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!