My dear friend Joy, and fellow board member, has always urged me to go to Africa. As a mother of five children, to even consider something like that would require a lot of budgeting and organization of my life here in Baltimore to even consider such an option. But, I was able to go with her, and it was a trip of a lifetime and ultimately made me incredibly grateful for the ease of my life here in the United states. When Joy started to tell me about meeting Amanda and how they had created this women's initiative to help women in Tanzania build a community center, how could I say no? As a mother who often has to care for sick children, I realized, yet again, how lucky I am to be able to call my doctor after a long night with a child with an ear infection, drive them in to the doctor, get medicine right away, and get them back on the road to feeling better. The women in this rural area in Africa, have to walk all day to the nearest village with a doctor, and then walk all the way back the next day. If they have other children, they need to make sure they can be cared for while they are gone. It absolutely blew my mind that this was their only recourse...until now!
Being a part of this amazing nonprofit has been a life changing event. Amanda is a strong, organized, and passionate leader, and is actually there now overseeing the first part of the building of this center (3/6/14). She has an amazing relationship with the whole community there. What I love about this organization is that it's trustworthy, and it's not someone from the US imposing their idea of help, it's THEIR idea of help and what they need to sustain this building forever. The community of women are actively involved in creating their future. They create bags and jewelry that we sell here in Baltimore, and they are constantly coming up with ideas for other things to sell. They have a business plan to help keep the center a viable and vibrant part of their community! How empowering is that? Please look at our webpage and see how you can help these women reach their goal! http://wanawakewomen.org