Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Kireka Community

It's very interesting that you can live in a place and may not know many things that take place around you.
I have lived in Kampala for the past almost 20 years or more , because i had part of my education in this city, but it looks like i still know very little of it. This last month gave me a new idea of what my environment looks like. I moved from one village to the other and visited many places that I have never known before.

The last bit of my visit showed me to a small community called St. Theresa Women's group. This is a small community of women who live in an area called Kyebando in Kawempe division . In a swampy area lives some sisters of our lady of charity, they have helped these women get organized and one of their activities exists in the compound where the sisters live. They are so keen on everything . It's actually out of their little earnings that they have set up this community. They have a very good income generating activity(Poultry), They also train women in crafts , like paper beads making, needle work, baskets and many others. One challenge here though is the market for all their items. It has always anyway been the market problem for everything that people try to make here.It's always been the same question, "Is there a way you can help us sell our items ?"

Well my main area of activity has been the Kireka community which I may say has been my home from the very beginning of my life with LIA. I spent at least three days with them.A lot has changed here, not so many people are here as it used to be, but this did not blow off my sense of attachment with them. They still have a gallery though a bit small in size than what they had before.

The LIA Kireka gallery

At least a few activities have started again but this time with fewer people. The Ned beads program is the main one here with five ladies doing the beads. these will be shipped to the USA where Mark Grimes will try and look for market for them.

These are the Ned beaders

This seems promising, because the ladies had gone back to their stone quarrying which really is so hectic and when we began our program with them , most of them where relieved of this, but now they have no option but to go back to it.

A member of the Kireka community working at the stone quarry

There's also one new very interesting program. The hammocks sewing which is a program for Stitch Uganda together. Both these are trying to slowly raise the program to something that will become sustainable. there's hope that if the markets are up, more and more people will be employed for both . This has been an initiative of Corry Richardson after visiting our center in Gulu at the beginning of this year. So the first batch of the hammocks are being sewn and will later be shipped to Canada where Corry is trying to find markets for them.

Ladies at the kireka center sewing the hammocks

I feel that the major challenge that brought about all these disruption, is what Christina has described in her post here. but i am very optimistic that soon there will be the communty that she had thought of when she started all these and am very sure that it will bear some fruits one day if not very soon.

However as a comment to Christina, I would say please do take courage, it was not all in vain after all, you created Peter,me and many others who are doing very well elsewhere to try and change the world. just stand by and watch as the works of your hands bear fruits. Great thank you and Thumbs up for you in a special way ! I know that very many will agree with me on this.

1 comment:

Shawn4lia said...

Wonderful post Grace. And you are right about Christina. Her efforts will bear more fruit.