The Year Ahead: 2016

January 26, 2016 3:11 pm Published by

Happy new year to all of our wonderful family, friends, and supporters around the world!

2016 promises to be a big year full of changes for JBFC. It marks JBFC’s 10th Anniversary. 10 years ago, JBFC was a small four-acre campus with just one building and seven girls. Today, JBFC’s first campus has grown to more than 70 acres and is home to 46 girls with 17 permanent buildings. Each and every one of you have fueled this tremendous growth over the past ten years. To commemorate our 10th birthday we will have a series of special events, so be on the lookout for more details soon.  As I look back on the last decade, I am so humbled by the thousands of supporters who have made this mission a reality. This year, we want to show you exactly what ten years of your heartfelt generosity has meant to hundreds of children and families.

We ended last year with a major milestone, JBFC’s first graduation of secondary school students. Among the twenty-eight Joseph and Mary School students who graduated in December, eight of the new graduates are JBFC residential girls. We’re beginning 2016 with another major milestone, those eight young women are leaving the nest. They are moving off of JBFC’s campus and into a transition house in the nearby city of Mwanza and attending a “short course.” This three-month course will give the girls the opportunity to continue to improve their English and learn new computer skills. In the fall, they will transition into more permanent programs – be it university, college or trade schools. We are extremely proud of these girls and all of the recent Joseph and Mary graduates and look forward to supporting them and their very bright futures!

As our older girls are moving out, soon we will have more girls moving in. JBFC hopes to expand our impact on vulnerable girls this year, by not only adding girls on our Kitongo campus, but also adding our first group of girls on our second campus.  We are planning to accept as many as eight new residential girls in the coming year. We will also begin our post-secondary training course in tourism at Papa’s restaurant. 

At the second campus, we will soon break ground on our first, multi-purpose building. With the construction of this new building, we plan to have our first ten girls on the second campus by the end of the year. With your support, we hope to grow the amount of girls we’re able to help from 46 to more than 60 by the end of the year.
As JBFC has matured as an organization, the challenges of running this organization have also changed. We have an amazing team on the ground in Tanzania. The management team, under the guidance and direction of our Chief Operating Officer in Tanzania, Seth Diemond, will continue to run the day-to-day operations. But my role as C.E.O. will be shifting to spend more time on securing resources so our organization can continue to grow. And to fulfill that role, I have relocated to Tulsa, OK. The move that has weighed heavily on my mind for the past year, but I am confident in our Tanzania team and truly believe this is what is needed to secure JBFC’s next ten years is as fruitful as its first decade.

But as many things are changing, the heart of what we do – ending poverty for hundreds of children and families – is still the same. We’re hoping to continue to spread our mission and our message to even more people in 2016. We anticipate welcoming many new faces,  including volunteers from Lawrenceville in New Jersey and Women Empowering Nations (hailing from Oklahoma and Texas). We will also welcome back students from Sarah Lawrence College, Cornell, Duke, Deerfield Academy, Steamboat Mountain School, Holland Hall, Bronxville, and Brunswick. With so many wonderful partnerships, we would like to suggest that people apply early for volunteer positions, because slots are going fast.

2016 will be a big year. But we need YOU to help turn all of these big dreams into reality. You have helped us transform a community over the last decade. Children are healthier, better educated and better prepared for their futures. Parents are stronger, more informed and better able to care for their families. Each and every one of you has played a role in those transformations. You have been the catalyst for change in this community. The spark has been lit, but now is the time to fan the flames. Please continue to work with us to end poverty one child, one family, one community at a time.

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This post was written by Mainsprings