GOGO and OPERATIONAL NEWS
The gogo groups have done a WONDERFUL job this year and we are really into a good stride with up to 8 groups who are diligent and reliable and LOVE helping KAS. We have distributed 6,000 blankets which is much greater than the 3 - 4,000 blankets we usually provide!
They are amazingly delighted with their R10/blanket donation and we have heard of one group using the money to buy an urn to serve tea on sewing days; another group which needed a decent table; some have set up “investment” clubs and so on. They are a canny bunch indeed, and it is a thrill to know that they are being empowered by our small contribution/s.
There have been a couple of false starts with new gogo groups, but Wandi has become quite adept at putting people in their places, whilst Ronda just sits and smiles as she doesn't understand the language and is able to sit it out! She is firm, but fair.
We had a meeting with the Phiri Municipality on 14th December as it was hoped that this would be a place for gogo groups to work from - sewing and stitching their blankets, and, that it would become a sort of 'depot' area. Unfortunately, the only storage facility turned out to be much too small for KAS needs.
Our three Sowetan ladies, Lindi, Wandi, Nani (who is coming on the board in February), plus Mabel from Evaton, were thrilled at the idea of spending another weekday (perhaps Thursdays) - in turns - over-seeing the gogo groups there, and, encouraging new groups and running that whole side of KAS from this venue. Also this would have helped the municipality develop gogo programmes and use their space more positively which would bring them accolades from central government and possible extra funding.
It would have cost nothing in terms of rental, and, we could have supplied tea, coffee and biscuits each week. The hope was that we could then move our office to somewhere smaller. Unfortunately, after all the promises and high hopes, Ronda discovered the premises could only accommodate two gogo groups! This was shattering and disappointing news.
And Phiri is not going to solve that completely. BUT, just as our meeting appeared not to unearth any real opportunities for us at Phiri, the conversation turned to sponsorship. The municipalities do, of course, have huge clout with corporate SA, as we do not. We are having a further meeting on 18th January at Phiri, in the hope that something concrete can be achieved.
Another office was kindly recommended and Ronda visited - unfortunately it was two floors up! Lugging parcels upstairs is simply no longer an option!
Wandi and Vivienne
At least our current landlord is allowing us to lease on a month-by-month basis, so that if a suitable place arises, we could move easily without a long lease hanging over our heads.
At the office Ronda has had the pleasure of busy, animated, happy volunteers all chatting and working together - a hive of industry. Recently the office hosted a group of 6 Gemalto staff who are learning to stitch squares together, in order to tackle the squares their Shanghai branch colleagues had made to send to KAS in October. The local staff have spent two Tuesdays sitting on the carpet at one end of the office putting their squares together - they are knocked out by KAS and its operation!
We are still hoping that IBM will do as promised and, perhaps this year help with the administrative issues, such as fundraising, the KAS SA website domains being populated, the database system and catch up, and, so on. They love opening the parcels!
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great news! I'm so glad that the Gogo groups are working well and that they are benefiting from the small payment. I know I tend to post pics of completed blankets but a steady pile of squares to be sewn in SA are piling up here!
Great news, indeed!! Soooooo much positivity in this report. May all their hopes and dreams come to fruition.
I am so pleased to hear of the financial savvy of the gogos with the small remuneration they receive and I will continue to support them. :))
What great news, especially the part about how the very small stipend we are able to pay the Gogos is empowering them to do some things they otherwise would not be able to do. It is wonderful to read that they are using the funds for things like a tea urn, tables and investment clubs (would love to hear more about this sometime). I had only ever imagined that they would use the stipend for little luxuries like soap, but these amazing women are turning the funds back into improving their groups. What selfess women they are. Go, go, Gogos!!!
This is really uplifting news ! Go the Gogos !! I do hope that the premises can be found soon and hopefully at a cheaper price !
Thank you, Pam, for sharing this 'good news' report. What amazing women these gogos are! Thank you, Ronda, for getting our squares to them. allowing them to feel good about what they do. Brings to mind the quote in the article about Bob Rutherford. Bob's son said, 'If you want to help yourself, help somebody else." How true! xo
It is uplifting to read such positive news, thank you for sharing Pam.
Thank you for this report. How wonderful it is to hear of the group effort of the gogos; they are clearly dedicated to working together for good.
I really hope something positive comes from the next meeting as I'm sure the sponsorship would mean a great deal. It would also be good if we could still find a suitable site to use as a "hub" as the idea sounds excellent.
Here's to 2017 and the continuation of the wonderful work.
Thank you for this good report Pam. All the best for the meeting on 18th at Phiri Team Ronda xxx
Thank you, Pam, for this write-up. Imagine reaching out and distributing to 6,000 children - I live in a village of 1,000 people. The gogos are truly exceptional and selfless. Let's pray that there will be fruitful meetings in 2017.
Thank you for giving us so much information on how it's going over there. Much to pray about. :) God bless all these wonderful people for everything they are doing to help Ronda and Wandi and the children.