This week we continued the momentum towards launching a 3rd site in Cite Limye by meeting with Olritch and the three women involved in our partner organization PENAH on Monday. After visiting Cite Limye last Monday and having them meet Carline to discuss the business more on Thursday we decided that we wanted to plan the entrepreneur training together. When we sat down Monday we went over their community health education materials that they use from Malteser International. Their existing programs utilize focus groups and door-to-door outreach using images and short teaching points. We decided to cover all of their water and hygiene related materials with the entrepreneurs as a way expand the number of people trained to work with them, while also training our staff. From the Kouzin Dlo side, Carline and I explained the ins and outs of the entrepreneur position that we would cover in the training.
In addition, to planning the entrepreneur training the meeting it was an opportunity to get to know the three women who were recruited to be considered for the community manager position in Cite Limye. They were slow at first to ask questions or make suggestions about the business and how it would function in their community but as we dug deeper into the details they gave good feedback. The biggest win from the meeting was the opportunity to build relationships and facilitate a sense of ownership from the onset. Sometimes I want to run full speed ahead with expanding and training as a way of feeling productive, but each time I allow the work to slow down, I realize how much more can be accomplished. As I’m watching this new partnership develop, I’m seeing unexpected benefits of waiting on the capacity, eagerness and interest of our community-based partners. PENAH is showing a commitment to not only the mission of Kouzin Dlo, but has also helped to problem solve with our system and propose their own ideas for marketing, expansion and community involvement. All of this will hopefully lead to a more sustainable model over the long-run.