Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December Lulu Graduation Festivities

December has been a fun, yet eventful month. In the early part of the month the Lulu Project celebrated the graduation of about 40 of its girls from 5 of the 8 groups here in Mwanza. As I have described in a previous blogpost about Lulu graduation, we celebrate for three full days whenever we have a graduation. It's a lot of work but we have a great time and this allows for all the girls to participate in the celebrations.

On Monday we invited all the girls to join each other in a netball match. One of Lulu's foundational principles is "ushirikiano" or "cooperation," but that didn't stop the girls from forming friendly rivalries. We joined two Lulu groups per netball team to help foster collaboration and teamwork.

Girls on the sideline watch as other teams play against each other.

Some girls brought their kids and other family members, who cheered their mom's on from the sidelines.

This daughter of a Lulu girl was her mom's biggest supporter.

In the end we had three winners. The overall winner took home the prize of a soccer ball from Europe, which the groups can use to play more games in the future.

Call it home-court advantage, but the combined team of Mabatini (the hosts) and Bwiru won the top spot.

On Tuesday of that same week a small group of us persevered through torrential rainstorms and neighborhood flooding to bake 13 cakes on charcoal grills. In my last blogpost about graduation I documented the process of cooking on charcoal grills, so I'll leave that out this time. This being the third time many of these girls have done this process, they are getting quicker at it and are more creative.

Working under shelter instead of in my yard, due to the all-day rain.

The final product of the cakes displayed at graduation on Wednesday.

Graduation on Wednesday was a special event for me since it was held in the Maryknoll parish in Mabatini and since the biggest group of girls to graduate came from the Mabatini group, which I was responsible for starting a year ago.

Guests are arriving and graduation is about to start.

Corine and I usher the girls out so they can process into the hall (a process that takes about 15 minutes itself!).

I gave a brief welcome and speech.

A lot of work went into the planning and execution of this day, but most of it was done by a committee of girls with us coordinators overseeing and guiding them along. They really did a great job and the day was a major success!

Corine and I with the 4 Senior Facilitators. These are an amazing group of hard-working young women!

But wait! That's not all. Stay tuned for more blogposts about other December festivities!

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