Patrick Welsh has been collaborating with Sonke since 2008, in the development of staff knowledge and skills for the design and implementation of training processes on gender and masculinities that use popular education methodologies.
Born in Northern Ireland and raised in Scotland, he taught in Nigeria in the early 1980s before moving to Nicaragua in 1986, where he spent 5 years working in rural areas affected by the Contra war, promoting popular education as a tool for human and creative/artistic development within the context of the Sandinista Revolution.
After a short spell working with CAFOD in London in the early 1990s, he returned to Nicaragua in 1993. For the next 10 years, as a development worker employed by the Catholic Institute for International Relations-CIIR (now known as PROGRESSIO), he supported the work of the Nicaraguan NGOs the Centre for Popular Communications and Education (CANTERA) and the Association of Men Against Violence (AMAV), of which he is a fonder member, in the development of participatory methodologies for gender training and awareness raising with men. During that period he also coordinated the AMAV LAC regional programme that entailed extending the work with men on gender and masculinities to Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Peru.
Since 2003, as a freelance consultant, Patrick has supported the initiatives of many local, national and international organisations (for example Puntos de Encuentro and the Nicaraguan Masculinities Network for Gender Equality-REDMAS in Nicaragua and CARE International in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean) in the design and delivery of projects and programmes to engage men and boys for gender equality. This has included technical assistance for the development of training manuals, video packs, research and processes of systematisation aimed at strengthening strategies and methodologies for working on gender and masculinities.
Patrick is the author of Men are Not From Mars: Unlearning Machismo in Nicaragua, that documents CANTERA’s work on masculinities in Nicaragua from 1993 to 2000. He has also written numerous articles for national and international publications on issues of masculinities, GBV, sexuality, sexual abuse, SOGI and homophobia. He has had chapters published in peer review journals the Community Development Journal/Oxford Journals and the IDS Bulletin (Undressing Patriarchy: Men and Structural Violence) and in books Men and Development – Politicizing Masculinities and A Man’s World?
In 2006 Patrick stepped down from the management committee of the AMAV but continues to offer strategic and technical support to the REDMAS, the Nicaraguan MenEngage counterpart. He is a committed activist in the promotion and defence of women’s rights and LGBTI rights.