At the beginning of Week 2, 18 women (who are Mothers’ Union trainers in six dioceses in Sudan – Juba, Renk, Khartoum, Wau, Lainya and Malakal) were split up into two groups. One group received business skills training and the other half received Savings and Loan Association training.
These sessions were led by two trainers, Salome Leipa and Sarah Kasule – one from Uganda and one from Kenya – who came to Juba to teach the business skills and Savings and Loan Association curriculum. During the course of the week, these two lead trainers had the unique opportunity to encourage the Sudanese Mothers’ Union trainers as each of the trainers performs very similar roles in their home regions.
Suzanne shared this example: Two women in the business skills class had operated businesses in their village. But, due to discouragement and various circumstances, they closed their shops and gave up the idea of being businesswomen. Now, by learning a new set of skills from women who have faced similar struggles, they feel confident to start again!
During the five days of training, role plays were incorporated so that the business skills and Savings and Loan Associations groups could practice by presenting the knowledge they had gained as well as have the chance to see what the other group had been learning throughout the week.
The business skills class role play was based on a marketplace created by the women participants. They had props for goods and demonstrated the skills they learned during the training – it resulted in lots of laughter!
The Savings and Loan Association class conducted a mock meeting, giving the women in this class the opportunity to practice the proper methods of holding a savings and loan association meeting. All participants in the mock meeting saved money and some served as leaders of the group. They did a wonderful job acting out their parts and stating the objectives and values of their group.
This week (Sept. 6), marks Week 3 – Monitoring and Evaluation. During this time, trainers will receive monitoring and evaluation training and will learn more about how the program will work as a whole. The closing ceremony of this three-week training will be Friday, Sept. 10, which will be attended by the Archbishop of Sudan, the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul. Those who completed the training will be presented with certificates.
Suzanne noted that one of the most inspiring and encouraging aspects of this training has been that there are very young women, who are participating as Mothers’ Union trainers. This takes great bravery as it is a great challenge to gain respect as a young female. However, there are several older women who are also in the training and serving as amazing mentors and examples for the younger women!
As the Five Talents/Mothers’ Union/World Concern team (Naomi, Harun, Peter and Suzanne) is in their final days of the training, please continue to pray for them. Pray that they would have energy and the ability to clearly present all of the appropriate materials and resources for the local Mothers’ Union trainers. Also, please pray for the Mothers’ Union trainers, that they would be blessed by this training, learn skills that they didn’t possess before, and share those with community facilitators who will in turn form literacy and savings and loan association groups within the various dioceses.