Today we started the training at 8.30 am. As is common in the Congo it took a while before everyone had arrived. In the Congo you have time, and in Sweden you have clocks. Marie apologized for her late arrival, as did Peter. He had a valid excuse however; the work with the family business had to be prioritized, which is completely understandable. Peter used to be a math teacher at the Baobab church’s Secondary School. His monthly salary was $40. The state pays the teachers’ salaries. He wasn’t able to support his family with four children on that income, and he quit his job and started a family business. He now sells flour and beer. The whole family seems to be involved in the company. Peter is also part of the Global Group in the Baobab church.
Muditu was troubled when he arrived. He had been working on his homework until 3 am.
The task was to describe part 1 to 3 in the folder with your own words. As far as we’ve understood they like the training material, but it’s new to them and not that easy to grasp. It’s the ambition that counts. Muditi got praise. High ambitions are good qualifications for becoming an entrepreneur.
Lars-Ola and Lennart are explaining how to prepare a budget for the company. They have explained how to work with budgets and how to follow up and keep it under control. Ideas must be transformed to numbers. We spent a whole day going through the conditions concerning business loans. I think we lowered their spirits somewhat when the participants realized what the conditions for the loans look like. The security of the loans is based on the idea that five entrepreneurs take responsibility for each other by guaranteeing each other’s repayments. Each one in the group has his/her own company, but they all take a communal responsibility for the repayment of the loans. On Friday we are going to have separate discussions with each one of them. We will also hand out an evaluation form where they can tell us how they have experienced the training.
Yapeco showed us his ongoing hotel construction. He has invested $24.000 so far. He now needs $12.500 to be able to continue with the next stage. The place is beautiful with a view over the Congo River. The ground floor is 375m2. It’s a promising and large project. A project for the future that can turn out really well. He has asked MSG if we can help with the financing of the project. We pass on the request to our readers. A good investment project. Yapeco was recently robbed by one of his own employees, who took off to Angola with over $20.000. A considerable setback, but Yapeco keeps working. He’s a guy with visions.
I’m on my way to Yapeco’s internet café now to do my internet work. He has an internet speed of 100 Mbit. At home I have 8 Mbit. He has seven computers and there are always people in line to use the internet. He has air conditioning, so it’s pleasant to work here. Today I sent notes for three days to our web sites: http://matadi.se and http://hokerum.missionskyrkan.se . I also made updates on the web. Unfortunately I didn’t get to finish the updates and send my blogs to BT as there was a power cut. It got pitch dark. I was using my laptop which runs on battery, but it didn’t help. There was no connection. Yapeco has a diesel generator that he turns on when there is a power cut, but unfortunately it didn’t start. It’s probably quite tiresome to connect it and as they were about to close anyway then closed a little earlier and went home for the day. Opening hours are 08.00-20.00.
The bank director Mr Kiwaka called and wanted to make sure that all the Swedes were coming along on Friday. He also asked what kind of food we like. Exciting! We ’knallar’ finished the day with a meeting on the veranda. Lars-Ola had been thinking about what questions we should ask the participants on Friday when we have the separate discussions.