|Are you ready to make a mother’s dream come true? Children in the Kambasegela and Kisondela Wards in Tanzania dream of going to school. And, their mothers want them to go to school. They work hard at making their chicken, cow and avocado co-ops become sustainable.|
At this time of year, I reflect on the values my Mom gave me… so many things to ponder on the list… love of family, helping and giving back to others, spiritual faith, learning to learn, listening and having fun. I will be letting my Mom know that I appreciate her and that I have made a gift to Africa Bridge.
What do you want to your impact to be this coming Mother’s Day?
Please make your gift today! Please join Africa Bridge on the journey of supporting women who dream of having their children in school. Wishing all a very Happy Mother’s Day!
With Loving Thanks,
We are excited to share our 2018 Annual Impact Report.
And, we want to extend our heartfelt thank you for joining us on the bridge as we engage in our mission of empowering Tanzanian families to care for the most vulnerable children. We are looking forward to a very exciting year ahead!
This past week, Africa Bridge staff conducted a successful visit to the Kambasegela Ward with a focus on chicken co-op members’ chickens. Representatives from each of the three villages, within the ward, were present. The primary purpose of the visit was to teach chicken co-op members how to create nest boxes. These are enclosured structured provided for chickens to nest in. Co-op members collaborated with Africa Bridge staff by providing wood, nails, and other essential materials needed to build nest boxes. After building the nest boxes, chicken health and disease prevention was also discussed.
Building nest boxes in the Kambesagela Ward is important because many of the chickens are expected to start laying eggs soon. When eggs are laid in the boxes, it is easier to collect the eggs, to avoid cracks in the eggs, and to ensure that the eggs are safe from outside moisture that could cause decay. While the amount of eggs that a chicken lays in a day varies, most healthy chickens are known to lay five eggs a week or one every other day. These chickens promote hope among the village and provide brighter futures for vulnerable children and their families!
Africa Bridge staff have successfully conducted avocado harvesting monitoring visits at at both the Masoko and Mpombo wards. The purpose of the visits were to see how many Co-op members harvested avocados this year, and the amount of avocados harvested. It was found that co-op members in both wards had seen a very successful avocado harvest season. In the Masoko Ward 86 co-op members harvested a total of 68,477 lbs of avocados, and a 101 co-op members harvested a total 94,652 lbs of avocados in Mpombo Ward.
Both wards are reaping the benefits of their successful harvest by selling their avocados to the KUUZA Company and LIMA Company. Both companies service people in the Rungwe and Njombe regions. From harvesting and selling avocados, both wards combined earned a total income of 88,792,776 Tanzanian shillings, which equals $38,927.13 US dollars. This goes to show the incredible opportunities for co-op members to generate sustainable income just from an avocado tree. Avocado trees provide a delicious treat, a social capital booster, and an income!
Feeling inspired? Enjoy the amazing benefits of avocados with this quick and tasty recipe for five-minute avocado toast from Gimme Delicious!
Healthy 5 Minute Avocado Toast
- 1 avocado peeled and seeded
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 slices whole grain bread or bread of choice
- 2 eggs fried, scrambled, or poached, optional
- Toast 2 slices of whole grain in a toaster until golden and crispy.
- In a small bowl combine and mash the avocado, cilantro, lime, and salt + pepper to taste. Spread half of the mixture on each slice of toasted bread.
- Top with fried, scrambled, or poached egg if desired.
Bugoba Secondary School students and headmistress feeding cows grass.
There are eight schools in the Kisondela Ward that have cows onsite that students and faculty look after. This is our Cows For Kids program, in which Africa Bridge staff and partner agencies teach the children how to properly take care of the cows.
Children in the schools take great ownership of these cows; scheduling who will take care of them on weekends, feeding them, ect. Not only are the children learning about the responsibilities of taking care of an animal, they are learning life skills outside of the classroom setting that are teaching them time management, the importance of reliability, and how to raise cows.
Last week, Africa Bridge staff conducted follow-up vaccinations on all of the cows located at Kisondela Ward schools. Each school was taught deworming techniques and treatments for the cows, and encouraged to vaccinate every three months. The schools are also expecting to provide annual vaccination for diseases like anthrax, blackleg disease, and lumpy skin disease which starts from September to November each year. Empowerment Workers – community members trained to assist Africa Bridge in working with vulnerable children – and livestock officers will work collaboratively to ensure all schools are continuing to provide all required vaccines for their cows.
Last week, Africa Bridge staff members and Kambasegela Ward Steering Committee members met to review the successes and challenges of each village during the month of June. Village representatives from all three villages within the ward, Kambasegela, Katela, and Mbambo, reported the successes, challenges, and future goals of the activities implemented by the Most Vulnerable Children Committee (MVCC) in June.
In the meeting, each village representative identified successful activities implemented by the MVCC. Some highlights include:
- Kambasegela village : the MVCC managed to visit forty-six children to identify their needs, conducted psychosocial support to beneficiaries, and supplied sixty exercise books to twenty students.
- Katela village: the MVCC conducted home visits for thirty beneficiaries, visited forty-five MVCs, and provided psychosocial support to children who lost their mother.
- Mbambo village: the MVCC worked with government officials to provide twenty exercise books to ten students, conducted visits to forty-three children to identify their needs, and ran the MVCC and Co-op monthly meeting.
The next Ward Steering Committee will be held on July 25th for Africa Bridge staff members and other Kambasegela Ward Steering Committee members to meet and review the progress of the MVCC and other projects in the Ward.
Noel and Ward secretary introducing new topics of discussion at the meeting.
Noel Msuha is Africa Bridge’s agricultural specialist and co-op coordinator. He is responsible for training members of Africa Bridge’s maize, potato, avocado, and cow co-ops. In addition, he trains and supervises successful farmers from earlier projects who serve as mentors to new co-op members, and he provides ongoing support and assistance as our farmers develop their skills.
Noel lives in the village of Ntandabala, in Masoko ward. His home is 15 km (about 9.3 miles) from the Africa Bridge office. Every day he travels to the Africa Bridge office in Tukuyu, then goes out into the field to visit far-flung co-ops in the wards we serve. In a typical day, Noel will cover 45 km in his travels.
Roads between Noel’s home, the farms of our co-op members, and the Africa Bridge office in Tukuyu are unpaved and in poor condition. In the rainy seasons, they are muddy, eroded, and covered in puddles. A few years ago, Noel carried out his work by taking local buses and walking many kilometers daily.
In 2011, Africa Bridge was able to purchase a motorcycle for Noel. Now he can reach many more farmers much more efficiently, as he meets with co-op groups, conducts trainings, supervises co-op para-professionals, and troubleshoots with individual farmers.
During the rainiest days, however, prudence dictates that Noel leaves his motorcycle at home. The steep roads can be very slippery, and a flipped motorcycle would interfere with his ambitious daily schedule.
By Ellen Worcester