This is a term commonly used by hikers to explain items they always carry.
Your base weight is the weight of your backpack plus all the gear that's inside it - not counting consumables like food, water and fuel.
It’s important to have a reasonable base weight. The less weight you carry, the less stress you are putting your body through. If you are someone susceptible to back problems and knee pain, a lower base weight can help reduce stress on these parts of your body.
Why are we talking about hiking…?
Because building a sustainable business is a lot like climbing a mountain.
Because we can’t imagine the base weight of the 21 graduates that recently finished our training program in Chongwe, Zambia.
We can look at a map and attempt to track the exact miles of terrain each trainee walked before accessing public transportation.
It’s a lot of miles.
We can put on their metaphorical shoes and imagine the difficulty it is to care for someone with a severe disability without any help.
It’s a lot of trials.
We can’t comprehend it but we know the weight of the world is made much heavier by the extreme stigma surrounding people with disabilities in Zambia.
We’re watching firsthand how much more one can shoulder when they are standing side by side.
This training was made possible by a partnership forged through Cure International with Ana, CWOW’s International Ambassador. Without Ana and a team of fiercely dedicated people - none of this would have been possible. Where many look and find emptiness in situations that offer closed doors; Ana saw an opportunity for the caregivers of people with disabilities to find sustainable income and resources. (In hiking terminology, Ana might be referred to as a “trail angel” - someone who isn’t on the journey themselves but leaves things to help hikers along the way.)
There were 21 graduates, friends.
21 new business opportunities that have the potential to sustain families and transform communities.
1 trainee did not attend the final session and see the program to completion.
We don’t know why, but we can only imagine she had a base weight we cannot comprehend carrying. She is heavy on our hearts and minds.
Sometimes referred to as a "Notch" or "Saddle," another hiking term, a Col is the point where you stop descending one peak and start ascending the next one.
21 Graduates have finished the first peak. They’re in the col.
They need us now more than ever, and we need your help to climb this mountain.
The next steps for this group of trainees are follow up visits and one on one workshops - arguably just as important as the training itself. We have so much to share with you about some of these soon to be business owners! Stay tuned to our blog and social media for interviews with graduates, photos of our training, and opportunities to partner with us for the big plans we have in store.
You can donate directly to the work Creative Women of the World is doing in Zambia right now, right here: https://gocwow.com/products/donate-to-training-in-zambia