Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but to Development team members of Healthy Living project, there seems to be no off day as we all have a lot of surveys, focus groups and other work to facilitate before the end of the program this summer. And so we spent this Sunday visiting women’s workshop in Bella Maria so we can figure out what they think about the activities they are doing at the workshop and how they expect the workshop will become in future. We also want to help them out with the workshop if they need any promotion or any assistance with their business.
As we have been so connected with the communities here and more and more engaged with the project, all the work and facilitation does not seem that hard anymore. It is always nice to meet with local people here as they always treat us with the best they could and makes us feel like home. And so this visit to Bella Maria was actually great to all of us. The women’s workshop is located in one of the women’s house in the community and is the place where the women get together every Sunday, sometimes with their kids and husbands, to share their ideas of how to make beautiful handicrafts and jewelry to generate more income for their families. We can see that this activity serves as many purposes for the women: it is not only a means to generate income but also a meaningful way for women who want to work and share their ideas to make a better life and future for their families and the community.
However, what surprised us most are not the beautiful stuff that they made and how much they enjoy the activity but their clear vision of how they would like this workshop to become in future. They do not only see it as a women’s activity but a potential business, which they want to expand in negotiation and distribution. To make this come true, they are thinking of having a space to display their items in Cariamanga, one of the biggest cities in Loja province, so they can distribute the products to bigger population. It is not only a dream as they are really working on the ideas of logo and the message they want to deliver. While working with them on the image of their group activity, the women were very active and gave us a lot of ideas on how they want to develop the image of their business. What we are trying to help them is to realize their ideas, including designing the logo, making promotion for their products, and packaging.
Well, people may think that our Development team is helping the communities to figure out what they should do to improve their living conditions, but actually we are also learning while working with the communities. That has made our working process more stimulating and fulfilling. There is always something interesting about the communities, their thoughts and ideas that we have not learned before every time we work or facilitate an activity with them; and all of those things, together with their nice gestures, just make us want to stay longer and work harder for the project. Yeah, that’s why working on Sunday is not bad at all. 🙂