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Bpeace Blog Briefs

Stories of bravery, transformation and impact.

Thinking big: Beauty school in Rwanda

[caption id="attachment_180" align="alignnone" width="491" caption="The holders of the dream: Jeanne and Sylvie"]Jeanne and Sylvie[/caption]

Bpeace Fast Runners Jeanne and Sylvie have a dream: The Beauty School of Rwanda, a first of its kind vocational school bringing a future to the youth of Rwanda.

One of the first businesses to emerge when war ends is the business of beauty. Women return to the feminine community gathering in small salons to reconnect and feel good again. Rwanda has been no exception. Four of Bpeace's Fast Runners run bustling salons. These salons are so busy that supply cannot keep up with demand. Despite high unemployment rates, salon workers are often not Rwandan. Without local training, owners are left to import skilled labor from nearby countries.

We started this process by taking a critical look at their space and begin to explore how the space next to Jeanne's salon can be renovated into the school. It's currently being used as a restaurant, but with a little bit of imagination, we envision a beauty school coming to life.

Not your typical conference roomHow many line items in a thatched roof?
Monday morning: Time for feedback and agreement on the school’s financial plan.

Alix has spent months fine-tuning the plan with input from Jeanne and Sylvie. Alix usually brings her finance skills to bear on projects for multinational clients, and found that working with these two was a breeze. With only a few exceptions the plan was on track. We added a few items and increased the amount needed for several others. Just like in the States, everything costs more these days. Unlike the States, the meeting took place at Sylvie’s amusement park. Sylvie, Susan, Alix, Malyse, Jeanne and Barb all sat inside a thatched gazebo by the pool! What a setting to go through every line item on the budget!

Fast cultural understanding
Lunch from Sylvie’s restaurant: In typical Rwandan style, we waited 90 minutes wait for food, and then had about two minutes to eat before we had to leave for our next meeting, at the Ministry of Gender. The food was amazing, and made us wish we had more time. We picked up the Bpeace Program Manager Richard and dashed to the ministry, laughing the whole way--you have to have a sense of humor about the uneasy juxtaposition of Africa's relaxed pace and our packed Bpeace schedule. We taught our driver John-Paul the quintessential American saying: “time is money”. He got it. He drove so fast in response we decided we had to teach him another expression: “Arrive alive!”

Women so get it.
At the ministry (15 minutes early, natch!), we were greeted by four government women, all holding high-ranking positions and a no-nonsense attitude. Eight of us crammed into a small office. Bpeace shared our Rwanda background, and support for the beauty school. Jeanne spoke genuinely about her motives for the school and long–time desire to help orphans. The women from the ministry had a million questions, and couldn’t be more supportive of our work and the school. They explained that the project aligns with each and every goal their ministry and government has for development projects. It was clear that we have a strong project and advocates in the right place. Their support will give us credibility as we move forward in becoming licensed, attaining non-profit status, and in approaching potential local funders. We will be following up with them in the coming weeks on a series of next steps.
Barb-and-Jeanne-check-out-Jeannes-new-space2

Rwandan entrepreneurism is boundless.
Glowing as we walked out of the meeting, none of us wanted to head home. Jeanne suggested we visit the site where she plans to move the restaurant (the one that is currently in the location where the school will be). Her new site is actually a large home that she owns and rents to a family. It has a terraced garden with a sweeping view of Kigali. (See me with Jeanne, above.) She plans to host weddings there and while it needs work, we all agreed it’s a likely moneymaker. We’ve learned that Kigali has an endless supply of weddings!

Just like in the U.S. we ended our day with a little shopping. We stopped at a modern grocery store that sells everything from electronics to toiletries to wine, 24 hours a day. A few years ago this shop could not exist, let alone succeed. But the growing economy is birthing all sorts of new businesses. Next door we got our “latte fix” at a hip cafe called Bourbon Coffee Cafe. The young baristas and laptop-focused clientele were reminiscent of Starbucks, except the coffee was better! This is Africa and the coffee is very LOCAL. Founded by a young Rwandan, one cafe has turned into a small chain.

This is Rwanda. Good things are happening here.

--Bpeacers Barbara Bylenga and Alix Samuelson, September 2008

Piqued your interest? Read the entire September 2008 Rwanda Mission blog here.

Lidia is the star of the 2008 Bpeace Gala

Bpeace CEO Toni Maloney, Gala Honoree Lidia Bastianich and Bpeace Board members Laurie Chock and Kate Buggeln. Photo © Camera 1 2008. All Rights Reserved."

As a cookbook author, public television host, chef and restaurateur, Lidia Bastianich accepted Bpeace’s first-ever Economic Impact Award for her achievements.

Read more ...

Building a brand, Rwanda style

Building a brand requires a logo, clear messages and a marketing strategy all built on understanding your target consumers. Yet as competition is heating up from neighboring African countries, these marketing basics are rare in Rwanda. Enter BAM (Bpeace Action Marketing) a pop-up team of skilled marketers (many of whom are alumni of multinational ad agency McCann-Erickson) who over the next two weeks will create brand identities, marketing plans, brochures and signage.

[caption id="attachment_191" align="alignnone" width="512" caption="The blog editor (Kate) demonstates a lack of incredible lack of vanity in posting this otherwise fantastic picture of a truly beautiful team. Left to right: Susan, Toni, Marie, Sabra, Richard, Susan, Athena, Kate, Cass "]The blog editor (Kate) demonstates a lack of incredible lack of vanity in posting this otherwise fantastic picture of a truly beautiful team. Left to right: Susan, Toni, Marie, Sabra, Richard, Susan, Athena, Kate, Cass [/caption]

I'm leading this, her 4th mission to Rwanda. One of the first items of business for Athena Katsaros, Marie Greener and Toni Maloney will be presenting seven Bpeace Fast Runners with new logos. They are landing with a portfolio of 51 customized options created by 8 graphic designers. Sabra Richardson will bring depth and value from her knowledge of the Fast Runners and her business consulting background. Cass Greener will be taking photos essential to the marketing materials we will be creating. Susan Ilyin has marketing research experience and lived in Rwanda for several months last year. Our Rwanda Program Manager Richard Niwenshuti will be trying out his new marketing sea legs after a couple of marketing intensives in New York.

Francise_w_marie_and_athenaPeaceful branding
This morning, Athena and Marie presented five potential logos to Francoise for her new catering business. When they were laid out on the table you should have seen her eyes light up as she clasped her hands together in surprise and happiness. That’s what this is all about, isn’t it? Making business dreams real. By the way, her restaurant and catering business is named Amahoro. Amahoro means peace.

News flash: Here's my story
How to describe your business and brand in a headline was our objective for today. And how to use a headline in marketing and to deepen employee understanding was a good discussion. But as we kicked off the Key Message Workshop with examples from ads we’ve seen in Kigali we saw the light bulbs beginning to flicker over the heads of the Fast Runners. Maybe there is something to this marketing thing after all. By the end of the morning, after each woman had developed her own message that she loved -- the lights were shining bright. It was an unmistakable Aha! moment.

Among our favorites :

  • "We make beautiful queens" . . . .Harriette's salon
  • "Plants add life and style to your home and business" . . . .Soline's landscaping and nursery
  • "Your happiness is our only joy". . .Sylvie's amusement park
  • "Fresh milk is always on our uruhimbi" . . .Console's dairy bar.

    [caption id="attachment_193" align="alignnone" width="448" caption="Constance picks a logo which has incorporated the "headline" she created Tuesday. Yes, we are that fast. "]Constance picks a logo which has incorporated the "headline" she created Tuesday. Yes we are that fast. [/caption]

p.s. Don't know what a uruhimbi is? It's the traditional place in Rwandan homes where every child knows they will find milk.

--Kate Buggeln for the Bpeace Team, January 2008

Piqued your interest? Read the entire January 2008 Rwandan Mission blog here.

Afghan BARTies in Dubai: Back to school

Fifteen Afghan Fast Runners arrived on Saturday for the Bpeace Apprentice Road Trip. The BARTies, as we affectionately call them, will be taking business classes at the Dubai Women's College, going on site visits to companies related to their own businesses and developing work (and personal) relationships with members of Bpeace.

[caption id="attachment_284" align="alignnone" width="512" caption="The BART Fast Runners, the faculty and staff of Dubai Women's College and the Bpeace volunteers of BART Start 2007"]The BART Associates, the faculty and staff of Dubai Women's College and the Bpeace volunteers of BART Start 2007[/caption]

There are 15 remarkable Afghan women here with us: a beekeeper who is the "queen" of her 80 female beekeepers; three soccer ball manufacturers who put the mom back into soccer; a commercial printer who we hope to encourage to go digital; a furniture maker who is literally participating in the rebuilding of Kabul; and more and more--from a producer of designer mint water to an importer of heating oil.

Dollars and cents
Today was Finance Day! The BARTies showed their mettle as true businesswomen in the way they reacted and applied Professor Rao’s practical way of teaching finance. As he took the class through daily cash records for manufacturing businesses, the Associates dove into the worksheets like thirsty marathoners. They were so engaged they had to be prodded to take a lunch break. The bonus showed up when the rest of the Finance faculty at Dubai Women’s College arrived in the afternoon and set themselves up as four different consulting firms. The faculty had thoroughly prepped by analyzing the BARTie’s business plans and offered credible advice specifically tailored to each Associate.

[caption id="attachment_285" align="alignnone" width="512" caption="Ladan Pazhouhandeh, center, combining her command of Farsi, and finance background, into a skilled translator for Professor Rao. At left is Bpeacer Wendy Summer, and at right is Guljan who operates a food processing company."]Ladan, center, combining her command of Farsi, and finance background, into a skilled translator for Professor Rao. At left is Wendy, and at right is Guljan who operates a food processing company.[/caption]

In the soccer consulting room, Dwight Anthony (sporting a soccer ball tie), helped Ferishta, Taj and Azziza, our three ball-manufacturing Associates, analyze their production costs to better compete with Pakistani imports.

Zainul was pleased to report that her sales would increase by 200% this year because of increased honey production. Her consultant pointed out that she hadn’t factored in that a good honey season for her would mean that her competitors would be having one as well.

[caption id="attachment_279" align="alignnone" width="512" caption="Khatera Sahibzada and Fatima, furniture maker, completing financial worksheets. "]Khatera and Fatima, furniture maker, completing financial worksheets. [/caption]

Mobina, our radio broadcaster, was intrigued by the advice to carefully offer a free month of advertising to a new sponsor in order to gather data to track sales increases, and then to use that data to attract other paying sponsors. Hamida, who runs a business consultancy, translated that idea in trial consulting relationships to woo new clients.

The Fast Runners are hoping to secure some additional time with their finance consultants later this week.

The dollar and cents day ended with a trip into the desert complete with dune bashing, belly dancing, and a few Henna’ed hands and feet.

--Toni Maloney, on behalf of the Bpeace team, November 2007

Regis takes Rwanda salons up a notch

Our first corporate sponsor is traveling with us! Regis Corporation, one of the U.S.'s largest operators of beauty salons and retail stores, are training Bpeace's salon owners and 35 of their staff members on color, styling, relaxing and service techniques. Here's a sum-up of their work so far:

[caption id="attachment_206" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Kevin consults at New Generation"]Kevin consults at New Generation[/caption]

Regis trainers Russell and Kevin hit the town visiting all the salons today in preparation for four days of salon training. Both were impressed with the foundation the salons had established. It was a hoot to watch the Rwandan and American stylists find common ground: a girl's vanity, the need for pampering, or the busy mother's need for speed . . .and a man's bemusement at it all. The search for beauty crosses oceans and cultures.

[caption id="attachment_207" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Russell demos shampoo do's (not don'ts)"]Russell demos shampoo do's (not don'ts)[/caption]

Harriette's salon was packed with with hair stylists so eager to learn that Russell commented that the class was easier than those he'd led in the U.S. Stylists from neighboring salons were at the door begging admission. Relaxation and cutting were the topics of the day. Four models left with beautiful new hairstyles.

[caption id="attachment_208" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Laughter helps the message sink in"]BPEACE-DAY3--002912[/caption]

Saturday's Regis training was focused on color and customer service. The first resulted in newly born beauties (with the promise of more to come as a result of the training), the second in a salon filled with raucous noise as Russell and Kevin brought the house down as their comedy act tour came to Kigali. Their role play of salon do's and don'ts brought screams of laughter even BEFORE the words were translated.

[caption id="attachment_209" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Proud and highly skilled, thanks to Regis!"]Proud and highly skilled, thanks to Regis![/caption]

The stylists were so proud to receive their certificates, and our Associates Brigette and Harriette were grateful beyond words. It is hard to describe how powerful the last two days have been. Tomorrow we begin again with Jeanne and Sylvie's staffs.

--Kate Buggeln, on behalf of Bpeace team, September 2007

Connecting the dots in Kabul: Business, culture, and peace

5 meetings

Another typically busy day in Kabul. At one point this afternoon, five different Bpeace meetings were in progress in the gardens of the Park Palace Hotel (see above). We learned essential facts about Afghan food processing—including that Afghans will pay twice as much for a bottle of water if there is mint in it, because they are sold on the herb's health benefits. We also met an Afghan woman who has written 80 business plans in the past two years, and who reports that 100% of her clients subsequently received bank loans. We learned of a large-scale color offset printer who can produce slick printed calendars and brochures for Afghan businesses.

roof

Dreams do get rained on... and then they get moldy
Meanwhile, cultural conundrums were gaining clarity. Yesterday, Wendy was coping with the leaky roof (above) at the Rangeen Kaman Artisans shop, moving hundreds of dollars of products out of harm's way. With amazing tenacity, she was up on the roof with a contractor trying to figure out what exactly was going on. But we were encountering more than just a drywall problem. We couldn't figure it out, and no one was explaining: This leak was discovered several weeks ago. Why didn’t the RKA partners put a plastic tarp on the roof as they tried to get in touch with the elusive landlord?

Today we got answers. It turns out everyone in Kabul has a leaky roof during the winter, spring and summer—just an annoying fact of life. So they don't even bother addressing it until the dry season in September.

It shouldn't keep surprising us that our different cultural and communication perspectives are more than politically correct window dressing. Understanding these differences is the first step in solving the practical, nuts and bolts, bread and butter (naan and ghee?) everyday problems that can make or break a business. Our work here can only be successful if we are learning from our Associates as fast as we're teaching them.

Our Fast Runners' unstoppable progress
This afternoon, we gathered with our Fast Runners, and received updates from each on their accomplishments during the past year. The last time we were in Kabul, they had made bets with me on who would grow her own business the most, and create the most jobs. We were delighted to hear their progress.

  • Nargis, who operates a women's gym, reported a 25% increase in memberships.
  • Habiba has started construction on her new preschool, and has set-up a new accounting system.
  • Mahbooba, in addition to her ongoing handicraft business which she operated under the Taliban, has started a farming business. She has provided jobs for 35 women in Kabul and the rural areas. These 35 women work with 750 other women and in the next year they will work with 2,000 families, and with each family having 7 people in it, this translates to 14,000 people benefiting by the program.
  • Hanifa completed a large order for tablecloths for Dasnet. In her spare time she also knit hundreds of gloves and socks for her home province of Bamiyan because the winter was very tough. While distributing the items, she found additional women who can do knitting and embroidery for her business.
  • Hanifa A's English and computer school put a competitor out of business. She added 9 more teachers and 60 more students.
  • Afifa added 6 embroiderers in Ghazni, 2 in Kabul, and 2 tailors in Kabul.
  • Asmat opened a co-op store in Heart with 10 other women.
  • Suria doubled her knitting workforce to 30 and has another 10 in training.
  • Bakhtnazira added 6 workers, and completed a $3,000 order for Dasnet for draperies, and booked $2,000 in sales on a trip to India. She is under consideration for a major uniform contract.
  • Latifa is now working at AWBF (Afghan Women’s Business Federation) and is helping create an international market for Afghan carpets.

AND THE WINNERS OF THE BET…now called the Triple-A Award (Associate Achievement Award) for 2007 are:

FRI Kamela_1

Kamela, who now employs 12 people in her BDS (Business Development Services) consultancy, and trained 3,000 people throughout Afghanistan to start businesses in the last year. She has enough business booked for 60% of her expenses over the next 12 months.

AND….

FRINasima

Nasima, who employed 35 workers last year and this year added 10 more, and completed an order for 1,000 silk scarves. She continues to keep her old and new workers busy.

Kamela and Nasima were thrilled. And the Fast Runners reminded them that when they win such an award, they have to do something nice for the rest of the team, like prepare a meal or give gifts of sweets.

After the Triple-A Awards, the Bpeacers held their breath with anticipation as we embarked on a very important moment with the Fast Runners: coaching them to formulate and launch Business to Peace (B2P) projects, which are a most important part of their third year in the Bpeace program. Our call to action was this, “We are not the Business Council of Gender Equality. We are not the Business Council of Handicraft. We are not the Business Council of Microfinance. We are the Business Council of Peace. We have invested in you in the past two years. Now we want to see how you can invest back in your own communities to help create peace.”

--Toni Maloney for the Bpeace team, April 2007

Bringing the experts to Kigali

Sabra (left) works her magic with Harriette and Jeanne

Money makes the world go round
Back in Rwanda by critical acclaim, Sabra (above left, with Harriette and Jeanne) held court at Richard’s office. She met with three Fast Runners to review their finances and discuss how, as she says, “The numbers tell the story.”

Sabra is a financial consultant in the U.S. and Anguilla, so is one of those lucky Bpeacers who directly translates what she does for a living into her Bpeace mentoring and training. Brigitte, Harriet and Jeanne—who all own separate beauty salons--are working together to refine their financial tracking systems. They're struggling to manage their inventory (hair care products) and to understand the differing levels of profitability for all the services they offer.

Brand, baby, brand
Barbara, Stephanie and Marla visited Francoise, who is currently running three related businesses in Kigali-- a restaurant, a party decoration business, and a catering operation. Her restaurant is doing well because of Francoise’s engaging personality, as well as its high-traffic location close to a main Kigali bus station. Francoise provides internship opportunities for women looking to gain business and restaurant skills.

Right now all three businesses operate under different names. We emphasized the need to trade on Francoise’s restaurant success and brand the other businesses to effectively cross-market all three. Francoise also needs to acquire a loan in order to purchase equipment to expand the catering business. And hey, Bpeacers and friends reading out there—Francoise needs a mentor! Who do you know who can help her build these businesses and create a brand?
Pierette and Peggy: Fast and honest!

Leasing? What a concept
Pierrette and Peggy (above) operate a freight-forwarding business, critical to any country on the rebound. We talked about the feasibility of our Fast Runners  leasing, instead of buying, a large truck, so they can move beyond their domestic service and expand into international transport within the East African Economic Community. They've got to grow to be a sustainable business.

The growing reputation of their business--the only one in its industry owned and operated by women in Rwanda--is reflected in Pierrette’s recent selection to participate in a USAID training program. She'll attend regional seminars with other local freight companies to learn new industry regulations. Pierette and Peggy need a mentor who can help connect them to freight forwarding partners in the U.S. and Europe, as well as create a logo and website for their company. Who do you know who can assist?

Blooming big
Floriculture is a $194 million export business for Rwanda, selling mostly to Holland and Belgium. Solina focuses on the domestic flower market and operates Saintpaulia Flower Center, where she sells plants and flowers, and provides landscaping services and gardening contracts. Her clients include individuals and a few businesses. Appropriately, when we visited Solina’s lush operation, it was the first full day of sun since our arrival.

The team listened to Solina’s current business issues, and Anne reviewed recommendations and questions from Solina’s mentor Madelyn Simon, who operates a similar business in the U.S. Solina was beyond grateful for Madelyn's input. Solina and the Bpeacers brainstormed on ways to help her generate more contract clients, including the exploration of cross-selling with other Associates to provide greater visibility.

--January 2007

Piqued your interest? Read the entire January 2007 Rwandan Mission blog here.

Common ground in Kabul: renovation is heck, and yoga isn't for wimps

13 Sign is up
The major mission of this mission: the opening of our Fast Runners' new co-operative store. It is called Rangeen Kaman Artisans, or Rainbow Artisans, and it's the first store of its kind in Kabul. The just-as-exciting other foci of the trip: Nargis will be offering yoga classes at her gym and we are helping her learn how to do it; and delivering the next round of material for their training centers.

RKA Notes from Steve . . .
Najib and I returned to the paint store first thing, hoping to exchange 4 gallons of "blush white" paint for "flat white" paint. This was the 4th trip back to the store to either purchase or exchange paint, as we were having great difficulty matching the Pantone shade 11-0907 that had been selected. I believe that we had been to just about every paint store in west Kabul.

[caption id="attachment_295" align="alignnone" width="369" caption="Suria looks happy, but that shade is not here to stay"]Suria looks happy, but that shade is not here to stay[/caption]

The shop owner laughed when he saw us enter, paint cans in hand. Najib began to explain the need for the exchange. I told Najib to merely explain that the women had again changed their minds. This sent the shop owner into gales of laughter, speaking in rapid fire Dari that Najib quickly translated as "Yes, they are powerful". We all agreed, shaking our heads and laughing in our shared experience!

Afghan Women’s Business Federation
Athena spent the day with 21 AWBF trainers taking them through the Bpeace Marketing Map, a tool for entrepreneurs to map out a marketing communications strategy. The participants loved the topic -- they were practically jumping out of their seats to volunteer answers and offer their ideas about how to market products and services in Afghanistan.

Fourth TOT
The most interesting discussions were about how to apply marketing principles to their students who live in the provinces and are mostly illiterate. It turns out that local radio is a great promotional opportunity because most people have radios and there are special shows for women. And, depending on your product or service, sometimes you can announce things over the loudspeakers of mosques. Who knew? It was quickly pointed out that a beauty salon could most certainly not take advantage of this opportunity.

Another fascinating cultural moment was when Athena realized that in the provinces it is the men who buy clothing and other accessories for their wives--not the women themselves, who are seldom allowed to leave their houses. So, the men are also target customers who have to be considered. Though one of the men informed us the women tell their men what to buy--usually because they have seen another woman wearing something they liked at a wedding or other social gathering. Aaahhh the nuances of marketing!

Venus Fitness
It’s a slow time of year for Nargis and her Venus fitness studio as clients don’t like the cold weather work-outs. Colder inside most buildings than outside this time of year. Lots of marketing plans for Spring and a possible move to a new location.

In the meantime Zuhra, Venus’ trainer, put us through the paces of The Venus System circuits 1 and 2. Steve and I were satisfied to see that she was well versed in the program. Zuhra is a tough trainer. 15 to 20 reps are a must. The group had fun as  Steve and I walked everyone through the 3rd phase. Steve was very happy as they allowed him to participate in the training.

Steve then guided the ladies through some beginner yoga training. He started with warm ups and quickly transitioned to standing poses (as the group was pretty limber from all the Venus System activity!). The ladies tried mountain pose, standing forward bend, warrior 2, side angle pose and triangle pose. The session had its challenges as Steve had Nargis translate while Kate helped the ladies make adjustments (Steve could not touch the women of course!) while Kate took a logistics related mobile call from Athena while in mountain pose. All in a day's work.

--Kate Buggeln on behalf of the Bpeace Team, December 2006

Piqued your interest? Read the entire December 2008 Afghan Mission blog here.

Working out and opening up: New beginnings for Afghan Fast Runners

[caption id="attachment_310" align="alignnone" width="370" caption="Laila, our program manager, translating in the rose garden."]Laila, our program manager, translating in the rose garden.[/caption]

Our day: While Wendy was working her way around town with Khan Agra, Bahtknazera's husband (more on that later), Athena and Kate met with the Bpeace Fast Runners involved in the RKA cooperative retail store. We sat in a rose garden and worked with 12 Associates on the development of plans for their retail store. Lots of work ahead for them (and the store's mentors Pam Massenburg and Kate Buggeln). They have selected a steering committee for their co-operative and we left them with agendas for three work sessions over the next weeks.

[caption id="attachment_311" align="alignleft" width="215" caption="Nargis and Kate reviewing the new Venus System"]Nargis and Kate reviewing the new Venus System, developed by Nargis' mentors back in the U.S.[/caption]

Kate left Athena with the RKA Fast Runners for her training session with Nargis and the trainers at Venus Fitness. In 100 degree heat, Kate turned over "The Venus System," a complete fitness program designed by Jeff and Julie Castaldo, Nargis's mentors. The system will revolutionize Venus Fitness. It combines 27 exercises in a three level program utilizing tubes and balls with cardio and nutrition program. Said an exhausted Kate:"I ended up training not only Nargis and her trainers, but four of her clients. The women all soaked up the information, and told me I won't recognize them when I come back in November." Kate returns to Tuesday for another round of training.

Meanwhile, Wendy and Athena joined the guests at Habiba's Day Care Center opening. And what an event! Athena participating in the ribbon cutting (her first) which was covered by Ariana TV. Many friends, family, children and their parents attended the opening of this clean, inviting facility which boasts 2 new teachers, a visiting psychologist and a visiting art instructor.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Habiba's daughter (middle) sings her heart out"]3 girls.0[/caption]

--Kate Buggeln for the Bpeace team, July 2006.

Piqued your interest? Read the entire July 2006 Afghan Mission blog here.

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