of the Ministry of Human Rights gave an equally moving opening talk to the day, reflecting on the passion required to run a program like this and emphasizing the importance of women as catalysts of social change.