Our first day at the office was extremely productive, more so than expected. We were surprised to see how quickly decisions are turned into actions. On the first day we met all of the partners and committee members who run Tigoung Nonma. During a morning of discussing our objectives for the next 10 weeks the possibility of reopening the kiosk was brought up, by the afternoon we were cleaning it out and it was ready to go. Due to the fridge needing a new motor there was a slight delay in opening it up for immediate business but by Wednesday it was open and serving hot food to volunteers and passersby alike. Tigoung Nonma has recruited two women to run the kiosk throughout the day, we have made a new menu board and with some bunting (using recycled scraps from a local dress makers) in the pipeline we hope to make it stand out and invite passers-by to stop for food and drink – the aim to provide an income for Tigoung Nonma’s activities. An extension of this resourcefulness saw the transformation of an old bit of wood into a new sign to direct people to the kiosk from the main road. Hannah, our team leader, has also put a monitoring system in place to record sales so we can track the finances of the kiosk. This should help to guide stock control and ensure the kiosk is profitable; we are hopeful for its success and excited by the progress made already.
The next task was the boutique. We’ve started making price labels for the products and are looking into new ways to display the products. We want to make it easier for people who come to the boutique to see what is available and hopefully encourage more sales. After a bit of organising, re-arranging and the creation of an inventory we hope to improve the efficiency for Tigoung Nonma. It’s a slightly bigger task than the kiosk but we have time! We have also started emailing organisations and Fair Trade bodies to find out about funding opportunities and affiliation. Next week we have a meeting set up to find out about different marketing techniques for the artisans.
On Thursday, Espace Bambino (a children’s group who are working with HSB team - another International Service project) joined us for the morning and the atmosphere in the work place was very happy – children and chickens running around with music playing in the background by a local guitarist.
We are working well as team; we have great fun with our national volunteers Ablassé and Jean. They have great ideas and it’s exciting to the see progress develop each day towards our objectives as well as friendships within the team. Tigoung Nonma are pleased to have their own team for the next 3 months (having shared with HSB in previous cohorts). We can’t wait to see more progress and hope the productivity started this week will continue for the duration of the project…watch this space!
Our national volunteer, partner and UK volunteer working together! Further cleaning shots below...