We have started this awesome line of baby products in the village! Our tailor Harrieth is amazing and items are turning out so well.
We are making baby carriers, sleepsacs, slippers, bandana bibs, crinkle and ribbon toys; using absolutely gorgeous kitenge fabrics.
We sold out our first order and have sold the second order that is in production. We have a few custom orders in the works, and are applying to sell at the Arusha Christmas market. Harrieth is going to move into a bigger workspace where we will have a small store front too.
We are also going to make some baby body butter and diaper cream using locally sourced ingredients; coconut, aloe, honey, beeswax, shea….. mmmm
So pleased for Harrieth, for the beautiful products, and excited to see what the future will bring.
I stayed with Leesha and Lau and family on a 6 week trip through Tanzania. I’ve known Leesha for many years and it was wonderful to reunite with her in Mto Wa Mbu. They showed me around the village, introduced me to their community and I got to witness the passion and inspiration that lives in their entrepreneurial projects. I had such an incredible time in the village. The people are kind and welcoming, the scenery of the Rift Valley walls and Lake Mayanara stunning. I shared some art classes, visited the market regularly, enjoyed the local food and hit the dance floor for a little nightlife! I highly receommend connecting with Boma Africa. Mto Wa Mbu is the perfect place to set out for safari or take some time to relax and settle in and make some friends after travelling around. I hope to make it back one day!! Thank you for being such amazing hosts! xoxo
We are supporting Harrieth, a very talented seamstress and small business owner in our village in Tanzania.
She currently has a small shop in the local market of Mto wa Mbu where she does her sewing. Harriet makes beautiful contemporary handbags and accessories and comes up with innovative designs to stand out from the other vendors. She uses traditional Tanzanian fabric, Kitenge, which of course makes the products so stunning.
Her small business supports her family; and we want to see her really succeed as a woman entrepreneur in Tanzania; as well as create more employment opportunity for the village.
The fabulous Keri-Lyn has committed to opening a fair trade business for Harriet in Canada, called Shona. She will get custom orders from Harriet to export to Canada! Keri-Lyn is very well connected in the artisanal markets circuits, as well as the organic foods community in Canada.
Boma la Mama will also use Harriet’s sewing business to create and launch their Mama and Baby boutique line of products for the Tanzanian market. Our first production, the mai-tei baby carriers have almost sold out in 2 weeks!
As we live in the village, Boma Africa will also provide Harriet with business mentorship and support here in on the ground.
This is a grass roots project and a micro loan has made it possible to get started (and has been paid back with 2 WEEKS!)
Harrieth is on a roll, BUT a major set back has hit our little project .. her sewing machine broke! She has some of her revenues to put towards new one, but needs another boost get back on her feet. A top of the line machine (which allows her sew heavy fabric such as leather, and foam, etc.) is $1200 CND.
If you like her story please don’t hesitate to pitch in! (or pm me if you are interested in providing a micro loan or donating by transfer). We all have seen how small donations quickly turn into a successful campaign!
Carly first came to Tanzania in August 2017 and volunteered to be in midwife (for my own birth!) here in Mto wa Mbu town. Tanzania got under her skin and she is back in June! Carly wears many hats and is using them all this month.
First she an educator. She worked in Canada as a teacher for several years before her calling to midwifery led her back to her own training. Carly brought supplies for the school and spent a week at the LK Kindergarten mentoring our teacher, Sophia, in the concept of “learning through play”. They played games, set up stations, and Sophia got tonnes of new ideas and resources to use with the children. Sophia’ second week of immersion she spent in a mentorship with the with the kindergarten teacher at Black Rhino Academy, International School.
Carly is also an EMT and trained in wilderness first aid. She developed a first aid course relevant to our zipline activities and environment and delivered an awesome course with the Tanzip Zipline team. The course is in the Tanzip training manual and will be used annually. She also guided us to put together a great custom first aid kit.
Carly also spent some time observing and mentoring students at a couple of local hospitals, on the L&D ward. She is passionate about the rights of birthing women to safe and dignified care. Carly got inspired to support Boma la Mama Birth Centre, and is committing to a giant donation in 2019; which should allow us to open the doors and start providing care. We are also putting together a prenatal course to offer to the public with information on nutrition and safety in pregnancy, what happens in labour, breastfeeding and infant nutrition, and more.
Last but not least, Carly provided Harieth and I a micro loan of $300 to start a small business sewing baby carriers. Harieth is a talented tailor here in the village. We started making mai-tei style carriers and were able to pay back our micro loan within 1 week(!) form pre-sales. Amazing. Once this first order is done and sent off the Canada, we have a second batch that are pre-paid! Harieth is dreaming of a sewing workshop with 4 sewing machines and 2 assistants. We will make baby carriers, sleeps sacs, reusable pads, and maybe even cloth diapers.
Carly has been a huge supporter; sharing her skilled training, smiles, and also money!
Two amazing and inspired doulas are offering an eleven day Traveling Doula Retreat to Tanzania focused on enabling birth professionals from around the world to serve the local women and gain hands on experience during labor and delivery in a foreign setting.
Additionally, the mission of this trip is to learn and connect with different cultures, explore the beauty of Tanzania, connect with other women, and deepen individual Doula practices.
Founded in 2015, the Boma Community School is in the village of Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania. Through the support of partner organizations Boma Africa founded and maintains this free school as one their two primary charitable projects.
The village of Mto wa Mbu asked Boma Africa to help them to provide a kindergarten for the area of Mlimani Park. During the rainy season the young kids couldn’t access any schools because the creek would get to high and they could not cross the water.
This was a perfect project for Boma Africa, and the next year with funds from the Lindsay Kimmett Memorial Foundation, the first classroom was built, the Lindsay Kimmett Kindergarten!
We were also able put in two roadways to access the area, and access a water source to provide running water to the community (Thank you to the Rotary Club of Cochrane.)
The first class of students began attending in 2015, and the school is expanding every year as the children move forward.
The Boma Community School students attend for free, get porridge everyday, and they also have a playground (funded by Martin & Sue Parnell), the only playground in the village!
Boma Africa and Mto wa Mbu village have big dreams and would one day like to see the school with kindergarten through to grade 12 classes. The vision includes international school syllabus, and specialized sports, arts, and technology programs.
OUR AMAZING SUPPORTERS!
The Lindsay Leigh Kimmett Memorial Foundation
This amazing foundation literally provided the foundation for the Boma Community School Project. The first classroom, The Lindsay Kimmett Kindergarten, is Lindsay’s namesake and will continue to set the children of Mto wa Mbu on an amazing learning journey; in keeping with Lindsay’s passion for both children and education.
From Lindsay’s Family:
We, as Lindsay’s parents, are completely consumed with sorrow at her untimely passing but in an attempt to move forward positively, we have a great desire to carry on her legacy. She was an academic and so we want to encourage other youth to reach their potential by the establishment of enduring scholarships both at the High School and University level. She loved children and we are committed to supporting local youth programs in Cochrane. She shared a passion for ‘all things medical’ with her Mom and thus we hope to offer the U of C Medical School technical tools to enhance the education of the physicians of tomorrow. She shared a love of sports with her Dad and so we want to assist with local sporting facilities and enduring sponsorships for hockey players who could not normally afford to play.
The Rotary Club of Cochrane
The Rotary Club of Cochrane has been a solid supporter of Boma Africa & the Boma Community School. The club’s support has allowed Boma to identify a water source and install equipment to pump the water to the school site and the community. The Cochrane Rotary Club also provided a substantial contribution to the Sue & Martin Parnell Playground at the school site.
Sue & Martin Parnell
Sue and Martin Parnell are both from England and have lived in Cochrane, Alberta since 2005. They have been great supporters of the humanitarian organization Right To Play and over a 5 year period from 2010 to 2014 raised over $1m for the organization. Recently, they fund raised $12,000 for a playground and bouncy castle for the students of the Lindsay Leigh Kimmett Kindergarten in the village of Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania. Sue and Martin have three children, Kyle, Kristina and Calum and three grandchildren, Autumn, Nathan and baby Matthew.
I am in the South of Tanzania, just a 2 hour drive from the border of Mozambique.
The main tribe in this area came originally from Mozambique and is called Makonde. It is a matrilineal tribe, so children follow the maternal line and traditionally the man would move to the woman’s village. If he has several wives he would travel from village to village. Modern ‘work model” economy has changed life for this tribe and more and more women are dependant on men.
The main industry here is cashew nuts and Tanzania is known as one of the world’s best cashew producers. Unfortunately I am not here at the right time of year to see the beautiful cashew fruits but was completely shocked and amazed to see how cashews grow! When they are ripe they just fall off the tree and the farmer harvests them from the ground.
They are quite expensive here, assuming due to the global price of cashews. Tanzanians do snack on them, but they aren’t a common ingredient in meals.
Sultry and mysterious, the island of Zanzibar is the biggest of the “Spice Islands”. Tourists flock to Zanzibar for the beautiful beaches, snorkelling, spice tours, centuries old Arabic architecture and the ambiance that isn’t replicated anywhere in the world. It is a perfect paradise for indulging after climbing Kilimanjaro or a bone-jarring safari on rough roads.
Stonetown was awarded status as a World Heritage Site in 2000 and is accessed by a short flight from Arusha or a two hour ferry ride from Dar es Salaam.
Part of the archipelago of Zanzibar, Pemba is an unspoilt utopia with few visitors. Situated in the warm blue waters of the Indian Ocean, this tropical paradise has little tourist infrastructure, providing a genuine island experience of culture and landscape. Attractions in Pemba include swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing, forest trekking, historical ruins, and bull fights- though the bulls are not killed, but decorated and praised with flowers!
Mafia Island has less than 1000 visitors per year, and is absolutely unblemished; a picture-perfect Swahili coastal destination. Having been described as the best place for diving in all of East Africa, Mafia Island has been elected a Marine Park by the World Wide Fund for Nature, as it is surrounded by a dense coral reef. You can enjoy visiting a population of pygmy hippopotamus in a discreet lagoon, the excavated ruins of Kua, as well as cycling and hiking.
Set upon the Pangani River, this was once home to historic Arab slave traders. This coastal destination is on the Tanzanian mainland, a perfect stop point between the Northern and Southern Circuits. Untouched beaches, coconut tours, and dinosaur fossils are some of the attractions in this beach side village.
One of the largest cities of Tanzania, Tanga, lies between the North and South Circuits. Here you can enjoy the beaches, bike riding, and visiting the imaginative Amboni Caves. A major attraction close to the port is the ruins of a large mosque from the trading era, containing over 40 tombs.
Approximately four kilometers from the coast of the mainland, Kilwa Island is considered one of the most important Swahili historical sites in East Africa. The ruins here have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and are the main attraction on the island. Mahdali, the main city, was once the most powerful and prosperous city of the Asian-African trade in gold, iron, ivory, textiles, jewellery, and spices.
A quaint coastal town of the mainland, Bagamoyo was once the centre of slave and ivory trading. History’s presence is strong here, with 19th century architecture, and an original slaving building still standing. Here attractions include the Kaole ruins, sailboat building, lovely beaches, and Bagamoyo College of the Arts, a famous school of visual arts.
Just outside of Stonetown, Jozani Forest was established to preserve some of the last indigenous forest on the island of Zanzibar. This National Park is home to the rare and unique Kirk’s Red Colobus monkey and there is a beautiful boardwalk that snakes deep through the mangrove forest.
Saadani National Forest
This is a coastal national park on the mainland of Tanzania. This is only park that embraces the Indian Ocean, and is the genuine “bush to beach” adventure. Saadani’s 1100 square km is home to countless species of animals, and affords game drives and bush walks to rival the other more-frequented parks, with the added benefit of tranquility and the ocean.