27 April 2015

how do you get full without ugali? and other interesting questions.

The best stories come out of my rides on the daladala

The daladala is truly a microcosm of urban life in Mwanza, which is why I both love and hate it. I love marveling at the social intelligence of Tanzanians. The conductor is able to remember where everyone is going on his route, who paid and who hasn’t, who needs change… the list goes on. On the flip side, the catcalls and attention directed at me get old, especially when it’s 8am and I’m not really interested in talking to anyone.

But I have a pretty good story this time.

20 April 2015

i guess it's time we got a website.

Last week I wrote about how I helped start a saving and loaning group to help young mothers raise some cash money in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Well, now this super awesome blog is not the only place to advertise the work being done at the local NGO where I work as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner.

Education for Better Living Organization (EBLI) finally has a modern website with current and accurate content that will be updated on a regular basis. You can view the homepage below or just visit the EBLI website for yourself.


13 April 2015

how to raise some cash money.

The core focus of my ministry here in Tanzania is helping young mothers attain economic empowerment by starting and running their own businesses. One of the great and obvious challenges in this line of work is acquiring the capital necessary to finance the start-up (AKA lack of money).

For example, the current batch of young mothers entering my business curriculum earns, on average, USD 2.65 per month (USD 0.09 per day) with many lacking any income whatsoever. In a way, this makes sense: these are young women who dropped out of secondary school due to pregnancy. But the reality is that they need to find a way to generate an income if they are to live a life of dignity, self-confidence and respect, and to provide for their basic needs and those of their child.

So amidst such a backdrop, how does one possibly accumulate the financial resources needed to start a business?

06 April 2015

who's the missioner here?

A few mornings ago, I woke up to my alarm at 6:10AM. I stumbled to the dresser to wrap a kanga around my waist and tripped putting on my shoes to get out the door. Every morning around 6:15AM, either Michael or myself goes outside to say good-bye to our guard, Faraja. 

faraja's domain.

As soon as I walked out the door that morning, I saw Faraja. “How was the night?” I asked him. “It’s a blessing!” he said in reply. I thought to myself, “What the heck is he talking about?”