Monday, August 29, 2011

Slaughtering and Crushing

Even though the Natopojo Women’s Group wasn’t interested in talking about the work they were currently doing and learning how they might make that work more profitable, we did talk about what kind of skills the women have and what resources are available in the area. We talked about developing a business for themselves that doesn’t rely on me or anyone from other unreachable areas to sustain them.

Two ideas came to the minds of this women’s group: slaughtering and quarry work with marble (rather than the simple foundation stones). When trying to understand why they needed to purchase animals to slaughter and not simply offer the service to those who already own animals, I learned that the Muslim men own this craft and that they do it in exchange for small piece of meat. When asked why someone who needed this service would choose them over the Muslim men, the women quickly realized this might not be the best option.

The group agreed that quarry work in marble would be the best option for them. Can you imagine? An old lady’s best option for work is in the marble quarry. After asking at least 12 million questions – some of which anticipated the “but we still need…” after I’ve already provided something – we created a list of materials needed to start the work.

Milton ran to the hardware store to get prices for those items. For 100,000 UGX (about $50 USD) we could purchase the five tools needed to start working in the quarry. For 20,000 UGX (about $10 USD) we could pay four men to do the physical work in the quarry for one day. Can you imagine chopping marble all day for 5,000 UGX (about $2.50)?