Meet Our Chicks
The best part about my recent trip was getting to know the ladies involved in Chicks Empowered personally. This post is dedicated to introducing all of you to the women whose lives you're impacting through giving. Without further ado, meet our "chicks":
GENEVA - The Visionary
Meet Geneva, our fearsome leader in Chicks Empowered. Geneva is 64 years old, has 5 children, and is the wife to Headman Steven. We built the chicken house next to Headman and Geneva's home so they would be able to keep an eye on our project. Because of the respect Headman and Geneva hold in the community, their approval opens a lot of doors for Love Abounds.
Geneva is the visionary of our group. She understands that Chicks Empowered is about a lot more than raising chickens. She sees the potential for this project to grow into something much larger for her community. Because of her understanding she keeps the rest of the ladies in line.
During several one-on-one visits with Geneva, she was able to tell me the behind-the-scenes happenings of the group. She let me in on who the trouble-makers are, who works the hardest, and areas we need to establish more rules.
One goal for Love Abounds in 2016 is to cultivate the leadership skills within Geneva. We not only see the potential in Geneva but we also see the desire in her heart to be a change agent to the people around her. We're incredibly thankful for Geneva's hard work and dedication to Chicks Empowered.
ELIZABETH - The Mother
Elizabeth is a mother to TWELVE children. Yes, you read that correctly, she's given birth to a dozen babies. She's actually had THREE sets of twins, and has been pregnant with a total of 24 children in her lifetime. Her children range from seven years old to 31! Elizabeth is 53 years old and is absolutely beautiful, inside and out.
I had the privilege of meeting several of Elizabeth's children and saw the love and pride radiating off Elizabeth when she looked upon her children. Unfortunately, these aren't common qualities to see in the village, so Elizabeth is extraordinarily special!
Elizabeth is the care-giver of our group, a role of motherhood that comes so naturally to her.
MONICA - The Go-Getter
Its no secret that I love all these women but Monica happens to be my absolute favorite amongst the bunch! Monica is the youngest of our group at 44 years old. She has 6 children ranging from 9 to 23 years old and 5 of them still live at home and are in school!
Monica is the hardest working one of our group. She's the first one to volunteer to take an extra shift, she's the first one up to go fetch water or do the unwanted tasks. She truly has a servant's heart. When I asked Monica what it was like to be the youngest one in the group, she responded that its been an amazing opportunity to learn from, work beside, and serve the older ladies in our group.
Monica has faced the most adversity in this project and has also progressed the most. When I talk to Monica, I realize why we started this project in the first place. But more about impacts next time on the blog!
ROSEMARY - The Life of the Party
The best way to describe Rosemary is she is a character! There's a quality about Rosemary that just attracts people to her. She's the first one to greet you with a smile and hug, the first one to stand up singing and dancing, and also the most outspoken (in every way, good and bad).
Rosemary, 53 years old, has 4 children and is currently separating from her husband. Her hard exterior and party-attitude helps to hide the fact that Rosemary has faced a lot of hardship in her lifetime. One of my greatest joys was to see that Rosemary has found a place where she belongs in this project. (...but I'm getting ahead of myself, more to come next time)
RITA - The Student
Rita is about 5 feet tall and the cutest (yet still incredibly strong) lady I've ever known. Rita is one of the oldest in the group at 62 years old and has 8 children! She constantly is wearing a big smile and a positive attitude.
Alexandre says that Rita is the most curious of the group. During every meeting she asks the most questions because she truly wants to understand the process and how everything works. Rita goes with the flow, not because she doesn't care, but because she's put her trust in the project. She's always the first to give a smile of reassurance and to say thank you!
JOSEPHINE - The Executive
Josephine's demeanor often reminds me of a soldier. Unlike most of the ladies, Josephine still has walls up with us and I know the least about Josephine. Josephine is 58 years old and has 6 children. What I have noticed about Josephine is she sees the project as a business. Her evaluation of the project was as if an executive was presenting an analysis from the first batch to the second. She doesn't let emotions rule her or define her but she's loved proving the critics wrong about this project... and I love that quality about her.
MARTHA - The Jokester
Martha is a hilarious and fun-loving lady with a huge grin always on her face. Martha is 55 and says she was blessed by only having one child-- who has blessed her even more with 5 beautiful grandchildren. When I asked Martha what she's learned from Chicks Empowered she said, "I never knew how to look after chickens, I only knew how to sniff them out, buy, and put them in the pot."
Martha always has something hilarious like that to say. When we addressed people showing up late for their shifts, Martha raised her hand and said she was guilty of being late every now and again. She's an open book- who keeps no secrets and stands behind the project through and through. Her positive attitude and light-heartedness keeps everyone in good spirits and cheer.
Unfortunately, since I've been home, Cecelia has resigned from the group. Cecelia has battled diabetes for a long time and it has flared up off and on throughout this project. Cecelia felt she was unable to keep up with the rigorous work of the project and stepped down on her own accord. We still consider Cecelia as part of our group and are totally heartbroken to see her go. On the same note, we trust Cecelia knows whats best for her and her health and wish her all the best!!!
Next time on the blog... how Chicks Empowered has impacted the lives of these women and their families. Stay tuned!