Watoto Wote Wazuri

The Second Annual Women’s Workshop

Posted in Uncategorized by Lynn Ouellette on 01/27/2014

The Second Annual Women’s Workshop for our Tuko Pamoja women was a great success, and a powerful, magical experience! The women arrived in the morning excited, dressed very “smart” as they would say in Kenya and smiling broadly. There were a lot of hugging, cheering, happy greetings and “I missed you” even though we had seen most of the women with in the last few days. The workshop opened with chai (Kenyan tea) and mandazis (Kenyan fired dough or doughnuts) and opening remarks with a prayer and a poem I had written as a tribute to Kenyan women after my first trip here. I have previously included it in the blog and I can’t get through reading it without getting totally choked but did get through and the women loved hearing it again. We talked about the theme of the workshop as gaining independence and our goals for the day:

Workshop goals

helping us out for the day were 4 young adults who grew up in Nyumbani village who have a long history of connection to KEST and to Lloydie. One of them is Lucy! who a group of 5 of us, we call ourselves “team Lucy” have joined together to sponsor Lucy’s education at the university in Nairobi. They are a wonderful group of young people who are siblings and cousins. 

After setting the agenda the groups set off to attend the individual sessions of the workshop. The finance session was done by Karen (a financial planner for the U.S board by discussing budgeting and finance. One of the goals is to make sure each group and each individual woman has a bank account and the concept of budgeting. Her Kenyan board counterpart was out of the country but she got some help from Valerie too. Lloydie and Maggie ( who is a manager at Amani, a store and factory employing African  women refugees) did a workshop on marketing. Simon and Evelyn’s form the Kenyan Board accompanied Deb for the session on product design and quality control. Finally I did a session on building self esteem, personal well being and relaxation techniques. My Kenyan counterpart, Lilian, the counselor at Nyumbani Village could not be there because the international Nyumbani board members were visiting Nyumbani Village. The workshop attendees form each group of women (Kibera paper, PCDA, the grandmothers from Nyumbani Village , and from the three Lea Toto Self help groups) rotated through each session. 


Marketing session

Deb with Kibera paper women in product design session

Karen in the finance session

Village Grandmothers in Personal Wellbeing

Between the sessions we had a very lovely lunch prepared by the Dimesse sisters staff and all the women ate very heartily. There was also an opportunity to look at each other crafts and to mingle, share ideas, and for us to shop yet again from their crafts as we obtained permission from Dimesse sisters to have the women set up a market for the people who were staying at the retreat center.

Karen and I doing a little more shopping

Lunch time

At the close of the day everyone rejoined for closing remarks all around. The feedback was marvelous about how much they had all learned, wonderful additional suggestions,  and of course profuse appreciation.  We also had the handing of certificates and gift bags from the Tuko Pamoja board. The gift bags contained maize flour, lard, tea, and sugar–staples of everyday Kenyan life. Deb had also prepared luxury gift bags containing soap lotion tissues and a wash cloth. Between these and the certificates there was a very joyous celebration at the end of the day. The final closing was a prayer amazing singing, beautiful, harmonious and heavenly singing that truly conveyed the message of Tuko Pamoja, we are together, as everyone joined in, in held hands, harmonized and  sang out in unified voices and many of us were moved to tears once again.  


I will come back later when in the right technology circumstance and load a video of the singing, so check back so that you can glimpse this experience! 

The Board



This is the best!

Giving gift bags



2 Responses

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  1. transformer313@aol.com said, on 01/27/2014 at 1:46 pm

    Where is Valerie???


  2. Robin Turner said, on 01/30/2014 at 12:44 am

    How grateful I was to receive this update on the wonderful work you are doing and how powerfully our God is blessing you – to be a powerful blessing!

    I miss seeing you, Lloydie. But these greetings make me feel more connected. I also feel like I know your colaborers already! I am so thankful for your faithful witness and am anxious to see you in person again. In the fullness of His time, of course.

    Give my Kenyan sisters a holy hug for me!

    He is Faithful!
    Robin Turner


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