In cooperation with women and community based organizations, Global Resource Alliance pursues a natural, holistic and sustainable approach to poverty in the Lake Victoria region of Tanzania.
We believe that empowering women and local communities to address pressing social, economic and environmental challenges according to their own vision and their own creative potential is the key to lasting solutions.
Primary school students in malaria prevention program
Our programs include educational grants, the promotion of microfinance, water resource development, permaculture & organic gardening, malaria prevention, alternative health, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) prevention, alternative energy, sustainable building and direct assistance to vulnerable populations like AIDS orphans and the elderly.
GRA is committed to supporting orphans in the Lake Victoria region through our partnership with several non-profit organizations in the area. The need far outweighs our ability to meet it, but we do our best to respond to the growing demand. Already, hundreds are being helped by our combined efforts, and we hope to reach many more as time goes on.
From GRA's First Television Series
They need our help!
Proud grandmother with her young orphaned grandchild
GRA is currently funding two orphans support programs- Tumaini Kwa Watoto and Kinesi Orphans Program. Both are operated by our partner Global Resource Alliance - Tanzania (GRA-TZ).
Grandmother and orphaned children
This program provides essential support for about 85 orphans living with extended family (usually grandparents or aunts and uncles) in the Musoma area of Tanzania.
This program is for children in Kinesi Village (near Musoma across Lake Victoria). Eighty families (40 girls and 40 boys) caring for orphans are currently enrolled. They receive food supplies, school fees, clothes, mattresses and basic healthcare.
Since 2010, half of these families have been participating in a GRA funded permaculture project in Kinesi. Families contribute to a 9 acre community plot on the shore of Lake Victoria, and are also supported to grow their own family permaculture gardens. The goal of this program is to empower these families to cultivate their own food supply in a way that is sustainable and affordable.
Maize, beans and rice
School uniforms and supplies
Weekly group activities such as art, drama, sports and singing
Emergency healthcare for guardians
Secondary school tuition
Vocation training for students not attending secondary school
Aids kills nearly 6,000 people each day in Africa (most of them in sub-Saharan countries). Many are young adults, and in Africa alone over 11 million children have been left behind as orphans of this disease. These numbers keep growing and are clearly daunting. We need a united effort from all sides - governments, international organizations, researchers, non-profits and individuals like you and me - to help find solutions for this pandemic. Salvaging the lives of 11 million children in the world is beyond the means of any one of us, but helping just one child to have a better life is something that almost any of us in the western world can afford.
Your contribution of $25 a month will support a child in the Lake Victoria region of Tanzania. This support includes organic food, school uniforms, clothes, school and other supplies and healthcare for the orphans and their guardians.
Just $25 can make a dramatic difference in the life of one of these orphans. It can mean the difference between life in the streets, or life with a caring foster family, educational opportunities, health care and the nutritional support that all children deserve. I hope you will consider making a difference in the lives of one of these children.
Here are pictures of two orphans waiting for sponsorship. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the Donate button below if you would like to become a monthly sponsor.
Born in 2004
Child interest: To become a doctor when she grows up
Guardian’s name: Cecilia Maramba
Guardian Income: Peasant
Mother died of tuberculosis
Father abandoned the family when Maria was born.
Number of other children living in the house: one child
If you choose to use the Donate button below, please enter $25 per child you would like to sponsor and write the name(s) of the orphan(s) you would like to sponsor in the "Designate my donation" field. We will contact you upon receiving your donation to setup a recurring monthly auto-payment that will charge your credit card $25.00 on the 25th or each month there after. If you would prefer, you can send check payments to Global Resource Alliance, 963 Oso Rd, Ojai, CA 93023.
Thanks for making a difference,
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Born in 2006
Child interest: to become a nurse when she grows up
Guardian’s name: Zena Magesa
Guardian income: Peasant
Mother died of malaria in 2000
Father died of tuberculosis in 2007
Number of other children living within the household: 5
Global Resource Alliance (GRA) was introduced to permaculture in 2006 at a workshop with Geoff Lawton. Permaculture offered a path to connect and expand GRA’s current programs in organic gardening and tree planting, and GRA’s future plans for sustainable building, rainwater harvesting and alternative energy.
From GRA's First TV Series - ABUNDANT LIVING
The following year, GRA organized a successful two-week Permaculture Design Course with Geoff in Musoma, Tanzania. After the training, several of the local permaculture graduates began collaborating with GRA to develop more permaculture gardens and further promote the principles of permaculture to address the problems of food scarcity, poor housing, deforestation and other environmental issues in the area.
Preparation of the land using "swales" to hold water and allow it to seep into the ground. The first step in permaculture design.
Swale construction demonstration project in Kinesi Village.
In 2009, Ireland's Freedom from Hunger Council (Gorta), awarded GRA-Tanzania a generous grant to develop a third plot to bring food security to the 75 families caring for orphans in rural Kinesi Village. With the help of visiting permaculture experts from Zimbabwe, Australia and the United States, a 2.5 acre plot on the shore of Lake Victoria is being developed by GRA personnel and some 30 villagers. As the garden matures, fruits, veggies and grains from the garden will provide a self-sustainable replacement for participants' vital monthly rations of beans, maize and cassava. A small pond has been created on the site to raise tilapia, a local fish, and provide a habitat for ducks to produce eggs and organic fertilizer.
GRA - TZ Office Plot in Musoma
We now have three active permaculture demonstration plots in Tanzania. The first demonstration permaculture plot is a half-acre on our office compound in Musoma. The garden provides vegetables and fruits to prepare the meals for staff and volunteers. Musoma orphans meet here in the shade of our pavilion to collect sundries and participate in fun weekly activities like art, singing, drama and sports.
Kinesi Orphans' Garden
The second 2.5 acre site also hosts a three bedroom compressed earth block house that serves as a home for one caretaker and up to four visiting volunteers. The demonstration home includes a composting toilet and other simple, alternative technologies. In the future, we hope to provide microfinance mortgages to villagers wishing to build new, environmentally friendly earth block homes in Kinesi.
Compressed earth block home on the Kinesi Orphans' Garden plot.
Our third plot is our largest yet on 9 acres donated by the local government in 2010. This plot is currently providing staples like maize, beans and cassava to the families caring for orphans in Kinesi Village. The site also demonstrates dry growing methods including water harvesting and be the site of a reforestation project with trees for food, fuel, medicinal herbs, timber, shade, soil regeneration, climate control and animal habitat. When funding becomes available, additional compressed earth block homes will be constructed here. We have planted a living fence to keep livestock out and beginning construction of dams, swales and other water harvesting systems.
Musoma Orphans having class at
GRA - TZ office plot pavilion.
GRA received a generous grant from The Ferguson Foundation to assist 30 of the families involved in the other Kinesi plots to design and develop permaculture gardens on their own land.
The project has provided expert permaculture advice, seeds, fencing materials and tools. About 30 of the families have already been awarded supplies and are implementing permaculture design on their farms.
Kinesi Orphans' Garden harvest.
All three of the plots demonstrate essential permaculture concepts like using swales to catch water for the crops, enriching the soil with nitrogen fixing plants, harvesting water, compost-tea, compost pile, banana/papaya circles, bag garden, nursery, seed saving and others. The gardens are supported by local efforts and a string of international volunteers that have brought new energy, insight and experience to the projects. GRA has a partnership with the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia to refer experienced volunteers.
Trees are one of nature’s greatest gifts. They prevent soil erosion, moderate climate, generate oxygen, sequester carbon dioxide, provide wildlife habitat and a host of valuable nutritional, medicinal and building products. Since 2011, GRA has partnered with Belgian NGO, WeForest, government schools and local communities in the rural Tanzanian districts of Rorya and Tarime to plant over 500,000 trees. Our current plan is to double that number before the end of 2017.
All trees have been provided free of charge since the program’s inception in 2011. First, prospective recipients receive training from our experienced staff. Our methods of distribution are basically two - individuals come to the nursery to pick up seedlings for their plots, or, for large orders, we distribute seedlings with GRA’s truck to schools or other organizations, after training and preparation of holes.
These seeds are planted in our nurseries in Kinesi Village, run a tree planting woman trainer and supported by a staff of foster family guardians taking care of orphans in the village. Our trainers provide education about how to prepare the holes, add manure and take care of the trees before they are distributed. Afterwards, all trees are monitored by GRA staff to ensure that they are receiving proper care. An independent female auditor calculates the survival rates for trees we have distributed in the months and years to come. Beneficiaries are required to maintain a survival rate or 80% or better to qualify for additional trees in the future.
Special attention is given to making sure the trees are watered and protected from grazing cattle.
We continue distribution in the Rorya and Tarime districts of Tanzania, one of the poorest regions in the country where a majority of residents live below the poverty line. The population of Rorya District is about 265,000 and Tarime District has about 340,000 residents. There are over 200 primary schools and 50 secondary schools in the two districts combined. Most of them don’t have access to clean water, unless they have a borehole nearby (by June 2016, GRA has completed 21 boreholes at schools), or they are near the lake or other source of surface water. Alternatively, children bring water every day to school for their own needs and to water the trees. Some schools allocate one or more trees to each child to water and take care of. Other schools prefer all students to take responsibility for the care of the whole yard to avoid some trees drying if children responsible for them are absent.