You never know what might come from something as simple as walking down the road to teach a bible class. Emily Broadbent from Billings, Montana visited Neema in February and she came with the idea of walking down the dirt road in front of Neema and just see if any children were interested in a bible lesson.
Yes, they were, especially since we had bubbles and candy!
We stopped at a lady’s house and the children came from all directions. She was very kind and brought out chairs and benches for us to sit on. We blew bubbles, passed out candy, sang songs and Emily got to teach her class about the birth of Jesus.
We have since gotten to know the sweet lady who shared her yard that day. Her name is Happy Mollel. Below is a picture of Happy in front of her kitchen behind her house.
She is the mother of seven children and tries to make extra money for her family by buying milk and reselling it to make a small profit. Her problem is that quite often her children need the milk so she is not able to sell very much.
With Casey McMullen and Lexi Koon from Abilene Christian University, two business majors spending the summer at Neema, we decided to visit Happy and see if she would be interested in starting a business though our MAP (Mothers Against Poverty) program. We talked for a while about things she might could do to make extra money for her family and finally realized that she loved to fix hair. She sits outside her house and fixes her neighbors hair but she had never dreamed that she might someday have a chance to have her own business.
And so we talked and listened to Happy talk about her idea and watched as that spark of hope grew in her eyes. We got pretty excited with her.
To begin this entrepreneurial journey with Happy, we decided it would be best if she did an apprenticeship at one of the busy hair salons in downtown Arusha. We found a successful shop that agreed to take her on as an apprentice and now Happy rides the Dala Dala to the shop downtown on Tuesdays through Saturdays. They are teaching her everything she will need to know to start a business. She is loving it and we are so excited to be a part of this with her.
One of our volunteers from Houston, Lori Thompson had her hair braided by a Neema nanny. Very Pretty Lori!
The total cost for a three months apprenticeship, lunch and transport for Happy to learn the hair business is $261. dollars. When we told Happy we wanted to help her get started in her business she could not stop shaking our hands and thanking us and asking God to bless us. I wish you could see the light of hope as it comes to women like Happy when they realize they might actually have a chance to do something to help their family. We are thrilled to be a part of this incredible dream for Happy.
Wouldn’t it be just the coolest thing for some established beauty salon in the U. S. to partner with an enterprising, hard working woman in Africa in her dream to help her family by fixing hair! By helping Happy pay for her $261 dollar apprenticeship you can be a part of changing the lives of this family in Africa!! Just put a can at the desk in your shop with Happy’s picture and see how fast your customers will fill it for you!! I think your heart will be filled up too, I know ours is.
You can donate any amount on line at www.neemavillage.org. To make sure it is tax deductible for you please do not put an individual name on the donation. Just put MAP program at Neema Village. Who knows you might come to Africa someday and need a new hair do like Lori!!
And to think it all came from a walk down a dirt road to teach a bible class! God is amazing!
We commissioned an artist at the Maasai market to design an icon for our women’s center. Isn’t this bold and beautiful!! Notice the baby on the back.
Love to all you dream makers out there,
Dorris and Michael