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Global Forum 2020

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

REI staff and invited guests at the Global Forum in July. Not to worry. Except for this brief picture, masks and/or social distancing were the order of the day!

REI staff are spread around the world in seven different countries. Because of that dispersion, it is not easy for them to stay connected with each other and with the organization. That is why we hold a staff conference every two years called the Global Forum. For a week, friends get caught up with other friends. Our country leaders update us on what is happening with REI where they live. Skilled teachers from both inside and outside the organization instruct us on a number of subjects. If things go well, staff leave encouraged and better equipped to return to their countries to do the important work of “building people to build nations.”

The coronavirus certainly made this year’s Forum more challenging. Masks and social distancing helped with safety. For those who could not attend due to closed borders, Zoom allowed them to be connected.

Bottom line … we had a tremendous time! According to one senior staff, “the best Forum ever.” Here are some snapshots to give you a sense:

Tom, our country leader for Djibouti, reporting on the work there.

We learned about progress at the International School of Djibouti

despite the pandemic. On-line learning has been key.

Lydia, our staff woman in Egypt, teaches natural childbirth to doctors, medical residents and pregnant mothers. To give our male staff a better understanding of this, Lydia had them “deliver” a ping pong ball out of a balloon. Here, Amber, staff in Indonesia, enjoys watching her husband, Jake, experience “natural childbirth.

Several evenings were set aside for fun, hosted by one of our countries. Vietnam put on a painting contest. What seemed most appropriate to paint this year? Facemasks. Katie, staff in Indonesia, examines some of the entries.

Keziah, one of the children who enjoyed the Forum.

She will return soon to Djibouti with her parents and baby brother.

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