Wow! Great progress!
I have been in Moshi for two weeks and we have accomplished so much! The time I have spent in Moshi and Majengo has been intense to say the least. When I first arrived at the village there were at least fifty people there to greet us and I looked for familiar faces from the last time. Rashidi, one of the leaders who I met the last time, is typically very stoic, unemotional, and stern, but when he saw me he welcomes me with open arms, literally, and lifts me up to the sky in a very warm greeting! That greeting set the tone for the day! We brought the children candy and played with them on the newly built playground that they absolutely love!! The smiles on all the faces were priceless and so heart warming!!
We spent all day coming up with plans for the future, forming committees, and having fun. We formed committees for finance, bee-keeping, small business, and family planning. Each committee has one or more leaders who will oversee the projects. Project 1, Family Planning and Clinic: Thadei and I met with Mawenzi general hospital and they have agreed to send a mobile clinic to Majengo at least once a month to offer vaccinations to the children, basic healthcare services, and FREE birth control services! The committee consists of two men and three women (we felt it important to have men on committee for family planning!). There is a vacant building left from a previous clinic run by a church. Thadei contacted the church and they said we can use the building for our use where we will base the mobile clinic and have first aid kits accessible to the community. Project 2, Water: Water is desperately needed at the school as currently they carry buckets of water about 100 yards from the well. It will cost about $500 to run water from the well to the school but this is a no-brainer as is necessary! Water is also needed at the building where we will offer first aid and used by mobile health clinic so we are evaluating running water there as well. Project 3, Entrepreneurship: Some women in the village came up with the idea to offer event planning (they call decorating!) to the surrounding area as a business. They are developing a project plan including materials needed, cost, and fees they will charge. Others want to start a beauty salon. The plan is for KiliTech to offer a micro loan to the committee where we will pay for half the cost and do a micro loan for the other half that will then roll over to fund future entrepreneurship projects. Project 4, Bee-keeping: Beekeeping is already in place (sort of) at the village. There are a few bee hives in the area but there is no business for collecting and selling the honey. With Leslie Ellis we will hopefully have a beekeeping operation and honey/wax selling business up and running next year. Project 5, Banking: The community has one person who is their "treasurer," named Vinisia. We are sending Vinisia to a nearby town, Himo, to meet with a bank manager there to learn how to set up a bank account so she can teach others, and also understand basic personal finance and banking skills to teach others.
As you can see, we had a very productive meeting, very positive, the village is very excited! Thadei and I then spent a few days meeting with hospital staff and they promised to set up the mobile clinic right away and to work with us closely moving forward. The projects are all very basic but necessary for the village to be healthy and successful and everyone is very excited including me and Thadei!!