Friday, October 25, 2013

Week 4: Funds and clubs

This week we have been working hard on finalising funding proposals for the Global Women Fund. We have also just been given the opportunity to present a proposal for a new project and receive funding for this from one of our partners, Fredrick Gough School. After hearing about some of the main concerns of the women earlier this week, we came to the conclusion that financial independence can lead to greater respect and equality for women. Therefore we designed a project to train the women at Kabeela on income generating activities and leadership skills, and in turn enable them to train other women in different villages. The objective is for more women can gain financial independence in the Gilongou community, whilst empowering members of Kabeela with this new sense of responsibility.  As an additional bonus, some of the staff and pupils of Fredrick Gough School will visit Kebeela in order to raise awareness on the issues that women face. We hope they approve our proposal!

Theatre club this week was focussed around the roles of the women with in their family home and broader community. The sessions started off with a play which represented family life at home. It was a modern take on the roles which women play within the family. The sequence was the woman comes home from a hard day at work and the husbands offered to cook and look after the children because his wife was tired. This was acted out and a discussion took place after with the women to discover their perceptions. The women stated that they had the traditional home maker role and if they were ‘too tired’ to do anything, they would experience huge problems with their husbands. They did not feel it was their place to speak up to or disagree with their husbands. They felt however, that since they have started making some money through Kabeela’s IGAs, their husbands have treated them with a bit more respect and given them slightly more freedom. It was enlightening to understand how the women viewed their own roles at home and how money and independence were so closely tied together.

Moringa training during the environmental club went well and the women had good knowledge around the nutritional properties of the Moringa plant. A quiz was used as an interactive method to help recap knowledge, which the women enjoyed. The second half of the session was a creative task of creating Moringa tea bags with a range of flavourings such as mint, ginger and hibiscus. The women completed the tasks very quickly and were very skilled in stitching the tea bags. We asked the women to take the tea bags home to taste them and to inform us on any improvements that could be made the products before launching them on the market.

Finally, the IGA club was based on improving the members’ counting and financial management abilities. We spent some time earlier in the week finding resources to improve these techniques, and they seemed to work effectively as many women left the session having learnt completely new skills.

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