One Small Drop will be working with 10 villages in Southwest Tanzania, in the Livingston Mountains: Kandete, Masebe, Ndala, Lusanje. Mbafwa, Mwakaleli, Isange, Mbigili, Luteba & Ukukwe. The specific projects we work on are identified by leaders in these communities. The projects range from pork production and orphan uniforms to potato, avocado, chicken and bean projects . Each community is excited to be collaborating with One Small Drop (and that is an understatement!). I have met with amazing women groups from each of these areas. They are competent and compassionate women that know first-hand the needs and strengths of their neighbors. They also know how to rally a community and get the job done.
- School Uniforms for Orphans: Dreams to Reality
- Education is a dream of children living in Tanzania, yet endless barriers limit their opportunities.
- Education is the true stepping stone out of poverty, yet out of reach for so many children. In Tanzania, education is highly regarded. There are no fees to attend primary school, but a school uniform is required.
- A uniform costs approximately $30. The average monthly income is about $40. For many families the cost of a uniform is difficult at best, and often beyond their capacity. Now throw in the dilemma of orphans. There is no orphanage in the Livingstone Mountains. Orphans are taken in by extended family, neighbors, friends, or looked after by older siblings. The extra burden of caring for orphans, as well as supplying them with a school uniform is a luxury most will never see.
- The Village of Kandete recently canvassed their community to compile statistics about orphans in their area – 69 were identified. The other 3 communities will use Kandete’s system as a model.
- Through your contributions, One Small Drop will contract with local tailors and seamstresses to make uniforms for orphans. This also provides economic assistance to local merchants
- The Pork Project
- The pork project consists of starting a family with a pig. $30 buys one feeder size pig. The family awarded the pig is educated in how to feed, care, house and breed it. Piglets from the first litter are then given away to other families. It is a gift that keeps on giving.
- The project will start out with each community hosting a center with 6 pigs. These centers will be a model to all individuals that will receive pigs. It will be the education center to teaching how to provide proper feed, vaccines, medical care, construct pig pens, breed and farrow.
- An application process will be used to apply for piglets, giving widows with children the first priority.
- There will be follow up once the pigs are placed. The project will be sustainable.
- Within the first year, more than 200 piglets will be placed in homes.
- Avocado Trees
A retired pastor from the Ndala village has been raising avocados for several years. He has connections with a company that markets the avocados in Israel, Saudi Arabia and hotels across Tanzania. Seedling avocado trees cost $8 and will take 3 years before they will bear fruit. The Livingstone Mountains have a natural environment for growing avocados. If a “group” purchases avocado seedlings, they only cost $4. Each tree will produce about $120 worth of fruit.
The original 4 communities have planted over 1300 tress in the past 2 years. Lukamenda (the group formed by the women of the 4 communities) purchase the trees as a group to get a better rate. This will be another self sustaining project that will have long lasting benefits to the Lukamenda communities.
- Potato Project
Each community starts out with a 1 or 2 acre plot. The market for ground potatoes is very high. Trucks come into communities to pick up sacks of potatoes leaving no transportation costs. This project provides a quick turnover for profits – 3 months from planting to harvesting. There are 2 harvesting seasons for the potatoes. One season typically has a higher yield than the other due to rain fall. Providing the community with the start up costs for the first planting enhances the sustainability of this project.
- Chicken Project
Mbafwa is working on the chicken project which is similar to the pig project, with the group raising chickens that will be awarded to widows, who will then also have eggs to continue to raise chickens or sell at the market.
Beans are a new project for One Small Drop. They are a staple in the cultural food. But many areas of Tanzania cannot grow beans. The soil in the Livingstone Mountains is well suited for beans. And because the beans are dried, the women can choose to sell the beans when the market is highest, for the greatest return on their investment.