Our Tanzanian Friends

March 10, 2016 10:58 pm Published by

One weekend a few months ago, I was relaxing on the weekend watching a movie, when Jackson, our waiter from Papa’s (our on-campus restaurant), comes to find me.

“Someone wants to talk to the Director,” he said. My first instinct was that they had a complaint of some sort, so I made my way down the hill to see. I arrived to meet two jovial men who introduced themselves as Mukherjee and Sivakumar, both employees of the Coca-Cola bottling company located in Nyanza (between the JBFC campus in Kitongo and Mwanza).

“We like what you’re doing here and we want to help,” they said.

There’s really no higher compliment JBFC can receive than that statement. We have so many friends across the globe who have felt the same way. We raise about $800,000 a year in donations to operate our 70-acre campus, including our residential home, school, farm and clinic. JBFC does as much as we can to save money on campus, by growing our own food. And we are trying to be as sustainable as possible by charging a modest school tuition. But we still rely on hundreds of people liking what we’re doing and wanting to help.

I talked to my new Coca-Cola friends about our mission, about the girls who live in our home, and the upcoming Christmas holiday. The men promised they would come back with soda and shirts for the girls before Christmas.

A few days before Christmas, I was sitting at Papa’s after lunch when a SUV pulls up and men start carrying box after box of orange Fanta into Papa’s. My new Coca-Cola friends had returned with another employee, Marco, all in Coca-Cola hats and shirts with exactly enough t-shirts and hats for all of our residential girls living to open on Christmas morning!

The JBFC girls love their new shirts and hats and wear them often. We drank the Fanta and Coke donated at the holiday party. Coca-Cola also promised to give our students tours of the plant any Friday this year.

Since Christmas, we have had other wonderful and much-needed donations from other in-country partners. Our district Ministry of health and Social Welfare provided mosquito nets for each of our girls, in addition to free medical check-ups.

Grumeti Reserve, located in Northern Tanzania, sent a few boxes of goodies for the girls that included necessities like soap, toothpaste, bug repellent, and laundry soap.

We are so grateful to our in-country supporters and look forward to growing this area of opportunity in the future.

Melinda Wulf is JBFC’s Administrative Director in Tanzania.

Categorized in:

This post was written by Mainsprings