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:) (Part I)

July 7, 2011

              I decided to keep this post short mainly because I feel like the million pictures I plan to attach will show everything better than I can describe it. I have been working 6 and 7-day weeks because the kids I am teaching are only able to come when they are not in school or doing work at home. My big workshop was on starting a small business. I know what you are thinking… “Really, there like 12. How is that going to help at all?” But it was a HUGE success!! I had two Kitovu Mobile employees help facilitate. They incorporated interactive games and lessons that conveyed truly valuable information to these children in an extremely accessible way. In this particular workshop they learned about supply and demand, how to see if their products have market value, advertising and the meaning of saving some profit. They made budget books and worked in their Peer Support Groups (PSG) to make workplans and goals for their individual businesses. Afterward, they were given (with the FSD seed grant money) the necessary raw materials to generate their first profit. There was SO much joy and the kids were just running around in excitement. There are so many details I could type, but honestly this is what people write books about!!!!

            The workshop before this one, my facilitator and I decided that one very determined and already prosperous PSG, should part-take in facilitating the workshop. These two girls are both 11 and are so intelligent it’s scary. They taught the other children how they had saved and kept records in a budget book, kept a group fund and after a year were able to buy a hen. It was AMAZING! They took over! They answered question after question and really gave the rest of the groups inspiration to produce and save.

            At this same workshop there were community workers (HIV-positive adults that work as leaders in the community) that attended to support Kitovu and the PSG children. They were amazed by the success of the workshop and we over heard than afterward planning a meeting with all of the community workers in the sub-county to teach them what they had learned. This way they could help the children as mentors and apply the skills to their own lives. Also, the next day, when we had the second workshop, the community director (leader of the community workers came!! HELLLOOOO SUSTIANABILITY WHATT UPPPPPP!?!?!

 

So, because I’m lazy I’m just going to bullet point highlights J :

 

– I was given an avocado in a small village by an old man because I told him my name was Grace (my middle name) and he said “OH, a Christian. Take this avocado”. Then we walked to his church. Random, but we had a great time.

– I ran into a goat, literally. It was awkward.

– My Luganda is slightly improving (I have officially bargained with a boda boda man and got the price I wanted, had a pleasant conversation and said goodbye… in LUGANDA!)

– I only have a little over 2 weeks left here and it’s freaking me out

– I have a problem: I pick up all small children.

– One girl I met today just rubbed my hair saying “ice cream, ice cream”… she’s 2, but thinks my hair is exactly like ice cream. I don’t get more adorable than that (she’s in one of the pictures)

– A friend I have made through my mother at home is A HUGE INSPIRATION Kellen Donnelly! (She doesn’t know I’m adding this) but she is originally from Uganda and has started (www.mendourbrokenworld.com) a women’s empowerment organization. She is truly the definition of a strong and independent women and I can’t wait to meet her.

– Working with HIV/AIDS positive children daily has actually been getting harder and harder because I’ve gotten so close to a handful of them. It’s going to be very hard to say goodbye.

– I have learned to love Matooke. But i need some cheese more than anything!!!!!

 

 

Sorry for the lame post!! Miss you all!!!! And THANK YOU to all the Letters of Hope participants!!

 

Pictures: Me at the  ‘Education For Life’ program facilitated by the Counseling/Training department at Kitovu Mobile AIDS org. My workshops!! Some of my kids! My Ice Cream girl and old man J *(All the pictures won’t fit in one post, so look out for the follow-up picture post!)

 

– Margs            

 

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