Sarry Xoagus-Eises

Sarry Xoagus-Eises

Date: March 11, 2011
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Learning Journey in 2010

I received a call from the Gender Links Governance Manager, Ms Abigail Jacobs -Williams reminding me about submitting a few lines about my learning journey at Gender Links. Having a lot on my table in terms of deliverables, I asked an innocent question – “What journey is this?” As confused as I was in that moment, I thought of the many journeys I have had in life.

But Abigail was quick to bring me closer to the point and this was about work, work and work for the period of 2010. I told her that I did a learning journey last year, why should I do one again this year? The answer was “We all at Gender Links have to submit journeys every day, night and annually.”

Here is a piece of my mind.

In all my previous comments, I said working for Gender Links is not a shortcut to ones final destination, nor is it a honeymoon. It is a journey – as the title suggests. It is a road that has many challenges. Challenges that only those who have worked in a demanding environment can say “mission completed”, accomplish tasks given with determination, loyalty and overtime without pay.

I hope my Labour Commissioner in Namibia is not aware of the above statement, as this is against the Labour law. Other criteria are diligence, accountability, transparency and, if one likes, democracy. I nearly forgot to add terms such as gender equity, gender equality, governance, and presentation and of late mainstreaming gender in Local Authorities. I think not mentioning these requirements in GL’s vision and mission statement will negatively affect the outcome of my Performance Agreement (PA). We shall all cross the bridge when we arrive there.

On a serious note: the year 2010 was a year of challenges. I visited headquarters about four times. The trips were for Gender Action Plans, the Gender Justice and Local Government Summit, workshops, quarterly planning meetings, Alliance liaising and PAs. Not to mention monthly reports, stock taking very month-end, Skype calls, teleconferences, online Monitoring and Evaluation forms and phone calls.

I must be understood well. I am not complaining about too much work. These are tools in place to monitor and evaluate progress we all make in our daily work every day. Without these, GL won’t achieve its goals, vision and mission statement. I am one of the cadres that want to be associated with Gender Links’ ideals, ideals that stand out in the region.

The Centre of Excellence for Mainstreaming Gender in Local Authorities (COE) was another milestone for me. It started with the identification of and mapping of some councils we want to work with leading to the 2011 Summit. Not that easy. Most of the councils we work with are attached to political office bearers appointed by various political parties to serve their party’s interests in the councils, although they pretend to represent all in the constituencies they won.

Politics play a major role in all council meetings, even during the roll-out of the COE in Local Authorities. But GL has made inroads in the implementation of the COE in all Councils earmarked.

Some of the work has been eased by the appointment of interns. They are there to put all forms online after workshops. I am happy with my intern as all forms are clustered online immediately after each workshop.

My learning journey at Gender Links has been full of challenges but sometimes joy, and happiness when job is done.

Thanks to the Director of Gender Links, Colleen Lowe Morna, Kubi Rama, my Manager Abigail Jacobs-Williams, the staff and of course the Board for guidance and constructive criticism I have received from all.

“You made my day, I made your night.”

Sarry Xoagus-Eises is the Gender Links Gender Justice and Local Government Country Facilitator in Namibia.


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