This video of Tarison is a little over a year old. Now, the little man runs all over the place saying things like, “Mamma, coming”, “Hello, birds”, and our favorites “No” and “Stop.”
I love this video for so many reasons! First, it makes me stop and think about all that has happened here in the past year. Tarison is no longer a baby, but a very funny and active 2 year old. Secondly, you might not recognize all the voices in the background but they are some of our regular people, our family, Tash, Muhoza, Flora, and Fanny. Thirdly, and most importantly, I hear the sounds of encouragement and excitement coming from everyone in the room.
I believe that when someone tries something new, grows a bit in an area, or is willing to learn something new our reaction should always be encouragement, excitement, and clapping. Just like when a child is learning to walk they are encouraged and cheered on to keep going and keep trying, I believe we as adults do the same thing or at least we should.
At 41 our ladies are making some baby steps of their own! They are realizing the importance of what they have been given or shown and are starting to take ownership of 41. As we all know being a leader among our peers isn’t always easy but being a leader when you have been told that you are not important, you lack resources, or you don’t have a place makes it seem impossible. Some of our girls have had quite intense pasts and believing that they have value and something to give can be difficult. Despite this, some of our ladies are coming together to form leadership and responsibility teams.
We sit every Friday and talk about the past week. Two weeks ago I was asking if they had heard or thought of coming up with an investment/small loan community among themselves. They told me that they had one in place for about 6 weeks! I was told who the president, secretary, and treasures were and how the system works. I was amazed! They told me that Tara had talked to them about this a long time ago but they hadn’t been ready to start one until 6 weeks ago.
At that same meeting I was informed that not only do they have a small loan system set up they have managed themselves into responsibility teams for our daily operations. Normally, when a new order comes up I will meet with Xavera to discuss design, needed materials, etc. but she informed me that I would need to meet with the “design team” also. They explained that each lady was responsible for a job that contributed to the sewing project and that there were consequences for missing meetings or their assignments. Now, it’s been only 2 weeks but I haven’t, one time, had to ask if someone was doing this or not doing this, they are managing themselves! We are so proud of these baby steps that they are making and, more importantly, that they are realizing that they have value, what they are doing is valued, and that what they are doing should be done well.
So yes, we here at No.41 watch as they take these baby steps, clapping, cheering, and excited to watch them grow.