Our Enterprising Girls. Phase 2. Planning and Selling.

Phase 2 of our Marketing began! It was Friday 18 November and we were heading out into the streets of Morogoro the following Monday, 21/11 to sell our t-shirts. Time was needed to help the girls with their Marketing strategy. Polly, Hugo (Fundacion Paraguaya) and Kennedy spent a whole morning going through the relevant details and enabling the girls to actively participate in setting goals,costing and profit ideals, logistics, role playing etc until the girls had a better understanding of what was expected and the challenges they might encounter.

 Kennedy and Hugo sharing the power point presentation
 absorbing the exciting ideas and knowledge...

 How much should we charge? What are our costs? Should we sell plain white shirts as well as the tie dyed ones? how will we get there? What challenges might we encounter and how could we handle them?
....etc etc...

 Each group was given their own scenario and questions to which they were to respond and later to share their conclusions with the whole class. Kennedy and Hugo gave support and challenged their thinking as their discussions progressed.
 Discussion was intense and productive as the girls started to get excited about the weeks ahead.
Group decisions were being made...discussed as a class then guidelines were drawn from these discussions.

 Practice through role play...such a powerful interactive medium.
The activity drew out many of the challenges which might be encountered and gave the girls a chance to discuss and decide how they might handle a similar situation if it actually occurred.

 Fun, laughter and banter as each character became more bold and perhaps realistic!

....Then along came a real challenge!
"Can we sell to a Mzungu? They always have money.....don't they??!"
 "Excuse me Madam, would you like to buy one of our t-shirtsl?"

  "Madam they are good quality and 100% cotton..."

"Yes....yes....very nice.....Girls I am very busy!"

"Madam, they come in your size and would look good"
...."Girls, thank you... but  I said that I am very busy!

 "Yes, I am sorry, but if you buy one of our t-shirts you would be supporting poor girls being educated at SEGA Secondary School."

 "mmmm....okay. Tell me more."
"Madam we have tie dye shirts and white shirts"

 "....and you tell me that I would be supporting impoverished girls' education......." 

"Yes Madam....perhaps you would like to buy 2 or more.....some for your family?......"
The girls were persistent and really wanted to get their sale
....there seemed to be no escape!

This is the shortened version as there were many things said and done during this encounter which provoked good productive discussion, both positive and negative! Very successful!
Focusing on helping support SEGA to become financially sustainable withing 5 years was agreed upon as it empowers them instead of diminishes their status in the market.   

 Monday 21 November arrived and Group 1 Marketing team journeyed to Morogoro town center where Kennedy, Hugo, and Joffrey Lubega assisted in supervising these very excited entrepreneurs!

Time for chai to gain energy for the big day of selling!

 Teams of two were decided then discussion and allocation followed of appropriate locations as well as return times for lunch and completion of the day.
And so the fun.... and reality..... began!

Introducing Jonas! Thanks Gemma.

Having visited the Posta and excitedly collected a parcel, I was tearful as I opened it, discovering a very special soft toy inside. It was from Gem to Me with wishes for a Happy Birthday and a safe journey home to Aus in a few weeks time. I told the girls at school about him and they made me promise to bring him to meet them the following day.
I had just stepped on the bus when the girls pounced on me demanding I show them my treasure. That was almost the last I saw of him for the whole day! I challenged them to name him and by the time we arrived at SEGA he had been Christened: Fernando.
Nusura nurtured him as if he was her own child....slung him on her back and all the girls greeted him and welcomed him to SEGA.

He attended the Pre Form Intensive English program....
.....you can see him wrapped up asleep on the desktop!

...was loved by all the girls...

....and treated to Mama Mpishi's delectable mandazi and chai!

the birds and the bees.....
Are babies found in the cabbage patch????
...or in the passion vine????

The girls had so much fun with him that day I just didn't have the heart to take him from them when the day ended. By this time the Form 1 and Form 2 girls had joined in and had befriended him well and truly. One thing changed during the day and I'm still not sure why but.....Fernando became Jonas and.....still is today! He had his first weekend sleepover last weekend. Form one had him Saturday and during that night then Form 2 cared for him through Sunday and the night.

He even joined in our fun at the International School last Friday during one of our Form 2 Enterprise Marketing activities. I'm sure he brought us luck...

Thanks Bloss...you have  given much happiness to many people!

Community Outreach: #3 Visiting the elderly and disabled . November. 2011

The end of the school year was fast approaching and the Education For Life team (EFLT: Counsellor Pauline, Naomi, Headmistress Salome, Polly and I) were keen to have the girls organise another Community Outreach activity before the completion of semester. Naomi was keen for us to visit the Elderly community in Kichangani and making contact with them to confirm our visit, we then began our preparations. 
Having completed their National Exams, the Form 2 girls were asked to run the day. The girls were excited at the opportunity to give companionship and share their time with such a needy group in their community. They planned to take food and soda and prepare a meal for the elderly and disabled who live at, or attend Kichangani Funga Funga Home. 

Wednesday 16 November, Pauline, Naomi and the Form 2 girls traveled to the soko (market) in Morogoro town where they divided into groups and were given the money for which they had carefully budgeted based on their chosen menu: Pilau, vegetables and oranges..all to be washed down with a bottle of soda.  Each group set about buying their particular ingredients.....nyama (meat), mchele (rice), mboga (many vegetables), chungwa (oranges), soda.....returning, happy and keen to move on to their destination.

Jessie, Lydia and I had run our usual Wednesday morning swimming with the Pre Formals which saw our arrival after the girls had shopped and begun their cooking tasks. Fortunately we chose to travel with Mudi by taxi because I wasn't sure of exactly how to get there.....On reflection.....I would never have found my way on foot!! Even though Mudi knows Morogoro well we still managed to 'do a Fran and... arrive via the scenic route'....I have been here for nearly 16 months now and am still discovering new and exciting 'nooks and crannies' amongst the local communities!
The girls had organised themselves into working groups. One group responsible for preparing / cooking / serving / cleaning up  etc....whichever group wasn't active spent their time talking, helping, sharing stories, singing and dancing with the residents.

Being shown the nyama slowly cooking over the meager coals.

 Lydia and Naomi chatting with some of the girls.

Pauline and the girls chilling.
Pilau under way!
Some of us chatting about the day and relaxing.
The music had begun and the girls began to dance.
...whilst many chatted...
....others were delighted to just observe and soak in the beauty of what was happening around them...
....mmmmmmm... some of us tried to dance....obviously my style is not quite the same as theirs but caused great laughter, clapping and many, many smiles!

Little Anna was so happy to be able to dance with our girls. They welcomed her easily and enjoyed her individual style.
....then we met Matthew.
Matthew (not his Tz name because I couldn't pronounce it... so he said I could call him by his English name!) has been blind since birth. He had a wicked, fun loving personality and laughed happily with the girls even though his life story is very sad. During his education he learned to speak English and both he and I were happy to be able to converse in English. He shared his story then went unaided, much to the amazement of the girls, to his room and brought us his treasured book. It is in Braille.
At this stage of his story telling he had gathered a large group of girls around him so I quietly slipped away from the inner circle and let the girls take the lead in discovering more. They were intrigued and asked many questions about how he learned to read and what life was like as a blind person. He patiently answered in Kiswahili then in English for my benefit. He took the girls fingers and guided them along the bumps on the page. A first experience of using Braille for all of them I'm sure!

This was a very special moment for me and almost brought me to tears to be able to feel the love and respect coming from our girls for this amazing old, forgotten gentleman.

Pumping the well for water. 

Pure bliss to have visitors!
The cooking team bringing the kula (food) to serve.

The serving team ensuring that everyone gets plenty to eat. 

These young boys were anxiously waiting ...hoping they weren't going to miss out. Food was being served at the same time the local school was finishing. The smells and excitement brought the youngster from everywhere in hope of receiving some too! Mama Simba shooed them all away and said that she never ever sees them anywhere near The Home. If she did she would set them to work! (That's probably the reason why they don't come near!!)

The girls were always alert and ready to assist in whatever way they could.

Enjoying the rewards of their labors!
Pauline with Mama Simba who runs the Home. 

Some of the gang.
ALL of the gang!....ALL sooo happy to be sharing.

The residents were very moved by the generosity and kindness shown to them and pleaded with us to return. 

In the classroom where the younger children are sometimes given lessons. 

Being shown around Funga Funga. We are overlooking the large bustani mboga (vegetable garden) only some of which is tended by the Home.
In this picture Matthew is asking me to promise to bring the girls back to visit them! 
Their lives are never interrupted. Nothing ever changes. They seldom have visitors. Variety in food doesn't happen. Soda just doesn't exist. Life is very quiet and uneventful. The outside world is somewhere else...a place they have nearly forgotten.

Our visit to Funga Funga was an emotional one...
...one our girls will never forget
....one which I will never forget
...one I  am so grateful to have had the opportunity to share with our girls. Girls who are so needy themselves but have so much to give.