July 26th, 2009
Written by Tara Hawks, Director of Sewing Hope (a Fount of Mercy program)
Today was spent in Idoome, a village a little over an hour from Jinja. This was the first time I had ever been to work with the women there. I must admit it was a hard day. It just takes some time to become comfortable in a group, and for them to as well. And, not working with them before made us unaware of their skill level, so it requires some figuring out on how to teach things. Nonetheless, the women are lovely, and we were joined by several men who either are on the local council or have wives involved in the class. They added a great dimension, as the women giggled at their mistakes during English class, and as they taunted a man named Willy when he finished his fabric rosette and pinned it onto his shirt.
We returned to Jinja this afternoon knowing that we need to regroup for tomorrow and think carefully about how to plan for this group. In our meetings before coming to Africa, I said to my teams several times that the most important quality you need to have to come work with us in Africa is flexibility....and days like this are exactly why. Because we come for a few weeks in the summer, it is difficult to assess just what the women are learning and what level they are at....even knowing the needs of the class is difficult. So we tried a few things, had some success, but also need to change the way we do our classes a bit. I am confident that each day will get better and better. Not only because we'll get to know the women and they us, but also because Judy and Georgette are excellent teachers and will roll with whatever we face.