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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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JEHOVENESS

There were two planks of wood bridging a stream to enter the property. There was a newly dug grave to the right. There was grief everywhere else.It was a tragic love story. Jehoveness was the one still living, but she was dying from a broken heart. Her husband passed away 5 months before. Now her and their 4 children were alone. His mother lived across the road. Once her son passed, she banished his family. He died from Malaria. But their traditions believe that no matter what the cause, it was his wife’s fault.I put my hand on Jehoveness’s extremely...

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HILLARY TESHA

I remember the day I met Hilary Tesha. He came to work wearing a t-shirt that said Mount Shasta Cheerleading Squad. He didn’t know Mount Shasta was on the other side of the world or that I lived there. It felt synchronistic and magical. It made me feel like we both belonged to this mission. Joseph, our Tanzanian director suggested Hilary could cook for the 51 men building a 260,000-liter rainwater harvesting system on the Patandi Primary school. He was motivated to help, to learn, to grow. After a few projects, Joseph gave him the official title of Chief Cook. Because...

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HAPPY ALLEN

There is always a moment that feels like you are in a vacuum and all the air around you is being sucked away. It happens seconds before panic sinks in. The fear sings a story of how alone you are in the world and how you don’t have what you need to make it out of where you are. If we listen to those lyrics, we always lose. It takes great courage and even greater strength to close the book on that fear and reconnect to our innate ability to persevere. Maybe it’s because her name is Happy that the distance to...

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