Join us in supporting access to water in the Tanzanian village we call home. Your contribution sustains an ecosystem, honors tradition and empowers a community. Let's ensure Nduruma continues to thrive.
On the plains below Mount Meru, in the shadow of Mt Kilimanjaro, a special community thrives. Here the people organize themselves around the mifereji (canals) that are used to irrigate farms and provide water for drinking, bathing and washing clothes. This beautiful place is called Nduruma.
Help us preserve the mifereji of Nduruma.
Just weeks before Mama Bahati passed away, she sold a portion of her land in Nduruma to AYA Tanzania. She allowed us to purchase it because we agreed to: open a school for the community, preserve the resting place where the former village leader is buried, and continue to provide villagers with access to the part of the canal that runs through the middle of AYA Tanzania’s campus. She had watched people from outside the community buy land and quickly fence off access to the miferegi. She wanted the legacy of her impact on the village to be different.
Help us keep our promise to Mama Bahati.
Bahati means “luck” in Kiswahili. We were indeed lucky to find Mama Bahati, her trust gave us the opportunity to purchase ideal land to grow AYA Tanzania’s Plants Count program. Plants Count teaches math and science to children from Pre-K to Secondary school by teaching agricultural science. Plants Count encourages children and adults to stay on the land when outside forces would have them abandon it.
During our first Plants Count cohort we brought The AYA Way to 11 students, one teacher and one board member. When those students used what they learned to plant food at their group home, 20 more children went to sleep at night with fuller bellies than before. When 4 of our students planted bustanis at their parents’ homes, the positive impacts of our work were felt by the entire community.
Help us further the Plants Count mission.
AYA Tanzania has promoted and protected Mama Bahati’s legacy from the start. So, when we found out that our land deed would be accompanied by the planned redirection of the stream, we decided to temporarily forgo the deed, even though it meant losing all of the money we had paid for it. We decided to support a plan that kept the stream available to everyone.
Help us secure a land deed without changing Nduruma’s miferegi system.
Mama Bahati chose to sell her land to us because of our commitment to the community, and as part of the community we are commissioning a City Planner and partnering with the City of Arusha to create a new Town Plan for the village of Nduruma.
Help us create a town plan that will benefit Nduruma now and in the future.
The water is not just used for agriculture. It is also used for bathing, cooking, and businesses. The women who use the stream to support their laundry businesses have been washing clothes in the same spot since they were little girls. We would like generations of little girls to receive the advantages that a self-reliant community and a connection to nature can provide.
Help us maintain the stream as part of the long-term growth of our community.
The flow of the water also marks the ideal path for folks needing to get from here to there. As villagers walk from place to place beside the water, a natural sidewalk is formed by the foot traffic. Travelers pass beneath huge, local, mangos trees, towering cluster figs, and zambarau trees whose long spikes protect their sweet fruit. Black-faced vervet monkeys also use the tree canopy to travel from farm to farm, where they play a game of cat and mouse with farmers to see who will eat the best of the harvest.
Beneath these large trees, smaller banana, papaya, and tangerine trees flourish. The tree roots and plant life extending into and out from our section of the canal, and supported by AYA Tanzania, appear so natural that we and the people in our village have been referring to it as a stream.
Help us support this vibrant stream ecosystem.
Nduruma means thunderstorm in Kiswahili. Indeed, the powerful storms on Mt Meru’s summit provide the water that flows so gently through the canals that supply water to AYA Tanzania’s fields and the fields of dozens of other families. These canals are not new. For over 200 years a system of gravity-operated, earthen furrows has brought water to small farmholders and villagers who use it to cultivate the maize, beans, and various vegetable crops that sustain their households.
Help us preserve a way of life in Nduruma.
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