AADRC’s women decided to change things in their organization so they have organized their first forum in Kinshasa. The Women's Forum is an initiative of ActionAid which aims to reach out to all women who are staff, empowering them through a safe space to voice out issues that affect them in their national organization. 8 of them came from North and South Kivu to join the 9 others based in Kinshasa, the national office. This first formal meeting was designed to establish this platform officially. This forum was held at the Bethany Centre, under the facilitation of Funmilayo, the Interim Head of HROD in AAI Kenya.
The workshop started with a brief introduction of the CD who welcomed each participant and gave a background of the AADRC women staff first meeting. This was followed by a presentation of Funmilayo on the values and contributions that we could bring as women leaders in the organisation, and how we balance our social and family life. To this end, the forum was led in discussions on different dynamics in personality types and how to enhance positive interactions which add to our work as colleagues.
At the end of this presentation, participants held elections to choose two coordinators of this Women's forum created. Cécile Kasoki, the CS officer and Consolata Nzeeb, the Communication officer, were chosen for this task. Cecile to work with the women of the East and Consolata with the women of the national office in Kinshasa.
Then the facilitator suggested a game that was to get a roll of toilet paper to allow each to take a piece according to their need. The most interesting in this game was that each person had to share something about her life along the length of the tissue paper and the more paper you have the longer you have to share.
The women shared their individual experiences and in this exercise, it was revealed that 9 of them are eldest daughters and have been predestined to manage. Also that their mothers had given them most significant names as... Consalata: ‘‘the comfort’’. Hélène Bampengesha,’’what is precious’’. This exercise therefore allowed them to better know themselves and be able to support each other in their professional and working lives.
Another highlight of this workshop was the 5 minute retreat. Given that women have a lot of demands on their physical, emotional and spiritual resources, so it is important that they take time to restore themselves. This exercise was one such practical example. They were asked to close their eyes and make a vacuum in the head and see how this is comforting. They have been called to stop any such activities when they feel stressed, overwhelmed and make a retreat to regain strength and energy. Then the women were invited to dance to enjoy more.
The workshop ended with a word of thanks from Cecile Kasoki to Funmilayo for supporting the realization of AAIDRC women's desire to establish this platform.