Pictured above are four of the most courageous little girls on Planet Earth.
Leticia Gideon, 10, Neema Samson, 12, Neema Chacha, 12, and Rosie Makore, 12, all fled their homes to escape the barbaric and illegal traditional practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) after which time they would have been forced to drop from school and marry men three- to five-times their ages. Their parents' incentive? In certain remote areas of East Africa people believe that girls who are cut are "cleaner" and therefore worth more cows in bride price than uncut girls who are labeled as promiscuous and "harder to control." These girls⏤all of whom are featured in the new award-winning documentary In The Name of Your Daughter⏤now live under the care and protection of internationally-renowned human rights advocate Rhobi Samwelly at The Hope for Girls Safe House ("Hope") in Western Serengeti.
Next week I will travel to Tanzania with an extraordinary group of women (see below) to meet Leticia, Neema & Neema, Rosie and many of the other hundreds of girls who have found refuge at Hope. While in country, we will also:
- Launch our new Unite Scholars Mentorship Program through which our team of talented Mentors & Advisors will provide career counseling and professional training to our Unite Scholars who are now in university;
- Continue our work with Sister Crispina Mnate at the St. Joseph's Orphans Center to do all we can to ensure that her 50 children, ages 2 to 22+, excel, thrive and grow into independent and successful teenagers and young adults;
- Assess growth opportunities at the Heaven Pre & Primary English Medium School;
- Travel to Maasailand with Dr. Gideon Urion to further develop our Maasai Women's Health Program and tour the new Kivulini hospital;
- Check in with current Unite Scholars & Warrior for Change grantees; interview new candidates; and more. Whew!
Please support our work.
As you may know, ours is a 100% volunteer team, and⏤thanks to Unite's Board of Directors ⏤every dollar we collect goes to support our programs in Tanzania. Below please find our current Wish List as well as information about how you too can join us in Africa. I will send a far more comprehensive update this winter after we have returned home, but for now thank you for your time, interest and continued support of Unite. We are deeply grateful.
The stakes are high. All outcomes are still possible. The choice is ours.
Our Wish List
These "items" below can be given in the name of a friend, parent, child, grandparent, spouse, teacher, yourself or anyone for the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries or just because. The process is simple. Go online to our secure website at UniteAfricaFoundation.org. Click DONATE. Specify who you are giving for and we will send a letter explaining your contribution and its impact.
What could be more transformative than providing life-saving & life-changing support to those living in greatest need in honor of those who already have all they need?
Let's create a "new norm" in gift giving, shall we?
- $25 for an insecticide-treated bed net and its delivery. Need 100 for girls who have fled to the Hope Safe House to escape FGM.
- $50 to cover the monthly stipend for one Unite Mentor to support up to three Unite Scholars with professional training and career counseling. Need 36.
- $125 for a uniform, pair of shoes, books & school supplies for one student in preschool or primary school. Need 50.
- $175 for a mattress, sheets, blanket & pillow. Need 25.
- $250 to send Dr. Gideon Urio and his medical team out to Maasailand to conduct health trainings & screenings as part of Unite's Maasai Health Program. Need 40.
- $350 for one month of basic food supplies (rice, beans, maize, cooking oil, sugar) for the St. Joseph's Orphans Center and the Hope Safe House. Need 12 for each site.
- $500 to sponsor a child from the St. Joseph's Orphans Center to attend the Heaven Pre-Primary Day School for a year. Need 2.
- $750 to sponsor a child from the St. Joseph's Orphans Center to attend the Heaven Primary Day School for a year. Need 5.
- $1,200 to sponsor a child from the St. Joseph's Orphans Center to attend a private secondary boarding school for a year. Need 3.
- $1,500 to sponsor a girl to live at the Hope Safe House and attend a nearby quality English-medium boarding school. Need 10.
- $2,500 to sponsor an Education Coordinator for a year to assist at the Hope Safe House with enrolling the girls in schools, organizing all aspects of the girls' educations, monitoring and supporting the girls' progress, conducting vocational and life-skills trainings, and more.
- $3,500 to install additional toilets and hand-washing stations at the Heaven Pre & Primary School and provide proper hygiene & sanitation for more than 200 students.
Our October 2018 Travel Team
In the Name of Your Daughter Film; Sydera Theobald; Unite The World With Africa Foundation