top of page
  • Writer's pictureSusanne


Updated: Jun 19


“When you discover your mission, it will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it...!” Update about the Work&Shop Creative Center:

We are on the move! We are in a positive flow and what started as an idea has now become a mission that we are working towards to bring into reality: the construction of a Work&Shop Creative Center for young craftsmen and women in Mwanza! In recent weeks we have had to arrange a lot of paperwork to register the Work&Shop with the government - and we succeeded! This was a condition of one of our larger (potential) donors.

We are extremely grateful to everyone who believes in our mission and supports us through a financial contribution, the exchange of ideas, or an enthusiastic response! Last April I was in the Netherlands for a while and visited a number of workshops in the Netherlands to gain more inspiration. Obviously these are workplaces that are not entirely feasible in our African context, but I was able to filter that. We also visited the Hout- en Meubileringscollege in Amsterdam and met the owner of the Vliegende Meubelmakers foundation, who enthusiastically talked about a possible practical exchange where experienced students can share their knowledge and skills with our craftsmen from the Work&Shop for a number of weeks. Very nice prospects!

In the context of transparency, I would like to give you an update on where we stand with fundraising. As you know, our goal amount is over 95,000. - euro. The costs of staff training, transportation of building materials, registration and purchase of land have already been covered (and partly implemented) and another 45,000. - euro is in pending application from other parties with the aim of building the Work&Shop.  If that is approved, we still have an outstanding amount of about 16,000. - euro to finish the workshop and be able to open our doors (assuming we don't have any major setbacks...)!

On Saturday (June 1) there will be another action organized by the Beemsterkerk where the donations will go to our project (read more in this blog how you can participate), as well as a collection on June 23rd in the Egelmunduskerk in Velsen.

Unfortunately, the '100x100 campaign' has not reached 100 donations, so we cannot raffle the plane ticket, but don't worry, because I would like to meet you with the following proposal: if you are one of the donors who has 100, - Euro donated and you come visit us in Tanzania, we will provide two free nights in Mwanza (including breakfast) with a cultural tour through the city! Please let us know in advance when you are coming this way. Tanzania is not a cheap holiday country, but it is one of those wonderful trips where the experiences will last a lifetime. Naturally, advice is to combine it with a safari and a few days on the beach on Zanzibar. Take a look at my friend's website . She and her husband organize beautiful safaris and retreats. There are also opportunities for sabbaticals and volunteer work, including a future collaboration with the Work&Shop!

Below is a photo of us. Jacob and Nelson also came to the Netherlands. More than two weeks immersed in all the wonderful things the Netherlands has to offer and the daily hugs from dear grandparents! As you can see we were nice and cold ;)

“Home is where the heart is.... “ We are going to build our house:

In recent months I have had to make big decisions. One of them is that I am going to sell my house in the Netherlands. I've been playing with the idea for some time and after a while this feeling became stronger and stronger. You can think and weigh as much in your head and ask those dangerous questions such as 'what if...' but ultimately your decision must feel right from the heart (and the stomach - why? You can read that later in this blog post ). I increasingly realize that life is NOW and that you have to make decisions about what is best for you in the current situation. My life and that of my partner and our children is now here in Mwanza, Tanzania. We really want to build a house where the children can grow up. A place they call home and where they can come back to when they are older. During my visit to the Netherlands I also realized even more that the Dutch way of life suits us less and that Mwanza has to offer everything we currently need. And that's not much, we live here more with 'the flow' and nature close by. Precisely because there is less available, life is quieter. Of course, we also have our challenges here (which we would not have in the Netherlands), but experience shows that nowhere is 'perfect'. It just depends on how you deal with the challenges. We bought the piece of land we want to build on more than two years ago and there is already a fence and the start of a small guest house. The coming period will therefore often be all about construction!

So far, we have been using our land to grow vegetables and we have also planted a number of fruit trees. See this big banana tree! Just wait a little longer and the bananas will be ripe... delicious!

"The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you..."

Sewing course for women in combination with life skills & business training:

As you know, we have not started any new women's groups within the Lulu project this year. Now of course we can't do nothing... Eliza and Teddy suggested organizing sewing lessons for women who would like to learn. Very good plan! They earn something from it and the machines we have are put to good use. We started last week with a small group and every afternoon we start with a theory lesson (including how to set up your own business) before we go into practice. The course lasts three months and then a new starter group can start and/or we also start an advanced group. They mainly learn to make clothes, school uniforms, and bags. I also participate - but on the electric sewing machine - and try to come up with new ideas that we can make.

The collaboration with the Mommaluv Foundation will also continue, simply because a small gesture of donating a maternity package can have such a positive impact on the mother and her newborn baby. So, the expectant mothers are not the Lulu students, but everyone we see who could use this help.

"Use your multiple brains to do cool things" four-day mBIT Training:

This month I was able to take a four-day course to become an mBIT Coach. mBIT stands for 'multiple Brain Integration Techniques' where you work with your multiple brains [Head-Heart-Gut] with the aim of living from your highest authentic self. It is based on the principle that we have all wisdom within us. Advice on how to generate and access the deeper layers of wisdom can be found in almost all spiritual traditions and philosophical directions in the world. Now mBIT is based on surprising insights from neuroscientific research. It is there where neuroscience meets ancient wisdom. From my background in Public Health, I think this is a super cool thing!

The highest expression of the heart is Compassion, of the head Creativity, and your gut Courage. When all three of your brains are in congruence, you can experience pure wisdom. Now I know that I spend a lot of time in my head. My heart 'shouts' something through it every now and then and my gut feeling (intuition) is strong, but she often does not get the respect she deserves (I now know).

I can remember brief moments when I really felt 'in flow' and experienced those three expressions, but I would like to do this more often and now through the training I have learned tools to help yourself (and others) with this. Soooo cool!

At the end of the 2nd training day, we were asked to first do the breathing exercise before going to sleep (the way to get your brain in congruence) and ask your gut brain for a dream. The next morning, I woke up and all I could remember was holding a sword. That morning, we started the training by drawing a spiritual card and I drew Ariadne 's card. In brief, Ariadne was a Greek goddess and half human. Her father had given her the responsibility of guarding the labyrinth where a monster, Minotour, lived. One day a heroic man named Theseus wanted to kill the monster and Ariadne fell in love with him. She gave him a sword to kill the monster so Theseus could get out of the labyrinth. All in all, Ariadne symbolizes the love and support that becomes available when we dare to be brave. That being brave is always rewarded one way or another. Courage is also needed, for example, to break with old patterns (think of the labyrinth) or routines that no longer serve us. Sometimes it can feel like you can't move forward, but trust that your soul will always find a way out. My soul knows the way and the only way out is through.

"Cleaning up. It seems simple... and it is"

WELCOME to the Zin&Zooi Flea Market in and around the Z-INN Chapel in Zuidoostbeemster on Saturday June 1! The proceeds go (partly) to the Work&Shop!

With beautiful things, coffee with home-baked cakes, a nice BBQ, a raffle with many prizes, and much more... From 12 noon almost everything is half price. If you have nice items to donate to the flea market (no electrical appliances), the collection day is Thursday, May 30 between 8 am and 7 pm at the Z-INN Chapel Prinses Wilhelminasingel 39 in Zuidoostbeemster. Items from Tanzania will also be sold. Welcome!

Kind regards from Mwanza,






7 views0 comments


bottom of page