DENVER – Summer vacation for a group of Colorado women is a trip to Africa at the beginning of June. However, it is not a luxurious safari getaway. There will be no rest or relaxation.
These women are leaders in different communities here. They are going to Uganda to run a leadership conference for women leaders in East Africa.
The Second Annual Women's Leadership Retreat takes place June 8 to 11. It is organized by the Denver-based Global Livingston Institute.
GLI has worked for many years with the community of Lake Bunyonyi in southwestern Uganda. GLI built the Entusi Retreat Center with the sole purpose of hosting meetings just like this women's conference. The Buechner Institute at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs is also assisting with the meetings.
"We learned a lot from our last retreat," organizer Marcie Prokupek said. "Networks formed. Ideas were exchanged. Relationships were built."
Despite the cultural differences, Prokupek said the East African women she met last year shared a lot of similar issues that she faces here in Denver. One of the big topics the women were curious about was how American women balance their families with their jobs.
Other issues to be addressed in June: goal setting, accounting, interviewing skills, how to negotiate, how to be assertive in a way that people listen and goals can be reached.
The kidnappings of Nigerian school girls have raised attention to difficulties women face in other parts of the world.
"While we want to point out that Nigeria is nowhere close to Uganda, such tragic incidents are a reminder of how important it is that we empower women globally thru education and dialogue," Global Livingston Institute founder Jamie Van Leeuwen said. "This is the very essence of what we are doing with the Women's Leadership summit we are hosting this summer."
To learn more about the Global Livingston Institute: http://www.globallivingston.org/
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