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A Baby On Her Lap

A Baby On He Lap

April 9, 2019

Our daughter, Kim White, has been at Neema Village for three months handling the volunteer coordinating and the bookkeeping.  We are so proud of the work she has done in the office, getting more procedures set up in Quickbooks for Priscilla, designing Excel spreadsheets to keep better records in the office, setting up shared folders so we can all see volunteer schedules, handling payday, balancing the books and she has not lost a single volunteer!

She has done an especially awesome job with volunteers; meeting new volunteers at the airport, arguing with the airport customs inspector for them, giving introduction tours to the work at Neema Village, (below greeting Caroline and Luna from Belgium) and

Taking volunteers to exchange money and to the market, getting nightly supper on the table, making sure everything works in the house, giving out keys, scheduling bed space, helping them plan safaris, giving them available opportunities to see the different areas of our work, checking on the sick ones, counseling the troubled ones and daily (sometimes hourly) answering the myriad of questions in emails before volunteers come to Africa like “Will I be safe?” or, “I want to come next week, is that ok?’ (we are now booking many of the busy months one year in advance!) or, “Can you pay my way so I can come hold the Babies?” or “Can I have my own private room? (FYI, we operate like summer camp!!) and “I can only eat …” Really??!  And she has handled it all without pay and with Grace and a whole lot of tact.  

All we could say as we watched her work was, “Wow!”

Her husband, Bruce the Saint, let her come for three months while he stayed home in Wisconsin to work.  Kim has paid her own way to come and live at Neema and is a volunteer herself just like the volunteers she serves.  She is also on the board of Directors of Neema Village. Kim and Bruce have two children both out of college now.  Below is Kim, Bekah, me and granddaughter Maria at one of the many breakfasts at the volunteer house.

Kim was three months old in 1965 when we first came to Africa. Growing up to the age of six in southern Tanzania as a missionary kid, she spoke perfect Swahili, helped skin animals for meat, played in a river with crocodiles (once),  had her diapers washed in a muddy river, named her cat “KLMNOP,” had a monkey bite her on the leg, had a leopard eat her dog, and camped in tents with lions walking around. It is always a wonder for us that our children survived!! Kim says we must have walked around in a God Bubble!

It looks like she is still doing wild and crazy stuff!

Africa is in her blood and Neema Village is in her heart. She dearly loves the babies and worked many days in the office with a baby on her lap. But the big kids are her favorites. 

Three months away from her husband and children has been a sacrifice for her and her family but she has done it with great love and commitment to God and her enduring love of the Neema babies. She left for America today. We will miss her beyond words! 

Jesus tells us, “Everyone who has left brothers, sisters or father, or mother, or children for my sake will receive a hundred times as much.”

Be Blessed a Hundred Times Dear Heart!

Proud Mom and Dad

Living in Africa With a Handicap

 

January 2019

Living in Africa With a Handicap

I can’t imagine what living in Africa must be like for a child with a handicap.

It would be hard enough in England, America or Australia where every kind of government help known to man is available. But here in Africa there is nothing and children are hidden in back rooms, neglected, abused, made to beg on the street like the little girl pictured above or worse just not fed. In the old days those babies were put outside the boma for the hyenas. Sorry to write that, I know it makes you sick at your stomach, it does me too.

We met this mom with a handicap child this week. We deal with so many moms at Neema Village through our MAP program, whose husbands have left because their child was born with a handicap or birth defect. There must be a stigma about that. The young mom above had to move back home with her mother who has no income and lives in a mud hut. She thought she could start a milk/cow business.

Pendo’s husband left her after the birth of little Calvin who was born handicapped. Pictured above, she is one of our successful MAP moms today. She started an Internet/Fresh Juice Bar. We provided her with some computer training, she did not know how to turn a computer on at first! Then we gave her a computer which Mariya had brought from Germany and now she charges by the hour for people to use her computer in her shop to search the web for jobs or products while they drink her fresh juice.

Sophia and her little boy, Martin above, were left destitute when the husband left so she began getting up at 3am in the morning to make mandazis (like a donut) to have money so they could eat. She stood out on the street to sell them to people on their way to work. Sophia has had a rough year but hopefully is back on track now with her MAP program. When these women who have been so poor get a little money they want to buy more than they can afford and still have money to run their business. Sometimes the husband who sees his wife now has money comes back and wants the money. We know we won’t win them all but we try. But we are glad Sophia is back in her shop and making mandazis.

The little fellow with a missing hand pictured above, was also deserted by his dad. His mom has five children and a kind lady has let them live in her rent house. The family has no income and is allowed to get only one bucket of water a week. The kids are dirty with horrible sores on their heads. She cried when we came to help.

The children pictured below are fortunate ones. They are in school and learning new things, They are curious, energetic, determined, tenacious, well fed and happy. I seriously doubt any of them would be alive today if God had not intervened.

Malikia, a twin born blind, is in boarding school in Moshi and comes home to Neema on school breaks. She is going to be a music teacher when she grows up.

Above Elesha, born with Bells Syndrome, is at Neema and doing well in school. He is one of our big kids now. I love this picture of him above taken the first day he was put in the walker because he looked so happy. He runs everywhere by himself now.

Editha is making progress by leaps and bounds. She loves to clap and can mouth the words to songs now. Who knows what this child will be able to do in the future.

Above, Loitapuaki was born four hours after his twin. The doctor says he was pulled out with crude forceps like they use out in remote Maasai villages. His head was so damaged the doctor thought he would not survive. He is three years old now. Our nannies love him and he is fed everyday through a tube Bekah put in his stomach. That is easier for him because he gags so much trying to swallow and breath at the same time. We will love him as long as we can.

And there are other mothers and grandmothers like the one above who are dealing everyday with handicap children. They cannot go to work because there is no place that will take the babies. God is dealing with us about this. We need a day care for handicap children. Social Welfare tells us there is not one in Arusha, a town of 1.6 million. Mama Musa, our Managing Director, who is on the governing board of all day cares and orphanages in Arusha says there is not one that will take a handicap child. She has tried to find one. Our Neema Board and Social Welfare have given us the go ahead to open one. All we need is money. And a bit of courage too.

Michael and Dorris Fortson

Founders and Directors of Neema Village

The Daily Life of a Family Volunteering at Neema Village

January 2019

The Daily Life of a Family Volunteering at Neema Village

Ever wondered what it could be like for your family to volunteer at Neema? Let Tammy Burns from Bastrop,Texas tell you:·

As Christmas 2018 was approaching, our family (Ed, Tammy, Nathan, and Denise Burns) were eagerly preparing for our trip to Neema Village in Arusha, Tanzania.

Our flight out of Houston left on December 27 and we arrived on December 28 and were warmly welcomed by Neema Village staff at the airport. After an hour drive from the airport we arrived at Neema and, exhausted, immediately went to bed.  We woke up on Saturday morning to the beautiful and breathtaking view that is Neema Village. All those that stay and work at Neema get to enjoy this beauty from God every day. God is amazing!  

Safina, the cook at the volunteer house always has a wonderful breakfast of biscuits and gravy, or pancakes, or French toast ready for the volunteers to enjoy.

Our first day Dorris gave us a tour and we got to see the homes where the children live, the vegetable garden, the flower garden, the chickens and cows, and the new Mothers Against Poverty home. The large vegetable garden is producing food for Neema Village to use, and they are getting large supplies of milk from the cows, as well as many eggs from the chickens. Fifty-five Tanzanians work here and keep everything running smoothly, which is so wonderful to see.  Those are beautiful strawberry plants Tammy and Ramah are checking out below.

We got to spend a good part of the day playing with the children. What a treat for us! The children love to spend time with the volunteers, and we love to be with them, as well. 

Late in the afternoon on our first day, we had a concert by our son Nathan Burns and McKenna Walton, another volunteer here at the time. All the children and nannies attended the concert which included violin and guitar music. Mckenna is a yodeling performer and Nathan plays the violin. Surprisingly it went together very well. The children were entranced by the beautiful sounding instruments. They had never seen a violin before. After Nathan and McKenna played, the nannies led us in some Swahili songs which was so beautiful. Another day the whole family got to play and sing with the children.

On Sunday, we attended a Tanzanian church and took a number of the older children with us, and we had the privilege of worshiping God in another culture. The Tanzanians LOVE music and LOVE to sing!! After church, Dorris and Michael took all of us out for lunch, and we had a great time of fellowship. Later in the day, we spent several more hours holding babies and playing with the older children. 

Monday, we did a craft with the children ages 3-6 with some craft supplies that we had brought along with us. It was so much fun to watch the children working with the beads, and they were so proud of their work. We spent some time in the garden, picking vegetables and transplanting some plants. There is such a variety of things to participate in here at Neema Village. That is Mercy with stars on her head below, or is that identical twin Mary??

Tuesday, we watched Sophia teach music class to the children ages 3-6, while the toddlers observed and the volunteers held babies.  Music is such a big part of the culture here in Tanzania. Tuesday was New Year’s Day, so some of the workers were barbecuing a goat. We had a fun lunch in town instead, but when we arrived home to play with the kids, we stopped in the kitchen and had a sample of the goat meat. It was delicious. So many great cultural experiences!! That is Bryan, an abandoned baby pictured below with Tammy.

During the rest of the week, we spent time leading Bible time with some of the children, feeding the babies, asking children to teach us some Swahili, visiting with nannies, getting to know some of the other workers here, playing on the playground with the children, reading books to our assigned children, eating meals with Dorris and Michael, getting to know their daughter Bekah, eating African food made by the cooks, doing a little gardening, putting babies to bed, and taking kids swimming in a local pool on Friday.  On Thursday, Ed and Nathan joined Safina in the weekly trip to the market to purchase the large amounts of food needed to feed all the workers and children here. Wow! It was amazing to watch all that goes on in bartering and purchasing all the food and supplies. 

Friday we went on a safari to Tarangire National Park and saw so many different kinds of animals and birds, including a lion chase of a wart hog. There were lots of elephants!

On Saturday we took Malikia to her school for the blind in Moshi, where she attends several semesters every year. It was good to see that she was happy to be there and to start school again. She, of course, sang for us almost the whole way there!

On the way home from Moshi, we took an adventurous ride through some villages in a couple of tuk tuks, an unsafe cloth covered tricycle of sorts. We swam at Magi Moto (Hot Water), a pond fed by a thermal spring, which was quite refreshing on a hot day. 

On another day, we journeyed a couple of hours out to a Maasai village to pick up Joshua, one of the Neema babies grown up now and attending school in Arusha. What a privilege to spend an hour in a Maasai village, where they welcomed us and showed us around their homes and their chicken business which Neema helped begin for them. We were excited to hear that they are now making money from selling eggs! 

 Before we left the women wanted to pray for Joshua and for Neema Village. It was so touching to hear these women who have so little thank God for their lives and see the impact Neema Village is making on so many lives.

As we prepare to leave in a couple of days, we know we will miss this place, where there is so much love, constant activity and fun times! It will be hard to leave.

The Burns Family has promised to return, we will hold them to it!! Love you guys!

Second Update… 2019 Kilimanjaro Charity Climb

Neema Village Announces

3rd Annual Kilimanjaro Charity Climb

Climb Dates: July 4 – 11, 2019

Watch the Video!  You too can do this! 

It is not too late to sign up for one of the most challenging, exhilarating, and rewarding experiences of your life.  Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, 19, 341 feet (5895 meters.)  All of our previous climbers will attest that it is one of the most exciting things they have every done!  Our success rate for the Neema Village Charity climb is that 28 out of 29 climbers made it to the summit!  That is almost 97% success!  You can do it!  Plus, you can help raise needed funds and awareness for Neema Village, a rescue center for orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk babies.

 Factoring in travel and a day or two before the climb and/or after the climb to visit Neema Village and/or take a great safari, climbers will need to block off the first two weeks of July.

 This Charity Climb will benefit Neema Village.  Climbers from the 2018 Kili Climb were able to give Neema Village over $20,000 by soliciting donations!

Costs for the climb are $2350 for climb fees and three nights at Moivaro Lodge (food and lodging included, based on 10 climbers),  about $2000 for airline ticket, plus your incidental expenses which vary depending on the climber’s tastes.

 Itinerary

 July 2019

1   Monday Depart Home

2   Tuesday Arrive Tanzania

      Overnight Moivaro Coffee Lodge

3   Wednesday Day at Neema Village

      Overnight Moivaro Coffee Lodge

4   Thursday Travel Moshi

      Day 1 Climb

5   Friday Day 2 Climb

6   Saturday Day 3 Climb

7   Sunday Day 4 Climb

8   Monday Day 5 Climb

9   Tuesday Day 6 Climb

10 Wednesday Day 7 Climb

       Summit

11 Thursday Day 8 Descend to base

       Overnight Moivaro Coffee Lodge

                            Option 1                          Option 2*                         Option 3**

12  Friday          Visit Neema Village      Visit Neema Village      Visit Neema Village

                             Depart Tanzania           One day Safari*             Two day Safari**

13  Saturday     Arrive Home                   Visit Neema House       Safari 

                                                                        Depart Tanzania

14  Sunday                                                    Arrive Home                  Visit Neema Village

                                                                                                                   Church

                                                                                                                   Depart Tanzania

15  Monday                                                                                             Arrive Home

 *For a one day safari to Tarangeri National Park, add about $225

**For a two day safari to Tarangeri and the Ngorongoro Crater, add about $550

***Longer stays can be arranged for either a Safari to the Serengeti, or more time to volunteer at Neema House.

If you are interested in signing up or receiving more information, please contact Michael Fortson by email at:  michael@neemavillage.org

If you are ready sign up, please open this document link, print, complete, and return the reservation form.  Reservation Form

 Please pass this information on to others who you think might be interested in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa.

Ringing Out 2018

 

Ringing Out 2018

December 29

With three days left in this year, today we were called to the hospital to receive this little one, a one month old pre-mature baby boy who weighs just 1.7 kg ( 3.75 lbs). But the year is not quite done and we could be called again before the end of the year. This is what we do. We rescue abandoned, orphaned, and at-risk babies!

2018 has been a quite a year here at Neema Village. We started the year with 46 babies and children under our roof and have ended with 60. Remember we only take babies under the age of two years. We began the month of November with 64 babies! And of that number, 25 were under the age of 6 months! Can you imagine? This year we received 30 new babies into our care from Social Welfare. We saw 4 adoptions, and we were able to reunite 29 children with their extended families. To help with all the babies, we had 205 volunteers stay in our volunteer house! We love volunteers; maybe 2019 will be your year to come and help!

Our new MAP home, “The Koala House” has been used countless times for classes and seminars for the women. And 23 women have been set up in new businesses through that program!

We have been busy this year! And all of this has been done by the Abundant Grace of God; Praise His Name!

God has used many people to donate their time and money to help Neema Village in 2018. Neema operates only by charitable donations. To the many, many people who have generously given financially this year, we say Thank You! Many have made special gifts just in the last few weeks. Because of your generous and faithful hearts, we have finished the year in the Green and not the Red!

Perhaps you have not made your year-end,  tax-deductible, donation. It is not too late! We count on end of the year donations to have a good start in the next year. We pray that you will consider gifting Neema Village with an end of the year donation, if you haven’t already. You can make the gift on-line through our website: www.neemavillage.org or go directly to: https://swp.paymentsgateway.net/co/default.aspx?pg_api_login_id=KKuhXavq14

Alternatively, you may mail a check to:

Neema Village

P. O. Box 21553

Waco, TX 76702

You may wish to sponsor one of these babies who are still needing sponsors: Abigael, Baraka #4, Baraka #5, Bryson, Christopher #2, David (twin), Dennis (twin), Ebenezer, Edward (triplet), Elcram (twin), Elham (twin), Eliah, Elisha (triplet), Esther (triplet), Josephine. Majaliwa, Nammyaki, Ruth, Sasha. Sharon #2, Yohana, Zablon (twin), Dorcas

We pray that you had a wonderful Christmas and that the New Year will bring God’s abundant blessings!

Michael and Dorris Fortson, Founders/Directors

Neema Village

www.neemavillage.org

The Perfect Christmas Gift

 

December 19, 2018

“The Perfect Christmas Gift”

What do you get someone who already has the perfect Christmas gift? 

You see, we really do… already have The Perfect Gift. It came over 2,000 years ago, wrapped in starlight and hay and in one of those shockingly expensive, one-of-a-kind singing gift cards. 

We can’t top that! The Perfect Christmas Gift has been done!  And it’s one of those gifts that can’t get broken, or lost or stolen or rusted. And it feels new every time you open it!  

And the really good thing about it is that it’s mine, all mine… and it’s yours, all yours too for the asking. Don’t ask me how they do that, they just do!

There is a gift that The Perfect Gift would love, I’m quite sure of it. Another little baby, and this one too is a little rough around the edges, it’s been through a lot, it might be bruised and definitely messy. But precious beyond words to The Gift. Yes, He would love it, I’m sure.

So if you’re pondering this Christmas what to get someone who already has it all, here’s a thought!

Sponsor a baby in Africa for a year in someone else’s honor, in their name, so they get the picture for the fridge and the progress reports through out the year. Then just send them a Christmas card that says,

“I’m sending you a baby for Christmas!” That will get their heart bumping, I’m sure of it!

You can pick out your gift to give at www.neemavillage.org under “Neema Babies.” Let me know if the instructions are not clear or if you need help with assembling.  dorris.fortson@yahoo.com

No wrapping needed.  Happy Shopping!! 

Below is an example and a complete list of precious gifts whom no one has chosen.


Abigael

Baraka #4

Baraka #5

Bryson

Christopher #2

David (twin)

Dennis (twin)

Ebenezer (pictured above)

Edward (triplet)

Elcram (twin)

Elham (twin)

Eliah

Elisha (triplet)

Esther (triplet)

Josephine

Majaliwa

Nammyaki

Ruth

Sasha

Sharon #2

Yohana

Zablon (twin)

Dorcas

Michael and Dorris Fortson,

Santa’s Helpers at

Neema Village

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

November 2018

“It’s my first lamb!”  Mariya Halapi was quite touched yesterday when Mama Iddi gave her a little lamb. I think we were all touched by yesterday’s events when one of our MAP widows, Mama Iddi and her handicap granddaughter got to move into their new home. It was quite a day.

Mama Iddi has been keeping her 12 year old abandoned granddaughter in her home where part of the wall had fallen in and she had hung an old tarp over the hole. There were large cracks in the back of the house and so many holes in the roof that she walked in mud inside the house when it rained. It was unsafe to say the least.

We had been out to visit Mama Iddi with some friends in August and were so saddened by her living conditions that we decided Neema, through the generosity of friends and the MAP program, could help.

We had planned at first to shore up the house, patch the cracks, put on a new tin roof and paint the house. But when our builders got started they realized none of the house was worth saving. So they bulldozed it and started from ground up. We took Mama Iddi and her granddaughter out yesterday to see the completed house for the first time. I realize this may not look like much to you but to this widow living in extreme poverty it is a mansion.

 

While the builders were working on her house for a couple of months, we had moved Mama Iddi and her granddaughter to a room down the street from Neema. We had also started her in a chicken/egg business through Neema’s MAP program. So the first thing we had to do yesterday was move the chickens. That was fun, feathers flapping and all!

All the neighbors came out to help including this handsome young man. He said he remembered a bible class we had done at his house a few years ago. Emily Broadbent, look how he has grown!

After getting all the chickens together we loaded up the trailer and our car along with the squawking chickens, the chicken coop, volunteers and Mama Iddi with everything she owned in the world and drove to her new home. She had not seen it painted nor the inside of the house, so we were all pretty excited for her.

She looked around at the metal windows, the creamy yellow walls and the smooth cement floor and all she could say was Wow, Wow! I felt like we were on that TV show where they blindfold people and reveal their remodeled house and everyone cries!

After the Wows! were over, we prayed with her and asked God to bless the house and her family with peace and that no harm would come to her while she lived there. Then the builders and volunteers all gathered round and sang, “Mungu ni Pendo”, an old African song that means God is Love.

Click this link to see video of singing:  https://youtu.be/MwBQ9bk19PU

We got the hugs yesterday from Mama Iddi but we know those hugs and blessings were really for those of you who made this new home possible for her. We love for our volunteers like Sophie Line (pictured below) and Linda Johnson, (she was helping with the chickens in one of the pictures above), to see the Goodness of God at work in Africa.

Thank you dear hearts for your loving care of widows and orphans.  I think surely nothing is closer to God’s heart than these.  We are so grateful that every day we get to be Administrators of His Abounding Grace.

Michael and Dorris www.neemavillage.org

For your enjoyment, below are three happy Neema babies, Isaac, Neema Grace and Sara.

 

2019 Kilimanjaro Charity Climb Benefiting Neema Village

Neema Village Announces

3rd Annual Kilimanjaro Charity Climb

Climb Dates: July 4 – 11, 2019

Details of the climb are still being worked out, but if you are interested in joining us as we climb the tallest mountain in Africa, 19, 341 feet, you need to begin planning now. It is a fantastic experience and challenge.

 Factoring in travel and a day or two before the climb and/or after the climb to visit Neema Village and/or take a great safari, climbers will need to block off the first two weeks of July.

This Charity Climb will benefit Neema Village.  Climbers from the 2018 Kili Climb were able to give Neema Village over $20,000 by soliciting donations!

Costs for the climb are  about $2170 for climb fees (food and lodging included), about $2000 for airline ticket, and your incidental expenses which vary depending on the climber’s tastes.

 If you are interested in signing up or receiving more information, please contact Michael Fortson by email at:  michael@neemavillage.org

Please pass this information on to others who you think might be interested in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa.

Way More Good Than Bad

October 15, 2018

With sixty one babies and big kids at Neema Village now, I Imagine it is a loud and messy place. It is also quite wonderful.  Two new babies came to Neema a few days ago. Emily says they are very tiny and fragile.  The top one is named Rachel and the little one pictured below doesn’t have a name yet.  I’m sorry to show you the pictures but this is who they are and I want you to know them.

 

I know this is hard to look at but they look like skeleton babies, don’t they?  It is even hard to write that. Our hearts break for them and I wish we were there to hold them and keep them warm and safe and tell them they will be okay. 
We will love them until a new family member can be found to care for them or they can be adopted.  It is never our goal to keep these little ones. “No baby belongs in an orphanage” is our motto, even though I continue to stress that we are not an orphanage. We are a rescue center.
Until the babies have their forever families they will need sponsors. Please go to www.neemavillage.org and sign up to care for these little ones.
Pictured below, Baby Baraka #4,  came to Neema on Thursday.
He was born at home and shortly after the birth the mom developed complications with the placenta. She died on the way to the hospital. I sigh with deep frustration each time this happens.   Did you know that the biggest killers in Africa are all preventable;  Malaria,Typhoid and Childbirth complications.   
Even though we now have a large monthly give away program of formula through our Outreach Program to keep babies in their homes, there was no one at this home who could care for this little one right now.  African culture will not allow a single woman to live in a house with a single man so hiring a live in nanny for them is not possible.   We will care for him until his father remarries or a grandmother or aunt can take over.
Christopher, pictured below is an abandoned baby.
October 2018.  Christopher came to Neema a few days ago. He was abandoned in the back of a taxi. His mother said she was going to get something and would be right back but never returned. He is assumed to be about two days old. He was taken to a hospital, where they named him and cared for him. Neema was then contacted. He is not very interested in the bottle right now, but we are trying. Please pray for him and his mother. If you would like to sponsor baby Chris while he is here we could certainly use your help.  Sponsorships start at $30 per month.
 We are continually asked what makes someone abandon a baby? We have had babies left on roadsides, on porches, in latrines, in a gravel pit, in a house alone, anywhere. You ask why? It’s a hard one to answer. We don’t usually try.I have been visiting with family for a few weeks and we have a pretty spirited granddaughter who loves to argue American politics. She says there is too much greed, corruption, hatred and a lack of respect for individual life in America. She is right, any is too much.
 But those things are not an American “place” problem, they are a heart problem.  Governments or Politicians can’t make people be good, love their wives, or share with the poor, or take care of their families, says author Phillip Yancey.   Our granddaughter thought she might like to move to Sweden but I would guess the Swedes have their share of mean and selfish people
I told her don’t get discouraged with us humans, there are more good ones than bad ones. Just watch any tragedy unfold on the nightly news. To the few perpetrators of any tragedy there are way more good people rushing in to help. 
“Keep your eyes on the helpers” is a good way to not be discouraged about life.
In our work in Africa where we regularly see babies who have been thrown out, discarded, starved and women used, abused and left destitute, yes, it is easy to become cynical and want to move to Sweden.
That may be one reason we are so in love with our volunteers. They help keep us grounded, a regular dose of goodness every day! 

They are like the helpers rushing in to help clean up the mess and might I say with 61 babies at Neema that is a lot of mess to clean up!!
I also told our granddaughter that politics or governments don’t change people’s hearts. Only God can do that. But she is young and idealistic and also very passionate which is a good thing. 
I’m proud of her.
Neema Village is right where God wants it, helping the helpless, the discouraged, the down and out, the abandoned and the hopeless. So don’t get discouraged with life and remember there is way more good than bad in Africa and yes even in America.  I would imagine in Sweden too. 
May God bless you with great faith in the goodness of man.
Psalms 27:13 “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”
Michael and Dorris Fortson
 

Four New Babies This Week

August 3, 2018

“Four New Babies This Week”

All our Neema babies have a story or we would not have them.  These four new ones who came to Neema this week have a story as well and it breaks my heart.  Bryan, sleeping peacefully now at Neema Village was left on the side of the road, the placenta and cord were still attached. I cannot imagine the heartache this mother must have gone through before she put her baby down.  We do tell our nannies this does not just happen in Africa, it happens in school bathrooms and dumpsters in America too.  It is not an African problem, it is a heart problem.  Many of these women are poor and desperate and feel they have no options.  Thankfully our Neema Village MAP program is giving many women options today.
This sweet little 2 month old pictured above, lost his mom last night.  Sylvia Pape, Angel, our Social Worker, and Mama Musa, our Director, drove out about an hour and half late yesterday afternoon to pick up baby Johanna.  The house was already filled with mourners while the mother lay in the back room.   This Maasai village was high up in the mountains with no clinics or hospitals and so hard to get to they probably had been unable to get her to the hospital in town.  We will be trying to find a family member to keep him.
Newborn, Joshua above, is abandoned as well.  His mother is a drug addict and abandoned him but then she was found and put into a drug help program.  She ran away again and has not been found again.  We are not sure what is the matter with his eyes but we think he has a problem.  They are swollen and he will not open them.
Sweet baby girl Hosiana, lost her mother too.  I love her name.  It reminds me of “Hosana in the Highest” and how often we praise God for allowing us to do this work of saving babies in Africa.  
I was able to cuddle little Hosiana for about an hour yesterday afternoon.  She is precious and melts in under your chin.  When I hold these new little ones like this I am always crying inside for what they have lost.
   “Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.  They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.  It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do everything changes.”                                               David Platt
If you knew your mom and had a good mom, Thank God for her for me would you!  I never really knew mine.
Love,
Dorris Fortson

An Internet Cafe and Fresh Juice Bar

August 1, 2018

An Internet Café and Fresh Juice Bar

This is just the coolest thing!  One of our MAP moms has started her business, Upendo’s Internet Cafe and Fresh Juice Bar.  
Upendo’s husband left her owing back rent, little food and a two year old handicap child. She was destitute when she came to talk with Mariya, our MAP director.  
After talking with Mariya about what she could do to help herself and her baby, Upendo thought she could start a food business making mandazi (like a donut).  We began to look for a small shop and found a great spot on a busy corner.  But when we interviewed the neighbors they said we have a food business here, what we really need is an internet service. 
Upendo had never used a computer so we hired a couple of university students to teach her for a month.
We bought a small fridge to keep the fruit fresh, a blender, some glasses and Mariya, Jennifer, Ashley and Emily had fun experimenting on juice combinations. Upendo always works with her little boy on her back.
Mariya had brought some laptops from Germany so she put two in the shop for Upendo.  We bought a printer, some paper and ink cartridges and Wallah! an internet service is born!
We love taking volunteers down to the shop to get a fresh juice, my favorite is orange, pineapple, mango. Yummy! 
Now really, how cool is that!  An Internet Cafe and Fresh Juice Bar comes to Arusha!  Turning hopelessness into Hope.  Love it!
You can help us keep this MAP program going by sponsoring a business.  Please remember the IRS won’t let you deduct it for taxes if you put a specific person on your donation.  Just put MAP program on your donation, we will see that it goes to the right place.  I promise.
Love you,
Dorris