Lightness’s Women’s Projects

in Lake Eyasi, Tanzania

Imagine the walls of your house are made of mud and the straw roof leaks onto the mud floor in the rainy season, soaking your 5 children. Your husband left you years ago. Your one meal a day is boiled cornmeal. It is a 45-minute walk to water. Despite all this, when visitors come to your village from America, you join in a song and dance of welcome. Afterwards, you cook a meal of hand-picked weeds and cornmeal to share with them.

The women of Lake Eyasi are amazing people. For those of us who go there, the experience is humbling; they teach us so much.

Lightness Women's Project

Lightness

Lightness

The lead point of contact in the dusty, remote area of Tanzania is Lightness, a dedicated woman who came from a fatherless home in this region. Her husband is Mr. Bayo, the founder of Tumaini Primary school, which JOS has supported for years.

Lightness’s heart ached to assist her people, so she started a vocational training center for these young mothers. Unemployment can exceed 70% for women in this area. They knit and sew school uniforms for the community as a way to support themselves. Earning income is a powerful way to get control of their lives. It is for these women that we will be building homes. Lightness is a longtime friend of JOS and is a woman of great vision. Providing housing for these women will improve their life and livelihood, bringing sustenance and safety into their lives.

As often happens, once you get involved in a community, you see need everywhere. As such, Lightness has built a medical clinic in addition to the school, started a honey business run by young women, began a micro loan project, and worked to bring computers to the students. We are involved in many of these projects. A group of us are traveling to Lake Eyasi in May, 2018 to work with the women to further the efforts. If you would like to be part of this amazing experience in the future, please contact board member Rick French at info@packpaddleski.com.

Here are the projects we currently need your help to support:

How You Can Help

Housebuilding

The goal is to build three houses in 2018. Each house will have 3 small rooms. The total cost is $25,500. It is an expensive area to build in as most of the supplies have to be transported to the site, which is a high cost in Tanzania. We’ll be helping to build when we visit in May.

For a $100 donation, the name of your choice will be placed on a brick in the wall of the home and you will be emailed a photo of that wall. It is a fantastic way to share solidarity with the women on the other side of the ocean.

Here is a list of the women the houses are being built for. These women need your help. Please consider donating. This is a quote from Lightness:

“1.) Christina Barie, she is a widow. 2.) Regina Nyerere, she has been beaten and mistreated by her husband, now leaves alone with children in a local mad house. 3.) Teresia Shauri, is young abandoned with her husband with 6 children, if you remember her house was totally destroyed because it is old, and now she lives with her neighbor and two children, she has her other children to other neighbors to help her take care of them. She wishes go have a house and live with her children again in one house and call it home.”

Medical Clinic & Equipment

The clinic is brand new and opens on January 1, 2018. It only has walls, tables and chairs. The number of lives it will change is huge, as it can provide care for people in all the surrounding villages. Until it opens, it is a 3- to 4-hour jeep ride over a rough road to help or care. Most in the area cannot afford the fare for the overcrowded bus to get there, let alone medicine or care. I once came upon a baby whose foot was rotting from a venomous snake bite. The mother could not afford care and when we offered it, she was afraid that, as one of 5 wives, she would be beaten if she went to a clinic. The challenges the women face are unimaginable to us in the western world.

We will be working in the clinic, developing water hygiene classes, providing a water sanitation system, and helping to build some of the remaining structure.

The huge need we have committed to fulfill is for a blood analyzer. It is a basic piece of equipment every clinic needs. $6,500 will cover its purchase, transport, and the care of it. The machine must come from Dar Es Salaam, which is over 500 miles away. It would be incredible to help them with this so that they may provide effective medical care for the people in this region.

Latest Updates

Lightness Women’s Homes In Africa April 2017 Update

Imagine yourself dancing alongside local tribal women to a deep, resonating drumbeat until sweat is pouring off you. These are the same women you have sat with on the tarp to pick out pieces of rice, stirred porridge over the fire, held their babies and sat in their smoky mud and wattle houses. The women encourage you to jump alongside with them in the dance steps. Finally, you need to sit down. In February 8 of us spent almost 2 weeks with Lightness and her projects. We painted the walls and dug foundations for 3 houses to replace the fallen, mud hut, these single women of 4 to 6 children live in. It is not really possible I think to understand what these houses mean to these mom’s.

Lightness Women's Homes Update December '16

There was huge excitement 2 weeks ago in the small village near Lake Eyasi, Tanzania.  Several trucks loaded with bricks arrived and the first of hopefully many houses had their foundation laid. In February, 2017,  a group of 7 volunteers…