Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Namulesa Methodist Church

Half the participants left by the time we all posed for this photo.
Still, I never seem to quite blend in.
Robert arranged for a business workshop for women at one of the Methodist churches nearby. Namulesa is the name of the small town on the way toward Buwenge, where Alone and TTATCC is located. We pulled into the yard of this small building to a warm greeting from just over 20 people.

Using the Creative Futures material delivered in Paidha, the group proceeded to realize they had many business and personal assets suitable for generating new business ideas. The part they seemed to struggle with was combining those ideas or seeing connections between them and among each other. For example, they struggled to understand how bead-making, knitting, and tailoring might be related and thus result in a new business idea where three ladies could work together toward success. We spent much time on this content until they were all confident about generating these ideas themselves. The goal is that they can continue this type of brainstorming in my absence…not to create a dependence on me.

Once they had some ideas for new business opportunities we created long-term goals and short-term objectives. The exercise we use to learn how to make the short-term objectives measurable and specific seems always to work well. The group learns from their mistakes and is able to demonstrate their understanding through examples. We tie everything together to be sure the participants can see how to start by creating an idea and end by creating the short-term objectives needed to achieve those goals and use real life examples along the way.

When asked what they’d learned, various participants said the following:
·         I learned to work together with others who have products that go together.
·         I learned to make goals for my business.
·         I learned that I need to use critical thinking to find new ways to do business.

The church pastor wrapped up the teaching by inviting me to return with the next lesson to which the group offered a resounding applause. “Make Namulesa your home,” he said.