Saturday, May 31, 2014

Craft Fair May/June 2014

We just had the first of 2 days at the Mwanza Charity Craft Fair. Great day! A little hot, but the company was great, the crafts were beautiful and the causes were worthy.

Taking a break from the sun. In the back you can see some of the hanging mobiles and necklaces that the girls made.

Our booth with crafts, all of which were made by Lulu girls. If you can take out take out the stuff from the booth from behind us, you'll see bags and balls made out of grocery bags, crocheted tablet bags, bracelets, baby sweaters, crocheted bags, balls made out of African fabric, etc. Great job, girls!

We hope even more people will come out tomorrow to support the great work in Mwanza.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lulu Happenings

I'm so proud of the Lulu girls in Mabatini. Ever since they learned kazi za mikono (handcrafts), they have really been working hard to get things done so they can sell them and make a little money. (The idea is that this money will be used to fund small businesses of their own.) For the past month the girls have been showing up early and not wanting to leave when the class is over. We have to kick them out! And THAT'S saying something from a culture where it's normal for no one to show up to a meeting until an hour after it was supposed to start. It's just really exciting and heartwarming to see them really using their skills to the fullest.

Mwanhamisi, who is a new facilitator currently in training, sits with Easter (pronounced Ester). who is a more experienced facilitator, to learn about making greeting cards.

One of our most quiet participants, Nyigo, is really proficient at card-making and it's been a great way to get her more involved with the other girls, who are much more outgoing.

The downside to this is that when you empower people to stand up for what they want, they can get really pushy. Just as it is heartwarming to see our hard work paying off, it's also really annoying when they're all 20 of them swarmed around me and demanding whatever it is that they need. Sheesh! We've created monsters!*

Also, speaking of unexpected things...Sometimes we have unexpected visitors in our Lulu classroom. Check out who stopped by with his family to hear about our session on family planning. There were so many of them, I think they might need the lesson!

A family of monkeys! This was the only shot I could grab of these cute, but mischievious guys.

*Really, I'm just kidding. I wish all my friends and family at home could see the transformations from our first meetings, where everyone was timidly sitting, afraid to talk or interact with each other, up until now, when they're joking with each other, participating in classes, and working so hard. So many of them have started small businesses and are making a little money to help their families along or to educate their kids. It's really, truly wonderful!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's day

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, step-mothers, mothers-in-law, and mother-like figures, especially to those who who are no longer united with their children.

I thought that a special flashback Mother's Day picture would be appropriate for this occasion.

Mom and Grandmom on presumably Mother's Day AM, just a few years back.

I don't know if I should say sorry to or congratulate my step-mom on her fortune at the incomprehensible fact that I don't have an old photo of her.  Instead, here's one of my two mom's on our last visit.

Photo by Ben Waldie.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Duara wa Utawala na Uthubiti- Power and Control Wheel in Swahili

When I was planning my presentation on Healthy Relationships and Domestic Violence for the Lulu facilitators' training last month I was hoping to find some materials in Swahili so that I could use their own words to describe things or define concepts, rather than using English words and concepts translated into Swahili.

If I were doing a presentation in America or in English I could do a quick Google search and find an overwhelming amount of materials, as well as some fairly standard tools that are used pretty much universally by most Domestic Violence Prevention Educators across North America. Unfortunately, when I did those same searches in Swahili I couldn't find a single thing. So I had to recreate the wheel, literally.

Duara wa Utawala na Uthubiti or Power and Control Wheel, in English
Since there was really nothing online I thought I'd add my contribution to the field here. Maybe someone in the future will do research on violence in East African relationships and this will be helpful to them. This was reviewed by several Tanzanians and Tanzanian cultural experts, so I think it's not only linguistically accurate, but also culturally appropriate. I think it's a shame that there's not more resources out there specifically for Tanzania and, more importantly, research out there in Swahili.

So here is Power and Control Wheel, or Duara wa Utawala na Uthubiti in Swahili, which is a tool to describe various methods that an abuser often uses to obtain power over another person. It certainly isn't an all-inclusive list, but just an illustration of a few examples. I wanted to have pictures in order to be inclusive of those who can't read, but being that I have little to no artistic ability I didn't want to (poorly) draw everything. Luckily, I found pictures from a Power and Control Wheel I found online, which is meant to be used for people with hearing impairments.

So anyways, for all posterity here it is. Hope it can be of some use to someone at some point.