Wednesday, February 9, 2011

KOWH Business Teaching: Week 4

The business teaching for week four was about marketing and promotions. We used cell phones as an analogy given that such tools are essential in Uganda, which means that these women can relate to the marketing they see for cell phones. We learned about target market, place marketing, and promotions. Together we devised a few new ideas for how to market their products and to do so collaboratively, and at the same time understanding that our God is a God of abundance so cutthroat competition is not necessary.

The women knew that today was the day for making the purchases from website sales (that’s you…thank you). They eagerly laid out all their jewelry for photo taking, but the pile was massive and distinguishing one product from another was a challenge. I asked to have one style of jewelry at a time so that I could get a good individual photo. The women promptly lined up wearing their treasures and awaited their photo opportunity. I gave in. Rather than have photos of jewelry useful for the website we have photos of all the women wearing their jewelry. They are such beautiful women even if it’s hard to see the jewelry.

Making purchases was challenging. When I identified the particular style I needed to purchase every one of the women who made that type of jewelry lined up. I was prompted to make my purchases as divided among each of the women in line so as to share the wealth. The women got only a few thousand shillings ($2.00-$4.00 USD), but that few thousand easily purchased a small meal for the night.

I expressed my love for these ladies and my appreciation for their dedication to the time we spend together. We prayed together. They have become so dear to me. I wish Betty could have been there. I worry about her every day (she is a recent widow who was evicted from her husband’s family and home). I continue to learn more about the ladies and their families as each visit passes. Upon saying our goodbyes they loaded me down with sacrificial gifts and we all posed for our photo. Until we meet again…