Last Wednesday, we met Jennifer for the first time. We had a seat in her restaurant, a 6×8 ft. room, with a wood table and chairs, and talked with her.
(Jennifer’s kitchen behind her restaurant)
She is part of the Mama Nguvu project. After meeting her, my mom and I decided to sponsor her so that she could buy the things she needed to improve her business. This meant that today we were going to Kisenyi market.
We met her at 9:00am outside of her shop, before we headed off to the market. When we unloaded the van, we assembled into a tight group, everyone with a partner as we embarked into the busy-ness of two Kelownas in half the size.
We first went to get 24 new plates, 36 cups, and 3 Thermoses. This would allow her to serve a larger audience, and the higher quality of plates makes a better impression on her customers. The flasks she can put hot milk in to use for tea.
Next we made our way to buy six new pots, all the while dodging people carrying ten mattresses on their heads or semi trucks pushing their way through the crowd. Having more pots means cooking more food and attracting more customers.
After that, we made our way through the sea of people (I held Anna’s hand to avoid drowning in it) and drove to the plastic store.
This store, filled with plastic, was guarded by an askari, an armed security guard. This plastic paradise was a shiny, air conditioned room, filled with colourful chairs, tables, clothes hangers, and teapots (Calen felt the chemicals drifting through the air). She chose 12 blue chairs and a beige table. With smiles on our faces, we strapped them to the top of the van and made our way back to her restaurant.
She was very thankful. As she loaded her new things into her stall, other women from the community began to come up, hugging her and congratulating her on her sponsorship. All are excited to have a meal there.
As we drove away, the last thing I saw was the smile on her face and a wave. Part of the Mama Nguvu project is that after a year, she will be expected to invest in another woman in her community. This will ensure sustainability for the years to come. Hopefully next year we can return and stop by for lunch.