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  • Writer's pictureSusanne

'Work of the hearts' & visit to the Netherlands

Starting a new project is not something easy. It requires a lot of energy, motivation, and patience. Together with others you have a plan in mind and the trick is to get the right people on board (to enthuse) step by step, each of whom plays his/her part in the development process. And if you want a project to be supported by the community, it is important to involve people from the start. People work is 'heart work'! And I like to use my head, which can organize and think it all out reasonably well, but without my heart I don't get far in practice. Sometimes I have to 'stand still' and feel what a good next step would be.

The last few weeks have been all about fundraising. Sincerely from my heart I am extremely grateful to everyone who has made their contribution! The counter currently stands at 10,500 euros and donations are still coming in! The 100x100 campaign with the chance to win a ticket to Tanzania has also been extended until April 31! Because next Sunday I will fly to the Netherlands with the aim of boosting fundraising and meeting potential donors who are interested in making a substantial contribution. I find it extremely exciting (I feel it in my heart!), but I am also very much looking forward to further spreading the project plan. So if you still want to have a chance to win a ticket (we have to reach 100 donations, see this post with the conditions) then transfer your donation via our GoFundMe page. Thank you so much!

I often share short updates via my personal Facebook and LinkedIn page. We introduce the team to you, Elizabeth has started her Business Course, and Ester tells us in a video why the Work&Shop is so important for the young talents in Mwanza.

The realization of the Work&Shop Creative Center will be a team effort and I couldn't do it without these three talents:

Laurent - our Site Manager who will supervise the construction activities.

Elizabeth - our Sales & Finance Officer responsible for accounting and later also more sales/marketing activities.

Ester - our Government & Community Liaison responsible for communication with government and engagement with the local community.

I have been working with Elizabeth for four years now and I know her to be a very hardworking, smart and trusting woman. She never had the chance to continue her studies (after high school), until now.... With HUGE THANKS to everyone who made this possible, she started a Business course (1 year) in preparation for her new role as Sales & Finance Officer.

Ester shares with you in the video below why the Work&Shop is so important for the young community in Mwanza. Ester is an experienced sign-language teacher and is passionately committed to the deaf community in Mwanza. Since it is in Swahili and adding subtitles unfortunately did not work during editing, here is the translation:

“Hello, good day everyone! My name is Ester Sanga and I am part of this project to realize a beautiful workplace for craftsmen and women. We have a wish that if you are able to support, please support us, because here in Tanzania there is a high need for a place like this. There are qualified people but many do not have a place to work. As well there a people with disabilities who are capable, for example we have people with hearing impairments (deaf), but they do not have the resources to make their crafts. So please, if you can - SUPPORT US!”

Next Sunday we will fly to the Netherlands and stay for three weeks. Unfortunately, Lau cannot come, but Jacob and Nelson can. We have had an intensive week with Nelson because he was admitted to hospital with acute pneumonia. So intense to see your baby like this. You are suddenly in care mode 24/7 and everything around you is no longer important. I recently read the words below (from Donna Ashworth's book Wild Hope) about parenting . It sounds a bit intense 'wearing your heart outside of your body..' but sometimes I really experience it that way! This also applies to Jacob, who is now 11 years old and is looking for more (healthy) freedom.

'Being a parent is like wearing your heart outside of your body. Then, after years spent nurturing, growing, protecting, keeping alive, letter that heart wander off on its own, into a world we know, can do so much harm to it. And all we can hope for, is that our hearts call home, updates us sometimes, with their stories, their safety, their happiness, their troubles. We can only wish that we will be asked to help mend that heart when needed, a job we have long trained in. Being a parent is like wearing your heart outside of your body, and knowing that's exactly where it's supposed to be.'

Netherlands - here we come! We have a busy schedule, but who knows, we might manage to see each other? I can be reached via WhatsApp +255747996751.

Photo: see our three men grow up! Willy, Nelson, and Jacob



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