We have frequently mentioned the small savings groups which are being developed here in Kinshasa and around the DRC through the work of Pastor Jeff Sikabwe and other volunteers here at Eglise du Christ au Congo. Martin, Clauvis and Serge made up the team that went to Mushie this week to introduce the program to two groups of women and men who are disabled. Aaron and I visited the training session on Tuesday so we could have a closer look at how the process works.
One of the things I like most about this program, is that it starts by talking about how the participants are all created in the image of God. The program allows people who are often overlooked and without much representation to see themselves and their relationships through a very different lens. As we watched the trainers guided the 2 groups as they determined how each one would make decisions and develop a constitution. They then voted in a secretary for each group. They also decided on the name for each group. One is called “Esengo” which means joyous and the other is called “Bolingo” which means love in Lingala. Joyous love! Both groups were so engaged in the process and their discussions were intense. The trainers kept things moving but stepped back to let things flow.
Back in the office today, the trainers were putting together the documents each group needs to take on the beginning steps of the savings groups. Steps that will help them grow their small businesses and support their families. At the same time, the financial skills, and organisational skills they are learning will go a long way toward transforming their lives and their communities. We hope and pray for these two groups – Esengo and Bolingo!