Monday, December 1, 2008

KENYA Day 4, Monday, December 1, 2008


Today I went to the slums of Nairobi for the first-time and it was such an uplifting experience.

That may seem like an odd statement and my emotions from today are so high that it may even be hard for me to explain.

I must start out here by saying that I am tired. It is getting late and training starts tomorrow. So I may leave some holes and some questions, but please be assured that I will try to fill in those holes throughout this week. However, I have to share some points about my day despite the late hour at night.

Today we did site visits to some of the homes and businesses of girls who are going to be in our training program this week. We visited two girls that are in a program conducted by TechnoServe (http://www.technoserve.org/).

Maggie sells water (for 2 shillings a jug—about a quarter) and Queen works with her aunt in a hair salon. Maggie and her two-year-old son live in one room and it is obvious that it is cherished and taken care of with great pride. Lace curtains and beautiful embroidered couch cushions are just a few of the special touches.

But I was particularly impressed when Maggie reached under her mattress to show us her ledger. She had been keeping track of her sales for two months. She shows sales and expenses for each day. But most impressively, she also shows SAVINGS for each day. She is saving over 1,000 shillings a month.

She said she learned how to do all this—her ledger and to save—through the TechnoServe program (which is funded by the Nike Foundation). Maggie said before her training with TechnoServe, she spent the extra money on snacks, but now she understands the importance of saving.

WOW.

It was quite a walk from the main road and entrance to the slum—and local bus stop—to Queen’s home. I mention this because sometimes when Queen goes to training programs she gets back after dark. Our chaperones from TechnoServe told us how unsafe this area of the slum in particular is at night, and they are concerned about how far Queen has to walk from the bus stop.

The entire time we are walking through the “streets” the young children are running up to us and saying “How are you?” It is a chorus of “How are you?” “How are you?” “How are you?” the entire afternoon! Maggie told me that these are the first English words that children learn. Many reach out to shake our hand. Pauline Mwangi, Entrepreneurship Manager for TechnoServe (and a graduate of a Vital Voices-Fortune program) said most of these children have probably never seen a white person.

There were many ducks on one street. Maggie told me the ducks belong to her cousin, who sells the ducks as a business. I asked her how her cousin can be sure the ducks aren’t stolen? Maggie said, “It is very hard to steal a duck. If someone tries to steal a duck, the duck quacks very loudly so my cousin knows and can come out and get the duck before the person can get away with it.” To Maggie, I’m sure it seemed like a funny question, because the answer is so practical.

We went to a meeting that about 10 girls had for the TechnoServe program. Maggie is the leader with a girl named Florence as the assistant leader. I was extremely impressed with both of the girls’ leadership skills. Since I had not met Florence earlier, she was a welcome surprise. She kept Maggie focused on the agenda, paid attention to staying on track of time and was not afraid to disagree if she did not think plans were practical.

Florence said, “We will be seen as very important now in our community because we have two white women that came to meet with us.”

Florence was also drop dead gorgeous. When I mentioned this on the ride back to the hotel, Pauline told me that Florence’s past included prostitution, but she had quit that and was working hard to stay away from it. TechnoServe had set up a sales internship for Florence and Pauline said she did an outstanding job.

After the meeting Florence came up to me and asked for my email address. She told me she wanted to email me and keep in touch. I was extremely honored that this bright young woman had an interest in me, this 52-year-old stranger from America. I look forward to corresponding with her and really hope she writes to me.

The girls’ group scheduled an acting class that would start the following week. Part of the purpose of the acting class is to use it as a recruiting tool to get other girls to join their group. They also discussed topics for the play they wanted to write and put together. I gave them a goal. I will be back in Kenya in March. I wanted to see their play in March. The girls, and Cyprian Amakulu, our driver and an intern with TechnoServe who works with this specific group, assured me that it would happen.

On the way back to the hotel, I asked Pauline what the goal was with these groups, which TechnoServe has set up all over Nairobi. Is it to get the girls out of the slums? Or is it as simple as trying to build up their self-esteem? Is it to help them grow a business and get a better life?

Pauline said the goal is to show the girls the options that are out there in the world. One option might be entrepreneurship. Another one might be to save money and provide a better life for your child, even if it is within the same community. This answer was so impressive to me. If the goal was to get the girls out of the slums, it may seem too far-reaching and discouraging. To build their self-esteem would not be enough. This goal makes perfect sense.

The three-day training that Vital Voices is doing for the Nike Foundation starts tomorrow. For more information on this program, go to http://www.girleffect.org/.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone

We do not agree with this year BRIT awards 2010 decision.

Please attend our little web survey

http://micropoll.com/t/KDqOnZBCWt

Lady Gaga can not be better than ?????

Poll supported by BRIT awards 2010 sponsor femmestyle
[url=http://www.femmestyle.li/brustvergroesserung/index.html]brustvergr├Â├čerung[/url]

BRITs.co.uk - tickets left standing!! This Competition is now closed
OK

Anonymous said...

[url=http://safepaydayloanhere.com/#bcommunicationbridges.blogspot.com]payday loan[/url] - payday loan , http://safepaydayloanhere.com/#scommunicationbridges.blogspot.com payday loan

Anonymous said...

This is a common misconception which will be resolved only with firsthand experience.

''. You can then take a hard look at the companies that come up for that particular keyword.
Naturally, they will flock to your competitor who does.
Is professional search engine marketing the thing that you need.
The major preference is for offshore SEO companies as they offer
SEO at the most competitive prices. While these 5 truths may seem self-evident, it is the astonishing fact that they are contradicted, and even outright disputed,
in the greater SEO debate. This means that they follow
only the steps given to them by Google and other major search engines.
Online research is required to determine the packages and SEO
Company. Over the years, web promotion has made a mark in the industry and has helped numerous
entrepreneurs to build large business return through web.
Thus, if your charges are overly cheap, this might cause doubts and worries from their mines regarding the quality of the service they get.
The concepts make use of the current social networking sites, which are very
popular among the online audience. Let us assume that at this point you have 6 keywords.
Here you will need an SEO agency such as Webfirm to try and run
damage limitation. Learn from other people's mistakes and experiences rather than destroying your own skills and wasting your time on experiments. G) SEO basics -Image 6: Open Google. Today, it is necessary that you scout the market for the best SEO Host that can help you achieve this. When a person enters a keyword into the search box of a particular search engine such as Google, there will be scores of results showing out which are a result of a search engine algorithm devised by that particular search engine. The internet has become an integral part of our lives that according to the latest statistics, almost 1 billion Americans access the internet. Never post a half edited article, and never settle for less than your best.

Review my web page - http://tw.robotorg.com/?module=JennieChri&params=9950

Anonymous said...

Sizzling hot Book of Ra spielen has a huge exciting and qualifications tale, because there is about the exciting activities in the old Egyptian.
Afterwards, joust your cash chips on the cash desk. You can join the millions of people who play online bingo.


Visit my web-site - http://Www.spielespielen24.de/
Also see my web page - click through the next article

Anonymous said...

Tag Cloud. ''. Users normally tend to visit websites
that are at the top of this list as they perceive those to be more relevant
to the query. This gives your name higher credibility and better search engine rank.
A dedicated SEO expert will devote all the attention and effort in enhancing the visibility of your website or business in the online world.

Search engines are getting smarter at detecting sites that are spamming keywords or made solely for
the purpose of advertising. They make their strategy according to the audience their client
is targeting. Relevant keywords ought to be used in the alt tags.
Configure You - Tube settings by changing the default settings to your
preferred and secure preferences. Be sure that the SEO outsourcing company you hire is
capable of communicating properly. organic search, frequency of blog posts, frequency of on-page optimization, the relative importance of
links, the use of social media, the best way to measure results,
etc. Don't Forget to Replace the Default Favicon with Your Logo. Moving your hosting to a nearby country such as Canada or an offshore Caribbean host may provide the same latency times, but reduce the risk of having your website brought down by a mistake. No - you name some of your images "breast. This is where your innovative SEO marketing techniques can achieve a high search ranking for your budget motel whenever a user is specifically searching for a motel at your location. It has been designed especially for business purposes and it holds biggest importance for your B2B online marketing strategy. The World Wide Web is an incredible source of customers and potential revenue for all types of businesses and companies in all niches. SEO content is a huge deal in today's online oriented business world.
A good web solutions company will always provide you realistic time frame for the results to show up.
November 2012.

My blog post: bylhosting.com

Anonymous said...

For some people, renting those games was another option, which yet again burns
a hole in their pocket. WIFI:Als Verbindungsmoglichkeiten ins Internet stehen Ihnen WIFI wireless lan zu
Verfugung. The reason for this rather strange feature is that,
as described above, apps in the Android Market are listed as they are submitted, without any
testing.

My website onlineradio

Anonymous said...

In short, they become obsessed by the grass is always greener syndrome where
everyone else's relationship and their own past lovers are elevated to the status of perfection. 'The tears of mankind have not washed
away man's desire to kill. I thought it would be cool to make people laugh as I inquire into the things that fascinate me, like the trap of being human and, at the same time, divine. I don't want an strange voice to order me around.
Their history timeline details how the greenhouse covered 4,000 square feet, and in 1976, a 6,000 square foot greenhouse was added.

It is hard to believe that we are unable to provide
the minimum required comfort to our old ones, destitute women and
even orphans. games for preschoolers. Nevertheless,
we're now moving on and talking about the top Xbox 360 games for 2012. Today, the company has over 1. So be it.

Review my web page :: Highly recommended Reading

Anonymous said...

When you quit, you can immediately feel its decision within 24 hours, health benefits, which can
cause you to not smoke forever. An alternate electrical power source reduces the probability that
the access technique will turn out to be inoperable via strength reduction and aid
conserve battery lifestyle. If a LED is used instead of
a bulb, the connections will require a bit more attention.


Here is my web site ... online radio

Anonymous said...

The most important thing to know when you are
selling an account is where you are going to sell.
Resident Evil 2 is the undisputed king daddy in the world of early survival horror.
The reason for this rather strange feature is that, as described
above, apps in the Android Market are listed as they are submitted, without any testing.


Take a look at my site gratis spiele spielen

Anonymous said...

Therefore, the characters must sell animal skins in order
to get money for buying the weapons. If you look around your community,
our country, and the world, there is little evidence of
loving actions. One situation had me pose as bait to draw the
enemies out so my ally could dispatch them. 99 Mac Mini
only ships with 1GB of RAM. Overall I'll say the game isn't that re playable.
Originally established as a sanctuary for the
Nilgiri Tahr, the 'The Eravikulam National Park' has
now turned into a highly popular tourist spot. We relate to it like it's the truth. In an effort to counter the lack of support from Microsoft, an SVG plug-in for Internet Explorer was developed and supported by Adobe. I was excited to see what they would come up with, since I already have two children. We have witnessed this first hand in this business.

Here is my blog post plurk.com

Anonymous said...

At times the selection may be off, you can
always dislike a song meaning that it will never appear on your radio
again. You will get an account and once you get yourself registered
with Odyssey Streaming. It ostensibly arose (Ars Technica's version) from a desire of the European Union to move forward in creating agreements with the major trading partners concerning a wide variety of goods and services in danger of being counterfeited.

my website mouse click the up coming web site

Anonymous said...

Literally wiping sweat from my forehead after doing my
best 90s dance moves to a memorable mix of old school joints from the likes of Special Ed, Eric B.
One of the best internet radio apps I've found so far on the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is for Last. Do I have a niche or speciality that is going to make my station unique and successful.

Visit my web page; http://sahelweb.com/

Anonymous said...

Perfect for a chillout slow jam hangout after
the clubs close. What we can do is to really accept what
we did while forgiving that part of us that was unaware of what we were doing or how it would impact other people; the part
that just doesn't always get it right. Quicker to produce and available in lower costs, they often feature a lot of complex designs.

Look at my homepage: chillout radio

Anonymous said...

And indeed Robert has made the paramount sterling effort,
guided by his mentor, with beads of perspiration on his brow, Robert has brought it in
to the landing net. The 360 Series from Aqua-Vu is specifically designed with
a rugged encasement for ice fishing. The less there is between you and the ocean, the more intimate an experience you will have out at sea.



Here is my web blog - View Web Page (greatphotosbyjkl.com)