Sunday, July 26, 2009
Hujambo kakas na babas -
(Hello brothers and sisters)
I have just returned from an enlightening, and sometimes heartbreaking trip to Tanzania. (I am still working on getting my nights and days straightened out. They are 8 hours ahead.)
I have learned that One Small Drop will be working with 4 villages: Kandete, Masebe, Ndala and Lusanje. The two specific projects for these areas are pork production and orphan uniforms. Each area is excited to be collaborating with One Small Drop (and that is an understatement!). I have met with amazing women groups from each of these areas. They are competant and compassionate women that know first hand the needs and strengths of their neighbors. They also know how to rally a community and get the job done.
I owe a great deal of gratitude to Mama Tuponile and Pr. Mmete as they accompanied and translated for me during this trip.
One afternoon I met with 2 women from each area to discuss the many details these projects would entail. Some of these women are pictured above. They amazed me with their determination, strength and insight. The meeting was over 4 hours long, but much was accomplished. They decided that each community will host a center for the first round of pigs. These centers will be a model to all individuals that will received pigs. It will be the education center to teach things such as feeding requirements, vaccines and medical care, building pig pens, breeding and farrowing. They decided that an application process will be used to apply for piglets, giving widows with children the first priority. They also discussed follow up once the pigs are placed and how to keep the project sustainable.
Orphan uniforms were also a huge discussion topic. Each community will need to gather and document information regarding the orphans in their area. Kandete recently did this and had a good system to use as a model. They decided how to prioritize the orphans, and discussed options for tailoring.
During discussions I was asked about people that may not fall into the catagory of widow or orphan. The needs are great in this area. I could only explain that One Small Drop is concetrating on these 2 projects right now because more can be accomplished when goals are focused. We understand that these projects are only "one small drop" of opportunity in a great bucket of needs.
And I also heard, over and over, that "these opportunities are a gift from God and we will honor God by working very hard to accomplish our goals".
Future updates: Niku the nursing student, Orphan and Widow stories, November volunteers.