I hopped onto the rugby pitch (pitch not field) for the first time last week. It was a scrimmage, to be sure, but in my world – with the big lights, in a professional stadium – it felt like the “big leagues.” It was also my first time to be playing rugby live.
For the entire month of August, I had practiced boldly with white cleats, innumerable bruises, and new teammates, as I began to learn the proper technique of tackling, and perhaps more importantly, the proper technique of being tackled.
Rugby, it turns out, is a game that is played well when skills are sharply refined. Strength is not measured only by muscle. Instead, a long-running, patient commitment, larger-kind-of-vision is what provides success-potential for this sport. My responsibility to show up each week and learn was not so different from my professional capacity with The Women’s Bakery.
When I come to work each day, I represent our organization and act as a voice for what we do. I learn and listen from our team in Rwanda, I grow alongside our team in the United States, and as I communicate our mission and vision with our TWB family across communities, state-lines, and digital media platforms, I realize that growing our TWB family is (and should be) relationship-focused, built on experiences together.
Inherently, this takes time.
Time. This is why growing the TWB family is not unlike rugby. Sure, less tackling is involved, but there is an enduring patience in both landscapes that catalyzes real growth. The more practices I attend, the more I can apply in a game. The more anecdotes, impact reports, and training and bakery updates I can share with our supporters, the more “fuel” our movement of bread power has to grow. And in turn, more women are able to take part in our program – taking part in a real opportunity for empowerment.
To our supporters that have attended our events; for stakeholders that have invested in our work; for readers of our blog; and for loved ones cheering on the women of TWB from afar, thank you.
Thank you for your patience, thank you for showing up with us and believing that empowerment and education matter.
We’ve been a registered social enterprise for over a year and now, with 200+ breads sold a day in Kigali, we know that it’s working. Keep joining along with us for the ride. Practice, it seems, makes perfect.