Monday, March 24, 2014

Expanding Lulu Groups

Over the past few weeks I've made a slight but important shift in my ministry work. Where I once was really only working with one of our Lulu groups, the one in Mabatini that I helped to open up, I'm now taking on a bit more responsibility with some of the other groups around town. Our Mabatini group is doing really well; the facilitators are planning well and handling the group; the girls are gaining more and more skills each day; and soon they'll be learning some hand crafts so they can make a little more money for themselves and their families.

 The girls have gotten really good at doing skits/role plays. Here they're talking about saving money by shopping around for the best price of vegetables.

Natalie, an adult facilitator, teaches about managing money and creating a budget based on income and expenditures.

Now is a good time for me to take a step back (while still supporting them, of course) and help Corine, the SMA missioner who created the program and is the person responsible for Lulu in her goal to open up 2 more Lulu groups in 2 different areas of the city. Last week we went out for some visits to those locations.

In an area called Nyakato, we had a meeting for interested girls and their parents. We have a lot of great support in this area from the local leaders, one of whom offered up their house for us to have this meeting.

Corine talking about Lulu and how the girls can join

On Wednesday of this week I will go out for our first meeting in Nyakato exclusively for the girls (without parents). It's always a good feeling to start a fresh new group. At this point, there's nothing going wrong, they're all clean slates toward the program and we can start at square one. Soon things take on a life of their own and become more complicated, so it's always a nice, fresh feeling at the start! Despite the challenges that may come, though, I'm very excited to see what happens here!

After we get Nyakato group off the ground, we plan to work with a local computer school to start another group, in an area called Mecco (not too far from Nyakato). The computer school has a special program for young girls who are pregnant or parenting, to teach them computer skills and try to help them get a job. We're going to open a Lulu group here to help give the girls even more skills.

Me and Corine meeting with Rose, one of the office staff at EBLI (Education for Better Living).

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