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FARAJA, GOODLUCK AND 600 WHEEL CHAIRS

When Save the Rain came to Nkoansiyo, Goodluck was hired to cook for the builders constructing rainwater harvesting tanks for his community. After a few days, he did an unusual thing: he invited the Save the Rain team to his home to meet his six year old daughter, Faraja. At first glance, that might not seem unusual in the least – but in this community, it was.   Faraja was born with spina bifida, and the surgery to remove the mass from her lower back left her paralyzed from the waist down. She dragged herself around the floor using her upper body,...

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JEHOVENESS AND THE WWI

Jehoveness lived in the buzzing city of Dar es Salaam, and her husband owned a business buying and selling cars. They had four beautiful young children, property, a life, a future. But then, her husband died of cancer in 2014. She and the children moved to his home village. Suddenly, everything fell away. Jehoveness’s in-laws lay claim to everything her husband owned. She was left brokenhearted and bereft. She didn’t even have a toilet – she had to use the neighbor’s.   Because she was still young and had four small children, her in-laws decided she must marry again. Despite her unwillingness,...

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MDEE AND THE SEEDS HE PLANTS FOR THE FUTURE

Mwalimu means teacher in Swahili. With a fantastic smile, Mwalimu Mdee speaks confidently to sharing the gifts he’s received. He’s head of Usa River Primary School, with 1,265 children under his care. In 2011, Save the Rain built a rainwater harvesting tank at his school. A system was also built in 2008 at the school he was head of previously. He has long inspired the team with his resilience, innovation, and shining light.   At Mdee’s school, the garden is truly the gift that keeps giving. It’s a living classroom for the children who tend it, imparting the permaculture principles that nurture...

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VIOLETH

She won’t be intimidated. She doesn’t even flinch as the room fills with men in leadership positions, years her senior. Some wearing traditional Maasai warrior attire, some in suits. They take their seat in front of us. They are not accustomed to learning from a young Tanzanian woman. Their melodic languages echo in the failing classroom where we gather. Violeth is ready and here to teach them about food security and access to clean water for their villages.   Violeth is a born fighter. Literally, she was born with both hands in a fist position. It wasn’t until she was a toddler...

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WARIANKIRA

Her name is hard to pronounce. But her laughter is even harder to forget. We first met Wariankira at a village meeting. She had a really dignified manner but when you looked closely, she also had a quiet sadness.   Regardless of her elected position on the school board committee, Wariankira was also selected as one of the families most in need of assistance in her community. She lives in a village called Lerai in the Maji ya Chai ward, in northern Tanzania and the leadership of her community has given us a list of the families most in need of water...

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VIOLETH

She won’t be intimidated. She doesn’t even flinch as the room fills with men in leadership positions, years her senior. Some wearing traditional Maasai warrior attire, some in suits. They take their seat in front of us. They are not accustomed to learning from a young Tanzanian woman. Their melodic languages echo in the failing classroom where we gather. Violeth is ready and here to teach them about food security and access to clean water for their villages.   Violeth is a born fighter. Literally, she was born with both hands in a fist position. It wasn’t until she was a toddler...

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Aminaeli

Nothing steals Aminaeli’s laughter. Most Tanzanians are taught to cover their mouths when they laugh. Some have severe Fluorosis – a dental discoloration that occurs from drinking water with high levels of natural fluoride. It leaves brown striations on the teeth.   Aminaeli made laughter a life raft. It eases her pain. It rides her through trying times. It allows her to empty out and fill back up with joy. It gives her courage.   20 years ago, at 18, Aminaeli married a man who would be driven to alcoholism by poverty. They now have 5 children. Many nights no one ate. Other nights, she...

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Growing a Defense Against Covid-19

Across the planet, we are all doing our daily examination of how to manage this new COVID-19 reality and its limitations. Though this Global pandemic treats us all the same, we aren’t all equipped to deal with it equally.   Tanzania is a place with weak and sometimes non-existent social services. Abject poverty and hunger are accepted norms. We refuse to comply with that belief and work daily to help people emerge from those perceptions. At this time, those scarcities are growing. We have been adjusting our attention to help fight this growing issue. With partners like you, we have been able...

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CLIFF AND ANN

The following story is written by Cliff, a Rotarian, investor, father, and volunteer who had the privilege of building a rainwater harvesting system for Anna and her 7 kids.  They are worlds apart and a bonded family forever.    My first trip with Save the Rain left an indelible mark. You get to this magical place, with Mt Kilimanjaro as its backdrop, after spending 30 hours on planes. You feel exhausted and anxious. As you drive to your hotel, you quickly realize how different this place is from home. You stare in bewilderment at 4 people on a motorcycle. When you get to...

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