Lee Giordano, Men Stopping Violence’s Director of Training, recently completed a training series in Mauritius and Seychelles. MSV was invited by the United States Embassy of Mauritius and Seychelles to share its approach to engaging men with professionals in the two countries through the United States State Department’s Speakers Program. Lee spent five days in Mauritius and three in Seychelles.

On Monday, August 31, 2015 Lee met with Ambassador Shari Villarosa, the current Ambassador to the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Seychelles. In this meeting, the Ambassador shared that the Embassy sees gender based violence as one of the most important issues that they can help address in both Mauritius and Seychelles. Following that conversation and with an added sense of importance, the action packed schedule began.

In five days in Mauritius Lee conducted full and half day training for local Non-Governmental Organizations, police officers, the Ministry of Gender Equality, and the Gender Based Violence Cell of the Municipal Council of Curepipe. Overall, Lee spoke with almost 300 people. Trainings covered a range of topics including Community Based Accountability, Men Stopping Violence’s Core Principles of Engaging Men, Tactics of Abuse and Control, and Interventions with Men Who Batter. The week concluded on a high point with a session of Because We Have Daughters with local fathers and daughters. Priya Beegun, Cultural Affairs Specialist at the Embassy in Mauritius, said that this session was the highlight of the trip so far and people have begun asking for more training on Because We Have Daughters following the session.

Seychelles held a similar schedule for Lee as did Mauritius. Over three days Lee spoke with over 200 people from Non-Governmental Organizations, the police, the military, healthcare workers, therapists, and the Ministry of Education covering similar topics as he did in Mauritius. The trip once again concluded with a moving session of Because We Have Daughters hosted by the National Council for Children and attended by local fathers and daughters. After the BWHD session in Seychelles, Ruby Pardiwalla, Director of the National Council for Children, shared, “As an observer, I found myself getting emotional and teary eyed listening to the fathers say that this is the first time they had taken time to listen to and understand where their daughters were coming from. I have bumped into a couple after the session and they are still talking about it and asking when we are having the next session and to remember to include them”.

Men Stopping Violence is currently pursuing an opportunity to return to Mauritius and Seychelles to conduct a more in-depth Because We Have Daughters training.