Dear Ka So, the other day I was visiting Summeiya's (my stepmum) practice. Ever since I remember she's been speaking about opening her own wellness centre. Promoting healthy living and natural medicines. After the kids were old enough, she started practicing again and last year in October she was able to finally get her wellness centre open. In 5 or so months it's become super busy and it's thriving! As her own boss she has an opportunity to work on a few other projects.
One of these projects is such a great idea and it's designed to empower women in poverty stricken areas to enable them to provide for themselves and their children. Yesterday I tagged along to help out. On the way to a rural suburb just outside of Harare, she told me the inspiration for the idea. She spoke of a man named Muhammad Yunus who in India helped some of the poorest women in the world make a living for themselves. These poor ladies would spend their days weaving baskets and selling them. After paying back the lender they were hardly left with anything because the rates for the capital were ridiculous, the women would starve. Yunus figured that without the repayments these women could become completely self sufficient. So he would lend these ladies the capital, let them make their profit and would only be paid back what they borrowed. He was criticised for this idea but these poor poor ladies thrived.
So this is what happened. Summeiya bought a huge amount of clothes and we drove out to this suburb where the people were just dumped in bad conditions because their homes were all bulldozed. So she's giving all these women 10 items of clothing, the women now have 2 weeks to go off and sell these clothes. Regardless of how much they make on each item (we anticipate US$3-4) they pay back US$1 for each item which covers the cost of the clothes. This gives them the opportunity to make some more money to buy more clothes and continue selling. The best thing about lending to women is that with their money, they will provide for their children. Clothe them, feed them, educate them. That is super important in this story. The kids are the ones ultimately who Summeiya would like to benefit from this.
Anyway so hopefully this provokes these ladies to start thinking outside the box a little more. If they can be successful eventually Summeiya won't have to be the middle man and hopefully they'll be able to source their own products to sell.
I took some photos while we were there. There is one photo I found really powerful. It's a photo of my little brother showing these kids a game on the iPhone we got him. Some of these kids have never seen a phone before and it wasn't long before they were all around him laughing and joking, before long the phone was away and they were all running around playing and being kids. These kids were so happy and they have nothing, literally nothing. It makes you think about what we've done to ourselves in the first world.
Anyway, hope you like the photos Ka! I Love and miss you soooo much!