From May 30 to June 2, 2009, 38 women working with Amurtel projects in 21 countries on 6 continents gathered at the Sunrise Farm in Ireland. Using a combination of preplanned workshops and Open Space Technology, participants were able to both network with others sharing similar interests as well as study topics that were relevant to their work in the field.
The conference opened with an opportunity for participants to share their personal reasons for working in the field of social service. The stories were moving and the close feeling that was established in those first hours set the tone for the rest of the conference. Other workshops included Choosing a Project- Needs assessment and developing partnerships in the target community, Best practices for Sustainability, Fundraising, Using Yogic Treatments in a Clinical Setting, Setting up Microfinance Programs, The Miraculous Moringa Tree, Team Dynamics, Developing Better Communications Skills, and the Global Water Crisis.
Throughout the weekend, women met over meals, walks through the beautiful Irish countryside and swimming in the nearby waterfalls, discussing ways to support each other and grow their projects as they continue to work to ease the world’s suffering.
Evenings were saved for specific project presentations: power points of schools in Ghana, children’s homes in Mongolia, clinics in Syria, nurseries in Greece, Disaster relief in Myanmar, cooperatives for the hearing impaired in Peru, learning centers in Venezuela, and more. Music and dance were woven in throughout the day, along with delicious organic meals prepared by the farm staff.
This was an historic gathering- the women who attended are all leaders in their field, and work tirelessly to develop and manage amazing projects in some of the most challenging parts of the world. On-line discussion forums are continuing the work that was begun during these magical 4 days.