By RuthAnna Mather, La Leche League – International Area Network Coordinator
This past October, Panama City, Panama, was swirling with excitement as a result of a number of La Leche League (LLL) related events held there. On October 21-30, LLL Leaders—especially those in administrative positions—travelled from 31 countries, and from every continent except for Antarctica, to participate. The events included:
- Communication Skills Development series: This complete series helped volunteer La Leche League Leaders improve communication skills in their work, and was beneficial in enhancing collaboration with other Leaders. It was open to the general public.
- Communication Skills Development Facilitator Training
- La Leche League Breastfeeding Conference: Conference speakers included La Leche League Leaders and/or healthcare professionals who presented intriguing general sessions such as the “Sensitive Period of Attachment and Breastfeeding,” “Breastfeeding the Premature Child: Kangaroo Care and Open Doors Unit” and an “Untying Breastfeeding” documentary film presentation on tongue-tie. These two days were open to the general public, with healthcare professionals also in attendance.
- La Leche League – International Area Network (IAN) Council Meeting and General Meeting
- The International Management Symposium (IMS): Geared toward administrative training, the symposium consisted of two days, and 31 joint and parallel sessions. These sessions covered a wide variety of topics such as “Realizing Diversity and Inclusivity” and “Breastfeeding and Marijuana,” among others.
- Conflict Resolution Introduction Workshop: This session was aimed at developing skills to resolve conflicts.
- Leader Accreditation Department (LAD) Council meeting
- La Leche League International Board of Directors meeting
These various events, along with informal times to chat, were a great means to connect, forge friendships, and share information and resources. Over 100 Leaders attended. Everyone left with a better understanding of achievements accomplished and challenges faced by families—as well as La Leche League Leaders who seek to support them—from around the world.
La Leche League Leaders gather after IMS in Panama.