My name is Laura Delgado, and I am Sasamani's Interim Executive Director, temporarily standing in for Tialda while she is on leave. I wanted to introduce myself and also share with you all how excited I am for this year's annual appeal drive! (Really, I am actually VERY excited!).
I wanted to begin by thanking Tialda and both the US and Tanzanian Board of Directors for trusting me with this position! I am so grateful for the opportunity and chance to work with such talented and inspiring people. Seriously, I am inspired daily by the amazing people who make Sasamani tick, Gladness, Neema Harold, Elias, and of course Erica and Andy.
One of the many things that excites me about Sasamani is the direct impact this foundation has on the lives of women and girls. Every penny donated is spent on a girl's education, health care, school fees, or training fees to deliver EXTREMELY high quality transformational coaching.
I first came to know of Sasamani through the Women Leading Change program, which provides a 6 month long transformational leadership program and coaching to East African women, arming them with incredible tools to assist them in taking leadership roles in local community and management positions. I was lucky enough to work with the amazing Neema Harold, and we reviewed all the applications for this past year's virtual program. I was completely blown away by the women who applied, their life stories, adversities overcome, and addicting optimism for life and thirst for knowledge. It is truly special. Seeing them go from applicants to graduates of the WLC program is an inspiration. WLC seeks to unlock the potential and talents these women already have, and help them focus efforts to be the change. Try watching the graduation video without tearing up, it's a challenge!
Learning about the other programs, especially the Education program led by our incredible Education Director, has been one of those life altering epiphanies. First of all, Gladness personally interviews every potential student, all of their teachers and works with their parents. Her level of dedication and attention to detail, and compassion, is something to wonder at. She spends untold hours helping the students prepare for exams, waiting in line to make sure they are all registered for health care, attends every graduation ceremony, she is the most dedicated Auntie to these students you have ever seen! I really can't express how impressed I am by her dedication and talents.
All of this is to say, if you decide to donate this year, which I hope that you do, it is going to a special, well thought out place that will directly impact our efforts. We had six Sasamani students graduate college this year! All fees, tuition, lodging, healthcare and supplies were paid for by donors. The remaining 68 students are in primary school, and some of them need sponsors. Please visit our Sponsor a Student section to read their bios.
We have a very ambitious plan this coming year to partner with Escala, another nonprofit working to develop entrepreneurs, and donations will help us succeed and achieve these goals. What I love about Sasamani is that your donation doesn't disappear into a black hole of overhead and fees. When you donate, you know you are making a different in someone's life, you are offering to spread HOPE.
I hope you and your loved ones have a fantastic holiday season, and if you are in a place to give, I hope that you consider helping our students and the Sasamani mission.
It has been a very difficult year for so many women and girls around the world. In Tanzania, you have the opportunity to make one decision, education, a little easier for some families. When you invest in a woman, you invest in lasting social change.