Our arrival at the Katoke village was greeted by the sounds of drumming and songs. The women danced and welcomed us to the Business Entrepreneurship class. This village has recently joined BUWEA.
Most of the women had not attended any formal training session since primary school. Some walked from fishing villages that were as far away as 10 kilometers from the learning center. Many women, including some with their babies, took the path of walking rather than using local transportation to enjoy the sights and sounds of vehicles in the city. Away from their isolated homes they had a chance to dress up and travel for a festive occasion.
We reviewed the 4Ps of business: product, price, place and promotion, a SWOT analysis and completed a Stop, Start and Continue exercise. There was much participation and exchange of information to prepare the SWOT analysis. The sound of a pin dropping could be heard in a room that held 51 village women. Every woman received a WGC certificate. It will be proudly displayed in their homes to show their family and friends that they received training because of their BUWEA membership. Regina encouraged them to share what they learned with their husbands and relatives to spread the word and obtain support.
While the women were visiting after lunch, our BUWEA friends were helping us get WIFI access. Time and space are not wasted here, as then 15 of us squeezed into the minivan. Nine women joined us to get transportation for five miles. The women shared funny stories about difficult situations during the earthquake such as a bride and groom at their wedding running in different directions; a funeral at the cemetery left unattended for a day and other stories. Despite the pain of losing their property and valuables, the women find humor and support in each other to get through difficult times.