Case Study: Agile Empowerment - Pioneering Change for Women in Cameroon
September 19, 2021
In an era where empowerment and inclusivity are paramount, the African Dream Initiative, sponsored by the Glappy Foundation, has taken innovative strides in Cameroon. Using Agile methodologies, typically reserved for the tech and business sectors, the Initiative has infused fresh momentum into women empowerment programs.
The goal was clear: harness the principles of Agile to create self-sustaining, empowered groups of women who could collaboratively address local challenges, build products, and uplift their communities.
- Formation of Scrum Teams:Thirty women from three Cameroonian communities – Doula, Beau, and Yawunde – were strategically divided into Scrum Teams.
- Adopting the Scrum Framework:
- Daily Standups: Every morning, the teams huddled together, discussing challenges, progress, and plans.
- Build Phase: Afternoons were dedicated to creating products.
- Sprint Demos: After two-week sprints, products were showcased to Glappy Village Representatives in their respective communities.
- Weaver's Way for Change Management:Incorporating the ethos of 'The Weaver’s Way', a change management framework by Corrina Grace, the project focused on community-driven change. Deriving inspiration from Guatemalan women weavers, this approach prioritized community healing, connection, and rebuilding.
- Community Bonding:Meetings thrice a week cemented the spirit of community. Mondays saw them work collaboratively from 9 am to 2 pm. This time was a blend of work, shared meals, and therapeutic counseling sessions, addressing the trauma many had faced due to Cameroon's civil unrest.
- Skill Development and Product Creation:Starting with reusable sanitary napkins, these women mastered sewing techniques and progressed to refurbishing shoes. They breathed new life into old shoes by re-wrapping them and utilized extra materials to craft sandals.
- Holistic Well-being:Every Friday was reserved for communal cooking, fostering camaraderie and ensuring emotional well-being.
- Stipends for Sustainability:To support the participants, the Glappy Foundation awarded monthly stipends to each woman during the pilot phase.
The program’s success was manifold. Beyond product creation, it instilled a sense of purpose, self-worth, and community among the participants. Encouraged by the outcomes, the Glappy Foundation envisions scaling this model across Africa. The long-term goal? Establish modular manufacturing plants run by empowered women across the continent.
The Agile approach's adaptability and the Weaver's Way framework's community-centric ethos proved to be a potent combination in this women empowerment initiative. With the successful pilot in Cameroon, the Glappy Village stands on the cusp of a continental shift, echoing the sentiment: Empower a woman, and you empower a community.