What a great time to be back in Tanzania this past January! Having time to be back with the girls and seeing the progress they're making was such a joy. Your Sisters was thrilled to bring the program, "Full Circle Learning," to the teachers at Dinka School...with the goal of enriching the girls learning and life experience. The teachers and our staff got so much out of the training! We look forward to implementing all that was learned.
Thanks to Olivia and Gretchen Newcomb for introducing this wonderful program to Your Sisters, to the teachers for their investment, and to our fabulous trainer Maureen Mungai for spending two weeks with us in Tanzania. We look forward to taking these inspired tools of teaching youth about being empowered, active learners...helping to change their lives...impact their communities...and connect the larger world in deeper ways.
To everyone -- thank you for your support, we look forward to a great 2016!
"Working with Your Sisters has benefited me so much, I have been able to send my children to school."
"We get together as a group and I am able to teach new skills to other sewers, helping them in areas where they can improve and work with materials better."
"We work on projects in the village and enjoy time together, supporting each other and learning news skills."
What a way to say good-bye to summer and kick off a new school year...the girls enjoyed a special day visiting the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. With expert safari guide, Maggie, the girls learned about some of Tanzania's most precious resources: the National Parks and the wildlife that inhabit them. A long time in coming…this had been an excursion the girls looked forward to for a year!
But now…it is time to return to school! As you may recall, last year the girls enrolled in St. Margaret's Academy. It was an exciting time…meeting new friends, new uniforms, and broadening their learning. Some subjects came easily, some more challenging.
At St. Margaret's all subjects are taught and tested in English, providing the girls with an advantage in continuing education beyond primary levels. This has been a big jump and learning curve for them. To support the girls with their studies, we've added a tutor to our staff in Tanzania. Helen works with the girls after school 5 days a week. She helps to reinforce their studies…whether practicing English, understanding math problems, or learning about world geography. And, she makes sure to provide special one-on-one time with each of the girls, too.With your monthly support, we are able to provide these girls with the most important basic needs of clean water, shelter and nutritious food, but also these life-changing educational opportunities. Are you a monthly supporter? Help Your sisters in one of the most important ways and give these girls hope for a better life, a different tomorrow. Donate here.
In the last several months, four different groups have come to Tanzania to visit Your Sisters, volunteer and experience adventure travel of this amazing country. Some of our visitors spend time with the girls making colorful, fun, picture books!
Whether climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, exploring amazing animals on the on the Serengeti, or relaxing in the sunshine on the the exotic beaches of Zanzibar, Heart of Africa Travel can arrange your visit to Your Sisters and Tanzania.
What an exciting time!
In the last twelve months, we have been able to expand our program, products and market share.
Earlier this year, two very special volunteers hosted a 6-week sewing class for 8 new women who joined our Creative Community Program (CCP). It was not long before these women were able to use their new skills to start earning a living for their families. Together with our established women tailors, we are helping over 20 women through the CCP. We want to help even more!
While Your Sisters' signature heart bags continue to lead sales in Tanzania safari lodges and boutiques, we are building momentum with our recently introduced quilted patch bag. We are also beginning to explore distribution in the states! In addition, to our heart and patch bags, we are introducing a new beaded Masaai Market basket. This artful and versatile design has been suggested as a farmers' market basket and all-around tote.
In order to meet all these changes and continue our progress, we are working toward building a more consistent 'go-to-market' production. We have many needs as we grow and reach out to more women. Your monthly gift helps greatly with this effort. If you are not a monthly supporter, won't you consider helping us help more women? Donate here.