On August 7th, Emerge Lanka hosted its first annual reunion for past participants in the beach town of Negombo (about 40km north of Colombo). The event included a mix of games, art projects, downtime, and conversations about finances, communication, values and relationships. In one session, the young women illustrated their dreams on a paper plate vision board and shared their many hopes including starting a business, becoming a teacher, building a home and buying land. One past participant reflected on the reunion saying, “I got good knowledge about my future plans.” After discussing her fears, frustrations and strengths with the group, another young woman said, “I felt proud of myself today.”
Some interesting facts about our alumnae:
1/3 of reunion participants have returned to the classroom to study
100% of reunion participants still use the bank account opened in their name during the program
2/3 of reunion participants told Emerge staff that they are saving their money to build a home for their family. 1/3 are saving for their child’s future or saving money to start a small business in the future.
1/3 of reunion participants still have 100% of the money saved from their jewelry sales. Another 1/3 have more than half of the money saved. The final 1/3 have just a little left. Some of the things the young women have spent their money on include building a house, paying for medical bills, loaning money to family in an emergency, providing for their child and husband, and paying for housing.
100% of reunion participants reported that they learned something new about themselves during the reunion.
When asked how much they enjoyed the reunion, 100% past participants selected the highest rating.