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.



Hello From Tanzania



On Monday morningBrenda sat on a bench outside the WAMATA offices telling us excitedly about her 1st term at Beekeeping College.


Yes, the only one in East Africa is in Tabora, Tanzania, and it has been Brenda’s dream since she was a child to be a beekeeper.

She told us about the ordeal each student had to endure, being stung many times to be sure they were not allergic before beginning the training.

She shared information about the medicinal properties of honey learned in the classroom, and the importance of never boiling honey so as to keep the enzymes intact.

With glowing eyes, Brenda explained the life cycle of the bee, the jobs of each type of bee, and how to maintain a healthy hive.

I have to admit, when I learned last year that this was Brenda’s choice for post-secondary training, I was a bit skeptical. But once she told me that she could sell a liter of honey for the equivalent of $20 at the local market, I bought in big-time. Because not only will she be doing what she loves, but will able to support herself beautifully.

I don’t know where it came from, but when Brenda exclaimed, “I LOVE BEES!”, I absolutely believed her.


Many Children, Many Paths

It is always wonderful to watch children grow and develop over time. As the kids in the Pamoja Project have gotten older, their unique interests and abilities have become more apparent.

While all of them attend school, they exhibit a variety of interests and abilities. For example, we are seeing several of our secondary students begin to make choices for their futures. Some can graduate and attend university. This week, we got the news that Alfa has completed his national service obligations and will qualify for pre-medical school.

unnamed (1) copy.gif

Other graduates are currently attending training institutes, which offer good opportunities to find employment. Neema is in teacher's college. Mesca is being trained as a medical equipment technician. Gifti, enrolled in the same training college, is studying Community Development. With this training, she can find employment as a community social worker.


We have also been interested that two of our young teens have shown a strong affinity for animal husbandry. John is still in school and doing well. At the same time, he has already taken the initiative to raise rabbits. On his own, John built his first hutch. We plan to have someone teach him how to construct a larger, more secure version, adding to his skill base

Alice was not able to continue in school due to difficult health challenges. She loves to raise poultry and has been quite serious about selling chicks and eggs to her neighbors and at the market. We will help supply materials for a larger banda (coop) so that she can continue to expand her business.

Our sponsored children are growing up. We are delighted to see the various paths these young people choose to follow. With continued Pamoja Project support and encouragement, we believe these children will become independent and productive.