As I write this, I am sitting in a coffee shop in Salida, Colorado. We are traveling with my parents for a week before heading to California and South Dakota. Our furlough has been wonderful. We have had the opportunity to talk to several groups about our new project as well as spending time with family and friends. It had been two and half years since we visited the States. It has been quite the adjustment for all of us, but the girls have been especially precious. The funniest stories so far have been their love for vending machines. They think that is the coolest invention ever. Also their response to seeing ripped up clothing being sold in stores. We were shopping and Camille exclaimed that we needed to let someone know that a pair of jeans on the rack had tears in them. I told her that they were supposed to be that way, and she was shocked, asking why anyone would buy clothes that were already torn.
If you have not had a chance, I would ask that you go back to our Previous Blog to find out what our new plan is for ministry in Tanzania. As we have been speaking, our passion for this ministry has only grown. One of the things that has come to light is the fact that in America and the rest of the western world, these resources have been in place for over 70 years. Deinstitutionalization was something that took place in the late 1940’s in our country after the medical and social work community brought to light the detrimental effects of growing up in an institution. At that time, we turned our resources towards daycares, foster care, and supporting family based care for vulnerable children. It is a shame that we believe that orphanages are not a good place for western children, yet we continue to propagate that model in the developing world. Please do not misunderstand me to be saying that there is not a place for orphanages. There is, as many children truly do not have any families, or their families are not safe for them to return. However, there should be more of a continuum of care, where children stay in an orphanage for only a very short time until a family, either biological, adopted, or foster, can be found.
Partnering with Walk In Love, we want to be in the forefront of the movement to propel Tanzania from the orphanage based model to the family based model of care for vulnerable children. In our previous blog I introduced you to phase one and phase two of our plan. We are working to develop daycare that is accessible to the average Tanzanian citizen. This will help both single mothers and fathers to be able to work to support their families knowing that their young children are in a safe place. We want to spread this resources through the city with an internship and support program designed to train women to run their own daycares in their area of Arusha. We believe that by offering this service we can strengthen the family unit, decrease the number of children growing up in institutions, increase the ability of single parents to find and keep jobs and improve the success of children entering school through preschool programs included in the daycare. If you would like to read more about what we believe and what are goals are, please see this link What We Believe.
So now you know the need, you see what we propose as a solution to this problem, you know that we have a passion for Tanzania, you have met the organization we are partnering with, you believe in the project… what next???
Here is the Nitty-Gritty, the bottom line, where we really could use your help. In case you are wondering, I am about to talk about money.
Here are some pictures of the future location of or project:
This building is being gifted to Walk In Love from another organization that decided to return to the States. Technically we are being given this building, however we do have to pay legal fees to get it transferred to our organization. As you can see from the pictures, the building is not finished. It also does not have water or electricity. Our vision and hope is that we can have our Phase one daycare up and running by the end of 2017. That means that we need to raise enough money to get the building completed. Here are the figures:Legal fees to transfer the building – $6,000 Solar power – $1,500 Well and water purification system – $2,500 Materials and labor to finish the building – $8,000 Playground equipment – $1,000 Furniture, equipment, ect – $1,000
Total Startup cost – $20,000
The feeling of knowing that you have contributed to keeping families together – priceless.
This will have us up and running in a building we own. The benefits of starting in a building that will be our permanent location are substantial. It is very difficult to start in a rental and then move to your permanent home. We should know, we have done that before. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to start in the place that will be the permanent home of Walk In Love Daycare training center.
The other need we have is our operating cost. One of our biggest goals is to honor our host culture by sticking as close to Tanzanian way of doing things as possible. This means we will not be cooking on a western stove or using western toilets or eating western food. There is nothing wrong with these things, but we are in Tanzania. Our kids will be living in Tanzanian homes, and the daycare needs to reflect this. Over the last three years one of our passions has become trying to resist the urge to Americanize our work. We really want to respect and empower our employees to take what they already know about raising kids, combine it with some of the things that are so important to child safety and development, such as hygiene and play, and come up with a daycare that is possible to replicate in locally owned daycares because it is so familiar to the culture. We also hope that this commitment to culture will help to keep our operating budget low. Here is the breakdown of our anticipated monthly cost:Staff Salaries – $800 Transportation – $200 Food (two meals per day, six days per week) – $700 Utilities – $200 Miscellaneous – $100
Total Monthly Expenses – $2,000
These numbers are estimated based on our experience of the cost of running an organization. They could change, but we are trusting that God will supply all we need. We are counting on Him to do what He has always done for us in the past and put these needs in the hearts of those who will be willing to support the ministry. I know the money is out there and will be made available to us as He sees fit. We are hoping that each of you reading this or listening to us speak or seeing our posts on social media will get excited about what we are doing and join us in this work. You may not have the ability to move over here, but you CAN be directly involved through your support.
Here is how you can help us – Give!! Give generously. One time gifts will go to our startup costs. We are believing that we will be up and running by January 2018, that means $20,000 in the next six months. To be up and running we also need an operational budget, that means $2000 per month in scheduled donations. Please be a part of our ministry. Please believe that ALL kids belong in a family and that supporting safe daycare is one way to make that happen.
Here is how to give:
To give to Walk In Love (tax ID: 46-1050025) in the following ways:1. Mail a check to: Walk In Love International . 12802 S Arapaho Drive . Olathe, KS 66062 2. Set up a bank transfer: Commerce Bank Olathe, Kansas . Routing number: 101000019 . Account number: 591025307 We are working on setting up a way to do easy online giving. As soon as that is available I will post that information here and on Facebook.
All donations are tax deductible and you will receive a statement at the end of the year. Also, please head over to our Facebook page and like and follow us there.
Our family is currently fully funded for our personal needs, so we would ask that all donations be sent to Walk In Love to be used by for our ministry. If you would like to gift us personal, please visit Our Donate Page for that information.