karimu_logo2KARIMU is an expressive and beautiful word in Kiswahili that means hospitality, benevolence, giving, generous, open-handed and neighborly.

Inevitably those who travel to countries beset with extreme poverty return to their own homes of comfort with feelings of humility, wonder and awe.

Two women, Jessie Mackay and Tally Bandy, took a journey that went straight through their hearts.  Each was offered a teaching position during the summer of 2008 in a village ten kilometers outside of Dodoma, the capitol city of Tanzania, one of the poorest countries in Africa.  It was there that they discovered the true meaning of hospitality and generosity.

A similar Kiswahiuli word is Karibu, a word they heard many times each day.  It means:  welcome, come in. In Africa, when there is a party, everyone is invited.  It’s Karibu to the beggar, the stranger and the local witch.  Jessie’s and Tally’s lives were transformed by the open hearts and generosity of the people they met.  They pared down their own lives to the simple elements of life:  shelter, food, water and friends.  But more than that, they returned to their homes with a desire to make a difference in the lives of those whom they came to know and love.  The began to understand the interconnectedness of the world.

KARIMU is a 501(c)(3) born out of a need to provide a safe place for donations from those who have heard their story and who want to do something to help at the grassroots’ level.  Karimu can help individuals or organizations that would like to be personally involved.  Perhaps you would like to go to Tanzania, a stunningly beautiful country, and volunteer yourself, or maybe your club, organization or church would like to sponsor or conduct a project.  We can make the connections for you with individuals in Tanzania, or if it is in your heart to contribute financially, no amount is too little.  One of Tally’s students had to beg for 5,000 Tanzanian shillings, less than $5.00 in order to take his sick child to the hospital.  Five month old Martin Nyemo died as a result of malaria for want of $5.00 for mosquito netting.  It is estimated that a child dies every thirty seconds in Africa, many from malaria, a disease that kills 3 1/2 to 5 million people annually.  People are not living on the edge of survival;  i they are dying by the millions for lack of food and lack of access to the most basic human needs.  Twenty dollars provides maize for a family for 4 to 6 weeks.  Karimu believes this and all inuustices of poverty deserve our attention.

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