Our women's empowerment groups take the form of a lesson on a topic which is relevant to the ladies and then they divide into smaller groups to discuss the topic and share their thoughts and experiences with each other. If we compare the groups to when we started a year ago - now they trust each other! There is no gossip, but rather a deep friendly atmosphere which is joyful and peaceful!
Recently the lessons have been about children and how they grow and what they need at different stages. Many of the ladies are single parents or are in marriages with husbands who do not participate in raising the children.
One specific lesson was about raising teenagers, particularly boys. The women learnt how teenage boys think and how they need to respond. They also learnt how fatherlessness affects boys and how the mothers need to work with them.
The women were told: “If you are raising a son without a man in the house, then you need to bring a man’s influence into his life. You can take him to sport etc. so that he can learn how to be a good man with a good trainer’s influence.”
The ladies found these lessons helpful and enlightening. In the small groups after the lesson these comments were heard:
“Why did I not hear about this time long ago?”
"Why I did not know this when my kids were young?! Now my kids are older"
“Yes, our kids are all now older and so we all look back at the sins we made then, now we know"
"Everything has its time, well now is my time to learn!"
“It was a very good lesson and there were many questions about each child,” our Operation Mercy facilitator said.
Afterwards she noticed how the women were sharing telephone numbers with each other for where their sons can get sports training from good men trainers. They were applying what they had learnt before they had even left the building.