The Power of Global Networks - Blog Series

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

International means working together while retaining diversity

I, personally, prefer the term INTERNATIONAL rather than global. As defined by the Oxford dictionary global is: relating to the whole world; worldwide... And, for me, this term is not right in describing our work. INTERNATIONAL, for me, means: allowing us work together on achieving our one common goal, and yet retain our diversity. 
It is very important to feel yourself as a part of one bigger thing. Many NGOs in Mongolia are working on many different social issues, from offering social services to advocacy campaigns. They see there’s a problem and they work to address it, but they don’t see that they are an actors and builders of social change as a whole. And the unique role that women’s funds are playing is creating space for interaction and shared knowledge, and thus, building movement for social change. And not only in Mongolia, but also contributing to social change on international arena!! 
By being a member of international networks, we have learned many innovative ways to raise funds for women’s rights; to better strategize our grantmaking, so it doesn’t duplicate or overlap the areas already covered; to effectively evaluate our grantees and evaluate our own organization.
MONES is a member fund of Asian Network of Women's Funds, a regional network of 7 women’s funds, which is implementing a joint research project “Where is the Money for Women’s Political Participation in Asia”. And it taught us a lot on collaboration; communication, planning and scheduling, because of the own country contexts, and slightly different time zones. But these all also proved that doesn’t matter where each fund is located, as long as we have the dedication and are committed to work for one common goal – of achieving just and truly democratic society – we are, and will be able to overcome our preconditioned boundaries.
Working on women’s issues, and just any other issue that is challenging modern society; it is very important to have a space to share and learn from peers, both from inside and those that are located in different continents of the globe.
This inspires and makes us feel that we belong to a movement that is truly international. Meaning we understand each other; we are united under one goal, but we are each uniquely different, allowing us be in a “commonality” and yet keep our diversity.

Khandarmaa Zorig, Foreign Relations and Fundraising Programme Officer
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia  
Women's Funding Network member since 2004

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