Community Groups are one of the essential building blocks of our work in the slums. It is through these that we hope to see people learn, build friendships and relationships and bring whole communities closer together in unity (click here to read more about our community groups) In the Banda community group (which the members have named ‘Revelation Women of Hope’) we are already beginning to see some promising results. Members are actively involved in highlighting issues that they come across day after day and in identifying beneficial training programmes that could ameliorate their situation. They meet regularly and independently with the Revelation Life team checking up on them each week to encourage them and to help facilitate trainings. We have seen close friendships spring up between neighbours who didn’t even know each other before and watched, as members have grown in confidence and responsibility in the safe environment of the group.
A good example of this is Mama Edith (Hajirah). Mama came from a strict Muslim family who ostracised her after she married a Christian man. Her father told her that she was a wasted daughter and that she was dead as far as the family was concerned. Even when Hajirah tried to send money home to help support her parents, they wouldn’t receive it. It wasn’t until two years later that her aunts managed to persuade Mama’s father to slowly allow her back into their life and to re-think his earlier decision.
We first met Mama Edith three years ago through Mama Bashir, another woman we have known and worked with for a long time, but she was initially shy and quite reserved. As we spent time with her, however, she slowly became more responsive and more interested in what we did as an organisation. She began to come to our weekly discipleship meeting but after a short time, found she was too busy and we didn’t see her for a while. With the introduction of the Banda community group, however, we were delighted, first when she attended and then when she was elected chairperson of the group.
In that position, it has been wonderful to see her grow in confidence and maturity as a motivator and a leader. From heading up her group in KCCA’s (Kampala Capital City Authority) ‘Kampala Go Green’ campaign; clearing up rubbish in the area, to taking the initiative in updating members who have missed useful training sessions, Hajirah has become a truly inspiring leader. It is also so good to hear from her that her father now calls regularly to see how the family are and that he even recently came to visit them at their home in Banda.
Please pray that the family will continue to be brought back together and that Mama will go on growing in leadership and assurance.