Times are tough in the Western world right now. Unemployment in the USA continues to hover around 10 percent and the economy just can’t seem to recover. The European Union just passed another large bailout. For many families who have been affected by the economic downturn this may be a tough holiday season. The season for thankfulness is drawing near and it seems that finding things to be thankful for may be more difficult now than it has been for quite some time. As we pause for reflection in our own lives we decided to ask what individuals at Building a Caring Community are thankful for this year.
Lilian is a child who attends the day center at Msaranga parish. She is about 15 years old and has been attending the center since it began in 2007. She has a chance to go to Imani vocational school this January. She said that she in incredibly thankful for the opportunity to go to school and to learn how to sew. She wants to finish school and gain employment sewing, just like her father, who is currently sewing at the BCC bag cooperative.
Margret is a member of the bag cooperative. Her child, Focus, attends the day center at Rau. Margret said that she is thankful for the opportunity to take her child somewhere where she knows Focus will be safe. Prior to receiving day services from BCC, Margret worried all day about her child while she tried to find work. Now she can relax and know that her child is safe and receiving quality services while she is working.
Kaaya,the director of BCC. He said that throughout his life he has been aware of the difficulty of individuals with disabilities in Tanzania. He said that the Lutheran Church worked in many ways to try to properly serve these individuals, but they could not find an appropriate long term solution. He is thankful to work with a partner (Mosaic) who is able to see the problem and provide a tangible and empowering solution.
As for us, we are thankful for many things. Throughout our experience here, as with anywhere, some days are harder than others. We miss our families, friends, and comforts of home (such as clean water and consistent electricity). However, to see BCC staff and management working with such love, faith, and devotion is an incredibility inspiring thing. We are thankful for this opportunity to live, serve, and learn abroad with our Tanzanian friends. We are also eternally thankful to our friends, family, and Mosaic staff for ongoing support.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We miss you and you are in our thoughts!