Monday, February 27, 2012

Wairake Group: Basic Business Class

The below is written by Wamimbi Julius

"Hello, here is my exciting say about the Wairake business group. This is my third class to teach ever, and I am so delighted and excited to have such a wonderful, inspired, cooperative, united, focused and visionary group of people in my class.

Based on my weekly observation as the instructor, this is one of the best groups I have ever taught. There is unity and strong leadership in the members and they are all ambitious towards achieving their set goals. The class had great momentum, in that; during the class/lessons they were so lively, active and participatory. This is a sign of seriousness and of needing to learn new skills so as to improve on their individual business.

A high moment with this group was when the students were applying the skills I taught them in their individual businesses. For example, book keeping systems. That brings great joy and excitement in my heart. Since all the members asked and answered questions during the class time, it helped me as an instructor to teach the curriculum accordingly.

Witnessing the love the group members had for one another, the commitment every member gives inspires me as a teacher to deliver the services (skills) accordingly."

Blessings to all,
Julius Wamimbi
Vocational Development - Program Associate

Monday, February 20, 2012

WAMIMBI JULIUS: Vocational Development Program Associate

We'd like to take a moment to introduce you to Julius. For those who have traveled with us, chances are you already know him well. =)

Julius is a 25 year old business major who goes to school by night and works fulltime for Fount of Mercy during the day. He has known about us and has worked for us in various capacities since 2006. He has worked with us in areas of translating, teaching, running errands, etc. He lives with a younger brother and sister, whom he has essentially raised.

Julius is our Program Associate for the Vocational Development Program. He does all sorts of various things, including keeping track of money spreadsheets, writing reports, running errands, getting money quotes, researching resources, teaching business classes, and following up with our groups as they progress in their vocations and small businesses. He has officially been a part of Fount of Mercy's staff since April 2011. And... we are so pleased with his hard work.

Outside of Fount, Julius has many side projects...including a chicken rearing business and a soda/juice stand. He is a sharp dresser and refuses to get dirty, even when playing with a bunch of kids! He is a little mysterious and is constantly telling us new things about his life that we didn't know before.

We are so thankful for Julius because he will take over the Ugandan side of the Vocational Program once Tara (FOM's Vocational Development Director) heads back to the USA this spring. He is an amazing teacher and is GREAT with people. We are seeing his gifts being used in the ways of guiding groups effectively and setting good expectations with them. He is quickly becoming indispensable to us for these reasons. And for these reasons, we say a great big THANK YOU.

With thanks,
Fount of Mercy

Monday, February 13, 2012

Beginning Sewing Class - We're so close!

We've been working hard on developing the beginning sewing curriculum and are almost ready to start training our teachers! It makes us very happy to announce that Nalongo Sarah, our star tailor, has agreed to teach these classes. With the experience Sarah has from teaching individuals on her own time, combined with a collection of detailed lesson plans, students of this class are sure to be well equipped to begin simple businesses of their own upon completion. If all goes as planned, we should be ready to start teaching our first group as soon as late February/ early March!

The purpose behind offering a beginning sewing class is to provide community members with yet another means in which they can generate an income and enrich the lives of their families and communities. Before taking part in a specialized skill program such as the beginning sewing class, group members must first complete our Basic Business Class, from which they will learn how to run and manage a business. Once instilled with these skills the possibilities of success and growth are endless. It is our hope that the students taking these classes will take away not only the skills taught but a sense of drive, determination, and action needed to turn their business dreams into reality.

Written by Sarah Pietruszka
Vocational Development Intern with Fount of Mercy

Monday, February 6, 2012

HODASSU: Volunteer Stories

For those of you who don't remember, Fount of Mercy began working with HODASSU in 2011. HODASSU is a Ugandan organization that reaches out to deaf, blind, and disabled children and their caregivers. Here are some stories about a couple of our volunteers that have worked with HODASSU.

Carly is a music teacher in New York City. While traveling with Fount of Mercy, Carly worked with HODASSU's deaf students, teaching them music, rhythm and voice. In Carly's words,
"When I raise my hands above my head to clap, they hoot and holler, releasing squeaks and screams of suppressed excitement. This is wonderful because it tells me two things: the first is that they are both excited and able to make sound, and the second, by the extreme force of their sounds, I can tell this is something that they don't do often. How exciting for us to begin voice work!"

Becky is a high school basketball coach. While volunteering with Fount of Mercy, Becky led PE activities for HODASSU's deaf and blind students. Since these students often do not receive extracurricular activities, PE was a big treat! Becky was so moved by her time with HODASSU's blind students that she wrote this beautiful poem:

"The beauty you cannot see
I see very clearly in you
While your eyes may not focus
The picture I view is more true
What matters in this world
Is not defined by one's sight
But whether or not one has vision
That centers on what is right
Your vision sees no color
Does not distinguish between age
Gives no regard to one's size
For my looks you can't gauge
It simply because I am
That you smile at me
Standing there beside you
All I have to do is be."

Thank you to all our amazing volunteers for your outstanding work!
With thanks - Fount of Mercy