Saturday, November 22, 2008

To Whom Does it Belong?

To whom? To whom? To whom does it belong?

Hands on hips, bobbing up and down, Heidi and I chant in unison with the other thirty volunteers who showed up for Lamech’s seminar on ownership and sustainability. We were utterly clueless as to why we are chanting, and why we are chanting this particular phrase, but no one else was having similar qualms. Apparently, such “energizers” are common in Ugandan seminars. It’s pretty impressive when you think about it, because it definitely would take more than two minutes of chanting to keep me refreshed and focused through a 7-hour seminar.

Pauline, Lamech and Baguma Charles, entirely on their own initiative, organized this training for the BundiNutrition volunteers and a few other key farmers in the community. Many of the attendees were members of the four BBB production teams, others were volunteers from the Busunga/Bursaru outpatient nutrition programs, or buck keepers from around the district. They listened attentively and participated actively. The morning was spent brainstorming what makes an effective team, and ways for the production teams to be self sustaining if BundiNutrition is not around some day. The afternoon discussion centered around brainstorming micro-enterprise ideas with a focus on local chicken projects.

Heidi and I agreed that one of the best things about this seminar was that (other than organizing the lunch) we had nothing to do with the planning or execution. Often there can be a disconnect when we Bazungu come in with our ways of thinking. In this case, Ugandans with a wealth of knowledge and creative ideas were effectively encouraging and educating each other.

When we’re discouraged with the state of the district, it’s a privilege to glimpse how God is truly working in the hearts and minds of community members.

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