UK-Nigeria weekly meetings
Dadamac UK-Nigeria team meetings are held on Skype, and are typed. They have a set agenda and last for one hour. You can read the unfolding story of all the community initiatives covered in these meetings, mainly through Nikki's blog and Frances' blog (with a few gaps filled in through Pamela's blog which usually covers other topics). Alternatively, you may prefer to use the search facility (top right of page) to find specific information about a topic that interests you.
Meet and greet
The first item on the team meeting agenda is alwaya "meet and greet" - because we are widely scattered geographically. This is not a casual "How are you?" We really need to know so that we have the right kind of shared mood.
There is no way to read anyone's facial expression or body language to pick up on weariness, illness, sorrow or good news. There are terrible pressures on the community in and around Fantsuam, mainly due to poverty. John Dada and his team are deeply embedded in that community. Our meetings are often overshadowed or interruped by news of someone with an urgent problem (such as a road accident, or a woman in labour suffering complications) but there is the joy of sharing good news too. Naturally the current situation will influence the mood of the meeting.
How it works
We have weekly meetings, and until the elections in 2011 our meetings involved several members of the Fantsuam Foundation team, including local and international volunteers. During the post election turmoil our meetings continued, despite the terrible associated disruption at Fantsuam. Those meetings naturally had a very different emphasis, and only included the core team.
One of the advantages of these meetings being held online is that members can attend from any location - as long as they have connectivity. This means that even when they are traveliing (or having a break from some other meeting elsewhere) they are able to join in from where ever they are.
We use typed chat rather than the spoken word because of bandwidth constraints - but find that typing does have various benefits over speech. People who arrive late, or get called away, can quickly update themselves on the meeting by reading the discussion so far. There is always a complete archive of the meering which is available to everyone connected with the group. Often, when we look at what has been covered, we think our meeting has been more productive than a comparable speech based meeting would have been.