I would like to take this occasion to THANK YOU — all of my friends, family, and supporters — for encouraging me to follow my dream of working in Africa this year. And what a year it has been!
Not only did I get the chance to spend some time living overseas in a country I absolutely love, but I was also able to start a non-profit called Jenga Jumuiya (Swahili for “Building Community”) and through that have had the opportunity to accomplish SO many wonderful things:
With your help, we have been able to fund the construction of two classrooms and a teacher’s office at the Oldonyo Sambu Primary School in the Arumeru District of rural Tanzania. The classrooms were dedicated to the school on November 12, 2010, at a ceremony attended by more than 1,000 parents, teachers, children, and local villagers. (Photos of finished building, one of the classrooms, and yours truly with some of the parents below.)
We have also been able to start a sponsorship program for students in the area, and have named our first 3 recipients: Joyce, Loisholu, and Gifte.
Joyce and Loisholu (above left) are a sister and brother from the Oldonyo Sambu area who will be continuing their primary (elementary) school education in January.
Gifte (above right) is a 13-year-old girl from Tengeru who will be attending one of the top secondary (high) schools in the region starting January. We are so proud of her for passing her exams and interview to get into such a prestigious school!
Attached are photos of the children out shopping for their uniforms. Thank you again to our wonderful sponsors of these kids. We still have several opportunities for sponsorships, if you would like to contribute!
We could not have accomplished these incredible feats without your help, so thank you, thank you, and thank you again. We are making plans now for our next “Community Build” which we hope will happen sometime next summer, funds permitting. We hope that you will consider contributing to Jenga Jumuiya in the coming year, as we continue our efforts to work with local communities to provide educational opportunities for children and to help these incredible students gain the skills they need to help themselves and their communities out of poverty.
All the best to you and yours during this holiday season!