Learning and service lie behind African experience

Presenting the gifts that were donated
Presenting the gifts that were donated

Bahai member Mina Sheppard recently undertook a learning and service trip to Tanzania and will be giving a presentation on the trip at An Lanntair, Stornoway on August 26th.

Talking about her trip she described:

“It’s hard to find the words to describe the wealth and breadth of this experience in a short space and little can prepare you for your first trip to Africa. You have to experience it.

My talk will offer a detailed insight into the lives of those we visited. We visited Maasai towns and villages, schools and clinics. Talked to teachers, community leaders, governers and MP for the region.

I’ll talk about the amazing welcomes and greetings offered by the Maasais.

They came after walking great distances, warmly greeting us with singing and dancing .

My findings about Naserian, the Tanzanian group that works for Maasai widows and their children.

Naserian was founded in 2010 by Zarin Hainsworth in local areas. Naserian means “Grace of God” in the Maasai language, Maa.

We learnt of their stories of hardship and love and loss. Members of our team provided impromptu children’s classes and our Rhiannon held mobile medical clinics.

I would like to publicly thank all those who generously gave gifts to be taken to the Maasais.

We had brought gifts from a variety of different donors and these were distributed among the different villages and schools. They were much appreciated.

Box of cards/notelets thanks to Anne of Hobby Shop going to be used as certificates for children’s classes.

Bolts of Harris Tweed, thanks to Shawbost Mill were presented to two villages to provide capes.

Swatches of Harris material thanks to ‘By Rosie’ were given to members of the Naserian committee for shawls.

Medical equipment brought by Rhiannon was given to the clinic in Lendikenya.

Money was given to the NGO ‘Naserian’ coordinator to buy goats for a few of the Maasai widows.

They in turn will be giving every other kid back to the committee to be given to other widows.

This will be sustained as long as possible until every Maasai widow has goats.

My talk will cover many other aspects of my trip to Africa including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. I would like to invite you to join me to explore my African experience.”