Monday, December 27, 2010

thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
for your generous donation toward the expansion of our Majengo Orphanage...!!!!!
I was blown away!!

Your money will go a long way to helping with the 60 new kids which have been added to our already 28 living in, plus staff! Total 100!
Food, shoes, uniforms, medicine, education, basic needs....!!

This is an emergency....
And a triumph too, that the Government of Tanzania closed down 5 corrupt orphanages on the safari route.
And entrusted those kids to us.
We opened and renovated two new houses next to our main facility, in October.
WE built 17 bunk beds per house, with new sheets, blankets, mosquito nets and mattresses.
WE have 25 kids per house...with a mama matron in each.
With one outdoor kitchen, 4 cooks, creating 300 meals a day.
4 cleaners, to wash sheets, clothing, houses and kids.
2 teachers with 43 preschoolers.
A secretary and treasurer who pull it all together, pitch in and do everything.
2 security guards.

This has become a massive undertaking, and scares me to death!

a bit of background....

In 2007-8, I raised $25,000 to renovate and furnish our original Majengo facility, thanks to the 250 people who helped out!

So engrossed to get Magengo up and running, I wasn’t thinking, staff, food, education, medicine, upkeep! Operating costs!
Matt McKissock of Warren, Pennsylvania called to rent our cottage that summer three days before I was leaving for Africa.
He was fascinated. What are you doing? How many kids? Tell me more!!
With the cottage contract, I sent pictures of the children we hoped to help.
He fired back a cheque for $500.
Over that weekend, he became obsessed. He couldn’t get those kids out of his mind.
On Monday, he called three times: what were the operating costs??
I had no idea.
We didn’t know how many kids, how much staff, cost of food, uniforms, shoes...I would know when I got over there.
He kept calling. Tuesday, Wednesday. Could I come down to Pennsylvania. No.

Who was this guy?

Finally. I told him, if you are so interested in Africa....why don’t you come and see for yourself!!! Right!

I left for Tanzania that Wednesday night.

One month later, he arrived with two friends, for one week, with 8 duffle bags stuffed with everything we asked for: computers, clothes,shoes,school materials.
He met the kids, played, sang, and did juggling tricks, met the staff, village leaders, my ICA local organizers....and made a movie.
He went home and made a commitment.
To raise funds with family and friends, to pay for our operating costs!! And these wonderful people were committed to supporting us fully, not just now, but for the years to come. With the intention of supporting all these kids all the way through, secondary school, high school, even university. To really make a difference, to change the lives radically of hundreds of children. Who now have a chance.

It was a miracle.

When I got that email, I bawled my eyes out!
$41,000 a year! 28 kids living in; 25 living out but coming to our pre school with breakfast, lunch and dinner. At that time 10 staff.

WE demand four things from our staff: to love the children, 100% honesty, competence and hard working. We pay them well, and support their own children’s education.
Up until now things have been running smoothly.

But with 60 new kids!!
It is a HUGE DEAL, that the government has closed down corruption and entrusted us with those children.
But our budget will double this year.

I have promised Matt that I will help...
I am in the process of applying for Charitable Registration. So that soon I hope to be able to offer tax receipts. But until then, I can not.

Majengo is a hands on operation in Tanzania...There are no ‘middle men’.
Every cent we raise here goes straight to the children..
I am putting together a group of people here in Canada who would like to get more intimately involved: to get the word out, to help with fundraising, to help organize speaking engagements, to involve their families and friends. WE need all the help we can get!! Please call me if you are interested! It is the most important and worthwhile work I have ever been lucky enough to be part of.

I wish you all the very best in the new year...and again, thank you so much for helping to change the lives of these 88 little people...truly...I wish you could come over to visit yourself!
And if you can...please call me!!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE, in CANADA: cheques payable to
Lynn Connell
284 Major St. Toronto. Ont. M5S 2L6, Canada.

In USA where you will get a tax receipt!cheques payable to
Majengo Foundation
218 Liberty St., Warren, Pennsylvania. USA 16365

BLOG: I am in touch with Majengo every week...and post updates on my blog....

Thanks to the many people who responded to my last fundraising quest!

You are helping to change the lives of 118 little kids.. all orphaned by HIV AIDS…day by day….with their basic needs: food, medicine, education, clothing, uniforms, staff, shoes….

WE have raised almost $5, in two weeks with more promised…
Remember: every bit counts….

BEFORE: with 28 live in and 25 live out but fully-cared-for by us…$41,000 yr.
NOW: with 60 new kids, 6 new staff….we have skyrocked to $90,000!!

Yes…please read on…we need your help!!
If you missed it, here is my fundraising request!!!

Hi everyone..!!!
Most of you know I have been working in Tanzania for the last five years...with HIV AIDS prevention, orphanages Masai girls education and micro financing.

I am writing to you to ask for support at this giving time of year. WE have an orphanage called MAJENGO (building up) running beautifully, thanks to a lot of your help over the years.

It is a success story and one that I am very happy to be part of...but now, because of its success, we have been asked to take on more kids.

56 more kids, age 4 to 15, all orphaned by HIV AIDS...
It is a huge complement, and a challenge...

We need money for basics: sheets,, towels, mosquito,, uniforms, shoes.
Please read on if you would like to know more...
Have a lovely few weeks, and Happy New Year..

Government stops corruption on safari route!!

Government asks MAJENGO ORPHANAGE to take on 56 new kids!
Yesterday, the government walked in and shut down 5 corrupt orphanages along the safari route!
These were set up as businesses by corrupt directors hauling in hundreds of dollars weekly from unsuspecting tourists.
Two of these directors had criminal records, had been imprisoned with charges of rape and sexual abuse.
Children were kept poor and sick, undernourished, some dripping with HIVAIDS liaisons without medical care.
Safari truck drivers were paid to bring in the tourists.

MAJENGO ORPHANAGE opened March 2008 in the village of MtoWa Mbu,Tanzania, not on the safari route! NO CORRUPTION!!
We found 52 children, orphaned by HIVAIDS on a mud floor collected by neighbours and friends, set up as a day care and renovated a home..
Big thanks to the help of many of you!
Majengo supports 51 kids – food, clothing, medical, education - with a preschool and staff of 10 - beautifully
Up until now Matt McKissock, family and friends, through the Warren Majengo Foundation, in Pennsylvania amazingly supports our yearly budget of $41,000.

Thank you so much!

56 new kids arrived yesterday from the corrupt safari orphanages!!
We moved them into two newly-renovated homes next to Majengo - 24 kids to a house, 2 to a bed.
I am told they are really happy!! Three good meals a day...a safe beautiful environment, with people who love them.
Our needs have become huge. We need clothing, medical needs, food!

I’m hoping to raise $20,000 before VALENTINES DAY!

I am in the process of setting up a registered charity in Canada, which takes up to a year, so I can’t offer you a tax receipt sorry!
What I can offer my absolute promise that 100% of all donations will go straight to supporting these children.

Team Majengo!
I invite you become an intimate hard working part of Majengo....
We are all volunteers; every cent we raise goes straight to the care of the children – there are no middle people…
I would like to put together a group of very interested people to help me..with contacts…setting up speaking events (small groups or large, it is all important!), fundraising….
Please let me know if you are interested, this has become for me the most important and rewarding project I have worked on...

Please help!
In Canada:
Cheques payable to
Lynn Connell
284 Major Street,Toronto, Ont. M5S 2L6

Or for US donations: Where you CAN receive a tax receipt!
Checks payable to Warren Majengo Foundation,
218 Liberty St. Warren, Penn. 16365. USA

thank you!!
HI!! Hope you had a great Christmas and holiday...

Below are excerpts from PETER BEGGA… our liaison from ICA TANZANIA…..
I thought you might like to hear it from the people who work directly on the ground…at Majengo:

My explanations in italix!

NOV 22/10
Written before the 67 new kids arrived, when we just had 28 kids living in. with 25 more coming in for preschool everyday:

They are all doing great and working so hard with their classes because they are going to sit for their end of year examination to move to another level of their classes in January.

Greyson and Glory (teachers) are having evening Classes everyday for the primary two and one children to make sure they become the best students in their classes and make Majengo Higher. For the last two years our kids have stood top 10 in Primary School - big thanks to amazing work of Grayson and Glory!

The Catholic Church mission hospital next door is very good - at first we took four kids over there and sister Monica, the clinic officer, treated us so nicely by giving good treatment to our kids on time and all the pills we were given from there. Yesterday we took one kid who was playing football and knocked his thumb with stone. This shows that we are starting good relationship with the Catholic Hospital and in future they will be having a boarding house - this will reduce the cost of transport to our kids to the far hospital.

Staff are all doing well and they are well prepared to receive the new 40 kids. WE thought there would be 40,but there are in fact 60!!!

We cannot tell how many staffs we are going to hire until we have the new kids and can tell how big job it is and how many staff we need - when time is ready we will let you know.

Witness (cleaner) she has somehow recovered - she is training the 3 Masai girls who we have been sponsoring through secondary school, on how to keep the house clean and washing the clothes. They love the Masai girls and said they are hardworking girls and love the children.

Their names are; Mwanahamisi, Aziza and Tatu. They are so happy to be here and they said they are looking forward to write a letter to you to thank you for the good support you gave them.

Audrey the American volunteer girl, she is doing wonderful job here teaching English to our dear staff and older kids, helping cooking and bathing the kids with Witness during the day.

The priest and family in House 2, we have got the house ready for them to move into. I hope this is going to take place this week and start the renovation on house 2 that can be done within this week.

The Government has not yet shut up the orphanages yet - remember we had an election. Most of the officials have been away to different areas of the country and they are now settled. Last Friday I met with Mbasha and he said the process will take place soon. I don’t know how soon it will be because since you were here, I could hear all the time the word soon.

For me, soon will be after I have seen the Kids in.

Matilda (Masai girl who has been working at Majengo) has been given the school fees - she went to school yesterday but I have not heard from her.

DEC 15, 2001:

Dear Lynn and everyone,

I would like to let you that the government leaders came today to Majengo to check for the houses if they are ready.... they did appreciated for the work done and they said tomorrow they are going to bring the children in.. They are going to close the 3 orphanages tomorrow and the other 2 orphanages on friday..

My worry is we don’t have the budget for the coming childen. Denis (govt social worker) is sleeping to my place today and tomorrow I will be working with him for listing the names, ages and class of the children, then later to visit their family for bios...

Yes if possible we need to get more flash light.
RE: the electricity ; all the plans are in place I think you need to contact Charles to give you the figure how much they negociated with the electrician to hook up the 3 houses.

I will let you know what we need when we get the kids in place and see how exactly number of children.

I wish you all the best.
Kind Regards,

DECEMBER 16, 20010
Just spoke to Peter, then Charles...

Yesterday 43 kids from 3 orphanages arrived at Majengo!!!
Yikes!!! I CAN’T imagine how they are handling these numbers…
Primary kids (age 7 and up), put into House 1;
Preschoolers (age 3 to 6) into House 2.
Everyone helping cooks...who are now cooking for our 28 kids, plus these 43. And 12 staff.
Kids brought clothing of sorts.
Home Comfort (formerly Judica territory), angry...”you are taking our kids!” etc.

Limo (Huruma), our former director at the beginning, thankful we have all his kids..
Govt arrested him for keeping kids so poorly,,no toilets, both genders stuffed into one room, food etc... keeping all the money for himself. He has been in jail before for sexual abuse with the children, Martha. Our treasurer, thinks they will imprison him again.

Tomorrow govt moving in to close last 2 orphanages: Could have another 20kids by tomorrow afternoon!!

I am freaking out due to the numbers..we thought there would be 40 tops.
Govt screening children’s guardians next weed out kids who don’t need help. Hopefully we will be down to 40-45 next week.

Mbasha (govt leader), Dennis (govt social worker), police, health officer, legal officer) plus Peter, Killo were there for the shutdown.
Charles says no fear from angry orphanage directors...tho Peter is worried.

I am stressing re staff help...we need more staff, quick!
I don’t want to burn them out. So far Charles says they are fine.
Kerstin and Berndt (Swedish donors) are arriving today, thank Gawd!

Charles is going to make a financial statement re the $2,000 just sent, and the $820. Says there is about 800,000 tsh left from the$2,000. The rest went into renovation of house 2.
There should be enough here to buy utensils and cooking things for the kids...and more..they will keep us posted.

WE need to send over the following to hook up all three houses:
1-for electrical pole for all three houses plus hook up –
TOTAL: $1,618.USD
This money will be accounted for by house owners for further rental time.

Charles will investigate school fees to determine what bonus’ we can offer the staff to help their kids with educational costs. as we did last year.

NEW BOARD, Majengo.
Charles has chosen the most influential and knowledgeable people:
1. Dr. John, Head of HIV AIDS in Monduri district.
2. National Park ,chief warden
3. Catholic priest next door: Vincent Makoha
4. Dr. Felix, head dr of health centre. Kilongoni
5. Mariki...headmistress Manyara secondary school
6. Anna: head director private primary school at Anna Academy where Charles’ son went.
7. 2 influential government reps...

So far so good
I will call Peter and Charles again tomorrow..

DECEMBER 17, 2010
We now have 67 NEW KIDS!!!! Plus our 28!!!!! Total today: 95 KIDS!!

According to Peter...they are very very happy!! They LOVE Majengo – the clean beds, the sheets...the food!! And the washed clothes!! And all that space and kids to play with....!!
He says it is insane, basically.

Peter is the only one left at ICA...Charles and Glory (lawyer are coming back Sunday, thank the Lord!!_Hamidu our driver is there.

Charles gave Hamidu 600,000 tsh ($500 US)....I told Peter to request whatever they needed for new utensils etc...whatever! Charles should have an additional $200. (from the $2,000) and $840 just sent, USD.

Desperate now for new staff.
I told Peter to get Mayunga to get onto 2-3new day staff over the weekend.
Our staff are giving suggestions for whom to hire.
Current Arrangements!

Cleaning: Witness, Glory and 2 Masai – cleaning, washing clothes and kids.
Cooking: Our two cooks, plus 2 Masai, and Martha.
So far it is under control!!!!???

House 1: 28 kids: Witness with 2 Masai girls in House 1.
House 2: 28 kids: Matilda with Eve (Masai) in house 2. (Matilda and Eve both leave in Feb for teacher’s school; they will return and work for us.
Majengo main house: our current 28 kids, plus Peter said 10 more..but that doesn’t add up!

DEC 18, 2010
Right now, today they are coping...for a few days, but soon will need a big boost!!

They are coping.

I have agreed with my uncle to donate the money required for ELECTRICITY hook ups....$1,618. I think it should go through our Warren Majengo Foundation.
Jamie/Jeff...please let me know transfer details...
Jeff please send money through today, I promise to reimburse!!!

Read below – I added some other info onto Peter’s letter re what he wrote and then from out conversation.

Cooking: they have 2new 4 now...having trouble figuring out quantities...88 kids!!
All money Charles gave Hamidu has been spent for food.

Charles coming tomorrow. I will talk to him today.
NEED: 60 utensil kits (plate, spoon, cup) each 3,000 tsch.... $441.000 USD

Clothing: We need at least 2 huge bags of assorted children’s clothing. Cost ? - we are looking into it.

Medical: Peter talked with Sister Monica from Catholic Centre re malaria tests for all kids.

When Charles comes, I am going to get him to arrange for a nurse to give them all HIV AIDS tests.

Security: our guard’s dad died yesterday, of course! He is off to the funeral. Mayunga provided 2 new security guards now.

Masai girls allowances: we have 4 girls who I have been sponsoring through secondary school for the last 4 years:
Eve, Mwanasamisa, Tatu and Aziza. They can work for us December through end of February, 3 months maybe more, depending on their marks which they get in Feb.
The ones who passed will go onto high school, 2; years. The others will go to teacher’s college, or nursing...the ones who failed..well, maybe they will come and work for us.
I have realized that it is not their fault if they fail. Last year only 19% of students passed out of 4th year secondary. The govt has built many new schools, but no teachers or books, etc.

Our Matilda who is wonderful, and was the head girl of the school, didn’t make the marks to go on to high school...but will go to teacher’s college in Feb for one year, and then comeback to us to teach! It is all good.
Allowances: 4 girls @ 50,000 month - $40.USD.(for personal needs, they live at Majengo and eat there). They sleep with the kids, as assistant matrons, do cooking and cleaning. Without them we could not cope!!!

4 girls: 50,000 month = 200,000 ($175USD))month to be added to our budget.
1 boy: There is one very smart boy who I also sponsor. I told Peter he, and all the others who i have sponsored who are finishing 4th form, have to come and help!!
He can do sports with the kids, clean grounds, etc.

Staff Christmas bonus’: Charles is looking into their children’s education needs....we will come up with total soon...last year we gave it to them when I was there in March.

NEW BUDGET: I will talk to Charles when he returns, likely Monday>
WE WILL need to add on food, medical, staff and Masai girls salaries.
EDUCATION: in January, kids 7 and over will be going to Primary. 6 and under will be at our in house PRESCHOOL....
We have to provide uniforms and shoes for them all.

Electricity: Thank you Jeff for sending over the $1,618 USD needed for hooking up all three houses. It is dire that they do it now!
I will mail you a check today as my contribution to this monumental feat!!.....

My gawd!! This is pretty incredible, and I am sure a first. Peter is the only one from ICA there right now, with driver Hamidu...when there is work to be done, PETER is magnificent. Right now he is going full tilt, and I thank him!!!

Good luck in your fundraising!!

DEC 19, 2010
Charles is on the bus now to Mto Wa Mbu.. thank goodness...
Talked to Peter this morning..
They took 55 kids next door to the Catholic church pray...this is great...I hope they can do the same for the Muslim kids as well.

They had just finished lunch:
80 kids, 12 staff (2new cooks), 4 Masai girls...Total: 96!
He said they are having a food crisis...I will talk to Charles in five hours, about money. I want to know where we are at, what they need..
Talked with Matt yesterday, right now we are in survival mode. Jeff he gave me permission to ask you to send whatever necessary to keep us afloat.
This will all settle down as the days go by.
I am going to make a budget with Charles in the next few days...

Grayson caught 4 kids from Judica’s Home Comfort getting romantic (sexual), whatever that means. I think those kids were taught how to have sx, for pornography.
We talked about the importance of working hard on behaviour, that they must conform to our Majengo values.

Our current kids are watching, gawking I am sure!!
Philip is out there making new friends!

Talk soon...have a great Christmas....happy fundraising...xxLynn

Thursday, December 16, 2010

EXCITING news, today!!!
Just spoke to Peter Begga, our local on the spot liaison for our Majengo Orphanage in Tanzania this morning!!

Yesterday, the Government SHUT DOWN 3 of the 5 corrupt orphanages set up on the main safari route as businesses to lure in money from tourists.

In two days, they then transferred 67 children to our Majengo orphanage, which they declared the only official facility in the entire area.

Over the past three months we renovated two houses next to our current Majengo orphanage and outfitted them with 38 beds, matresses,sheets, mosquito nets, tables, benches, etc at a cost of approximately $15,000 USD.

Thank you Warren Majengo and Canadian friends for your ongoing work with fundraising for this incredible project!

This is a MONUMENTAL happening..the first time a fully official government body has committed itself to stopping corruption in the entire Monduri province.
Maybe even in the entire country of Tanzania!!!

And Majengo was chosen to look after these children, many orphaned by HIV AIDS.
They have been terribly abused over the last 4 years that i have known and back then worked with them. I have seen children with HIV AIDS unattended, their open liasions dripping from arms and legs. I have seen bunk beds with three beds, the third fitted between the bottom and top,with no room for the children but to lie down.
I have seen children going hungry, while staff filled their plates.
I have heard stories i can't repeat here, of pornography, of rape, of emprisonment.
I have seen wealthy directors with criminal records, paying off local officials to keep them keep their 'contribution boxes' full....

And now, they are shut down!
Right now, as i write, the government officials are in meetings with our 10 staff at Majengo, and our local ICA TANZANIA colleagues. They tell me the kids are 'happy'!! That the corrupt orphanage directors were taken by surprise, that our staff are ready to go! That we need elecricity hooked up...that they need money for food!! our budget will expand..
I am calling Peter in a few hours to get the latest details..

In the meantime..for an intimate view of what is happening at Majengo, sent to us by Peter yesterday, before the SHUT soon!


Introduction: Today on 10thDecember 2010.
All Majengo Staff decided that should be set-up the end of year meeting which took place yesterday at Majengo Orphanage classroom and the main purpose of this meeting was to discuss the matters concerning Majengo throughout the year 2010 and to have new innovative ideas and working plan for 2011 and the new 40 some children whom we hope to receive them when time comes. Renovation for the two houses is well done. The priest and family finally got out and his house has been renovated and is ready for the children to move in….the only process we have for now is to wait for the government to shut down the local orphanages and handover the children to us. So until now we have no idea when will this take place but we hope if it wont take place this week then it will take place early January because the government officials will be going for x-mass and New Year holiday.

People who attended the meeting were;
MAJENGO STAFFS: Kilo (Secretary) Martha (absent) Greyson (Teacher) Glory (Matron- Teacher) Hadija (Cook 1) Nuruanna (Cook 2) Witness (Cleaner) Matilda (Asst: Cleaner)
MASAAI GIRLS VOLUNTEERS: Eva Mwanahamisi Tatu Aziza
I.C.A: Peter. (Coodinator)

Peter opened the meeting by thanking all the members for attending and give them congratulation for the big job they showed up for year 2010 and give them thanks giving on behalf of I.C.A and the Warren Majengo team. They all smiled and the meeting started by giving chances for the staff to speak out their views throughout 2010.

Grayson: (Teacher) He thanked God for his guidance through faith for started the year 2010 well and now we are ending and open the new page of 2011.
He said, “if we figure out in percentage we did this job in only 15% so we have to work so heard so that we can at least go beyond.”
Success we got such us the renovation of the 2 houses where by we are going to have new children this is good idea because we expanding and this will bring our dream of having 1000 children in years to come.
Also we had some challenges through out the year such as we did not have the electricity where by we stayed in darkness especially when our flash light got damaged.
It will be good idea if we will have the electricity starting 2011 because we going to have more children and more houses.
This is my special request to our beloved donors so that we can protect our children especially at night.
He finished by asking all staff to keep the good cooperation than ever before so that we can have a very creative and good team.

Witness: (Cleaner) She thanked the Majengo staff and the Warren Majengo Team for the wonderful job they have done in 2010.
Special thanks to our donors for the things they bought such as new clothes, towels, bed sheet, mosquito nets e.t.c
I am kindly asking them to continue supporting us and God will bless them all.
Special thanks to Majengo staffs, Lynn and Jamie for their support when my Husband passed away they did great job by giving me support and word of encouragement which made me feel good and I am getting recovering.
She asked the staffs to come up with new ideas so that can help for the rebuild of our Orphanage.

Hadija: (Cook) She thanked all for being healthier throughout the year 2010, and said we should keep up the same sprit incoming 2011 because we are going to add new children.
On my side, kitchen department we have no problem we have prepared well to cook nice and delicious food for our children I have no problem with that.
But my big issue is we will need more cooking pots and serving dishes so that we can keep our food hot all the day.
The idea of adding new children is good as we all knows that we have got a lot children who need support so we have no way out we have to do the job to help these Children and I have no doubt about adding new children.
In Kitchen they need cooking port, plates, spoon and cups
Otherwise she thanked everyone for the job done God blesses you all.

Nuruanna: (Cook 2)
She thanked God first and all Staff members for finishing the year 2010 well and ask each and every person to continue working so heard so that we can see the good future of our Children.
And she said if in any way or another she has gone against the expectation of each member of staffs she had apologies and she asked the workers to forget their differences if there is any and create a very big team which will help our children to grow and become independent.
She reminded Lynn for the promise she told the staffs that she was going to support the staff Children to school and give them loans which will help staff to solve their basic needs at their family. some of them have just received their children support Fund but nothing like loan so she was just reminding Lynn if possible to give us loans so that we can provide our family with all basic needs they need this is because the life expenses have gone so higher and we cannot manage to solve everything we need.
Otherwise she asked the workers to come up together and continue working so heard since we are going to have more children as soon as possible.
She wished each and everyone good healthy and prosperous new year.

Glory (Matron-Teacher).
She thanked GOD for we have finished year 2010 and now we are going to open the new chapter of 2011 in a special way she thanked the donors from Warren Majengo for the good job they have worked through out the year 2010 and asked them to continue supporting the children of Majengo orphanage so that each of us will be proud for the protection, care, love and the big support we provided for our children.
She thanked the good cooperation between I.C.A and the village leaders for being together all the time of difficult for the help they provided especially when we needed help.
We as the human sometime we might have gone wrong from one another as a matron she said let us forget our past and let us continue smoothly.
She mentioned some problems she faced as a matron such as; the house did not have the electricity through out the year.
Although we had some flash light which got damaged and up to now we have only 1 flash light which Jamie bought but it can’t light for each room so it is very difficult to perform my duties at night incase of any danger.
I am asking our donors to figure out the electricity connection cost so that we can have power in place especially now because we have 3 houses and we are going to have more children it will be difficult if we bring these children and we have to power in place.
She also insisted that starting next year she should get an assistant so that she can get some relief of resting at least one week per month.
She also mentioned successes we had through the year 2010 such us; Eating well good balance diet,
The classes has been good to our children because of the teaching materials brought by the donors and the sports activities such as football, netball and handball.

Matilda: (Asst. cleaner) She thanked God for everything he has done into her life and thanked everyone for being kindly to her.
She also thanked Lynn in a special way for her big support of her four years of secondary school and now she promised to continue supporting her in a collage, but bad news she went to collage late one week and they refused to receive her so she is going to join next year in February per now she is at Majengo continue to work until time comes for her collage next year in February.
She also thanked the donors for their good ideas of adding more children which makes her feel so good that years to come we may have no street children in the village of the mto wa mbu and the rest of Tanzania.

EVA: (Maasai girl) She thanked Lynn so much for changing her life for not getting early marriage and attends school which makes her feel so good and happy life.
And now she decided to volunteer at majengo orphanage she thanked members of staff for keeping her healthier, eating well and being treated well by majengo staffs.
I promise that I am going to work so heard here at Majengo and make sure that I play with majengo children and make them feel happy so that they have people who can share good time with them…
God bless you all.

Mwahamisi, Tatu and Aziza: (The 3 Maasai girls)
For them they said they have nothing to say but for what they have seen they have never seen such an organization in their life which takes care of the orphans the way Majengo is doing.
They promised to work so heard so that they can show up their thanks giving to Lynn for the big support she gave them all of four years of secondary school.
Also they have asked one request for Lynn if possible to have some pocket money for their own basic needs while at Majengo because girls have got some problems which has to be solved each month such as Vaseline, tooth paste and other girl’s matters.
Otherwise they are real enjoying being at Majengo more than when they have been at their village.

KILO: (Secretary)
He thanked all the members for their good cooperation through out the 2010.
He reminded that we all know how difficult this job was but we used a lot of our energy to ensure this job is done he thanked everyone for creating experience of their own.
He reminded the staff members to continue with their good heart and sense of humor to support our donors to fulfill the expectation of everyone and see the good future of our children and see beautiful fruits from them as they keep growing.
He said ahead us we are still going to have a huge and big job, but there is no fear we have to face it and do it so that we can be accounted and remembered for the job done when these children became independent. In especial way he thanked the donors for their big job of making contribution, fund rising of both money and clothes, we have nothing to pay back to them but promise to them that we are going to anything possible to ensure this job is done.
He agued the staffs and said in any institution people usual have misunderstanding I am sure in any way or another we might have wronged one another but all this might have laid work done let us forget our differences and open a new page in 2011 so that we can have new ideas so that we can expand our majengo Orphanage by having our own building, school and sports ground.
The idea of adding new children we do appreciate for our donors for their support we have prepared enough to receive them and work for them.
He asked for the request of salaries for December and January to all staffs to be paid on 20th Dec 2010 so that they can budget for Charismas and New Year for their family.

Peter; (Coordinator).
He thanked all the staff members for attending the meeting and congratulated all of them for the huge job they have done through out the 2010.
He said we had a very busy month for the renovation of the two houses we thank God they are all done.
The job ahead us is to receive the new children we are still waiting the order from the government to shut up the local orphanages and bring all the children to our orphanage and this might be next week if not early January.
But Mr Mbashe the government person said he is going to come this week with his team to shut the orphanages “so let us be like the soldiers keep hearing the bullets but cant see the enemies”
Let us get prepared to have these children any time from now.

Re: the Catholic hospital… by Sister Monica.
So far we have treated 14 children since we started the relationship between the catholic hospital nearby Majengo and the Majengo orphanage it has been almost one month 2 weeks.
In special way I thank Jamie Bees and Charles Luoga, for the nice talk with Sister Monica it has real helped treating our children all the time when they fall sick even at night.
7 of our children had malaria, Loveness, Abdi, Amina pendo’s sister, hawa, sharmira, Swarehe and Raheli.
Witness and Tatu took the children to the hospital and they were given first priority to be treated the nurses were so kindly and lovely after being given medication late evening sister Monica came to majengo and see how these children were doing which was very good and amazing.
So we all agreed that this is the best hospital we have got.
Sister Monica has gone to Nairobi and she will be back before Charismas so she said she is going to open an email address so that she can start communicating with Jamie and everyone from Warren Majengo.
I have also attached some pictures of our children when they were treated at the Catholic Church hospital.

Re: Majengo Children. They all started the holidays since 1st of Dec 2010.
So they are all at the orphanage we are making gardening and cleanness with them all, they are very happy to do such activities.
They all did great at primary school as usual Amina is the best student out of 123 students,
Hawa got the second position, Jenifer got the fourth position, Godlizen and Neema got the fifth position they had equal marks, amzing.
Sebastian got ninth position and Filipo got fiftieth position.
In pre-school; the following were the best 10 scholar,
1. Latifa 2. Neema 3. Juniour 4. Juliana 5. Godwin 6. Abdi 7. Anisha 8. Anna 9. Hilda 10. Haruni.
P/S we are going to celebrate the Christmas and New Year so we are agreed with Lynn that these parties should have their own budget since they were not in the budget I am reminding Lynn to see on her budget book and see how much we figured out for these two parties so that you can send the money on time before Charismas.

I would like to express my special thanks to Lynn, Matt, Diana, Jamie, Ian, Kym and whoever is involved in this project for helping the Mjaengo orphanage Children in one way or another.
We do real appreciate for the big support.
We promise you that your contribution has been used in right way we kept all the records of what ever we have used.

We have nothing to pay you back but we are asking for those who have never come to Africa please come and see how beautiful these Children are and the lovely scenery such us National parks, cultures and weather changes.
Kym thank you for the Majengo Books and the business cards they are all lovely welcome to Africa, Ian’s Mother and Dad you are welcome to Majengo we have heard that you will be coming soon next year.
Otherwise we wish you a Merry Charismas and prosperous New Year 2011.
God Bless America, God bless Canada, God Bless Tanzania.

andthen another:
Dear Lynn and everyone,

I would like to let you that the government leaders came today to majengo to check for the houses if they are ready.... they did appreciated for the work done and they said tomorrow they are going to bring the children in.. They are going to close the 3 orphanages tomorrow and the other 2 orphanages on friday..

My worry is we dont have the budget for the coming childen. Danis is sleeping to my place today and tomorrow I will be working with him for listing tha names, ages and class of the childen then later to visit their family for bios...

I will keep you posted when we receive them...

yes if possible we need to get more flash light but I am going to ask charles to do that because tomorrow we have the children....

the electricity ; all the plans are in place I think you need to contact charles to give you the figure how much they negociated with the eletrician to huke the 3 houses.

I will let you know what we need when we get the kids in place and see how exactly number of children.

I wish you all the best.

Kind Regards,


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I wrote this this morning to a friend...who asked for a brief update!"

"Government forced to shut down 5 corrupt orphanages on the safari route, set up as businesses by evil directors who jam sick and poor children into cramped quarters to lure in wealthy tourists whose drivers get a percentage of the stash!!
Majengo Orphanage (ours) asked to take in 67 new kids from these orphanages!!
Majengo setting up two new homes, staff, furnishings.
Shutdown will be within a month.(all going well).
Key orphanage director, killed in car accident on bumpy road to Handeni reportdly to visit local witch doctor to combat recent rape charges with orphanage children.
Burial: 600 local people, and me!!"

There is book in here, I know...
and as i lie in my drugged state of shingles...images float forth, and back, words,paragraphs, ideas, brilliant, but that will never surface again....

But one thing I want to write about today as I'm remembering Jamie over there this time just a few weeks ago...and today is her birthday...
It looks like a lot is happening over there, and it is!
It is huge, monumental, a first!!! a huge honour for Majengo to be chosen by the government as the orphanage they have picked to take on the kids, wonderful!!

..and, on the other hand, day by very hot and long day, things crawl along matter what you try to do.
I flew over in two days notice!! Back in September.
WE were on the verge of a huge government shut down.
I had to be there!!
The government assured me. Charles assured me.
"WE are together", they say...or "are we together?" but in this case, YES, WE ARE TOGETHER....Majengo Warren is committed to taking on new kids; the government too, in shutting down corruption on main street! Yes!!
Okay. so, let's go!!!!

Well...that was 10 weeks ago, and guess what!
It hasn't happened. Yet.

I have come, gotten shingles and come home.
Elia and Jackson moved into Pambazuko, after three years on the main road. They are now home with their friends, their family.

And still. We wait...
We've secured two houses behind Majengo to rent and renovate.
We've built 19 bunk beds. We've bought sheets,mosquito nets,matresses with plastic. Towels for 50 new kids.

Jamie came from Warren Pennsylvania Oct. 19th.
For 3 weeks. And she says, nothing happened.
But it did.
All the while I was laying in bed she was over there every morning.
Checking out the houses. Meeting the tenents. Arranging for new digs as we moved them out. Understanding budgets, logistics. Challenges. Problems. Big problems.

Working in Africa, is not always easy. Or fun.
Things NEVER happen the way they are 'supposed' to.
Things are NEVER on time. African time.
People are NEVER there when the promise to be.
They NEVER have whatever you need with them there.It is in the office.or at home. Or back at the room. NEVER there.

You wait.and wait and wait.
You sit. You wander. and you go back and stand. or sit.
They are speaking Swahili, you sit.
And don't understand.
You watch faces; you wonder; you try to imagine what they are talking about: the priest who won't leave house number two? the two boys, house one tenents, who are out selling beads, not packing their clothes? Not leaving.
No. More than that, the election.
You offer ideas.
You wonder if you are being heard. And then again, why should they listen?

Jamie was there for three weeks.
Alot did happen during that time.
House one got emptied and renovated. Walls came down, windows enlarged. Rooms made. Painted. Beds moved in....
But more important.
Her smile lit up Majengo each time you came.
The kids ran to you. The staff got close, could see, know, that you cared.
You visited Witness when she was sick.You brought her gifts.
You gave presents to the others.
You asked questions, you listened to their answers.
You cared.

You took time with everyone.
You did what you could.
When you could. With a smile.
You cooked for me.
You checked in everyday.
You brought wine at night.
You made me smile!

thank you...
What i guess i have learned from all of WAIT!!!
Keep your expectations to a minimum and miracles will happen.
You can't push...ever...
It does't work, it won't work!
The river has its flow. Stand by and watch the ebb....
As they said: it will happen.

Just not when we were there.
So know you did what you could, what anyone could have, but with a bigger smile, a bigger shine....


Friday, November 12, 2010


WITCH DOCTORS, PICKUP TRUCK TURNS OVER, ORPHANAGE DIRECTOR IS DEAD!! BURIAL CEREMONY, ELECTION! 67 ABUSED CHILDREN WAITING FOR A HOME!! and in the midst of all of this...i get shingles, or if you live in Africa: herpes zoster!!! What you see is a thousand nasty red boils bursing out on your rib cage all the way round to the back! Days and dark nights of writhing pain, endless waves of stubbly blunt knives jabbing into your rib cage on a repeated basis without relief, over and having a baby, but with no baby to wrap into your arms at the end of the day, constant, deep, and jabbing.

I thought for awhile i was dying.

Mis-diagnosed, mis-medicated, and when i got the right pills, they were too weak in intensity.
Before the job is over, i make my way back to Canada...
with a little story to think about:

From Ethiopia to Washington i'm doing pain killers and sitting across the aisle from a white guy with two little black childen, one on each side for 15 hours, watching him carefully tuck one into her seat belt, hold the boy in his arms as he begins to wail, and talk, and wail all way from nightime into morning.....gathering both gently as he makes his way up to the toilets, and back....a long journey home. So as we are about to land,i ask him..s whats up? what can this be about? He and his wife have adapted these kid from Ethiopia. they have two of their own, age 5 and 7...and these kids are 3 and 6. Oh my gawd! The entire family had visited to meet their new children a month before. Lots of fun with their own kids playing with kids from the orphanage...taking them toys....laughing, singing songs..a translator helping them to communicate with the brother and his sister they would soon be welcoming into their family.This man went back a month later, with all the immigration papers intact, a suitcase of new clothing for these kids, toys, and a world of best wishes from family and friend..of course it would take some could be difficult, but so far so good!

Well, James set himself up in a guest house near the orphanage and brought his new children over. The little one, the boy age 3, threw temper tantrums allweek, and when he began to wail...he wouldn't stop...he spent most of his time with the boy, while his sister demanding attention, and not getting it, turned her back on him and the project. Refused to get dressed, pack, or leave....huge heaving crying bouts, both of them, while James became more and more worried that perhaps they had made the mistake of their lifetime.His wife had been a lifesaver, warm and positive on the phone everyday with advice from others through the internet who had done this, it takes time. a lot of time. breathe. it will be better when we get them home.

I had four hours to wait in Washington. and so did they. Immigration into the U.S. can be a pretty heafy challenge at any rate, but with two little beings from another universe who don't speak English. Man! The little guy had a silent meltdown lying under the rows of stationary chairs in front of us, looking morosely into the flooring. His balloon broke. he went limp into a petulant "I'm unhappy" mode, wilting into the floor refusing to come our, but it is quiet, quite harmless and i'm told that was nothing. He is very cute, and knows it, a sweet round face with big black eyes..and a little nose that he wiggles like a bunny. When i copied this...he reached out and slapped me hard in the face...we turned this into high five when he twisted his body and shot me a mean kick landing the full side of his good American shoes on my shin.

Cute. but scary. At 3, i was afraid of him.

She was my angel. we held hands and danced through the baggage area....the huge expanse of the airport and by the end she was calling me mommy. This wasn't good. Her new mommy was waiting in Atlanta with the other two children. OUr goodbyes were quick and sad for me, vastly bewildering to her, reaching out, grabbin, her eyes darting in fear - yet another one leaving. The massive huge ness of what these people were doing.

At the handprint immigration desk, Jim stood with tears running down his naked, raw with feelings, face, revealed terrible biggest fears that this could damage his own children permanently.....

Later, in an email...he describes their trip to Atlanta:

"...Too bad you missed the flight to Atlanta. There were two Semagen tantrums (which are a thing to behold) and 3, yes, 3 vomiting episodes between the two of them. Not to provide too much detail, but we were thoroughly soaked and stinky by the time we met teh rest of the family. And thanks so much for your pictures - they'll be cherished for a lifetime...

The adjustment here has been fairly tough as expected. I think we're ok with everything except for how poorly our other children are dealing with it. Although we prepared them as much as possible, they have no idea how to deal with the intrusivenesss, the tantrums, the screaming, the snatching of personal belongings, and most of all, the new competition for parental attention. Megan and I are struggling to learn how to deal with it and meet everyone's needs as best as possible. I hope the scars won't be too deep before everything settles."

I can't get this family out of my mind.

Back home to Toronto, a circus of pain killers every four hours...anti virals, anti nerve and anti itch for the hives i have since acquired. I'm scared, the pain could become chronic - I've been drugged out, bedridden, a week of hallucinating images.

Couldn't speak, or sorry to those who expected to hear from me.

Back to:
September 2010:
I jumped on the plane with two days notice.
This was monumental. This was the moment we have been waiting for, praying for, to get rid of the corrupt orphanages on the safari highway running through town. We had written to our embassies, we had implored the Tanzanian government to do something about this, but until now, nothing.

At times we were afraid for our own lives.

Before I left, for my own safety, I deleted a blog describing and naming those responsible for the onging corruption of orphanages on the safari route. These places of horror for children, had specifically been set up by corrupt directors, as businesses to lure in well healed safari tourists. I had written furiously about children packed into rotting intolerable rooms and intentionally kept sick, hungry and poor to enhance the haul. I knew what i was talking about. I had worked with the king pin of one of these orphanages for two months before realizing what the whole thing was about. This guy, was now up for rape charges, afer sexually abusing one of the older kids, while he was taking her to secondary school. Four years ago, I had worked at his orphanage, and fell in love with his kids. Was devestated when i found out what he was doing, and became a whistle blower, imploring others to stop working for him. Back then i wrote it all on a blog, and received threatening emails. He'd spent time in jail, had a criminal record, and carried guns in his car.

I'd been threatened with my life once before by this guy.
I deleted the piece.
And now, the government was now about to shut him down.

They could no longer ignore the rumours, the facts. Some of them could no longer justify the bribes they were receiving, too many children were being hurt, and too many people knew about it. He had been paying off church members, politicians, local village leaders, and safari drivers who had been rewarded for including his orphanages on their tour packages for the last five years. By all accounts, he had racked in thousands of tourist dollars, still holding those children ransom - victims, and until now with no one to help.

It was to be a takeover, and it had to be kept quiet.
Any leak of government plans, and they were afraid he would run.

He was up for rape charges in November. He had legally handed his orphanage over to one of his key workers, and was no longer officially in charge of that one, at least not on paper. But everyone knew he was still the boss. This new operator had been his key connection to the world, as he spoke and wrote English beautifully. He was the one who answered emails and phone messages from donors around the world, on behalf of the director. He was the one who kept unsuspecting donors in touch, encouraging monthly payments, lifetime offerings.

The director was still at the second orphanage he had opened on the other side of town.
It had 16 children, in two rooms...the house was close to the road, with no area for the children to play. The toilets and showers were outside, at the back, a makeshift kitchen outside, a fire.
No books, no classroom, no tables or chairs - it did what it was supposed to do, it tugged at the hearts of anyone passing through. There was a 'contribution box' in the front room, painted white with hand written letters, 'please help us'. It pulled pocket books out of pockets, checks books out of purses. It made new friends every day, every month, every year.

And still the children were sick. Undernourished.

The rape charges seemed to have been the last straw. He had left the orphanage with a girl to drive her to a government secondary school, but stopped somewhere en route. He raped her and kept her his prisoner for a few weeks, until she was able to slip away and tell her story.

He was arrested and put in jail for a few months this winter, but was now out on bail.

After signing over his first orphanage, he intended to convert this second one into a daycare, where he could add more children, and not have to deal with sleeping arrangements at night. The job could get done by day for far less work, staff and hassle. He seemed to have it worked out, now all he had to do was get through this ningling court case.

A big of back history.
Four years ago, i was drawn to a rickity little house on the dusty safari route sprawling with children, dressed in rags. Everytime i arrived, they flooded into me, one little boy entranced by the dark nail polish on my toes, a small girl dripping with HIV AIDS liasons sitting on my lap, with drooping eyes and no energy, but ensconced there, one hand wearily swatting the others away. Back then, there were 16 kids living in two rooms, with two beds in each room, sharing sometimes four to a bed. there were no shelves, the few raggidy clothes they had were dropped in piles on the mud floor. No tables, chairs, benches. No books, toys, art supplies. Nothing.

Nothing but their big beautiful smiles which greeted me each time i visited - their willingness to pick up a few words of English, learn songs like Head and Shoulders, and Doe a Dear....I couldn't resist them. During my time off from working on HIV AIDS presentations and projects, i made my way down the road to see these kids as much as i could. I took them swimming in the safari tourist campsite pool, and was astonished at how easily they learned, jumping in, laughing, not afraid. Each time they drew pictures, of their lives, of mama and baba, of times gone by, of the orphanage, of lions, and giraffes and elephants. A lunch of chipati, boiled egg, samosa poolside, and we were on our way. The treat of a lifetime for these kids; and something we would consider pretty ordinary back home. We rented a bus and took them on safari, living ten minutes from one of the worlds best parks to see the animals, and they had never been.

I loved those kids as my own.

The director of this orphanage seemed happy to see us each time we arrived laden with fruits, vegetables, oily paper bags of samosa, soda...treats for the children, and for them I bought two more beds. I had a big dining table made, with benches, and a couple of chairs....I measured the small horrible rooms for shelving and brought them in.

When Seanna, my daughter and Sierra, age 8 arrived, they brought a suitcaseful of art supplies and worked with the kids every morning for a week. Sierra went back to Canada and raised over two thousand dollars for these kids. I decided to adopt one of the boys, Elia and bring him back to Toronto but discovered that in Tanzania you have to live there for two full years before they would consider you as an adaptive parent.
I was heart broken at the time.

But not half as heart broken as to when i slowly discovered exactly what this place was all about, where they money was going, and that this indeed was a lucrative business which i had helped expand! And I wasn't alone...
Volunteers from Sweden, Australia, Austria, Germany, Israel....we were all in this together. Each one of us adding our own skills and ideas to help these children.We formed an international team...i was the sponsorship chair, arranging for money to be committeed for each child for schooling through their secondary years....but when i discovered the corruption I dropped away and by doing that, lost track of these kids loved for almost a year. Slowly, as the truth dawned on the others, we all left that orphanage, sick with worry that that director would carry on as he always did....with new volunteers, with new money.

We were sickened by this discovery. One couple had given him $5,000 to buy a new plot of land for a new facility. Yes, he opened the second orphanage, but continued with his fragulent ways. Back home we contacted our embassies and wrote letters with proof of what was going on.
We had to rescue those children we had all gotten to know so well. One of us, our Austrian volunteer, managed to contact the guardian of each child, and persuaded that relative to bring their child home. Within days the legal guardianship of those kids was transferred to us. We hired a wonderful couple as mama and baba, and rented a home for them to set up by one the children were rescued....all except two: my little guy Elia and his friend Jackson, who were sons of mothers in the director's tribe near Arusha....

In the end, the Pambazuko Children's home was born..with 16 children from the 'bad' orphanage and a mama and baba.
Of course, the director simply replaced those children with more kids and went about his business increasing his income with a second orphanage he set up along the other side of town. This way the drivers could dip into each place, the tourists unsuspecting that they were owned by the same guy.....the drivers taking a percentage of the fill.

Pambazuko grew healthy, we have 13 there all from the original grouping. They are in incredible health, big, bouncing, healthy. Their mama and baba care for them as lovingly as their own...

But it was the Majengo Orphanage to whom the government came to to ask to take new kids, if they shut down corruption on the highway....
Of course, we said yes, we had no option.
That was back in August, then, we waited for weeks for the government to make a move.
Charles finally called me, get over here: the time had come!

Jumping ahead....
First two days, met the government official in charge of the shut down and his social worker who would help with the children. They'd done routine checks and discovered not only those two orphanages on the highway, but three more, and had decided all five had to go!
I travelled to the government town of Monduli and met the chief executive officer of the entire region; we talked corruption. I committed Majengo to taking on the job of relocating the children into our care. We thought there would be about 20 kids, but now with 5 orphanages, the numbers had exploded to 67!!!
Of course a lot of those kids could have been relatives of the director, or even his own kids! Or plants to make their orphanages look crowed. The numbers would decrease once we interviewed the children's guardians.
But in any case. We needed more space.
Working with village leaders Mayunga and Raymond in Majengo village, we located two houses behind our majengo orphanage which would work well, we could share the outdoor kitchen and facilities, staff....Mayunga contacted the house owners.

We were on our way.

We went into both houses and measured the rooms, went back to the office and made a floorplan. Determined the bed counts, 19 bunks!! and went out to estimate costs!
Still having problems with my bank card...only one machine and that not working!
Cashed my $5,000 'in case' money into shillings and put a downpayment on the beds.
Roared into Arusha and ordered 38 mattresses with plastic covers....
Downpayment. Sheets, blankets, mosquito netting.

we did all that...
we also lent out $9,000. to 4 Vicoba micro finance groups of people living with HIV AIDS for a six month term, no interest was an incredibly busy time!

But too much stress. I got shingles and took to bed, and fortunately Jamie from Warren Pennsylvania arrived. Charles, on sabatical, returned from Dar es Salaam and took over estimates and negotiations with house owners...

In the middle of all this...the director mentioned above was killed in a trucking accident en route to Handeni, reportedly to invest in witch doctor power. I went to the burial and was overwhelmed by the emotion. Strange the way life goes. This was a guy that we were really afraid of, especially if the government shut him down, thus destroying his financial basis. WE were going to be the recipients of the kids in his two orphanages..and i was certain that he would not be pleased.

Tho the owners of those two houses approved of our taking them over, we still had to help their tenents find new lodgings...which meant finding them places much better than the one they were leaving...and helping them with a further six months rent. We had no alternative. We were desperate for those houses next to Majengo, and those people had a right to our helping them, if they agreed to leave.

Three weeks later:
House one vacated, renovated and furnished, ready to go!
House 2: priest and wife still there, squatting, refusing to leave.
Charles in talks....
I went back to Toronto, saw my doctor, and took to bed with percaset and a few other nasty heavies...Jamie coming home today!
Government busy with country wide Tanzanian time for shut down..

Me...feeling a wee bit can find me in bed, Toronto.
will write again....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

JAMBO today...happy Thanksgiving Day to Canada!! If i weren't here i would be up at our cottage on Lake of Bays...tonight preparing the roast turkey, the dressing fried up with onions, celery, poultry seasonings, thyme, sage and others...carrots chopped into little bits ooozing with melted butter in the big old wrought iron frying pan my dad once used....mixed with stale chunks of brown bread...amidst the laughter and craziness of kids and grandkids, Pyper and Finn racing at top speed through the old kitchen, little Eve toddling behind...Sierra stirring the gravy, oh i miss you all so much!
Back in Sunday, a day of the pool at the Twiga tourist campsite i talk with safari goers from all over the world about our little orphanage that grew and grew, just down the road from the campsite. so often they plead to come with us, to show us something real of Africa, a great way to meet people - to raise interest and maybe funding...
Yesterday our big meeting with our staff at Majengo,with us at ICA...we'd just come back from the market buying 29 pairs of shoes and green, blue and yellow sweaters to match the colours of the Tanzanian flag...
We start by doing a go around with the cooks, cleaners, night watchman, secretary, teachers and the treasurer, so everyone knows what everyone else is doing - the details, which i am told doesn't happen ever..usually the higher up sec and treas keep the info to themselves but here we are trying to do something different, to keep the transperancy (sp?) and corruption down. This is partly for my notes, but also for anyone out there interested in the meanderings both positive and problematic the day to day of orphanage running: basically, everything is fine, the 15 new kids we brought in last April have settled in and adjusting well. At first they cried at the site of new children and adults to deal with, hid, ran away...but now are making friends. Big problem is that they arrive in the morning filthy and need to be showered down, and then back into dirty clothing, which makes them feel inferior to the kids living in the orphanage. We agree to send them home with a month's supply of laundry soap, oil, toothbrush and paste...and reiterate that our budget holds that we can buy uniforms for all the kids, not just our 28 living in.

Martha the treasurer took the older kids to a Masai village to get a sense of how the people live from different cultures so close to the orphanage..this was a great success; she bought lunches out of her own pocket and hopes that we can add to the budget Field Trips in the future. Witness the head cleaner complained that there was no locked up place in the whole orphanage for their cleaning supplies: brooms, mops, cleaners, etc. I suggested our locked pantry where we keep the dry foods, but learned the govt inspectors would see this as an infrigement...the two showers and toilets we built outside have never worked well, the owner will have to look into this, so we decided to put a locked door on one of the shower stalls for the cleaning stuff. Done.
I suggest that some of the Masai girls we have been sponsoring through Secondary school could offer us some weeks of free volunteering once they finish their exams.. the concept of giving back....all agreed.
Our two cooks would like us to add four big hot pots to their keep rice and ugali, etc warm..with such a number of kids, they start cooking dinner at 3 in the afternoon, stone cold by dinner. The pots are $150 US maybe one will do, for starters....
The new watchman needs mosquito lotion and army boots.
He has had two incidents since April: one a guy was caught peeking through the windows of our matron's bedroom in the middle of the night, and two, some guy got into the indoor kitchen area and stole his warm jacket, running across the field after him, the thief dropped the jacket, so all is well.
Grayson the teacher would like tricycles for the younger kids. He said they have trouble walking all the way to primary school, could we provide transportation..that means a car. Not likely i think, not now, anyway with our budget on the rise...
Shelves..the kids get into the shelves in the classroom, and when the teachers arrive in the morning they are in shambles...books, papers, crayons, chalk, spilling out all over the floor..need doors and a lock...i suggest it is good for kids to have access to books, but they assure me that in Africa kids read on schedule...i still think our books could be out in the open for some quiet kid to read..but...hey, this is their custom...
Killo our sec needs an office...he is embarassed to greet govt people in a room filled with children and food! They want our bougainvillea fence to include thorns, and a gate with a prevent older kids from running in and out, they don't now but they worry about the future...Water...often the community water is shut off. they are stuck with 28 + kids with no bathing, etc..they want a 2,000 litre tank dug into the back for auxiliary needs. Toilet needs fixing. Prefer hole in the ground to Western toilet...can we change it. All 6 solar lights no longer work. Can we invest in a big solar panel for the roof? $300. Can someone research installation, etc.
Chairs, the plastic ones we bought last year were demolished by exuberent kids...we need 5 wooden chairs. I suggest a sofa for the living space, to relax in..but they say the kids will slice open the cushions with razor blades!! Horrified i ask, where they get these? The school gives them out as pencil sharpeners, they stick them in their pockets, so often the cleaners find them there while washing clothes....Can we bring over 5 good pencil sharpeners for the school? the kind you screw onto the wall?
Sheets, towels. threadbaren...or with holes...clothes fades and ragged. desperately need clothing for older kids, aged 6-12....
and finally the English teacher we hired part time is too busy with her school..they are looking for a replacement...
three hours later, sitting on wooden benches - it was a great meeting...not so much to do...just these odds and ends...and things will settle in till we get back in Feb/March...
Friday we had the first two presentations of the loans given to the first two of four PLWHAs groups. I described this process of VICOBAS..small banks, much like the micro financing projects, but these are groups of people living with HIV AIDS..who have formed together to make four groups, each person buying up to 3 shares, pooling their money, and lending it out at 10% to each other or someone outside the group. the group monitoring the lending and savings. Well, we added seed money donated by my uncle David Pretty, thank you David!! he is a wonderful man of 85 years, was the president of North American Life INsurance in his days, has never married, without kids, and is now bequeathing his money to very worthwhile causes. He agreed that we could use $9,000. US to loan without interest these groups, for a six month period. The presentation was exciting!!
They have gone through a three day intensive workshop on everything about small businesses, the running of them, saving, the books, receipts, etc...lending... and are very smart and savvy now....very serious..and with full intentions to pay back the money in 6 months.
My only problem is getting it out. The one ATM in Tanzania that i have located which will accept my debit card is on the blink now, since Thursday...and i am unable to withdraw money, even for my own use! Nightmare. Where once at least i was able to catch a bus and race to the mobile bank in various towns, it is no use, so we wait!
and wait! African people have unlimited amounts of patience - compared to me anyway. I awaken yesterday to no bank, and no water in my little hostel. So you dole out a handful from your precious bottled water supply, add soap and do bare minimal washing. That for the day. Hot, dusty, but so busy now, no time for worrying about these small things. By nightfall it comes back somehow, with miracles.

At the presentation of the money Friday, each person stood up and spoke of their small businesses: bananas and vegetable growing...chickens and eggs, farming, welding, small shops, retailing clothing, etc. by small fires at the side of the road chipatis,roasted buns, breakfast foods...anything to make a few shillings to feed their families..With this loan, they dream of expanding these businesses, making more money, each and every one of them, mostly women, only 12 men in the total of 90, they hope to raise enough to educate each one of their kids, maybe build a small home someday.

we counted the number of kids dependent on this group..well over 150....and this was with just the first two groups...the numbers of kids will be over 300 when we finish next week with the last two groups' presentations...if i ever get the chance to withdraw what we have promised!

that's about it. last night at the Double M a big dance show...with mostly guys prancing and dancing, and being wonderful, huge crowds, lots of laughter and fun.
Have a great Canada...and to everyone else...
Bidai...see you later!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

JAMBO!! Thursday afternoon, hour up the hill from Mto Wa Mbu, passing two huge transport truck rollovers lying on the side of the road - we have a very good driver in Hamidu...pole pole..slowly slowly....I AM PRETTY ecstatic at the moment _ having tried four other computers at the internet cafe which didn"t connect either to this blogsite or to my sympatico mail>>>this was the last chance> the others have gone to the market to buy 28 pairs of shoes, uniforms and clothing for the 28 kids we have living in Majengo. Of course i can't go, being a white mazunga, the price would gallop like a Masai cow racing down the road less traveled. Am a bit speedy, just to give you a sense of my day so far, woken up by Muslim Call to Prayer at 4:30, seemed to go on all night with the loud speakers shouting out wakening the followers, get up get out of bed, you can lie down forever when you die but right now on your knees...on and on they go, with dark shadows struggling from warm blankets across blackened dirt roads filled with pot holes of water from last night's rain to the Mosque on the main street of town. Ah 4 30...some meditating - my mind racing with the work we are doing here, off and running from the moment my plane set down last Friday afternoon.
My daughter says this blog reads like someone high on LSD, but i can assure you it is from lack of sleep that i speed. Money, and lack thereof. I am in the middle of a big project which requires Tanzanian shillings, lots of them. My debit card, which only worked in one ATM bank last year in the whole of Tanzania it seems...does not work there this year. Instead, and i count my lucky stars, it works in the only traveling mobile bank in the entire district. I climbed all the way up the hill on Monday to this town to discover it gone somewhere smart, and learned the schedule, so most days we spend driving around after this bank, hoping for it to be where it is supposed to be. But this morning, up here in Kiratu, to my dismay, the ATM was out of order. Man..the frustration. And then these computers, but right now at this very moment, my day is going wonderfully well.
\Back in March i read a book on micro financing and became obsessed about putting this incredible concept to work, somewhere in our little village of Wa mbu...Sure enough the opportunity arose with 80 or so mostly women living with HIV AIDS virus who meet in our office weekly....ah ha!! this is the group!! Briefly, we gave them a three day intensive workshop on all forms of small business recording, saving, receipts, locations, clients, and especially all the information around the concept of micro financing: where people who have no collatoral at all can borrow small amounts of money, and pay back weekly, with interest during a period of 6 months.
I knew very little about this concept, after interview each person about their family and health history, dependents, and their small business work: banana selling on the road, chicken raising, egg selling, farming, irrigation, agriculture, retail clothing, etc...we had a pretty good idea of what each person would like to borrow. But had no idea how to do this, how to monitor a project of this magnitude.
OUR STaff at ICA were excited about the project< but it would be a huge undertaking for them< administration wise>
bACK IN Canada after meetings with the head of PLAN CANADA, and many other very well experienced people...and a three day conference on sustainable responsible investment with financial planners, bankers, etc...i learned that for my purposes micro financing would not be a path i could choose. The interest rates demanded by micro finance institutions tend to be very high, and my group of HIV AIDS survivors were very limited in their funds.
Incredibly i learned about VSLAs, from a great guy i met along the way, Village Saving and loan associations..where the groups themselves set themselves up by buying a small amount of shares and pooling their resources, lending the amount out with a 10% INTEREST rate to either members or people on the outside< where they monitor the loans themselves>

BACK IN Mto Wa MBU last saturday morning at a very exciting meeting with the three heads of each of the four groups..after explaining my choice of not going the micro finance route, they explained the details about their VICOBA'S...small banks...much like the above mentioned VSLAs...but in this case, with people so marginalized by the HIV AIDS disease and unable to invest even a small amount, we decided that i would offer them seed money to assist them on their way. My dear uncle, David had given me a portion of the money he had from selling his cottage last year, allowing me the ability to invest in these four groups.
WE asked them how much they needed, so it was their decision as to how much they would borrow. Not ours. \each group is divided into small groups of 5 people who monitor and are responsible for each other. The main group meets weekly, with a rep from our ICA tally up the weekly loans and credit. In 6 months they are required to pay back the entire loan without interest.
HENCE WHY i have been trailing the mobile bank daily desperately trying to withdraw the money i have promised them!
They drew straws as to which group would get their loan first. Today i managed to collect enough to assist two of the four groups, with formal presentations scheduled this week, contracts to sign in front of government officials, etc...soda and a big hurrah African style to celebrate.

And Majengo, each day running all the way over there. To spend time with the kids. Teaching English, singing, drawing, writing...dancing....Today, after they collect the 28 pairs of shoes and clothing, footballs and exercise books, pens, pencils, etc....our first orphanage staff meeting with our two cooks, cleaners, teachers, secretary and treasurer to discover together the successes and pitfalls of the last six months....yesterday leaving the office two boys outside, one sobbing into soaked fingers, the other tattle taleing with a story that this boy had run away from home the night before after being beaten by his father, who was drunk and displeased with something he did or didn't do. We brought him back into the office, with a role of TP he blurted out his story< had indeed run away and slept on a nearby porch without the cover of blankets alone overnight. He is ten years old. He is afraid to go home, his 4 brothers and 2 older sisters have all either run away or left to escape the rath of the father. Starving, we bought him some chipatis and a couple of bananas from the women on the side of the road, and headed over to Majengo orphanage where we were scheduled for a meeting> I am sure this boy had no idea what was happening to him. Our cooks cut up some mango and made him tea. Filippe one of my favourite kids with wide ears and a huge toothy grin took him under hand for an adventure with the other kids, by the end of an hour he was laughing and smiling, playing on the swings. |We took him then over to spend the night with a grandmother relative of his, but discovered that by daybreak he had run away from her home, head tailing it down the road, exclaiming to one of our orphanage staff that he would be back soon.

And so it goes.

Election in three weeks in Tanzania, the streets are filled with green and white placards, megaphones on trucks, people dancing and singing in the is likely that the reigning party will get back in, but the opposition is strong, great arguements and discussions abound.
I have discovered another meal for me, a huge change from the rice, beans, greens and tomatoe sauce i ate every day for two months last year, lunch and dinner. The other night i came across MIrium who owns the Mi Casa restaurant soaking a sort of bun into a small bowl of delicious vegetable soup! You have no idea how excited you can get for a change of taste, and this one is delicious!!

this computer>>>>ALL SET to go back and edit what my fingers have flown through, only to discover that i can't put the curser into the middle, end or beginning of a sentence without deleting the entire paragraph!

We have no idea back home our technology, the ease with which our expectations glide across known terrain...while here it is a celebration to barely connect with the internet!
time..running to finish without DELETE!!
have a great day...thinking of you all..missing those great kids of mine and my grandkids on this your Thanksgiving weekend...such a long way from home...have a wonderful one!

Monday, October 04, 2010

I am back in Africa!! Arrived last Friday...grueling...Toronto, Washington, Rome (for an hour on the runway!!), Ethiopia, Nairobi and \kilimanjaro!! HOme!!
Decided to come over...with three days notice...Charles is leaving for Wales Monday, well he left today, but we had three great days working out logistics, meetings... it is incredible to be back...but will miss him dearly..

Visited Majengo on day one, half dead, but so happy to see the kids...they seem taller!! Happier, more alive, with it...or maybe it is because we have gotten to know each other a little better, the trust woven through the tapestry, now of what has become their lives...things running smoothly here...

Setting up four Village Saving loan Associations too...instead of the hugely high interest rated micro it! Will describe it all fully next time...running late on my internet....
Miss you all out there!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jambo!! Hi!!
Greetings from Toronto...we are WAITING!!...waiting to hear...
Every day calling Tanzania....what is happening???
Jamie from Warren...packed and ready to go....but we have to wait!

Mto Wa Mbu..Tanzania....POSSIBILITY!!!
40 more children needing homes....and if this happens...we are ready to take them in!

Two weeks ago. I am on the phone to Charles...he is about to take off to Wales for his Masters in Public Health in a few weeks..he tells me bout these kids...without a home...
I call Matt...
Matt McKissock from Warren, Pennsylvania, President, Warren/Majengo Foundation, told me 2 sumemrs ago at our cottage that this was the most important work he has ever done...that his dream is to expand our Majengo Orphanage from the 40 kids we started out with March '08, to 1,000 kids in 5 years!! He blew my mind.

And now this!!

Matt is a huge thinker, a visionary....
He shocks me with his exhuberence..with his immense drive, with his goes way beyond any dream i could have ever conceived.

Well, last March..we added another 15 kids into our Orphanage...15 of our kids had reached the age of 7 and were heading off to Primary school...some still lived in with us, some lived out with relatives or guardians, but at this stage, they were finished with Pre School at Majengo, We made a decision, to pay the schooling expenses (uniforms,, shoes, books, school fees) for the kids who had left us but were living out, a decision to carry them all the way through Primary school till they reached age 14, and then what? Well, there is secondary school for those who make the grades..costly, about $650. US a year, for four years..and for the others, maybe technical training...electrician, plumber..but that is down the road...

And at a meeting with the Village Elders last speaking of our dream to expand our assistance in any way we can, Matt said: "...if any opportunity comes up, we will do it!!"

Possibly now..the time has come.

We are still get the final word from the people in charge of those kids....I am calling Charles everyday.

As Matt said to me on the phone that day:
"How can we NOT do it!!"
So Charles..we are are on your way to school..God help us in putting the logistics of this together while you are away. But ICA has wonderful people...and Jamie from Warren is ready to go. I plan to get over there late October.
There are houses to rent: beds to build, sheets, towels, kitchen things to buy. Staff to put in place. it is huge..but we have done it before we can do it again!

Please contact me:
or google the Warren Magengo Foundation, in Warren Pennsylvania.

be a part of it all!
We are totally non profit. We all work totally as volunteers.
WE pay our own way. Every cent raised goes straight to the Orphanage, to the children.

Keep in touch!!
LynnConnell..Toronto Canada....

Bits and pieces, from Peter: (mostly in his own words…)
(Peter is our communication liaison between Majengo Orphanage, ICA Tanzania, and to us, the donors in Canada and the US>

June through Aug 30, 2010 …
Again, problems with internet take the bus all the way up the hill for an hour to Kiratu, spend another hour writing ‘huge stories’, and the electricity goes..I know it well! But here we go!

Now that i'm home, i'd love to upload images to you..but blogspot is having a problem, wouldn't you know!!

Refers Majengo…
Staff: the team work is so fantastic: all workers are well committed, last week Kilo and I we were blocking the toilet which was filled with dust and waste and dirt water - the water system blocked and we managed to unblock and took us 8 hours.

In the cleanness areas Witness and Matilda are doing great work cleaning the house 3 times a day, bathing the kids two times a day, washing clothes everyday - its big job but they are managing it with good team work from Glory and Martha.

Greyson is amazing in class - all kids love him so much for his concern to them - he has 3 classes a day from 8 am to 12pm pre-school kids; from 3pm to 4:30 pm, he teaches primary one kids and does revision with them of what they have been taught at school, and from 5pm to 6:30 pm he teaches the primary 2 kids to make them stable in their subjects.

Yesterday, Greyson and I have taken all the kids for the salon to cut off their hairs they are all looking so smart……

Kids of primary, they have started their holidays and the have been given one month of holidays so they will be resting until early July. I am so happy to see that our kids are still performing better in school and down are the details on how they performed;
Primary one; (age 7)
1. Amina Ayubu,
2. Muazi Self,
3. Barick,
4 Sharimira Adidas,
5. Ramla Masunga and
6. Alex.
So our kids took position 1 to 6 in primary one.

Primary two as follow: (age 8)
1. Amina Bakari as usual
2.Mariam Yakobo.
3.Neema Raymond
4. Sebastian
5. Godlizen your best swimmer.
7. Jenifer.
10. Hawa Ibrahim
13. Raheri
15. Philippo
This is the position of our kids who did the best work out of 112 kids in their class.

We have also an English teacher who teaches the staffs and the primary two kids she is very good teacher..they learn a lot of new words.

I have got time to sit with the elder kids and interviewed them of what they like in future…
Amina said she loves being a doctor and single in future and helping the orphans around the world.
Philipo said he want to become a president of Tanzania..
Hawa said she want to become a pilot…
Godlizen, he want to become a army commander…..
Miriam wants to be \nurse…
Sebastian wants to be teacher……
Neema wants to be a teacher….
Jenifer wants to be a business person, and work with white people I think as a tourist….

The new 15 kids (which were added into Majengo in March ’10 as pre school, living out), they are doing well and catching up with the environment - they are lovely to each other..

The new kids are all okay but two of them needs a lot of caring.. Hawa Rashidi, she has stomach problem and she might need operation time to come I talked with her mother she said that she took her to the doctor in Monduli hospital and the doctor told her that she needs operation so we have to confirm if that will help her,... another one is called Rebecca she has nose bleeding most of the time during the day so Glory and Matrida always very close to her to ensure she is getting medication on time, but also we are going to take her to Karatu for check up by the special doctor...

Otherwise all kids are fine and this Saturday, Sabina and I are going to have HIV AIDS testing for all new kids.. I will let you know when we are done..

And more…
Martha the treasurer had malaria last week but now she is well……..
Hadija the Cook she has gone home in moshi for 5 days one of her relative passed away so she will be back on Saturday … so Martha and Glory helping Nuana in the kitchen………

Hadija and Nuruana are all back..

Nuruana's husband Vicent is now okay and Hadija's daughter she is also fine..
The staffs are doing great Job as always... yesterday Martha, Kilo and I we were arranging the store rearrange all the packages to be in order and made fumigation for insect and mosquitoes so that to reduce the causes of malaria for our kids..
The security guide he is very good and committed; he stays outside all night long protecting the orphanage now Glory has no fear any more...

Last Monday, kids were taken for malaria check up and only two of them had malaria that’s Pendo and Loveness.....we are now looking for assistant cleaner because soon Matilda will be leaving to school.......last month Witness and Hadija went for one month holidays and they are all back in place working so hard.

We have got two Germans volunteers who are students at I.C.A to do their field work. Charles has sent them to Majengo to work with us…. Their names are Mendi and Christine. They loves kids and teach them English grammars and speaking experience. They are helping Witness to clean up the house and helping Glory to look after the kids. And sometimes we have them in class helping Greyson - it is very much lovely to see everyone is committed with our work……..

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hi everyone...greetings from Toronto Canada!

Here is is mid June in Toronto, the day dark and grey and a little cold, dreaming about the wonderful things going on over at Majengo orphanage in Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania...I almost never write this blog from Canada, but just got a great email from Peter at ICA Tanzania, and just had to write to you.

As you know, we have 28 children, age 3 up to 8, living in at Majengo...and are supporting another 25 kids who sleep at home, but who spend their days either at our pre school right on the premises, or down the road at the local primary school. We were able to interview and admit 15 more pre schoolers who live out, into Majengo in April this year. Of course, their adjustment was huge..getting used to new children, our two wonderful teachers Grayson and Glory...just seeing a new face could often send them into a spasm of tears! Three meals a day, what a wonder, especially for so many of these children who are the most poor and vulnerable in the region. To actually eat well and regularily is something they never have been able to experience.

He writes that out of 112 children (age 7) in Session 1 of Primary school, 6 of our children: Amina, Muazi, Barick, Sharimina, Ramia and Alex stand top in their class! And in Session 2, (age 8) out of 132 kids, congratulations to 9 more Majengo kids at the top of their class!!!: Amina, Marium, Neema, Sebastian, Godlizen, Jnifer, Hawa, Raheri and Philippo...!! Bravo!!!

Our staff of 8 full time, and 2 part time remain happy and comfortable in their work. Just a few months ago, as well as upping their salara, we were able to help each one of them with their own children's educational needs. Matt stressed over there this year, that all we demand from them is honesty, hard work, competence and love of the children, those four things...three, is not enough! and so far we seem to have gotten them in spades. We added a part time English teacher and a night watchman onto our staff as well this year, at the advice of our full timers.

Our English teacher comes in everyday after school, teaching English to both our staff and to our primary school children. Peter says the level of learning is vastly improved and hopes that by the time we arrive back next year, they will be able to understand us. I have to say, my Swahili, much to my chagrin, stays miserably put; hopefully, this fall, i will have time to take lessons..

What else..just got back from a wonderful weekend in Warren Pennsylvania with Matt and his family, his mom Diana and Jamie Bee who organized a great fundraising evening on the Saturday night at their local Holiday Inn. Along with a silent art auction and some nice food and wine, wonderful presentations, by Matt, myself, Diana and Jamie and by a great woman from Utah who visited the orphanage and flew in for the occasion. We raised over $8,000. that night.

We have a dream....we are now helping to support 50 kids at Majengo, and another 6 over at another orphanage in Arusha...56 children in one year...with the goal of assisting 1,000 kids in 5 years! This will be done, by helping families and guardians in the Majengo area, hopefully adding our support to the 6 kids in Arusha, where there are 100 children from a terribly empoverished area being schooled in a church every morning culminating with one cup of gruel at noon, often the only food they will eat all day. Pastor Naiman, who oversees this church and school project tells us that there are 400 more children in the area who are desperately waiting to get in. There is so much we can do.

OUr infrastructure over there is solid. With Charles Luoga our project coordinator at the helm, an incredible guy we have been working with now for four years. I always says, if i can't trust Charles, i can't trust anyone. Along with Charles at ICA Tanzania, we have Peter who graduated from High School with top honours as their head boy running our communication between Majengo and us far away, Mina who has just come on board as a community development leader, Glory who is our lawyer and Kissa, who comes from a huge project helping 3,000 children, in Handeni to the south of Mto WA Mbu...Without any of these people, we would be lost.

The beauty as i see it, of working as we are, is that the village leaders and ICA Tanzania are in charge of Majengo and its daily operations, decisions, etc..not us. We work in tandem with them, but are not heading the project. It is lead by them, overseen by them, and operated by them. And yet it is hands on. We can grab a flight over to Kilimanjaro and drive three hours to the orphanage to see for ourselves, hold the children in our arms, hear their singing. Watch them grow. This is not something you cross your fingers and hope that your good money is actually getting into the through to enhance the well being of the children. There is no doubt here...every cent is accounted for, the most important element, really, of the whole venture.

WE welcome everyone who wants to climb on board, in whatever capacity.
It is your choice! please google the Warren Majengo Foundation for more information as to how you can help, or email me at :
Phone: 416-951-6528

Re my micro finance project now...with our 80 HIV AIDS positive people, almost all women..briefly, because i will be attending a big micro finance conference in Toronto this coming week and will have so much more to tell you about...
In Mto Wa Mbu in March...we interviewed each one of the 80 people living with HIV AIDS, medical information, work experience, family and children, dependents, hopes and dreams...Then we ran an intensive three day workshop for half of the group, covering all aspects of business, group process, conflict resolutions, accountability, keeping books, receipts, and the principles of micro financing.It was exciting to witness them learning, talking so intensely between themselves, getting a grasp on what is required to run a small business: banana and sugar selling, small shop, chicken and egg production, all aspects of agriculture, farming, irrigation, labour, etc....
Next they will form themselves into small groups of 5 people, all hoping to do the same kind of business.
I have spent the last two months meeting and learning about micro financing from Canada. What i was told last week, by a team of top micro finance colleagues from Plan Canada, was that there are institutions in place in Tanzania who we could apply to for financing, rather than trying to raise the money here...those institutions would be in charge of monitoring and organizing our 80 PLWHA...(people living with HIV AIDS), if we were accepted.

will learn more about that this coming week at the conference.

Other than have moved out of my Argyle Place loft back into the first floor of my house on Major Street where the last tenant just vacated a week before i needed a new home! The great space on Atlantic avenue fell through, once we learned that the zoning there was commercial/industrical, NOT residential as we were origonally told. Thanks to Bob Kostyniuk, my lawyer, i was able to get out of the purchase deal in a short period of time! But it was disconcerting, and led me to decide not to run my Creativity Art Retreat this summer..anywhere. I want to rent out the Dunedin space and the River House next door until i decide what to do with those spaces. And am looking still, for a wonderful place downtown into which I can relocate my art retreat. Times they are a changin...with a lot of transition, but am painting like mad, a new series and loving it.

that's me! this weekend giving a workshop to Mary's Kitchen folk, up in make spirit attach onto the food they prepare and deliver to people in need in the area of Creemore. a wonderful group...

stay tuned..will try to keep more in touch...
have a great summer!