The Swedish Winter Challenge

A Letter From Bintu:

Dear all,

I have been back (in Bukavu) for a couple weeks now and after resting some, unpacking and getting back into my routine here, I thought that I could take some time to give you all an overall report for the SWC (Swedish Winter Challenge).

Bintu in Sweden

Bintu at the Challenge

 

About the Swedish Winter Challenge,

The program was called : The Facilitative Leadership Development (FLD)

1. The MBCI ( Mentor and Business Coaches International) Partnering Transformation, the organized conference went for 4 days and then we took the last day before our departure to close and wrap up the training. During the training we followed a theoretical book and led in some practice exercises and role-play in the process. A mentor came from South Africa and two from Australia and with them, our Swedish mentors about 5 or 6 of them, were leading the teams.

This was a very good mentorship training – the MBCI way -. Their particularity is that they base the training on Biblical Principles. Jesus being the first and the best of all mentors. The movement started in Australia by a couple that we met on Skype on our last day of training; and now they have mentors all over the world, but until now, none in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo).

This year was the second Conference organized in this way. And the (organizer) from

Swedish Winter Challenge

MCBI Swedish Winter Challenge

Sweden, Jenny Jacobson, had a strong wish to have somebody from Congo this year. Someone told her … so many negative things about Congo … so for her it was an answer from GOD and a miracle that I was able to go.

2. A business exposure and match-making – the investment opportunities
In this second part of the program, we were paired with some Swedish businessmen/Entrepreneurs. I personally was partnered with an important furniture reseller. He took me and a Namibian fellow SWC participant to visit a Plastic bag and Recycling factory and also a wood working factory.

It was very interesting to interview these people and hear about their journey, their ups and downs and the way they always managed to succeed.

With the whole group we went to an Apple and Strawberry plantation and juice factory. Then we visited a milk cow farm and a tree-house hotel…

Very interesting to see how the Swedish people managed to adapt to the rough winters. Thus the Winter Challenge in the Conference title.

3. Short presentations of our organisations / businesses
In this part of the challenge, we were given the opportunity to talk about what our business is about. This is where I talked about the work we are doing for the Community. Nothing business investors would be interested in, in terms of financial benefit, but our trainers were proud of all of our speeches, and of mine in particular, since I did not have the same kind of business to sell, but I managed to talk very boldly about it.

What I gained from this experience

As far as the MBCI is concerned, I really got some value added and I am praying that I will be enabled to pursue the training. And for the business match-making part, I wish I was more of a businesswoman to benefit from the investments and partnership, but I have a different call … But I think that I got some great ideas that can serve others / mentees for instance …

As far as the business exposure and investment possibility are concerned, I still don’t know what our limits are for FHA (Future Hope Africa) to do something like that to assure self-funding. That could also be a route to explore for partnership with the Swedish investors… or not.

In fact, when I came back and heard about how much infectious problems some people are having here from the waters we are using, I rethought about the iCATUS project to train us how to capture the rain waters and make it a business for someone we want to empower (We will add more information about this later).

And above all that are all the new relationships I/we got from this experience …. Experience we can keep even outside the SWC. Now I have brothers and sisters in Namibia, Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia and even in Sweden that I did not know before this trip and that now know about FHA and what we are doing.

I distributed more than 50 business cards and got about a dozen.

The first thing I am planning to do is to do a (presentation) of my experience to the staff members (at the Center in Bukavu). From there, we will see how it goes.
Thanks to all,
And blessings,
Bintu
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