The Umoja Craft Group is working to build their self-sustainability and the developments are really exciting!
Currently, there are two volunteers working with Umoja - Violaine and me. I leave in two months and JRS does not plan to have another volunteer intern working with the group, and Violaine is leaving the country in August. So, one of my co-workers, Violaine, and I sat down and brainstormed way to help the Umoja group become fully self-sufficient and able to continue to grow the group and their market, and to maintain the current quality and quantity of product. We then had a big meeting with the Umoja ladies - almost all 50 of them came, and we asked them what they thought they should do to become more independent. Their ideas were very similar to the ideas that Violaine and I came up with, and so we were able to move forward with the plans.
We held a big election, starting with nominations of candidates for leadership of the group. Once we had 6 leaders, the women voted for one of them to be the group president, and the ladies subdivided into smaller groups under each leader. This means that there are now 6 groups of about 8 women, each with a group president and vice-president. We discussed roles that would be needed within each group - such as a quality control officer, and voted women into those roles as well.
We are now working with the leadership team to create official policies and procedures for the group, and running trainings for the individual roles, so that they can be completely self-sufficient by August. It has been very exciting to watch the women step into their roles and begin to take initiative and feel more confident in their abilities as they prove to themselves that the group can function without 'azungu' help.
Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.