Tuesday, January 23, 2007

 

Ku Wa Kabili (Tuesday): Messages of Hope From Kigali to Kabul

Lee captured this incredible view from Richard's office.

Sabra talking shop with Leiny.

Wendy and Jeanne discussing B2P (Business to Peace).

Barbara, her mentee Jeanne and Jeanne's son.

Anne and Languida.

Languida explaining her business and peace efforts to Pat, Susan and Wendy.

From left, Sabra, Nadia, Sylvie, Pierette, and Stephanie.

Today marked an important occasion for Bpeace. Wendy, Pat, and Barbara (Jeanne’s mentor) started the day with a visit to Jeanne, where Wendy conducted the first B2P (Business to Peace) interview. We’re connecting the dots from business to peace by exploring ways our associate’s businesses can contribute to long lasting peace. And our associates are happy to be part of it. We hope these stories will inspire the Bpeace Afghan associates in their peacebuilding efforts.

Jeanne tearfully shared memories of her experience during the genocide and sent words of encouragement to her fellow Bpeace associates in Afghanistan. “I want to tell those women to continue to fight for peace and to know their efforts will help future generations…Take risk, don’t be afraid. Fear will make you fail. It’s important for people to learn to pursue their interest and also respect other people’s rights and don’t get in the way of their pursuit of happiness. Business is like a war. You have to fight and you can succeed with determination and will.”

After interviewing Jeanne, Wendy stated “this justifies being on the mission and if I went home today it would have been worthwhile.”

Anne joined Wendy, Pat and our interpreter Susan to continue the B2P interviews with Languida at her funeral business. Languida is a star role model for B2P because she is running a business that traditionally women didn’t run and in which cultural issues surround the taboo of death. When asked by Wendy what advice Languida would like to give our associates in Afghanistan, Languida replied, “If not now, when?” Languida told us how she was interviewed on a radio talk show regarding her start up of a funeral business. As a result, people traveled from miles away to see her business and get her advice. “I have the same idea but I was afraid to start the business,” they told her. They also wanted to see the business so they’ll know where to go if they need her.

After the B2P interviews, Wendy found that what most resonates for her is how the women who need help are so willing to help others.


To support the efforts of our courageous Rwandan Associates…

Anne, Marla and Lee met with USAID and the Department of Defense to identify regional programs and resources to support the efforts of our associates. Anne and Marla reviewed current and future Bpeace training programs and possible opportunities for partnering. With the same intent, Barbara, Stephanie, Marla and Richard met with the head of UNIDO Operations in Rwanda to learn about its recently launched Private Sector Expansion and Development Project.


Simply Budgeting

Meanwhile back at Richard’s office, Sabra continued to work with our associates on reading the stories their “books” tell. She reviewed business budgets with Pierrette, Nadia, Sylvie and Leiny and emphasized the importance of knowing your monthly basic costs and preparing for peaks and valleys. Sabra also discussed with Leiny the opportunity to become a distributor of cleaning products with guidance from Leiny's mentors back in the US, Loretta Davis and Heather Rees. Sabra observed that whether you're a businesswoman in New Jersey, Anguilla or Rwanda, the issues are the same and so are the solutions.



Comments:
Lee's awesome photo sets the tone for Tuesday's message: Inspirational. Jeanne's eloquence and insight are uplifting. The time is now and the team is on the ground to make sure we all move forward together. Thanks for the phone call Anne, it's always great to hear your voice. Love to all, Golde.
 
Drawing links among the Rwandan and Afghan Associates...who would have thunk?

Thanks Wendy and the team for inspiring this important peace dialogue.

--Toni
 
What I wouldn't give to see Bahktnazira and Jeanne in the same room!

Great work today, everybody. How're the extracurricular activities (food and shopping)? Can't wait to hear more details on the upper-level meetings, too.

--Emily
 
WENDY!!!

you look SUPERFLY! leave it to you to look amazing even so far away from home! sounds like you had a great day.

Holly
 
I am thrilled that you have started the important conversation about business and peace. I know the journey that this dialogue will take us all on will be deep and rich and profound. I am happy and proud to be part of this movement -- women in business creating peace. So cool!

Love,

Athena
 
Reading the blog and learning more about the associates and their struggles helps me keep my issues and challenges in perspective. Best to you all as you continue the mission

-- Maureen
 
Hello to everyone in Kigali! I have been reading the blog and am amazed by what is happening. And what beautiful pictures of the people and the city that I long to see again!

Lee, how is your Kinyarwanda coming?

Oh, in case you are wondering what is happening here, winter is finally in. We are freezing, and I hear that we will be lucky to reach double digits on Friday. So, while you enjoy the warm weather in Kigali, some of us will be wrapped in blankets and hats and whatever else we can grab to keep ourselves warm and wish we had joined you on the trip. Good timing!

Eugenie
 
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Nice work everyone. The team looks great, the associates look great, the blog pictures look great!!!

The depth and quality of the dialogue going on with our associates is amazing. Just like our experience in Afghanistan, the relationship blossom with each visit. There appears to much power in just showing up.

My hat is off to you all. Wish I was with you. Special shout out to Marla - HI MARLA!!
 
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