South East and Far East Asia Area Conference 2013
A Letter from Zippy Nomad:
"My time at the ACWW South East and Far East Asia Area Conference,
Zippy Nomad is a keen supporter of ACWW, and is currently raising funds for ACWW through her book ‘Wizzing Around Britain: Celebrating Fellowship amid Jam and Jerusalem’. To find out more about the book and how you can purchase it, please visit www.zippynomad.com
So sad! We have come to the end of the ACWW South East and Far East Asia Conference. I have made so many wonderful friends and learned so much about Malaysia, Sarawak and the lives of women and families here. The Sarawak Federation of WIs and the Brunei WI laid on a magnificent conference with so many different activities. So what were the highlights for me?
- The warmth of the people and feeling the energy of my sisters.
- The presentations on education, the environment, the health of women and children and skills and entrepreneurship of single mothers.
- Craft demonstrations and the chance to ‘have a go’ - I had a go at everything, of course!
- A day trip to Brunei, with visits to museums and a delightful WI headquarters.
- Visits to 2 longhouses near Miri, with demonstrations of Iban culture.
- Dancing with the Iban young boys.
- The dinners, especially at the Sarawak Federation of WI's headquarters.
- Laughing and sharing with the other delegates - including singing and dancing.
- Appreciating what a wonderful job ACWW Officers do - and what past Officers have done is awesome!.
- Having a police escort everywhere as the Area President for this area is Princess Azizah - whizzing through the red lights was a novelty! (Yes, I know it is childish!)
- Seeing 24 new members join ACWW at the end of the conference - an amazing number given how many delegates were already members.
- Selling out the few ebook DVDs I had taken, in a matter of minutes, to add to the large amount of Pennies for Friendship raised in the collection.
To organise such a meeting in 4 short months was amazing, after natural disasters meant its planned location had to be changed. My thanks to everyone - Malaysia and especially Sarawak and Brunei - are in my heart.
To those of members who are wondering about going to a conference, you will not get a better holiday! Sign up for the World Conference in Chennai in September 2013 now - you will not regret it.
East, West and Central Africa Area Conference 2012
The East, West and Central Africa Area Conference took place in the capital Buea, South West Region of Cameroon, from 4th to 8th August 2012. It was attended by Anphia Grobler, ACWW Deputy President on behalf of ACWW.
Anphia reports: Evelyn Emende Nojang, Area President,picked me up at the airport in Douala. She was accompanied by the former Area president, Angela Forzi. The trip from Duoala to Buea was rather challenging but the skilled driver did very well in coping with speed bumps, cattle on the roads and heavy traffic.
On day one, we travelled the 80km to Kumba on a good tarmac road to monitor an ACWW funded project run by the Vocational Agency of Wisdom Women’s Group. The road we travelled on was bordered by beautiful banana plantations, palm trees and rubber trees, as far as the eye could see. There were also natural vegetated areas, with huge trees towering over the natural forest. Rivers flowed, as it was the rainy season, and Mount Cameroon slept under a thick layer of clouds, while mist break loose and floated over the forest and nestled in between the tall trees.
The leader of the group, Arrey Ekokobe Magdalene is a vibrant and hardworking lady and under her leadership many skills were being developed.The Conference Opening on day two, saw the St Angela’s Choir sing a song dedicated to ACWW. Opening prayers were followed by the Area President’s welcoming speech, where she read a message from May Kidd, ACWW’s World President. In my own keynote address, I talked about reaching out and making a difference.
Moffah Judith Lyengu Luma – South West Regional delegate for Women’s Empowerment and the family - expressed a word of welcome and appreciation that the conference was hosted in the South West Region. She stated that one of the missions of her ministry was to empower women economically, socially and politically and to encourage rural women’s groups to become members of ACWW.
Dr Semanie Molotlegi, Area President of Southern Africa, addressed the conference with a beautiful song of welcome. This was followed by a presentation by Mary Magdalene Chenwi, who focussed on the fact that women were still much more likely than men to be poor and illiterate.
The following key issues were addressed: reproductive health, economic empowerment, educational empowerment and political empowerment.
Numerous societies reported on their activities and many commented on the funding received from ACWW. Evelyn did an excellent presentation explaining ACWW and encouraging members to start saving in order to attend the 2013 Triennial Conference.
There were exhibition stands outside the hall and although it was pouring with rain, the exhibition drew a lot of attention with soap, body lotion, dyed fabric, dried fruit, and much more on display. The St Angela’s Choir was responsible for the entertainment and sang many songs during the conference.
On the third day, there was a workshop and more reports from societies were presented. I then had the opportunity to speak on behalf of ACWW. One of my presentations was on ACWW’s Agriculture Committee, of which I am Chair.
Moffah gave a final message, where she used the word “think” to stand for:
T – True
H – Honest
I – Important
N – Necessary and
K – Kind
At the end of day three, Evelyn Nojang invited a few guests to her home for the evening, where a traditional Cameroonian meal was served.
On the final day of the conference, another project monitoring trip was arranged, this time in Limbe. The project, called ‘Safe Water, Safe Community’, is run by ‘The Mokunda Multipurpose Common Initiative Group’ in the foothills of Mount Cameroon.
The aim of the project is to distribute water points closer to houses. The Cameroonian people were very hospitable and we enjoyed our visit, before returning back over the volcanic rocky roads.Three more projects were monitored in the few days I spent in Cameroon. It is mind boggling, but the poverty level in this country is beyond belief.
However with ACWW, the women and their families are getting a lot of support, which the women really do appreciate.
Southern Africa Area Conference 2012
|From left to right: Guest speaker, Vanessa Hall, International Ambassador for Trust, Australia; Anphia Grobler,Deputy World President; Dr Semane Bonolo Molotlegi, Southern Africa Area President; May Kidd, World President; HRH Princess Azizah Iskandar, Area President South East & Far East Asia & Alison Burnett, Treasurer|
Magdie de Kock, ACWW’s Promotion and Publications Committee member, submitted a report on ACWW’s Southern Africa (SA) Area Conference, which took place in Maseru, capital of Lesotho from 6-9 February 2012, in which she writes:
Lesotho is a democratic, sovereign and independent country, which is situated centrally within Southern Africa and has the unusual distinction of being completely surrounded by another country. Lesotho’s strength lies in its investment security, beauty and rich cultural traditions.
The Southern Africa (SA) Area Conference, held in Lesotho, was hosted by three of the Women’s Institutes of Lesotho, who are affiliated to ACWW. The conference was chaired by the SA Area President, Dr Semane Molotlegi. 250 delegates as well as observers, representing women’s organisations from 9 countries of the Southern African Area attended the event. Various members of ACWW Board attended the conference: World President, May Kidd; Deputy President, Anphia Grobler; Treasurer, Alison Burnett and Area President for South East & Far East Asia, HRH Princess Azizah Iskandar. Members of ACWW specified committees who attended the Conference as delegates of their various societies included Cornelia Gaspar, Agriculture; Henrietta Schoeman, Finance and myself from Promotion and Publications.
The theme of the conference was ‘Empowering Women Worldwide – Encourage, Educate and Enrich’. The theme was emphasised throughout the conference to encourage, to educate and to enrich the attendees. The impressive opening ceremony included the procession of flags, followed by a local choir who sang the ‘Song of Peace’. May Kidd along with Her Majesty the Queen of Lesotho opened the conference. Sufficient speakers took part in the programme, which followed the opening day, to cover all six Millennium Development Goals. The United Nations first Millennium Development Goal, which called for the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger and the improvement of employment for women, was presented by the guest speaker Robert Likhang, an expert on financial management. In addition, Alison Burnett presented a practical workshop on budgeting.
On the second day various health issues, including Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6 were discussed. Topics included: protecting children against cancer, by Dr. Carl Albrecht; improvement of maternal health, by Dr Sharon Matela; HIV/AIDS by Criselda Kanada, a HIV/AIDS survivor and mother of a teenage HIV/AIDS infected child and the issue of mental health by Motlalepula Morweng.
Part of the conference programme was general information on ACWW presented by the members of the ACWW Board.
The programme also included presentations on other Millennium Development Goals, such as Food Security by Yevette Abrahamson and Sebina Sekoli, as well as Energy and Environment Climate Change by Tseliso Tsoeu. The end result was that ACWW and the Millennium Goals were linked to local programmes, which proposed a strategic plan and prioritised a way forward for the societies of Southern Africa.
Vanessa Hall, the International Ambassador for Trust, Australia, who was also a guest speaker, spoke of her organisation’s goals to enlighten, enable and enrich you through the truth about trust, in your business, your home and in your community.
Magdie concludes: on the last day we took part in a 4km ‘Women Walk the World’ event, thereafter we boarded buses for an excursion, visiting historic sites near Maseru. Following the summary and closing thoughts by the SA Area President, a vote of thanks was given. After the farewell luncheon everybody departed having been motivated to empower the members of their various societies, to encourage, educate and enrich, thereby being part of the ACWW mission to Empower Women Worldwide.