Microgrants Update – Adam

First, I want to give a few pressing updates about orphanage business – then we’ll move on to Adam’s summary of the microgrants project and its current status! 

  • Thank you to those who have donated for Ebenezer’s care. He was released on Tuesday from the hospital, but was re-admitted yesterday (Friday). His chest has remained wonderfully clear, but he’s caught the flu going around the orphanage, and had a high fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. He was admitted for rehydration and observation. Fingers crossed he will be out soon!
  • One of the microgrant widows, Mama Agness (not the same one Adam describes below), was also admitted to the hospital on Thursday, along with her son, Evans. He has had chest problems since he was a baby, and we offered in the course of the project to pay for him to get medical care. When they arrived on Thursday, Evans couldn’t walk because of extremely severe pneumonia, and Mama Agness could barely carry him, as she had severe malaria, anemia and dehydration herself. Both are now recuperating in the hospital, and along with our friends at SperanzaTanzania, we are trying to figure out the exact nature of Evans’ long term problems. Many of the possibilities will require extended, long term care, so this is an issue we will touch upon again. 
  • On a more positive note, we now have two orphanage bunnies! The kids are loving getting to know them. One is white and the other is black and brown – what could they be but Chundvi (salt) and Pili-pili (pepper)? 
  • The solar panels are being installed as we speak, and they should be done tomorrow! Hooray!
Now on to Adam’s updates: 

Things have been going extremely well with our community outreach microgrants project! In the last two weeks we have almost completely finished the first and most intensive portion of our project. We have analyzed each family in the program, and given them each the money or materials to be successful. In a few situations there are areas still pending, due to the difficulty of both transportation and communication in Tanzania (but that can be expected!). Those should be smoothed out within a few days however, and phase one will be complete. There are a few families that really stood out in our program and I have decided to highlight a few.

Meet Baba Sunday. He and his son are both HIV positive, living in a house together with no electricity and no stable source of income. When we originally went to see him he told us of his idea of becoming a carpenter, using skills he learned many years ago. The only problem was the lack of tools. We are funding his purchase of new tools and materials to get started.. With the skills he learned from our business seminar and the grants we hope he can use the planning to start a successful business and keep food and HIV medication on his table.

Meet Agness. She is a young adult living with her grandparents and several brothers and sisters. When we met this family we found out the Bibi (grandmother, 85 years old) was digging rocks to make an income for the family. Agness wanted to help and to do so we got her lessons in baking from a local friend, as well as her own oven and a small grant to start her off.

Meet Mama Massawa. She is a widowed woman taking care of 4 children. For her business she is taking on chickens for selling eggs as well as growing vegetables to bring to market. While her business is quite similar to some of the other participants, her attitude is not. After the targeted classes we had on raising chickens and agriculture she told our partner Rehema in Swahili, “If these people don’t succeed with all that you all have given them, it is not out of lack of help. It would only be laziness on the part of the people running the business. Thank you and god bless you.”

To hear her say that means a lot to the heart of this project. We want them to feel as if they are supported more than just financially. We have focused entirely on well-rounded businesses. Her words leave us confident in our efforts.

Sadly, I am back in America now. My partners will continue on, getting each family a bank account with a small amount of cash. They will continue to check on each family, and give support in any way they can.

We hope that all of our participants succeed, and the second phase of our project is just to continue to follow up on each family and their progress, through home visits and checks of their records. We hope that what we have given will be enough. The hard work of everyone involved has already shown. I speak personally when I say we all look forward to the future to see how it all pans out.