I think the past few months at CUP have been characterised by hellos and goodbyes. There have been so many!
|Drama: the husband and his new woman|
Before describing them I want to show some pictures of a drama that the CUP mothers did for one of our visitors. It told the personal story of many of them; a man charms a young vulnerable woman into marriage. Once married and shortly after she becomes pregnant, the husband leaves her destitute. Unable to pay the rent she ends up on the streets, begging for money at a religious site. It is here that she meets CUP's outreach worker and comes to the centre. The women are wonderful actors and everyone was moved by the performance!
|Drama: CUP's outreach worker meeting women at the mazar|
CUP said 'hello' and 'goodbye' to a YWAM team last month who were with us and H&C for a week. They took beautiful pictures and gave the women much enjoyed photography lessons. At the team's leaving do some of the women commented that in the past they never dreamed that they would ever have the opportunity to hold a camera never mind take a picture!
|Beautiful picture taken by the team|
|...and another one!|
Over the past three months three interns, social welfare students from a local university, have done their practical placement at CUP. Their time ended last week and a tearful farewell was held for them. They had been involved in teaching the children's and women's classes, helping out with activities and interviewing the women. They will be greatly missed!
A very special hello happened on the 7th March. Jesmine, CUP's teacher and counsellor, gave birth to twins; a boy and a girl! Mother and both children are well. Thankfully one of the interns has been able to return to CUP to cover Jesmine's maternity leave.
|Children performed a dance at the graduation party|
The most significant goodbye was the graduation of seven of the mothers from CUP's training programme. We have come to appreciate each one of these women and their children during their time with us. On the 1st March they moved upstairs to be employees of H&C Ltd. Their goodbye 'party' was some what like a funeral. Apart from some of the children performing a dance, most of the event was full of tears. It reminded me of a wedding here in Bangladesh; a bride always cries, often sorrowfully wailing, to show respect to her family who she is leaving. I think through their dramatic tears these women were showing us, the children, the mothers and the team of staff at CUP, that they love us and are going to miss us. We certainly miss them! Thankfully they have all settled into there new jobs well and now seem quite at home.
Literally the day after these ladies left, new women and children started pouring into the centre wanting to join the training programme. We have allowed seven new women to join and kept others' names on a waiting list. They will be able to join us in the coming months as we say goodbye to more mothers as they become ready for employment with H&C Ltd., and say hello to new members of staff as we slowly expand the programme.