My name is Tina Manda, born in Livingstone, Zambia, near the great Victoria Falls. I am 28 years old and come from a hardworking family of five. My mother is a single parent, and though it has not been easy to get by, she has always provided the basics for us.

I met Marsha through her work at the Mama Bakhita Cheshire Home where my niece has been a student for ten years. When I graduated from high school I entered several diploma courses (these were not official degree programs-MW) in business to improve my chances of finding a job. In the last three years I have taken purchasing and supply courses (purchasing and supply is the buying of products and services for the smooth running of an organization). With partial sponsorship from the AACDP I have managed to reach an advanced diploma.

My country’s economy is very unstable right now and people have to really struggle just to earn enough for food and shelter. Getting a job is not easy even with all of my course work and practicums. Most of the advertised jobs are for people with a degree.

I am a good student and have been striving to finish my education for six years.

To achieve my goal I must complete two semesters more. My tuition and expenses cost $600 per semester, because I can live at home, and I have been very grateful to have the support of the AACDP for all these years. I will be qualified to work as a procurement officer, a stores officer and an inventory controller.

If I succeed in finding a job after graduating, my desire is to help others in my family continue in school and to somehow help the Mama Bakhita Cheshire school for disabled children that I have had a close connection to through my niece for ten years. One good job can make a difference in a family and even in a community.

Thank you and God Bless you.

Sincerely, Tina Manda

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Sr. Immaculata, founder of the Mpekala Project which trains rural Zambian women in the growing and economic uses of sisal, has documented the initial phase of the planting some sisal fields.

She has photographed the new fields and the women are planning to create more fields when the rains come.

Meanwhile, as the first crops grow, the women will learn how to make various items, like baskets, bags and floor mats, from a skilled artisan.

Because sisal needs very little rain to grow it will be a dependable source of material for this purpose and can bring much needed income into these outlying areas and sustain the women and their families.

Helping create jobs for women in Zambia is essential to our mission.

The “God Given Gift Club” is a group of fifteen mothers with children at the Mama Bakhita Cheshire Home for disabled children, which many of you know the AACDP has been supporting for 12 years. The GGGC are now producing a well-made doll that comes in five skin tones, from light to dark, and the doll-makers are ready to take their work to the next level: running their own small business as a cooperative, with a managerial staff made up of Sydney Mwamba, Tina Manda, and Bernadette Musenge — all educated (with help from the AACDP) to do just this.

During the last three years this group has developed the skills to produce a well-crafted product, created a method of cooperative labor that works smoothly, and found local venues to sell dolls. This income has generated more stability for their families; they are able to pay rent, buy better food, and meet other challenges such as sickness or emergencies.

The goal of the Zambezi Dolls of Color Campaign is to sell dolls for a variety of prices, depending on the complexity of the doll. This is a fundraiser for helping these women to transition into running their business independently. After one year we hope the project will generate enough income to continue on its own.

Each doll is completely handmade; a one-of-a-kind treasure that any child will love to hug. The organic cotton doll material is hand-stitched, and the dolls are dressed in colorful, removable Zambian chitenge clothing. These dolls are meant for play, and no two are alike. They each have their own personality and Zambian name. We believe every child should have the option to play with a doll that has skin that looks like theirs.

To receive a doll, please donate $100, right here at the top of this page. Your address will show up on the PayPal notice to me. Or send a check to AACDP, POB 3000 PMB 3051, West Tisbury, MA 02575. We also welcome donations, of any size, toward this effort. Please forward this to others interested in promoting financial empowerment for women globally.

Together we can make it possible for these women run their business independently, while creating jobs for women.

Thank you,

Marsha Winsryg

Director, AACDP

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