Tonight I finally finished preparing a package to my sponsored child in Tanzania. Her name is Miriamu and she is 6 years old. Sponsoring a child is something I have wanted to do for a very long time. I was never quite sure I could commit to it financially, however, and didn’t want to start something I couldn’t continue.
Earlier this year my perspective changed. I started thinking about the net positive impact it could have on a child and her family’s life and stopped worrying about the annual financial contribution I would have to make. So I did my research, settled on an organization and found Miriamu. I knew I wanted to sponsor a child in Tanzania. Why? Because I have plans to be there in the not-so-distant future and I wanted to ensure an opportunity to someday meet this child and better understand her life.
About a month or so ago, I received a letter from her. She shared with me a little bit about her family, her village, and her life. This is her story…
Miriamu is the youngest of 6 children and lives in Kyengege village in the Singida region of Tanzania. She has two brothers – Japhet (age 22) and Michael (age 19) and three sisters – Martha (age 14), Msalawelu (age 11) and Ulanzita (age 9).
She is in grade 1 at her primary school and her favourite subject is reading. Love that! She lives with both her parents, John and Nooma who are in good health. They are subsistence farmers who grow food to eat – not to sell – and therefore, unfortunately, live below the poverty line.
It all comes back to the environment… Hear me out. Subsistence farming is a last resort for many in sub-Saharan Africa after years of instituting monocultures. Monocultures leave crops susceptible to new pests and diseases. Conventional agricultural methods which were previously thought to increase yields, are proving to do the opposite in especially impoverished rural parts of Tanzania.
There are ways to combat this – such as using highly effective organic matter to fertilize and improve soil fertility – instead of industrial fertilizers. Issues like sustainable agriculture and forestry have become very important in countries like Kenya and Tanzania. But the reality is that access to information and resources is what will really make the difference.
As much as I am delighted to play a part in Miriamu’s life, I have a feeling that I won’t for some time know the impact she will have on my life. But first I have to learn Swahili. 🙂