Sara started to be comfortable with Gladys (babysitter), so I started to be free to expand my working hours. From this week I work from Tuesday till Friday 8am – 4.30pm and on Saturday I go to Effatha with Sara as the day is more relaxed and core members likes to play with her.
The weekly time table for L’Arche members is clearer as well. We have rota for assistants, so there is easier to plan working and personal time for them. We are still working on timetable for core members as we need to have many pictures which help them to see what they will do each day a week. The workshop in Boston House gets its shape as well the first cards and the first candles made by core members are produced. Dominik has led the very good meeting-formation for assistants to help them understand that the workshop shouldn’t be focused on production, but on learning skills by core members, so now the process of making candles is much slower as core members starts to make them instead of watching the process. For the time being workshops are planned from 8am till 1pm and afternoons after siesta are taken by team and core members meetings and Lent prayer time. Some sport activities will be planned soon and hopefully some core members will have rehabilitation sessions.
It pushed me to get more organised myself. I needed a new diary with a lot of space to write agendas and notes from my meetings and reflection times and a bag for my diary and a laptop. I even needed key-ring as till now I had my keys on a shoe lace. Fortunately I could buy all those items in Marleen Crafts in Boston House when the products from all St.Martin’s worshops are sold. And I could even ask for personalised message on a cover of my diary, so I’ve chosen to have my name and L’Arche logo. I do look much more organised now and wherever I go I promote St.Martin’s products.
And now I (Dominik) would like to add a few words. Maybe I will write about what I do in St.Martin.
When we arrived in January we got to know that Raffaella (the volunteer from Italy) had to leave Kenya and return home. When she lived in Nyahururu she was the coordinator of Marleen Project. Marleen Crafts is an income generating project of St.Martin that provides skills and income to people with disabilities, former street children, people living with HIV/AIDS and survivors of violence. The directors of St.Martin asked me whether I would like to take over from Raffaella and run the project. And I agreed.
At the same time the whole project was going through some changes. In mid-January we moved the workshops (leatherwork and carving) to the same building where the curio shop is (The building is called Boston House). Also, as it was important to me (and some other members of St.Martin) we decided to start new workshops, so core-members of L’Arche Kenya Effatha Home could have a place where they can work. This way we created a candle workshop and crafts workshop.
You can imagine that these changes have transformed the image of the whole project. When I arrived there were 3 of us working in the building. Now it is almost 30 people !
Each day we are learning how to work together, and how to build community. Before we heard some people saying that core-members have no ability to do anything. But we are discovering that core-members not only enjoy working, but also have a great potential, which they were not aware of.
If you’d like to see (or maybe even order) some products we make in our workshops (leather and carving only for now, but soon we will extend it with candles and other crafts) please go to: www.marleencrafts.saintmartin-kenya.org