Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Life in Africa

I was pretty proud of myself for recognizing the proper stage from which to alight in this place called Gayaza, to which I’d been only one time before. The bodas took Charlie and me a few kilometers off the main road as I watched for milestones by which to remember where exactly to get off and close the distance on foot. The ladies of Namavundu, and their new teacher, were waiting at Charlie’s house for our next pre-launch meeting.

The plan was to develop a framework by which to guide the group in its operation over the next few months. The ladies didn’t entirely comprehend the need but as time passes and we refer back to this framework to guide decision making, I believe they will come to understand the value. We began with simple vision and mission statements that help the ladies see what their lives and their community can look like if we achieve all that we set out to achieve.

Vision: To see the people of Namavundu make a significant contribution to their families, community, country, and to the body of Christ.
·         Family – Developing skills increases the chance for creating income to sustain families.
·         Community – Improved living standards including health, education, and safety.
·         Country – Training others how to become productive in tailoring, a model to citizens.
·         Body of Christ – To see God in everyday life through hard work and evangelism.

Mission: That every member:
·         Master the trade skill of tailoring.
·         Connect the Gospel to productive work habits and a Christ-like home life.
·         Become innovative and creative so that your work is set apart from the rest.
·         Learn to find markets and sell work and products throughout Uganda.
·         Become self sufficient both in their skills and in their homes.

That giant blue santa pack is stuffed with sheets
used to give the group practice after they learn
to sew using the paper sacks.
100 Christmas Dollies just doesn’t seem like the right name for the group anymore. When asked, the ladies decided on the name Life in Africa for their group. Perfect. May I introduce, the Life in Africa women’s group of Namavundu.

We met in town the following day to begin collecting the needed supplies for the tailoring training. Papers, needles, measuring tapes, cloth (old bedsheets), and more were just a few of those things needed. Armed with their new stash, the teacher was charged with getting the small group going so that they would have some simple work to show the rest of the community as they invite them to participate in the tailoring program.

Between now and December 9, launch day, they’ll be diligent in forming the relationships needed to be sure the program reaches as many people as possible. Counting down to launch day…