SHE on the Hunt in Gacuriro

November 5, 2010
Gacuriro School, Kigali, Rwanda

If you told me that I'd be preparing to build a factory a few years ago, I think I would've thought you fell off the wagon....and bumped your head. But, that's exactly what we're laying the groundwork for right now in Rwanda.

So how does one go about doing that you ask? Well, as I do with most things, I "googled it".....key words: factory, how-to, build. Hmmm, let me add the word "easy" to that search. Why did the screen go blank?

Our task ahead of us is not exactly easy, but that's part of the reason SHE has taken it on, right? Not being manufacturing gurus ourselves, we've decided to do 3 things: get the right people on board early, do our homework, and come up with a systematic game plan...which is exactly what we are doing now.

Our first homework assignment: check out existing manufacturing sites and potential SHE sites. And that's how we ended up at Gacuriro--Julian (our SHE Chief Operations Wizard), Peggy G (one of our savvy SHE-roes), and I poked around one of the technical schools overseen by the Workforce Development Authority, the division under the Ministry of Education with whom we have a partnership. About 6 different technical skill training modules were ongoing....melding, bricklaying, get it. What were we looking for you ask? Consistent electricity, water access, waste disposal system, light, clean space, a passable road among other things.

What was striking was the range of conditions among the different workshops. For example, the first was dark and dirty, but the second was bright and immaculate. I guess not all workshops are created equal. What was also striking was that in the 6 workshops (about 80 people total), we only saw 1 woman. She was the tailoring teacher. Maybe we should have pulled up a stool and joined her?



Hannah said...

Wow - this is simply great news to hear. Looking forward to progress updates. I'm so proud of you Elizabeth and all the team for getting SHE this far

David said...

Very intersted to hear the progress on the factory!

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