WTWT NEWSLETTER February 2018
Dear Loyal Supporters
I’ve recently returned from another moving visit to Tanzania
I enjoy the chance events that often happen on my visits, which lead to hearing the personal positive effects of our work on people’s lives
This time it was the puncture on the way back from visiting the remote Naiyobi ward:
On our way back Ponja, our coordinator, mentioned that we had no spare tyre. He mentioned it because he could hear a hissing. He’d lent the spare to someone else in need the week before and had not had a chance to replace it and had never had a puncture before.
I asked if we should call a garage in the nearest town (three hours drive away) to bring us a spare up:
‘There is no phone network’
‘How far to the nearest network signal?’
‘So what shall we do?’
‘We will drive on it’
Fortunately we hadn’t bumped along far when we saw the Belgian couple that I’d chatted to earlier at a viewpoint. I’d been surprised to see Europeans driving in the area.
They kindly lent us their spare and we followed each other back. They told us they had bought fuel from a Maasai woman, which surprised them, as they expected to pay a man. When they offered the money to her husband he laughed and pointed to his wife as the person to pay. They asked if it meant women were in control here? I said only when they have a loan and their own business.
I learned from our staff that this woman is called Naihiki and she had a WTWT/WMI loan and has a business selling fuel to rangers and tourists. Our staff buy from her too and explained that she is one of two wives who were struggling to feed their children because their husband drinks. Since giving her a loan and supporting her in starting her successful fuel business things have got a lot better for the family.
Coincidentally, when we got back, we met Naihiki coming to grind her maize at the grinding machine. It was lovely to meet her with her daughter. She explained that she buys fuel in the town, brings it up by bus and then carries the cans on her donkey to the road for her customers.
On this visit I went to see the projects that we fund:
- the opening of the preschool in Loresho
- a Community Health Education class, this time on FGM
- meetings of the VICOBA loan groups (Village Community Banks)
and to meet the leaders of Naiyobi ward, an area of three remote villages, new to us and also with great challenges. We discussed their priorities, which are funding for a classroom and a Community Health Education programme
The opening of the preschool in Loresho
The mothers of the children gathered in their best traditional clothes and I heard them approaching from afar, singing and dancing for us as they came. They were songs of gratitude to God (Enkai) and ourselves, WTWT, for this preschool, which, they sang, has also been the trigger for the building of a primary school on the same site.
We found twice the number of pupils we were expecting in the classroom. This was because the teachers’ accommodation is not yet complete and they are a teacher short. Not wishing to delay the pupils’ start, they have combined two classes.
Community Health Education Programme (CHEP)
We attended one of the classes covering the subject of Female Genital Cutting (FGC). The men and women feel more comfortable discussing this in separate classes and we attended one for the women. Since hearing the information in the classes they said that FGC is harmful and that they would not be cutting their daughters.
They are keen to discuss this and the reasons for their decisions with other people. They do not think that it will be a problem for their daughters marrying, although traditionally it is only when a girl has been cut that she can be married.
Our staff told me that these women living in a small Maasai town are more open to change than people in the villages.
Our CHEP is now collaborating with another organisation MCC providing ‘Lishe’ nourishing paste to all pregnant women when they attend clinic. This is encouraging clinic attendance for antenatal care and improving the health of these women. In the dry seasons they survive on a few cups of watery maize each day and are consequently hungry and malnourished.
Loans for women
On this visit I attended several VICOBA (Village Community Bank) loan group meetings. The members were enthusiastic about the success of their businesses and said many more people in the community are requesting loans. They asked us to fund more. Each group chooses it’s own name:
At the end of last year our staff conducted a survey in Naiyobi ward, which adjoins our current area of work, and is another remote area of great need. The survey was to ascertain what the community felt were their priorities to improve their lives. The results showed that Community Health Education and education for their children were their current priorities. We discussed how WTWT might lend support with these priorities by funding a classroom and community health education.
We will need more funding for this, so I have come back energised to raise it!
Our team of UK trustees do a great job supporting our work. Michael Hasler has been our treasurer since we first registered as a charity back in 2018. He has recently retired from this role and we give him huge thanks for all his wonderful work keeping our accounts in order for the past 10 years.
We now welcome Tim Shewbridge to our team and are very grateful to him for accepting the treasurer’s role.
Our next fundraising event is our:
Annual Barn Dance
Weston Turville Village Hall
24th March from 7-11pm.
Featuring our long time loyal band Myckryck
Including a Tasty Supper with a
Vegetarian and gluten free option, please let us know how many
Bar and Raffle to raise more funds for the cause
Ticket price £15.00 adults, £7.50 children and students
Tickets from Rachel Blackmore: text 07792 475 094 or reply to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are hugely grateful for all your financial support and your encouragement of our work. Without you we could not do any of this.
As always, our flights and administration are paid by ourselves, so all of your donations go directly to the community projects.
With much love and thanks
Rachel and WTWT trustees here in the UK and staff in Tanzania:
Rachel, David and Daniel Blackmore, Tim Shewbridge, Ruth Cornish, Suchita Raja, Viv Pangalos and Helen Williams in the UK
Ponja Tayai, Laangakwa Twati, Embapa Oloishiro, Esupat Oloulu, Peesoi Runguna, Grace Tapwaa and Elizabeth Kimirei in Tanzania.
If any more of you would like to make a donation or set up a standing order, we would be extremely grateful, as would the people in Ngorongoro.
Our bank account is: ‘Weston Turville Wells for Tanzania’ at Lloyds TSB, account number: 00087400, sort code 30-90-38. Cheques can be made payable to ‘WTWT’ and posted to our address.
Weston Turville Wells for Tanzania (WTWT)
Registered UK charity No: 1125141
Registered office: Old Crown, West End, Weston Turville, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP22 5TT
Phone: +441296 614751 (land line) or +447792 475094 (mobile)