[UPDATE: Looking for more details? Want to know more about our Alternative Wedding Shower or the outcomes of Project Tanzania? No problem! Check out the links or go to the Saying I Do category on this blog.]
In my last post, I shared news that come August I will be witnessing the sun rise and set on the migratory plains of the Serengeti and a top the tallest mountain in all of Africa. Welcome to Tanzania 2009. Mike and I will be taking an early “honeymoon” with a little adventure, wildlife and a whole lotta heart. We will, of course, be visiting a sweet girl named Miriamu who lives in Singida, Tanzania. It is our hope that more than spoons and linens, you can share in our contribution to Miriamu and her community, to truly build a life.
I know, dear friends and family, you may wonder about us. Feel free to chuckle to yourselves and utter to the heavens: “Oh those crazy kids! What have they gotten themselves into THIS time?!” I am sure that people are already placing bets on whether we will survive this trip. Well bet all you want and say what you like. We will see you back on Canadian soil end of August 2009 with tanned skin, big smiles and full hearts. Mark my words. 🙂
So here it is…Project Tanzania 2009 – sponsored by iNSPiRED PRACTiCE and K&M’s Wedding.
Do you remember your fifth birthday? Did you have a big cake with fluffy white frosting and five candles? Did you have hugs and kisses from family members? Laughs and smiles with your friends and family? Were you healthy and happy?
The idea of helping kids survive their 5th birthday may seem extraordinary for those of us who live in a country with universal health care, emergency food services, running water, low infant mortality and generally, good quality of life. There are children here who have to fight for their lives at a very early age due to congenital defects, disease and developmental challenges. Many of those kids beat the odds, thankfully and grow to be perfect versions of themselves – happy and fulfilled.
Unfortunately, in Tanzania, making it past your fifth birthday is by no means a given. The infant mortality rate in the country is 70.46 deaths per 1,000 live births. Canada’s infant mortality rate is 5.08 deaths per live births. Poverty, malnutrition, disease, and drought make each year a life-or-death struggle for millions.
In 2008, World Vision started a program called Survive 5 aimed at reducing child deaths from malnutrition, pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea and other major childhood diseases. Survive 5 provides bed nets, vitamin A capsules, vaccines, antibiotics and other items to help children survive past the age of five.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (which was ratified incidentally on November 20, 1989 – my birthday and the year my brother was born) identifies access to health care as a basic human right to which all children are entitled. While there are many worthy issues to address in developing countries, health is perhaps the most deserving. Without health, you cannot overcome poverty, conflict or despair.
Through the understanding and generosity of my parents and the administrative support of iNSPiRED PRACTiCE, Mike and I have proposed the idea that in lieu of wedding gifts we would like to encourage anyone and everyone to generously contribute to Project Tanzania 2009 and directly to the regional Survive Five program in Tanzania. In addition to the Survive Five program, Mike and I will be bringing educational gifts and school supplies for the 100 or so children who attend school with Miriamu.
Information will be posted on the iNSPiRED PRACTiCE website and blog shortly with details on how you can contribute. Family and friends will receive information via mail and an invitation to our “alternative wedding shower” which will take place Sunday, August 30.