As a Psychotherapist and Social Worker, I had experience in New Delhi, India. Recently, I taught teen age girls English and we had many conversations about how they felt about being young women in India. Married women spoke about their daily lives of being in the home. I felt useful but at the same time knew that I was up against a historically large system that involved castes and traditions from thousands of years.
How could I, an individual, help the developing world? How could I use my talents and capabilities to help young women and children in third world countries? In my search, I found a particular Utube video that spoke volumes to me called “Street Girls of Arusha, Tanzania”. It’s included on my home page. I hope you will watch this compelling piece, completely done by the founder of Pippi House, Aristedes Ashange. I knew this was the right place for me to go. I spent a month there, doing all the things that volunteers do, cooking , cleaning, painting, arts and crafts with the children, helping them out financially.
Most important and meaningful for me was my opportunity to have group therapy sessions. These were EMPOWERMENT SESSIONS in the truest sense. They were so sweet and shy at the beginning and sort of giving me the party lines of women who have endured such horrific lives. Overtime, they started to loosen up and my Swahili became slightly more understandable. These women and children have dire needs for Everything. They are competing with many other charities; for rent, food, electricity, school funding, skill training. The list goes on.
A moment among many that I will embody in my heart the rest of my life is as follows. One of the most astute and articulate of the women taught me how to get clothes clean by hand washing, in “questionable” water and the most basic of soap. I would show her what I had done and then she would show me how to ACTUALLY get a little child’s jacket clean – yes, hard scrubbing. Her expertise and exactitude was so deep in something I never knew how to do. It has made me cry many times.
By Taking Action via this website, you, in whatever way you feel is possible for you, can actually help the women and children of Pippi House. As Aristedes Nshange would say “Mungu ni mkubwa”