Training Tailors Since 2005

Yup, our tailoring training course has been offered to teens who have had to stop formal education since 2005!

Here's an update on the progress of the program.

It's so wonderful to know that in 8-10 months of training teens can be supporting themselves with the skills learned in our tailoring program. The current class is 21 students, 2 to a sewing machine.

Here students show me the skirts they are working on as practice.


Oh my goodness, Neema. Your dress is gorgeous. Did you make it?


I made plans to meet with Neema, one of the kids who has been sponsored for some years through Pamoja. She is HIV+, did not pass her national exam to attend secondary school, and last year entered our Tailoring Training Program. Now she works from a rented veranda, sewing a variety of items for local residents. I am awed by how beautifully she determined the layout of her dress so that the design was strategically placed.

Way to go, Neema!


Welding is Not Just Useful Work, It Is Also Art


This morning when I arrived at our offices, I looked over at the welding training center and was curious what the “huddle” was about. I walked over, said “good morning” and asked about what they were observing. 

Today's exercise was the fabrication of decorative corners for the grills every Tanzanian home has on their windows I have seen lots of iron bars on doors and windows in my time here, but these were positively beautiful.


Above, Teacher Jonah and another student demonstrate how the corners will look when attached to a wall. I am so pleased to see that the students are learning not only how to weld in order to support themselves and their families but also are creating products with added value because they are so attractive.


With their enhanced skills, our trainees will be in high demand once they enter the workforce.


On the Road Again

“You are going to Nduruma and Bwawani tomorrow?” Emmanuel asked.

I told him, "yes."

“Very dusty”, he replied. 


He wasn’t kidding.

Our slow drive through 3-4 inches of fine silty dust was made only slightly tolerable by the Swahili rap music on the radio. I realized that as long as I didn’t understand what they were saying, I kinda liked it.

But about the dust……it was on everything. Tree leaves were green, but covered in brown. The windows of our little red car were outlined in dust. And when there was a little breeze? More dust.   

The purpose of our travel today was to visit our newest Safe Drinking Water program. The communities we had chosen use water from a river that flows with runoff from the city of Arusha, carrying everything from plastic bags and household garbage to human and animal waste.

When trying to avoid the river water, people travel to one of several shallow wells dug near schools, but the quality of the water in the wells is also dangerous, particularly for children. 

I asked the volunteers, who distribute the Proctor and Gamble water treatment packets on foot to 30 families each month, why they offered their time for a $10 monthly allowance.

One woman instantly spoke up. She said that they were tired of watching their children become terribly sick, knowing that the water was to blame, but without the money or time to collect firewood and boil water for household use. There was collective nodded agreement. “The P/G water treatment is a gift from God”, she added.

The volunteers (below) are collecting boxes of water treatment for this month's distribution.


And now for a dusty ride home. 


With Perseverance, Hope


Rehema (23) and her twin sisters (14) are orphans. For the last several years, Rehema has held a good job at a supermarket and was able to provide for herself and her little sisters.

But with the economic downturn in the Tanzanian economy, the supermarket was forced to let ½ of its workforce go.

Rehema turned to hair braiding as a source of income. She faced another effect of the poor economy- women were shaving their heads to avoid the cost of hair care. If this were your life, would you be able to smile so openly ? (see below)

And yet, the room the 3 women share is clean, shoes carefully lined up on a rack, posters on the wall, bed neatly made. It is obvious that there is pride here- pride of place, pride of perception, pride of accomplishment.

Christina and Veronica are at the top of their secondary school class, and clearly spoke in English as we discussed their life. Their uniforms are spotless, their smiles radiant. 

Only when we pushed did they reveal that they have had only one meal each day this week. Porridge. Corn porridge. Rehema, Christina, and Veronica have hope.

They also have Pamoja Project.

If you are interested in helping to support these exceptional young women until they are back on their feet, please call or email Carol.