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Tanzania Water Project Leader Dies in Dar es Salaam

Tanzania Water Project Leader Dies in Dar es Salaam

May 19, 2020

The man who brought life giving water to over 50,000 people through the Tanzania Water Well Project dies in Dar es Salaam.

We were saddened this month to hear of the death of Mahimbo Mkumbukwa. Mr. Mahimbo was the leader of the drilling crew for the Tanzania Water Project in which so many of you have been involved over the years.   Sean Kennedy sent word this week that Mahimbo had died of blood cancer, most likely leukemia. We are still in the States and had planned to begin drilling water wells as soon as the country opens up and we can get back home to Neema Village. We are sad that we will not get to drill a well with Mr. Mahimbo. We were looking forward to that. Mahimbo came to Neema Village a couple of times and got to see the babies. He visited with Michael in the office and I took this picture of him then.

Sean Kennedy Writes:  “Mahimbo was a devout Christian, strong believer, and great advocate for helping those in the greatest need, regardless of their religious affiliation, by providing clean and free water to villages throughout Eastern and Northern Tanzania. He joined the Tanzania Water Project in February of 2015. Under his Well Team leadership, the TWP drilled 33 wells, located from an area surrounding Dar es Salaam all the way up toward Mount Kilimanjaro and Arusha. His wells served an estimated 50,000 people. His extensive professional knowledge in hydrology, geology and drilling techniques made for an incredibly successful track record in a region where water well drilling is high risk and fails regularly: 28 of the 33 wells drilled were productive and successful, an 81% success rate. He ends his TWP mission on 9-consecutive successful wells run, and had an 11-consecutive successful well run previously. The ripple effect of his work is impossible to estimate, hard to grasp. Each well provided safe drinking water, instantly and dramatically improving village health. Women whose daily task was to walk 2 to 5 miles to collect water instead began to stay home and care for their family. Crops could be grown and nourished where before that was impossible. The benefits go on and on, the reach even more so. As part of the transition of the TWP to Neema Village, which was formalized late last year, Mahimbo sent these closing thoughts to the parishioners of Christ Church. Originally contained in the Annual Report submitted for TWP in January, it is all the more meaningful now as he has joined the saints.”

Mahimbo Mkumbukwa wrote before his death: “I wish to thank the Almighty God for the Blessings to all of us for the work done so far, that He leads you to raise funds and mobilize tools and personnel to facilitate the project work, that thousands of people now are having clean water through this blessed work. God bless. We thank the board members of TWP for sustaining the project to date. We thank the donors; may the Almighty God bless you for your generosity. We thank the Church, Christ Episcopal, for initiating this project of giving clean water to our people. We know for sure that it is through this congregation for God, the Project was initiated. As Jesus loves us all, you also love our people, that you give them a gift of life, clean water. God bless you all. We would like assure you that we will proceed with the work, as we’ll be blessed. We pray God that you continue to raise funds so that we work for the people, to give them clean water. We hope through God this will be possible. God bless. We are so lucky that everything will be victorious in the Name of our Lord Jesus.”

Memorials sent for Mr. Mahimbo will go toward the first well to be drilled in the village where one of the Neema babies lost his mom in childbirth. We have remained in close contact with this Maasai family, pictured above, and are always struck with the arid land around the village. Many of our volunteers love to visit Joshua’s village. It has been our dream for many years to give water to this village. Please pray for the success of this first well. To send a memorial gift go to www.neemavillage.org and on the donate page on the purpose line write “Tanzania Water Well Project”.

I think Mr. Mahimbo would love this.

All By God’s Abundant Grace,

Michael and Dorris Fortson

Directors of Neema Village and the Tanzania Water Project

Announcement: Neema Village to Drill Water Wells!

Announcement:  Neema Village to Drill Water Wells!

April 30, 2020

We are pleased to announce that Neema Village is broadening it’s outreach to include helping remote villages have water. We have long had the vision that we could provide water for some of the areas from which our babies come.

About five years ago, we became acquainted with the Tanzania Water Project, which was begun and operated by a Church in Nacogdoches, Texas. TWP shipped a portable drilling rig to Tanzania about seven years ago, and they have drilled 44 wells for rural communities in the Dar es Salaam area. In the last year, the decision was made that they could no longer continue that project. They also decided, however, to offer the project to Neema Village. After little discussion, our Board of Directors voted to accept this offer, with the idea that we would drill wells in the Arusha area.

Many people, like the Masai woman on the right, walk miles each day for a jug or two of water. There is a great need for clean and easily accessible water for thousands of remote villages.  TWP has now been transferred to Neema Village Tanzania, Inc. With this gift comes the portable drilling rig, a 20 foot container, and other supplies and equipment.

 

 

 

 

Neema Village is still in the process of restoring the drilling equipment to full functionality. A number of repairs and modifications have been necessary, and we are making plans to purchase a larger vehicle to tow the rig. All the equipment has now been transported to Neema Village in Arusha. We have had a number of talks with the drilling crew in Dar es Salaam, and tentatively plan for them to travel to Arusha when we schedule the next well to be drilled. We have already identified several villages that need water, and pending on the results of the water survey and receiving drilling permits from the government, we will choose one of them for our next drilling site.

We have decided to keep the TWP website, which has much good information and the history of this good work. The website will go through revisions in the next few weeks. There will be links between the websites for TWP and Neema Village.

Neema Village is a faith-based organization. In addition to rescuing babies, helping widows and women through small business opportunities, and now bringing water to remote villages, we want to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Living Water. We believe that TWP will open doors to do just that.

Right now, we ask that you pray with us for the people of Tanzania, who are currently facing the spread of the corona virus pandemic in their communities. Tanzania does not have the resources to deal with the virus, so pray with us that God will intervene and spare the people from this contagion.

You are invited to let us know your thoughts about the above announcement. You can communicate through the below email address. You are also invited to financially support TWP. As I am sure that you realize, drilling water wells requires funding. We would appreciate your support. We would like to assure you that donations made to the water well project will only be used for that purpose. Should you want to make a donation, you can do so through the “Give Now” button on the Neema Village website. Be sure to specify that the purpose of the donation is to support the Tanzania Water Project.

A note of concern: While we are thrilled with the prospect of using TWP to drill water wells for remote Tanzanian villages, we do not want to divert donations away from our primary mission of rescuing abandoned, orphaned, and at-risk babies. It is important that we guard the funding which supports the babies. We pray that TWP funding will be new donations and that donations for the babies will not be diverted away from them.

We look forward to undertaking this great work of bringing life giving water to the people of Tanzania, East Africa.

God bless,

Michael Fortson, Founder/Director

Neema Village Tanzania, Inc.
www.neemavillage.org
michael@neemavillage.org

 

Quarantined But Happy

Quarantined But Happy

April 23, 2020

Day two of the Quarantine at Neema Village and a new baby is passed from Angel to Bekah through the gate.

Bekah and Kim had made plans about the “What Ifs” during the quarantine and this time a “What If” actually happened. Angel, our Social Worker, got the call on day two of the quarantine that a baby needed picked up at the hospital. Angel agreed to stay outside the quarantine so she can go to the hospital to pick up the babies. She has two virus protection outfits and I am sure she was the only person at the hospital in masks and full gear.

New babies are always weighed, cleaned and dressed and then have their first bottle at Neema. The hospital does not have bottles so we get to give them their first bottle. For this baby he will have to go into isolation to make sure he has not brought the virus in to the other babies.

Little Mohammed was named at the hospital. He was born February 20. His mom had gone home after the c-section but the incision opened and became infected. A konga (large colorful cloth) was stuffed into the open wound. She also suffered a fistula from the difficult birth. She was admitted back into the hospital and is seriously ill. Please pray for her. Sweet Little Mo is malnourished, long and skinny but alert. He finally stopped crying and took his first bottle.

Just a few days later and Mo is looking so much better. He will need a sponsor. None of the eight new babies who have come to Neema in the last few weeks have sponsors. 

It has been raining for four days in Tanzania and finally the sun came out and the babies got to get out for a walk. Is there anything cuter than happy babies?

Maria, below in the red sweater, is holding Nasra who has finally gotten big enough to get out of isolation and go for a walk outside. Nasra was about two pounds when she came to Neema. She is a big girl now. Praise God.

Yehhh! Bryson in front, Dorcas in the pink dress and Jackson make for a happy walk. Look at that happy smile on Jackson’s face in the picture below.

Forty One Neema staff have left their families and moved on campus until the quarantine is lifted. They love to play games with the big kids. Since all Tanzanian schools are closed our big kids are back home at Neema.

God has provided a safe place for these abandoned, orphaned and at risk babies during this virus. We are so thankful many of you are praying for them. When this is all over we will expect you back at Neema Village. Please say a prayer for Bruce White since Kim missed her last flight out of Tanzania and is not able to get home.

Matthew 19:29 “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times back as much and will inherit eternal life.”

I think that must go for the ones who are anxiously waiting at home too.

Love you guys,

dorris

For Such A Time As This

For Such A Time as This

April 21, 2020

Little did we know that when we came home for a few months in February and left Kim and Bekah in charge of Neema Village that they would soon be facing one of the greatest challenges of their lives.

(Kim’s family above with her husband Bruce, the Saint). Neema Village will be going into hard lock down tomorrow, Monday April 20, 2020. Tanzania has now closed all it’s borders, the last flight in or out is now closed. Which means we will not be able to get back in and Kim will not be able to get back home to her family until the planes begin flying again.  She has accepted it and we believe God has put her at Neema for such a time as this.  (We are missing our volunteers!)

With so many new babies, the task of getting ready to lock everyone in has been daunting.  Kim is a super organizer, but I cannot even begin to tell you all the things she has had to do and think through to lock down this busy baby home. Michael and I are so sorry we are not there to help. Actually, Linda and I are thinking of wading a river in from Uganda with suitcases on our heads to get back in to help!!

On Monday morning the nannies who have no children at home will be moving into the volunteer house and they will not leave to go home until this is over. (nannies in volunteer house above). The guards, cook and maintenance men will move into the Mothering Center. They have all signed an agreement and understand they cannot leave campus and then come back in until the lock down is over. It was a bit rough for them knowing they would be leaving their own families and if something happened, they could not be with them. There were some tears. They will be compensated well with double pay, they all wanted that but it was still hard for them.

I hope they remember that Kim is half way around the world from her family and receives no money for her work at Neema. I can’t even find words to describe that, I think it is pure sacrifice. Kim pictured above with some of the diapers and goods for the lock down.

With the school kids home at Neema (all schools in Tanzania are closed) and all the new babies that came in this month, the idea of keeping 57 babies and employees fed, housed and safe from the virus was a full time job.   For two weeks Kim and Bekah have worked with Emanuel and the staff, making lists and bringing in essentials. The shelves in the stores are emptying out because the ships bringing in goods are not allowed to dock. “There are no more diapers to buy in this town,” Bekah said, “because we have bought them all!

She has had to think: Do we have enough formula for 2 months, what to do with the cows, the chickens, the garden, do we stop all building projects (we cook for the builders), will the nannies actually agree to leave their own families and move on campus, where can we sleep them all, how can we feed them all, how can we feed the chickens and cows, how would we get a plumber in, what if we run out of water or cooking gas or electricity, what if we get a new baby, what if we get sick, what if one of us dies??? 

All very real questions and many more they have been working through for the last couple of weeks. Yes, it’s been daunting. Someone asked about cutting the grass during the lock down since David the yard man is not considered essential. Kim answered, “I can’t think about the grass, I’m trying to keep everyone alive!”

Elesha below helping in the garden is definitely essential.

 The little things like getting beds for everyone has been a chore but they have gotten it done. The farmer, cow men, and gardener will not sleep on campus but will walk in behind a rope down the fence line and into the bottom area to take care of the cows, chickens and garden.  We had to build a bathroom down in the garden since the men could not come up to the baby home.

The milk buckets and baskets of eggs and produce from the garden will be left there as well and clean milk buckets set out each morning for the milking. 

Kim has bought all the malaria medicine and Zpacks she could find at the local pharmacies. Our oxygen tanks were all leaking and no one could fix them so they had to buy a large oxygen tank which cost about $2,000 USD for baby Phillip who is home from the hospital but still on oxygen. There are no ventilators to be had anywhere or I’m sure they would have tried to get one of those! 

Kim said yesterday, “Mom we all have headaches every day from trying to think through everything we would need to have a lock down and keep the place running and everyone fed and the lights on and making sure no one gets sick.” She had told me earlier that she would do everything she could to make sure they were all safe no matter what the cost.  She has had our nannies sewing 450 masks. She sent 150 masks to the local hospital, (they had none) and she sent 100 to Social Welfare (they also had none). All our staff got 2 masks and gloves. The staff staying home were given bleach and soap as well. Kim and Bek called a big meeting and explained to them how to stay safe.    Our school kids are modeling the masks.  

Michael and I could not be prouder of our girls. They are amazing.  

I have to admit we are scared for Africa, this land we have loved for half a century. Our local doctor there says when it hits it will be hard and fast and then it will be over quickly. We are praying that the years of malaria medicine which most Africans have had at some time or another will protect them.  We are also praying that God will step in and say, “Enough!”

Kim says many of the people are terrified. Some of them have seen this before when smallpox, measles, polio, Ebola, the white man’s flu all came scouring over the land leaving villages deserted and babies motherless. Our nannies believe in the power of prayer and called for a three-day fast.

Then we got a new abandoned baby in and they named her Faith. How appropriate for such a time as this.

 For all those precious ones in lock down at Neema Village:

“When you come to the end of all the light you know and are about to step off into the unknown, Faith is knowing there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.”

 I love that.

Loving all of you who support this beautiful work, too.

Dorris and Michael Fortson. Neema Village www.neemavillage.org

A Full House!

A Full House

April 14, 2020

A Note: Please watch for my next newsletter, I will be updating you on the plans to go to hard lockdown to keep the babies and staff safe when the virus hits Africa. For now here’s a.m. update on babies.

Angel, our Social Worker at Neema Village, went to the hospital to pick up a baby last week whose mom had died after having a c-section. When Angel got to the hospital they asked her to take an abandoned baby as well. So she came home with two babies.

It’s a tough time in the world today but I cannot imagine anything worse than being an abandoned baby in Africa in the middle of a world pandemic. The baby, (above) was left at the hospital. Nanny Juliette has this little no-name baby girl with jaundice outside in the sunshine.

*The nannies have since given her a name, Faith. How appropriate for this scary time in our world.

Little boy Mishack, above, was born March 25th. His mom had a c-section in the hospital. She died while in recovery and this little one was left motherless. Hopefully a family member will step up to keep him after he is stable. For now we are standing in the gap for him.

These four newborns are Furaha #1, Lucy, Neyesu and Furaha #2. Furaha means Joy in Swahili. You just can’t have too much “Furaha!” Baby Furaha #2 and Neyesu are twins. But how sad, three moms who will never hold their babies. Lots of mouths to feed, currently there are 19 small babies! with a total of 57 babies, toddlers, crawlers and big kids on campus.

Phillip, the little one who was brought in almost starved, is back in the hospital and our nannies are staying with him 24 hours a day. . They are giving him TB medicine and antibiotics for pneumonia. Poor little guy is a fighter. Please continue praying for him and the nannies who are staying with him.

Alive, Sung by Neema Village Children's Choir

Click on the picture above and hear our big school kids sing their favorite song “Jesus is Alive.” Some of them came back to Neema to make a DVD of thirteen songs for you. We are sharing a song a day for 13 days on Facebook as an encouragement during this trying time.

If you have never been to Neema Village and wondered what it looks like to drive on campus this is it. We are built into the side of a mountain, the bricks on the road are handmade right there on campus and we have had to plant lots of bushes and grass to keep the dirt from sliding down the mountain. Folks tell me it looks like a mansion on a hill and it does but we built for $24 dollars a square foot and All by God’s Abundant Grace!!

Michael and Dorris

Sikuku, Oh, Happy Day!

Please Click on the link above and let the Neema Village nannies sing a beautiful song of hope and peace to you.

In trying times, songs of Happy Days ahead can lift us up.

Psalms 27:13 “I am confident of this, I will still see the Goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”

Now that you have heard that beautiful song, let me tell you I am a bit discombobulated!

When this evil virus was announced a few weeks ago I went to the store along with everyone else and bought lots of canned food in case there was a famine. Things like canned meats and vegetables, dried fruit and enough rice and peanut butter to feed an army.  Now after being in the house for two weeks I am beginning to wonder whatever possessed me to buy canned peas! or canned turnip greens?  I can tell you canned pot roast does not taste like real pot roast no matter what the label says. And dried beets, what’s with that! And who eats spam except on a camping trip? Actually, if you fry the spam until it is crispy it’s quite editable.

And I was driving to my sisters to take her lunch today and turned my blinker on to signal the turn. The windshield wipers came on!  The blinker was on the other side of the steering wheel and I turned into the wrong lane! I haven’t been outside driving and had digressed back to how we drive in Africa. Fortunately, no one else was out driving. They were all in their houses where the President has told us to stay!

Yes, I am a bit discombobulated!

And then I talked to our daughter, Kim White, who is in Africa with the abandoned and orphaned babies at Neema Village until we return in May.

She had read something she wanted to share.

“Social Distancing is a privilege. It means you live in a place large enough to spread out.

Hand washing is a privilege too. It means you have access to running water.

Hand Sanitizers are a privilege. It means you have money to buy them.

Lockdowns are a privilege. It means you can afford to stay home.”

And your school closed means you were privileged enough to go to school.

Most of the world’s people are not privileged enough to do any of these, including many of the people working at our baby home in Africa.

As I thought about our nannies coming to work each day in crowded face-to-face dala dalas (public vans) and how they bring the day’s water for their family into their house in a bucket from the public spigot down the road or the polluted stream in front of their home and how most of them live in a one room home and sleep in a crowded bed with the whole family, I know we are privileged.

This pandemic crises, which is truly awful, will be over someday and we will go back to our privileged lives, most of us unaware that the everyday crises of half a million moms dying in childbirth every year and handicap babies hidden in dark rooms and 3 million little girls cut every year in FGM and millions of children dying from drinking dirty water, and 200 million little girls waking up every morning wishing they could go to school and knowing they never will, etc.. etc… and that these crises will continue on because they happen to the poor and not the privileged.

And we will be left wondering what we are going to do with ten cans of peas and turnip greens.

Stay Safe Everyone,

Love you,

Dorris and Michael.

Still Saving Babies at Neema Village

Still Saving Babies at Neema Village

March 18, 2020

Amid Corona Virus, Neema Village staff and directors are doing everything they can to protect our vulnerable babies such as Neema’s newest baby Phillip, pictured below. His grandmother had been trying to feed him raw cows milk after his mom died in childbirth.

Kim White, better known these days as The General, has put Neema on lock down. Volunteers have been cancelled, some are still trying to get home amid the airlines cancellations.

No drop-in visitors are allowed and staff is checked at the door with thermometers and hand sanitizers.

The Arusha stores are having the same run on supples as the rest of the world so Kim is buying a 3 month supply of baby formula, rice and beans, corn, oil, baby wipes, diapers and other essentials. The diapers filled up one load in the van!

Diesel to run the generator is critical so they have stocked up on that as well. With babies like Phillip, who have no fat on their tiny little bodies, power to run the heaters, incubator and warming table is essential. City power here is notorious for going off.

Schools are closing all over Tanzania so our big kids in boarding schools are coming home to Neema. It is always fun to see our school kids like Meshack, Nengai, and Memusi. It does mean extra mouths to feed. God is Good!

I dislike posting pictures like this, we prefer to show our chubby, happy babies but real life happens at Neema Village. I wanted you to see little Phillip’s eyes. He is three months old and weighs about 4 lbs. Please be praying that this little guy will survive.

We are so thankful that our daughter Kim is at Neema. With her organizational skills Neema Village is preparing to meet the Corona Crisis. I know she and Bekah, Hannah and Ashley as well as staff and nannies are exhausted. Please be praying for them as well as baby Phillip.

Did you know that 365 times in scripture God says “Do not be afraid.”

Blessings,

dorris and michael.

Crazy Love!

Dead Bowels Come Alive!

March 11, 2020

I’m sure you are thinking that is the craziest title you have ever heard. It was pretty crazy to us too! But God is in the business of “Crazy Love” isn’t He!

Neema Village had two babies in the hospital in January and February, one of them, Christina, is an abandoned baby who will live at Neema until she can be adopted. 

She and another new baby, Joyce, both became sick and we took them to the doctor who put them in the hospital. But Christina was sicker than Joyce and was eventually put in ICU for over a week. Many of you who follow Neema Village Facebook were praying for this little abandoned baby. Bless you. Even now this picture makes me cry as I remember how we prayed for her while she whimpered and pled with her eyes for us to help her.

We hired overtime nannies 24 hours a day to stay in the hospital with both babies. One day I had taken three volunteers and our daughter Kim to the hospital to check on the babies. They were medical people and also wanted to see an African hospital. Dr. Matthews, the pediatrician, told us Christina was not doing well and that part of her bowels had died and would have to be taken out or what they touched would die too. But they would need blood for the surgery he said, and Christina was A Positive.   

All four volunteers were tested and all four were A Positive! Amazing isn’t it, how God works!

They couldn’t find a vein the first day for the blood transfusion and Christina became more critical as each day passed. The next day they were able to give her the blood. Christina perked up with all that new blood and in a few days Dr. Matthews said, “Well the bowels are working now so she doesn’t need the surgery.” Who knew dead bowels could come alive and begin working!!  God just continues to amaze us in this work of saving abandoned, orphaned and at-risk babies in Tanzania!

Christina is now back home at Neema and doing much better. Thank God!  She had one little set back but is home in our isolation room now.  Keep the prayers coming. 

Michael and I are home in the States for our Granddaughter Hayley and Rob’s wedding and taking care of business and visiting friends and family, and eating as many McDonald homestyle hamburgers as I can!  That is our little adopted Tanzanian granddaughter, Maria, in awe of Hayley in her wedding dress.

Michael was diagnosed with Typhoid before we left Africa so we have spent a lot of time in Doctors’ offices. We are amazed at how thorough the medical community is here! He has seen almost every kind of doctor imaginable, except gynecology of course, and there is still no definitive diagnosis except Typhoid. Typhoid is a killer and he has had a pretty rough time of it but doing better now. That is Michael above working on the new aerobic sewer system at Neema before we left Tanzania.

Before we left, we put together the totals for last year at Neema Village. We received 23 new babies from Social Welfare in 2019. Thirty babies were adopted or put back into a family home in 2019. Our highest number of babies in the house for one month in 2019 was 63! It’s loud, it’s messy and sometimes quite wonderful, right Kim White? Our daughter Kim is pictured above.  

Hannah tells us there were 215 volunteers last year who stayed in the volunteer house. Hey, all 215 of you guys, We Love You!! That is Steve from Australia pictured above.

Music with Kathy, Isy and Shannon, VBS with the Burkhalter puppets from Rusk, Texas and a prayer and medical clinic out in a Maasai Village led by the Billings, Montana group all rounded out a busy couple of months for the fill-in Neema Directors, Kim White, Ashley Berlin and Hannah Patterson. You three Rock!

Keeping Us Straight!

Keeping Us Straight!

February 4, 2020

A note from the Neema Village Treasurer, Sarah Lockett. Sarah is a nurse but has done the Neema Village bookkeeping since day one free of charge. She keeps us straight with the IRS!!! Bless you Sarah!

Sarah writes:

Have you ever laughed out loud at the exact timing of God’s provision? Has He ever schooled you in the futility of worry? Wow, has God been working on me all these years of doing Neema Village finances!!!! I cannot tell you how many times one of you has provided funds just when something urgently needed for the babies came up at Neema Village. We are continually amazed at God’s faithfulness working through you. Whether or not you personally donate or are one of the many telling others about Neema Village, thank you so much for your love and support! Neema Village could not exist without you!

Now a bit of housekeeping,,,

All of the 2019 donation receipts have either been mailed (USA donors only) or emailed to you last week. Because I have already received some undeliverable mail and email, please contact me at neemavillageinc@neemavillage.org if you have not received a donation receipt yet. Let me know if your email or address has changed so we can update the records. There are some international donors who need tax receipt for dates other than Jan-Dec so please let me know that as well. Donation receipts are sent by each Dec 31st as required by IRS laws in order to provide a total for the year. However, anyone giving a once or twice per year donation can request a donation receipt by letting us know when the donation is made.

For volunteers who fundraise for Neema thank you so much! You can use the email above to ask about how much you have raised for Neema. To protect our donor’s privacy, we will never give names with amounts they donate. With 20 plus beds in the volunteer house, we do not automatically send weekly or even monthly reports to our volunteers but will gladly supply total fundraising if you contact us.

Something donors like to know- Neema Village Tanzania NGO is audited yearly by an independent auditor in Tanzania as required by Tanzanian law. The Neema Village Tanzania nonprofit in the USA also undergoes yearly audits from an independent auditor following standards of accountability for nonprofits.

Again- thank you so much for everything you do for the work done at Neema Village. Some of the projects now done were not imagined in the beginning- God has His own ideas about what He wants done! Obviously!

Have a blessed year!

Sarah Lockett, treasurer Neema Village Tanzania

The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away!

The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away!

January 15, 2020

The day I had been dreading had come. Almost two years ago a tiny baby with a pink tongue almost too big for her mouth came to Neema Village.

The mother had had a stroke at the birth, the father’s whereabouts were unknown, and no other family could be located. The baby was left alone in the preemie unit at the hospital. She only weighted 1.3 kg when Social Welfare called Neema Village to come pick up the baby. The mother had put Joseph as the father’s name on the birth certificate, so we named the baby Josephine. 

A few months ago, a man walked into the baby home with a young wife and said, “My name is Joseph.” He had come for his baby girl. We stalled him then because Josephine was too little and still on the bottle. Today the family came again.

Today the stalling was over and two Maasai men with the young wife had come for Josephine.  

Putting babies back with their family is one of the best things we do but it is still tough when the baby has wiggled her little self into our hearts like this one.  

We packed her bags and I stood there with tears while Angel gave the two men the “no cutting or we bring the police” and the “she must go to school” speeches. Josephine has bonded with the mom and has been riding around on her back today.

In her little red going home dress Josephine walked confidently down the porch and out to her new life. They are Ngorongoro Crater Maasai so I will sign up to go on that safari in hopes to spot our little Josephine someday.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

Also this morning we got word that two abandoned babies needed picked up at the hospital so our volunteers headed out with Angel to bring the babies home to Neema Village.

My sister Joleta’s granddaughter, Kelsey Titlow volunteering from Palestine,Texas for a few weeks, got to hold one of the babies on the ride home. Susan Hergenroether from Wisconsin held the other precious bundle.

One girl and one boy, they both had the abandoned baby tags on their arms. Nannies Rehema and Witness gave them their first baths. The nannies love to name the babies so Rozina wrote suggested names on the board. Out of eight or ten names Anna and Patrick were chosen and tonight little Anna and Patrick are safe, warm and fed at Neema Village. 

And tonight, somewhere in Africa, God is preparing the hearts of a new mom and dad who will come someday and walk out the door with another baby and a huge hunk of my heart. It is what Neema Village does best.  

Live Love Anyway,

dorris

From Despair to Hope

From Despair to Hope

January 10, 2020

It’s hard to describe the situation we got into today.  Anna, our MAP director (Neema’s Mothers Against Poverty program) had been asked by one of our nannies to check out a woman who needed help. A widow with 5 children was homeless so Mama Samueli, one of our nannies, had given her a room.

We had to park the car and walk down some narrow mud alleys, places where you could easily get lost, and after asking directions a number of times we came to the house. 

It was mud and sticks with one small window that let in so little light I could not see the woman. I turned my phone on so we could see. She had a bed and a bucket which she turned upside down for Steve to sit down. 

We four, Jessica, Marilyn, Bronte and I sat on the bed and Zubeda, the mom, and 3 of her children crowded around, her clothes were hanging around our heads. 

It is hard to describe despair, but we could feel it as we listened while Anna quietly interpreted Zubeda’s words for us. 

Her husband had been killed on a pikipiki, that is a motorcycle taxi which is how many people get around in Arusha. After she could not pay the rent she had to leave her house and had not been able to find a place to live so Mama Samueli was letting her live in this room. The bed took up most of the room. It wasn’t much of a room, but it was free.

I was desperately trying to think what all Zubeda needed and what we could do. She needed everything. She had no food, Mama Samueli had given her some ugali, cold corn meal mush.  We asked her where she cooked, and she replied I have no food to cook. There were no lights, no bathroom, no kitchen, just four mud walls, a mud floor and a rusted tin roof. We weren’t sure where all six of them slept. Her beautiful little girl should have started to school this month, but she didn’t have clothes and mom could not afford lunches or uniforms or books.

We asked how we could help. After talking with Anna, Zubeda thought she could make a business selling used shoes, we noticed she was barefoot. She will come to Neema Village in the next few days and talk with Anna about how we can help her get started in a shoe business. First she will need to move to a bigger room, near foot traffic where she can work a business. A room with a light bulb would be nice.

Dear God, this is hard. Your son spent so much time with the desperately poor, I’m not sure how he did that day after day and kept his sanity.

If you have a floor that doesn’t turn to mud when it rains, please be thankful today.

dorris

4th Annual Kilimanjaro Charity Climb

Neema Village Announces

4th Annual Kilimanjaro Charity Climb

Climb Dates: July 7 – 14, 2020 

See this Great Video of the 2017 Kili Climb

Watch the Video!  You too can do this!

It is time to sign up for one of the most challenging, exhilarating, and rewarding experiences of your life.  Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, 19, 341 feet (5895 meters.)  All of our previous climbers will attest that it is one of the most exciting things they have every done!  Our success rate for the Neema Village Charity climb is that 34 out of 35 climbers made it to the summit!  That is almost 98% success!  You can do it!  Plus, you can help raise needed funds and awareness for Neema Village, a rescue center for orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk babies.

Factoring in travel and a day or two before the climb and/or after the climb to visit Neema Village and/or take a great safari, climbers will need to block off the first two weeks of July.

This Charity Climb will benefit Neema Village.  Climbers from the 2019 Kili Climb were able to give Neema Village almost $30,000 by soliciting donations!

Our Climb Company is Everlasting Tanzania Travels.  Go to their website here .  Be sure to look at the “Kilimanjaro Treks” tab.

Costs for the climb are $2485 for climb fees and three nights at Moivaro Lodge (food and lodging included, based on 10 climbers),  about $2000 for airline ticket, plus your incidental expenses which vary depending on the climber’s tastes.

Itinerary
July 2020
4 Saturday Depart Home
5 Sunday Arrive Tanzania
     Overnight Moivaro Coffee Lodge
6 Monday Day at Neema Village
     Overnight Moivaro Coffee Lodge
7 Tuesday Travel Moshi
     Day 1 Climb
8 Wednesday Day 2 Climb
9 Thursday Day 3 Climb
10 Friday Day 4 Climb
11 Saturdayy Day 5 Climb
12 Sunday Day 6 Climb
13 Monday Day 7 Climb
     Summit
14 Tuesday Day 8 Descend to base
      Overnight Moivaro Coffee Lodge
                         Option 1                         Option 2*                      Option 3**
15 Wednesday Visit Neema Village      Visit Neema Village     Visit Neema Village
                          Depart Tanzania           One day Safari*           Two day Safari**
16 Thursday    Arrive Home                 Visit Neema Village      Safari 
                                                                  Depart Tanzania
17 Friday                                                 Arrive Home                Visit Neema Village
                                                                                                         Church
                                                                                                         Depart Tanzania
18 Saturday                                                                                    Arrive Home
 
*For a one day safari to Tarangeri National Park, add about $225
**For a two day safari to Tarangeri and the Ngorongoro Crater, add about $550
***Longer stays can be arranged for either a Safari to the Serengeti, or more time to volunteer at Neema House.
If you are interested in signing up or receiving more information, please contact Michael Fortson by email at:  michael@neemavillage.org

If you are ready sign up, please open this document link, print, complete, and return the reservation form to michael@neemavillage.org

 

Please pass this information on to others who you think might be interested in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa.
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