2nd Quarter 2018 Newsletter
SAIDIANA - OUR NEW NAME
Did you notice the new banner on our website? First Step Initiative has a new name – Saidiana – a Swahili word meaning “help one another”. This new name and brand identification dynamically capture the vitality and critical nature of the work we support. Saidiana provides vital resources, knowledge, and expertise to Congolese women’s cooperative groups to help them soar and achieve their missions. Many thanks for the volunteer contributions of time and creativity from Michele Willinganz of Willinganz Designs, that created this new look. 

“Help one another” and we'll get things done.
YOUNG MUMS UPDATE
The Young Mums’ training salon, opened in March, is continuing to blossom. The students are quite engaged in their work and now are learning how to do braids, plaits and weaves. Staff member Bea, seen below, is continuing their business training, working with them on how to save and open a savings account, basic math and reading, credit management and profit management. 
Saidiana has added a subsidy to the program for transportation so that the Young Moms can arrive on time, rested and ready to participate in the day's learning.

Carine explained that in the Congo, some salons require stylists to have their own equipment, reinforcing that the kits which Saidiana gives to the Young Mums upon completion of the program will assist in placement in a full-time salon job.
MICRO-GRANT UPDATES
An important success factor for our micro-grants is follow-up. Staff members Bea and Nancy remain in contact after the grants are awarded to assist with their implementation and monitor compliance. The photos below are from site visits conducted by Bea.
BAKERY
In December 2017 Saidiana funded a three-women collective that wanted to expand their business with a new oven and improved work space. Bea’s site visit occurred while construction of their new work space was in process. The women are happy to report that they have more than doubled their monthly sales.
ALUMINUM POT PRODUCTION
This collective also received funding to improve their working conditions and foster expansion of their business – producing aluminum cooking pans. Above, you can see their old work space – a partially enclosed shelter. At Bea’s site visit, she observed the construction of their new space. 
A LOOK INTO KISANGA

Kisanga is a rural quarter within the city of Lubumbashi. There are many migrants and people with different nationalities within the diverse city. About half of the community in Kisanga participates in small business activities.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Which social media platform is your favorite? Log on now and “like” us. Let your friends know about the impactful work of Saidiana.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Would you like to connect more deeply to the work of Saidiana? We are currently seeking a Treasurer for our Board. Check out our idealist postings .
Make Lasting Change
These women continue to need our help. Click on the button below and select recurring donation.