Thanks again for your unflagging and generous support for communities in the Mara region of Tanzania trying to improve their lot in life through self-initiated effort and a brighter vision for the future. I wish I could say that 2016 was a glorious year for the work of GRA in Africa, but glory is often elusive in that neck of the world – as in many others these days.
We lost Paschal Oloo, the very dynamic Executive Director of GRA-Tz due to the expiration of his work visa (he’s from Kenya), but Madaraka Nyerere, one of the GRA-Tz board members and son of the beloved founding father of Tanzania, Julious Nyerere, was able to step in and take over that role. His arrival was greeted with much enthusiasm, relief and appreciation.
Our rural water supply project, Maji Mengi, completed 17 successful wells in 2016 for schools, orphanages, health clinics and villages, but our aging equipment is showing the effects of hard use and the inability to find essential parts and mechanical expertise locally. Fortunately, Divine Providence showed itself in the form of Bill Roncali, a master mechanic (and all around good guy) who we met in Nairobi and who came with us to Musoma to volunteer for almost six months. The needed repairs came just in time, but the cost has been high.
The tree planting project is moving forward with just under 100,000 trees planted in 2016 – bring the total over half a million. Unfortunately, our contract with the European NGO that has been funding the project for the past five years came to an end in 2016. We’re working with them now on a modified and expanded project that we hope to get funding for in 2017. In the meantime, we continue to do the best we can to keep this important project going.
Sixteen kids from the Tumaini kwa Watoto and Kinesi Village Orphans Project are now getting post-secondary educations. We’re proud of their hard work and accomplishments. Several prior graduates are now working at GRA-Tz. These kids remain at the heart of our work in Tanzania.
Click here to see the financial summaries for 2016. Thanks again for extending your hands and heart for some of our brothers and sisters with a steeper path to climb and for the elusive prospects of a better world.
With love and appreciation,