JBFC’s Community ImpactDecember 16, 2013 9:16 pm
Once a year, we take a step back and look at everything that we have been able to accomplish. This morning we started our 3 days of meetings to look at where we came from and where we want to go next year. However, it wasn’t the things we were able to accomplish this year that impressed me most during our meetings today. It was the people who accomplished them.
At JBFC, we talk a lot about our impact on children. But the reality is we’re having an impact on an entire community… children and adults alike.
Many people don’t realize we employ nearly 70 local staff members, who are led by a management team of nine. Employing these people not only benefits the entire community of Kitongo, but our continual training also empowers our staff to step into positions of leadership. Without these homegrown leaders, we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do.
Mzee Kitula (pictured on far right in the Papa’s t-shirt), our campus manager, has been with JBFC for the past seven and a half years. Our
campus would not be where it is without him. He has been responsible for overseeing the construction of nearly every building on campus. His quiet authority, quality craftsmanship, and steady guidance can be seen in the physical footprint of JBFC’s campus. Mzee is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever had the privilege of working alongside.
During his time at JBFC, he has also put two of his children through college, has four kids at our very own Joseph & Mary Schools, and has two more little ones at home, ready to enter our preschool in a couple of years.
Mzee Kitula is a pretty large-scale farmer, proving for all of his own food needs from his crops. He’s taken some of the permaculture techniques we’ve put in place on JBFC’s farm and replicated them on his own property. He has been able to add land and build a second house since starting his job at JBFC. He and his wife also run a firewood and charcoal business in the village which is pretty lucrative. Our mission of alleviating extreme poverty lives within him and he continues to work day in and day out to help this community which he loves.
Rachel is another manager who truly embodies the JBFC mission. It’s almost hard to believe Rachel
started working at JBFC 7 1/2 years ago, when she was just a teenager. She was our very first house girl. Since then she’s grown up with the organization, moving up in the ranks from house girl, to matron, to our head matron. She is the backbone of our home for 43 girls.
Sister Rachel, as is called around the home, is both disciplinarian and counselor, cook and mother, leader and friend. She does everything from making sure the girls have enough food to eat, making sure they all do their homework, juggling cooks’ schedules, and resolving skirmishes amongst the girls (with 43 girls – this is no small task).
Beyond JBFC, Rachel is also an entrepreneur who runs a farm, where she grows food for her two younger brothers, who she raises. If that wasn’t enough, she also runs and a thrift store in our district headquarters, Magu that sells used clothes and little trinkets. Our girls are better people and have a brighter future because they have Rachel as a role model.
So, as you all look at the cute pictures of our girls, during this holiday season and throughout the year- please remember there is a team of people that support them. JBFC is a product of all of the time and effort put in by our staff here in Tanzania. We would not be able to do what we do without such a devoted staff and incredible leadership team here in Tanzania.
And you all are an important part of the team. Thank you for allowing us to employ such incredible people and for allowing us to make a difference in our community, through the employment of all these people here in Kitongo.
Blogger Chris Gates is JBFC’s Founder & Executive Director.
This post was written by Mainsprings