I have spent the past week with a women group in Goma – DRC. Thinking about the Ebola crisis, the post election tensions was not exciting and infact postponing the trip was the best option I desired.
However the tension was another great opportunity to go to Goma to meet the 60+ women and start some great conversations with them.
What I heard in the room when I arrived was discouragement, giving up, regret and alike, and to be sincere this is evident in the DRC context and many have lost hope in this great nation.
From the extract of Nehemiah 2:11-17 , the group had to apply this story to their current context and I was privileged to be taught about the DRC in less than an hour from the skits that the women perfomed.
The skits had the following scenes: corruption, Ebola, unsustainable handouts from international agencies, robbery, domestic violence, sex trafficking and hopelessness.
In reality, these are the some of the scenes that describe the context of DRC today, yet their is so much potential in this great nation. The obstacles just can’t let people think beyond them, hope is lost and dreaming becomes very difficult.
These are the conversations I have had this week, but something great has come out of this;
Bringing back hope in a hopeless context and people starting to dream.
Locating themselves in these dreams and what they need to actually do to achieve these dreams.
A sense of urgency.
Obstacles will always be there, but the hopes and dreams will always triumph the obstacles.
The power of working in community , helping each other to achieve personal dreams.
The realization that whatever they have been doing was without purpose
And so on…
That is the power of VICOBA -plus in a context like DRC were so many things are happening, it is difficult to imagine the potential of VICOBA – plus, but yes the women mentioned it is something they needed as soon as yesterday and they are ready to use the knowledge from the training to inspire change in DRC.
These women champions are going to change DRC…
Read and learn more about Kitega’s model, helping communities lift themselves out of poverty!
VICOBA is built around communities dreaming and working collectively to bring about positive change in their lives and communities.
VICOBA, is the acronym for Village Community Banking.
The sound of the name quickly makes one think that VICOBA is a regular savings and loans Association to provide credit to the poor and other low income earners in the community. When people hear you talking about VICOBA, they will quickly think about money, i.e loans and savings.
Well we can talk about micro finance and the potential it has to raise people from poverty another day.
Read More: http://kitegacc.org/vicoba-in-east-africa/
For the past two weeks, I have been figuring out a new definition of what I do, and with a few amazing friends this afternoon I got a summary to answer the question: What do you do? “So I am me, and I facilitate conversations and listen to stories” Am still figuring out a definition to summarise this in one word.
But here is one story: Two months ago I facilitated a conversation about developing dreams with a special group of women in Nairobi, and this week I was listening to stories of transformation. Mary has a unique story, she wanted to do something to earn a living, she was inspired, informed and encouraged to start a day care centre business after the conversation. A grandma of many is now using her skills to run the day care home for children in Nairobi and she is still dreaming big. Her life has been changed … I can go on writing but in summary I have seen many people transforming and creating sustainable projects using locally available resources. Am humbled, and I am confident to say; “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can”
David Clemy – January 2016