We celebrated a blissful ending to the old year with the
Tuma Viela team, by having a drink together at the cusp of 2010. A
successful year needs a festive ending!
Sister Fawzia and myself had made a brief overview of how we are doing, what
we have achieved in the past year and our good intentions for the year to
First of all we had a look at the finances. What have we spent in 2010 and
what do you we have left to continue our work.
We have been rather pessimistic the past few months... We needed to invest a
lot the first year, took on more staff than we had initially intended, due
to the huge demand then halfway through the year we needed to cut back on
our hours to buy us some time.
When I really looked at our finances, I noticed things weren’t looking so
bad for Tuma Viela! We have been able to do a lot with our budget, and
thanks to some large one-off donations, we even managed to have some money
Together with the guarantees of structured donations, we have a good
foundation to continue the project in 2011 on a part-time basis.
We would love to work full-time, there is so much to do! We would also love
to be sponsored by Ghana! It is time they stood up to the plate and
converted the appreciation for our project into some hard cash! We’re eager
to start our school-project about litter! But that means we can count on
about twice the amount of orders we have now and that means we need the
funds to pay the wages of the people filling those orders... We are
definitely going to try our utmost to achieve this. A new year offers new
The Tuma Viela team was extremely pleased to hear that they are assured of
at least part-time employment this coming year and have let me know I should
thank the people that have made this possible!
In 2010, a total of 3433 people, both children and adults, have brought
942.800 sachets to the workshop! If we were to line these all up, it would
come to a length of 136.70 km! Looks like this project is in the bag!!!
A first year like this is very emotional. You need to get a gip on the whole
operation, figure out what is reasonable and what is (still) unobtainable.
Is everyone comfortable within their position and do they find their work
challenging enough? What is someones strong point and which jobs are better
left to others... At this point we kind of know what we can do, what our
weak spots are, what can be improved and what we should probably avoid
doing. This is such a great feeling! To include others, some tasks have been
delegated to other team members by Fawzia and myself. This way we create
broader support. Carrying responsibilities together is one of our new years
Another bull we intend to grab by the horns in 2011 is our shopping bag. We
want to promote it more this year. If we can convince more people to bring
this bag with them when they go to the market or elsewhere to do their
shopping, they can politely decline the use of the single-use carrying bags.
This in turn will lead to less litter. We are still considering what the
best way would be to make this an attractive deal to people... Aside from
the fact that you can get one at the workshop in exchange for 250 sachets,
we would like to sell them in town for a small fee.
We have said our goodbyes to Rafik, who is now following a training at the
hospital and we have welcomed Hamdia, the latest addition to the team.
During the farewells, everyone was handed an envelope with content. An extra
token of appreciation on top of words of praise. And what did I see today,
on the first day of the new year? The oh so quiet, almost invisible Latif,
sitting behind his foot-pedal driven sewing machine, bobbing his head
smiling, listening through headphones to, so it seemes, very swinging music.
He has bought himself a small radio and now he can escape the continuous
cackle of the ladies trying to speak over the rattle of the machines...I
don’t blame you Latif! Enjoy!