The Ban Advocates team arrived on Saturday June 13 in Germany. We came from Afghanistan, Albania, Croatia, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Serbia, Sweden, Tajikistan and the United States. We shall stay approximately two weeks in Germany, in order to attend a residential training and a conference on the destruction of cluster munitions stockpiles, on 25 and 26 June in Berlin.
Our training takes place in a village called Gollwitz, not far from Brandenburg. We are all very happy to meet again six months after the signature of the treaty in Oslo in December. The place is really nice and inspiring. The manager of the house where we stay kindly agreed to improve the accessibility of the house.
We took a rest over the week end and enjoyed the quiet life in the German countryside. On Sunday, we went to visit the lovely city of Brandenburg. This week end, we all benefited from a relaxing atmosphere before starting the training program on Monday.
This training program should greatly enhance our skills and strengthen our contribution to the campaign. We plan to develop new advocacy initiatives in our own countries and internationally to ensure the signature, ratification and, most importantly, the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
On Monday, we started the training program with Ruth Mayne, the external evaluator of the Ban Advocates initiative. She presented the preliminary findings of her evaluation. We then had a very interesting and interactive discussion.
In the afternoon, we started one of our main training modules: project management. This module will last two and half days, and is quite important for us: it will enable us to manage small grants aimed at setting up local advocacy projects in our own countries. Our trainer, Norma Johnston is a very dynamic trainer!
During the entire period of our stay in Germany, we will be followed by Chris Anderson, who is preparing a short film on the Ban Advocates initiative. We are now getting used to his presence in the house with his camera.
We shall have a very busy schedule in the coming days, and we will keep you informed on this blog on how things develop in Germany.