Friday, January 26, 2007
Friday (Ku wa gatanu): Dreams Can Come True
First off, the team of Marla, Barbara, Stephanie and Wendy visited Languida who gleaned several new ideas from the funeral trade journals provided in the Business Inspiration Kit (BIK) assembled by Ray.
Marla, Barbara, Stephanie and Wendy visited Console who has two successful businesses (retail dairy business and a party rental business) and has plans for expansion. Console wants to buy a refrigerated truck so she can control the transport and ensure that she gets the inventory she needs, and it’s fresh. With her own truck, she can also increase volume and develop a good wholesale business. Console has excellent credit and Bpeace is helping her maximize her borrowing power through the relationships we’re building with institutions like Fina Bank. When we asked her about the Bpeace market research training session and if she wanted to create a comment card, she said “Big time." Now perhaps that was embellished in translation, but it seems like she is excited about her new expertise. She ended our session by giving us each a rose. Clearly she has a touch for client appreciation.
Sabra and Lee spent the morning with Constance, Solina, and Francoise. They have all made progress with bookkeeping skills. Not only are they mastering ways to manage their businesses effectively but are – as a result – able to see that they are running profitable businesses and thus able to look into the future with optimism supported by real evidence of their progress.
Having educated herself with books but still yearning to study abroad, Solina is beginning to believe that she can fulfill her dreams to travel abroad and pursue a degree in horticulture in order to expand her expertise and grow her business further. While working with Solina's budget we came to the conclusion that she had a net profit. It was at that point that she realized that her dreams were becoming real possibilities. "You mean my dreams can really come true?" asked Solina. “That’s right, girl,” answered Sabra. That's what Bpeace is all about.
Sharing Joyous Milestones
As we see our associates’ progress in the fulfillment of their goals, today we also had the honor and pleasure to share the milestones of three members of our Bpeace family in Rwanda. Our program manager Richard – together with Rwanda Knits’ Geoffrey and our interpreter Susan – was graduated from the Kigali Institute of Education in its second ever graduating class. Anne had the opportunity to attend the graduation as an honorary family member. We celebrated at lunch at the famed Chez Lando (Google it…) with Richard’s mother, twin brother Ronald and sister Hope and in the evening high atop a Kigali hill with Geoffrey and his family at his new home with relatives and friends who had gathered together for this special occasion. Cari, we passed on your best wishes and love to Geofrey who made special mention of the impact you have made on his life.
Live from Radio Anguilla
We hear it’s a little chilly back in the US but it’s hot and sunny here in Rwanda and in the British West Indies where word of Bpeace mission hit the radio waves today. Host Calvin Bartlett interviewed Sabra for his weekly business program for Radio Anguilla. Sabra discussed the similarities between our Rwandan associates and the women that she trains in Anguilla.
While Sabra discussed these parallels by cell phone from afar, our mission team met with members of the Unity Club, a charitable association of Rwandan women either serving in or married to current and past members of the Rwandan government to explore ways in which Bpeace and the Unity Club can further our shared goals of economic development and general social welfare in Rwanda.
Wendy had another B2P interview today, this time with Auréa and her daughters, Claudia (a/k/a Coco) and Sylvie. Because of discrimination, Auréa was denied the opportunity to go to college. After the genocide, she went back to school and became a lawyer. She’s preparing to start her own practice, where she’ll represent impoverished genocide victims. Auréa says that she became a lawyer so she could avenge the death of her family members in a peaceful way. Her advice to the Bpeace associates in Afghanistan is to move forward quickly and take opportunities when you have them. “You must make up for lost time.”
Claudia, age 12, offers advice to the Afghan associates’ daughters. “When you grow up, you must continue the work of your mothers.” Sylvie, age 9, agrees that it’s important for women to work. “You need to get money so you can feed your family.” Claudia wants to be a doctor when she grows up, and Sylvie wants to be a singer. We found our first associates for the Bpeace class of 2017!