Community

Rotarian Gary Callero shares look at efforts to help women, orphans in Tanzania

Gary Callero will speak about humanitarians effort in Southern Tanzania that help orphaned children, when he visits the Snoqualmie Valley Rotary Club this Thursday, Nov. 21.

Rotary meets at 7 a.m. at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.

A Seattle native, Callero will speak about the Mwangaza Foundation, Kirkland, which supports the Songea Women and Children Care Organization in Songea, Tanzania.

The Mwangaza Foundation was founded by Ms. Flora Komba, an émigré from Tanzania who settled in Kirkland. She grew up in Tanzania and with the rise of HIV/AIDS, extreme poverty, broken families and abuse; she often attended different communal mourning ceremonies. Flora observed that after communal mourning, children of the deceased parents were given to different people who would care for them. This practice was often detrimental for the child. They were often abused and uncared for. Flora remembers in 1980 a friend named Mwanaisha lost her parents and was taken in by her aunt. The aunt, a witchdoctor, prevented Mwanaisha from going to school and ordered her to work as a witchdoctor, and eventually married her off.

Flora was concerned and burdened by how the future of children from surrounding villages in Tanzania were so limited by their circumstances. For orphaned children without parents, they were lucky to survive and were rarely educated.

The Mwangaza Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States. It provides support including shelter, food, water, education, medical care and love to many of the most vulnerable children in the Songea District, Ruvuma Region of Southern Tanzania. “Mwangaza” is a Swahili word which means “vision for self-reliance” and it expresses the principles of hard work and empowerment for humanity.

 

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