Newsletter July 2011
Dear Loyal Supporters
My recent visit in July has brought new opportunities in the area of health and we are also planning a microfinance loan system. This means that we will be working with the community towards relieving five major problems of poverty in the area: lack of clean water, hunger, lack of health care, lack of education and lack of economic opportunity. The aim being: clean water, enough nourishing food, health care, education and economic opportunity for all people in the area.
Water: We have completed wells, a rainwater catchment system for the primary school and continue to press for permission for a gravity pipe system to enable everyone in the area to have access to clean water within a reasonable distance from their homes.
Food: The destitute are now hungry and tragically there have been child deaths due to severe malnourishment since the ban on growing vegetables in 2009. People are having to eat berries and maize husks, normally fed to cattle, to keep alive. We sent food relief in the short term and are now sending money for goats for these people to raise their own small herds and escape from food stress. This week our men on the ground escorted 172 sheep safely past lions on their two day journey home from the livestock markets. The goats were blessed and distributed amongst the most needy families, 4 per family.
We fund 5 students to secondary school and will take on 5 more each year until we are sponsoring 20, 5 in each form of secondary school. This is the number we can afford to fund with our predicted budget. Form Four is the last secondary class, at the end of which the students take national exams equivalent to GCSEs.
We fund transport for students to attend health education, through the Student Association. A team of doctors from the government visit and give lectures on AIDs and other STDs, family planning, female ‘circumcision’ and female discrimination. Before we provided transport students were not attending this important education. Now most of the secondary school students (about 200) from the 3 villages we are supporting attend.
We have recently met Judy Lane from AMSO (Alailelai Maasai Sustainability Organisation) who has started working with the Maasai of the neighbouring ward of Alailelai to relieve poverty. Judy is starting a microfinance loan system through ‘Women’s Microfinance Initiative’ (WMI) and has invited us to bring some of our community to watch their business and loan training in November.
The WMI trainers are coming from Uganda and Kenya to teach Maasai women business skills and book-keeping. The women will then receive loans for small businesses, such as jewellery making, maize selling and livestock rearing. WMI have had great success with setting up loan projects amongst other groups of rural poor women in East Africa. The initial loans are small, with a group of women providing collateral for each other and when this has been successful they graduate to bigger loans before eventually achieving a credit worthiness capable of full bank loans. In this way thousands of rural women are now contributing to their country’s economy and have climbed out of poverty, able to feed their families and send their children to school.
After watching the training we hope to plan our own microfinance loan system in Nainokanoka ward.
As mentioned in the first paragraph we now have an opportunity to help with healthcare. On my recent visit, whilst at a meeting about the goat project in the village of Bulati, my attention was drawn to the unfinished building behind us. It was the shell of a cottage hospital locally known as a ‘dispensary’ for the community. The building had been funded by the government, but money ran out before completion. The community do not have the money to complete the building, but if WTWT completes it and furnishes it, the government will then provide the medical supplies and the staff. Finishing the building would cost around £8000. Currently people often die before receiving medical help because of the long journey to Karatu in cases of emergency. WTWT are keen to fund the completion of the dispensary but need further funds. Can anyone help?
We have two local people: Ponja and Embapa who are now working full time for WTWT carrying out the current projects and WTWT are paying their salaries at local rates.
We now have a Land Rover which is proving invaluable for WTWT work and for the community as a whole. I found that wherever we went on WTWT business we were also able to give lifts to local Maasai people who needed transport, for instance to the hospital. The vehicle is always full!
Many thanks to you all for your invaluable support, without you none of this would have been possible. The people of Irkeepusi, Bulati and Nainokanoka send you their ‘love greetings’ and heartfelt thanks.
If you would like to support our latest hospital initiative and our on-going work with a donation please send to the address below. Cheques made payable to WTWT.
Love Rachel and all at WTWT here in the UK and in Tanzania
Weston Turville Wells for Tanzania (WTWT)
Registered UK charity No: 112541
Reg. office: Old Crown, West End, Weston Turville, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP22 5TT
Phone: +441296 614751 (land line) or +447792 475094 (mobile)