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RSS: Comments

The Worldwide Connection Project


Minciu Sodas

Posted to: The Worldwide Connection Project by David Bale (146), Sat, 30 Aug 2008 13:52:07 PDT
Edited: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 13:54:55 PDT
Feedback score: 0 +|-
Comments: 41 by 9 members
Viewed: 417 times by 19 members

Comments « prev page    1 [2]   next page »page 2

By Ceris Dien (56), Wed, 10 Sep 2008 00:42:10 PDT
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David Bale said:

I think Lars expressed himself very precisely (in separate posts) on the matter of MS and of the KJT Supporters Club. I believe he was wrong in suggesting that the two are connected in some way.

I just want to clarify that at no time did I think that Lars was connecting KJT Supporters Club ("my" concept)with MS or CfW. So you can all cross me off the list of possibly offended people :-)

By Lars Hasselblad Torres (102), Wed, 10 Sep 2008 04:25:16 PDT
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Fred, thanks for your clarification. Really, my only question at the time was whether an MS-affiliated person or organization was handling payment for the KJT/Michezo Cup effort, and if so how that worked.

My preference would be to support members in their efforts through ned member-initiated channels (and Fred, thank you for your PM on that matter last week). Hope that makes sense. I just don't know enough about how MS works and what their approach is on the ground to square that with their self promotion.

Ceris, thank you - I think you've fingered the point of confusion well.

By kayiwa Fred (28), Wed, 10 Sep 2008 05:36:48 PDT
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Perfect Lars we welcome your help it will be given all the accountability am not alone in the giving it but we are a group of 3 locals who work hard to ensure everything is perfect

By David Bale (146), Wed, 10 Sep 2008 09:19:22 PDT
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Kayiwa Fred said:

... we are a group of 3 locals who work hard to ensure everything is perfect

And you're making a fine job of it!


By Richard O. Kananga (44), Mon, 15 Sep 2008 07:33:20 PDT
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[Deleted by author on 28 Sep 2008 05:13 PDT: r]

By Gayle Rogers (78), Mon, 15 Sep 2008 16:30:03 PDT
Comment feedback score: 2 (* *) +|-


By Richard O. Kananga (44), Tue, 16 Sep 2008 04:59:19 PDT
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Hey Gayle, like...?

By Gayle Rogers (78), Tue, 16 Sep 2008 05:44:35 PDT
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Ummm - like what was the previous rant of yours all about??

As difficult to piece together as it was in places, it seemed to me like the thrust of at least part of your post was dedicated to having a big, fat hairy shot at Lars for reasons that don't seem clear at all to me.

Innuendo - when it has a combative tone - really bugs me so, what gives??

Cheers, Gayle

By Richard O. Kananga (44), Wed, 17 Sep 2008 03:15:27 PDT
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Gayle, I guess Lars might be clear himself on the reasons...

By Gayle Rogers (78), Wed, 17 Sep 2008 03:30:48 PDT
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Okay - so based on the above post, you are pissed off or upset (or angry or hurt or something uncomfortable) with Lars then.

Clearly I've missed something!!!!

But gee - I do wish that everyone would call a spade a spade if they are it and own it and work it out.

Mmmmmm - if wishes were fishs eh!

By Lars Hasselblad Torres (102), Wed, 17 Sep 2008 04:23:10 PDT
Comment feedback score: 2 (* *) +|-

Gayle, I've no idea what Richard is on about - I've missed it too. Richard, what are you talking about? Are you affiliated with MS yourself, and uncomfortable with this discussion?

By Richard O. Kananga (44), Wed, 17 Sep 2008 09:39:43 PDT
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I am surprised that at times you are too good at picking at others not so good at missing... I too do not understand, and mind you I am no longer on, Lars.


By Lars Hasselblad Torres (102), Wed, 17 Sep 2008 10:38:17 PDT
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Still not sure I'm following what you're writing about, Richard. At this point in the conversation, it may not matter: we should move on.

Seems clear there's not a lot of specific enthusiasm for MS, and some general discomfort.

Perhaps this has helped David clarify a direction to take WRT the Worldwide Connectory.

By David Bale (146), Wed, 17 Sep 2008 11:50:11 PDT
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Lars says:

Perhaps this has helped David clarify a direction to take WRT the Worldwide Connectory.

I think it has.

There seems to be no point in pursuing any centralised liaison with MS (at the present time at least) though it will of course be up to individual areas and partnerships to form whatever links they think are best for them. And that may well be with Minciu Sodas.

I say this with the proviso, of course, that if any areas fostered totally unsuitable links (I'm thinking here of hate crimes and terrorism, not adoration of Sarah Palin or Michael Jackson), the WWC would need to sever all connections with that partnership, probably by disbanding the separate areas and allow them to re-develop again later.

By Janet Feldman (9), Wed, 24 Sep 2008 11:36:39 PDT
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Dear Friends,

It has been quite some time since I posted at Ned, though I do have individual linkages with some of you, and just posted to David privately--with a forward from a Minciu Sodas forum (mine, in fact)--before reading this thread.

The letter is from Andrius, who posted in response to an alert about the WWC by some of our members. I added my own request for David to consider the forum I moderate (my working group), called Holistic Helping, where there are a number of individuals and nonprofits from Africa in particular. I have also offered my own individual networking capacities (ie not connected to MS).

This a huge topic being debated here, and each viewpoint does have some validity. For instance, Lars mentions openness of contact info during our peace project as something which could have been dangerous.

This in fact could be so, and it was one among many topics that were vigorously debated. We decided that in order to build an emergency-phone network, we did need to have that contact info. And by "we" in this case I mean our Kenyan members themselves, who were courageous enough to want to be "open" about who they are and how they can be reached, as they felt that this would do more to promote the peace process. It was not without risk, however, and it is an open question whether we would always work in that way if such a challenge arises again for our members.

On the issue of money, some of us in a position to donate did give funding to that endeavor, and there were small amounts given by others who believed in the work we were doing. All of that has been well accounted for in public statements.

As for the African Innovation grant, I worked on two that were submitted, one within MS and the other not. Matching funds that we need to have for the MS proposal, should that be successful, we are brainstorming about now, as we have no ready-made source of income for MS as a whole, and those of us who donated to the peace project are broke.

This is a common concern and challenge for most orgs and endeavors of this kind, as not many have an income-stream that is continuous and sustained by regular and in some cases even identifiable donors over time.

In fact, some donors do not want to publicly be listed as contributing to projects. I recently had to amend the KAIPPG ( site to exclude some of our biggest donors, in fact. That seems counter-intuitive (why would donors not want to be seen as "doing good"?), but on the other hand, it is understandable in context, given the level of need and the inability of even the deepest pockets to fill those needs.

Thus, "tranparency" and "accountability"--openness--are going to mean different things to different people/orgs and in different contexts. I have found that in MS there is the desire for "super-transparency", which can have its own challenges. So there is no "intention" of being obfuscatory or non-transparent, though it may still be hard to understand how we work and what we do :))).

I have been a member of Minciu Sodas for 5 years. I was introduced to it by the head of the oneVillage Foundation (, who is a good friend, and also member of ActALIVE (, an arts coalition and nonprofit I founded in 2002. MS head, Andrius Kulikauskas, is also a member of ActALIVE now too.

As for what we do, there are a variety of things, the most prominent being "working groups" which a number of members conduct and direct (linked to yahoo forums), where we discuss goals, dreams, values, and projects pertinent to us, and work with our members to realize same.

One of my "deepest values", as Andrius calls it, is a desire to help foster "holistic" approaches to issues such as health and poverty eradication. In the HIV/AIDS field, for example, it is clear that one cannot address that pandemic in an effective way without also addressing poverty, lack of nutrition and healthcare facilities, lack of education, and the unequal status of women. So that's what I mean by "holistic", and this is one reason the WWC is of interest to me.

One member forum, called Learning from Each Other, is investigating and hoping to apply approaches to poverty eradication by Dr Yunus and the Grameen movement. Still another is interested in the social aspects of agriculture, while another is most active regarding peace-related issues in Kenya (though Holistic Helping was the forum where peace activities centered earlier this year, in part because I have longstanding ties from other forums and activities to Kenyan members of HH).

We all interact and sometimes work together. There are times when some of us clash too: Andrius and I had deep disagreements about how to approach our Pyramid of Peace project, including how to structure it, who would make decisions and how that process would take place, who would be responsible for what and what our working methods would be.

He and I discussed and disagreed mostly in the open. That was painful in some ways--for us and for members--and of course things could not be fully addressed at the time because our members in Kenya were in the middle of a crisis.

Out of those disagreements and differences some illumination and also some clarity has emerged, I think, while other issues are ongoing, and will hopefully be addressed over time, as new experiences crop up to help us do that.

This type of organic approach to growing, building, sharing, and developing is something that all organizations, networks, coalitions, and group entities face, and need to work on if their efforts are to be sustainable and effective.

Minciu Sodas has been identified by many members, especially in Africa, as highly valuable for them, not only because of the projects we are doing and hope to do, but because of the camaraderie and the international atmosphere.

In addition, the development of "independent thinkers" is very attractive, perhaps in part because many of our members are not otherwise asked their opinions, thoughts, and feelings (in most cases because of the socio-political settings they live in). This is especially true for women.

I hope myself to create a space where many more women will come: to discuss, work together in a cooperative way, to share-teach-learn-grow-create. To design and find funding for development projects, and then implement them.

In a number of respects, MS is akin to O/net and Ned. I have so much enjoyed being a member of both/all There are some differences too, though these in combination have created "double the value" for me.

David, with regard to the WWC, I would suggest that some of us linked to MS might do networking and work on your project as individuals. As a group identified with MS, we might do the same thing, contributing in particular both to the "twinning" aspect of the project, and also to the database of nonprofits you are building.

This does not have to be a formal partnership. In fact, I wonder if you do need those types in any case, as that may engender more issues than you would want to address at this point. Organizations like Sister Cities International would seem to be an excellent fit if you do want formal partnerships, and of course the same can always be worked out with anyone over time, and with the experience of working informally together to see how it goes.

Thanks to all for your feedback and perspectives, including your concerns and doubts. Nothing is a monolith at MS, or anywhere else, for that matter, so whatever you are thinking and feeling is also going on within our working circles, and hopefully being addressed in such a way that change, growth, sustainability, and social-justice are served and improved.

With thanks and blessings to all, Janet (Feldman, KAIPPG International and ActALIVE)

By Lars Hasselblad Torres (102), Wed, 24 Sep 2008 13:25:34 PDT
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Thanks Janet, nice to have your perspective in the mix. Sounds like you've found a good and productive way of working with MS.

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