However, I have been learning that establishing a craft-based social enterprise is so much more than just teaching people to make stuff! Perhaps that is obvious, but it constantly amazes me how much goes on behind the scenes that most people will never know about. There are so many things to consider, especially when working in two different cultures: what your market is, or indeed markets, as the English and Peruvian market may be quite different, what sort of facilities are needed for the project to grow and succeed, what kinds of skills they can learn, how much each differently-able artisan can earn, what sorts of materials to buy and whether they are cost-effective, and that is only a tiny proportion of some of the things we've been discussing with the women who run Nuevas Fuerzas.
There is also the added complication of having to work in a different language and culture. Having said that, I think there is something very beautiful when people from different cultures work together successfully. We can learn so much from each other. As a team from England, we are so aware of the dangerous possibility that we could impose our western ideas upon the people we are working with in Peru. However, since being here I have been struck by the fact that working with the church changes things a bit, because our core motivation is to love and to serve, not to regard ourselves better than each other but to hold everything in common and to share our skills and resources freely with those in need, of all faiths and none. I think this is important, because this changes the dynamic completely. As a body of people, we need each other's gifts and skills. Ellie can share her skills in Peru, in the same way that Flor, one of our Peruvian volunteers, can come over to England to share her gifts. The baptist church we are working with here, also runs a centre to help men suffering from drug addiction. This has been supported by churches in Brazil. It is so encouraging to see how churches from all over the world can come together to show God's love to vulnerable people in our communities.