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Sarah says…

Sarah

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I would like to take some time recognizing some amazing volunteers and donors that have supported the libraries in Tanzania.  They have taken the time and the resources to contribute to the development of communities that are thousands of miles away.  You, amazing donors and supporters, amaze me and humble me.  Thank you…

Event and Fundraiser Volunteers

I want all of you to know that those who have taken the time to volunteer for and/or contributed to make an event or fundraiser happen are indispensable.  I appreciate you all so very much. Those of you who helped cook at one of our East African Dinners, THANK YOU!  Those of you who washed cars at our By-Donation-Carwash, THANK YOU!  Those of you who contributed or volunteered at our Everything-By-Donation-Garage Sale, THANK YOU!  Those of you who have invited me to speak at your meetings, events or classrooms, THANK YOU.  I wish I could do more to show you how much I have felt blessed by all of you.  THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH.

Highland Secondary School

in Comox, BC has become famous for their annual Interact Club International Dinner.  In 2008 the Interact Club decided to sponsor the Chamazi Library for their spring dinner.  After an amazing evening of music, comedy, food, and speeches they raised $8,000 for the library!  They broke all their previous records at that dinner.  Thank you Highland students for having hearts for the world, sacrificing hours of unpaid work to make the event such a success.  Perhaps one day I can thank you by hosting you in Tanzania and having you help us at one of the libraries.  If you are a graduate from Highland Secondary in Comox and are interested in such a thing, please let me know!

Anonymous Volunteer

from Courtenay, BC took part in The Great Walk in June 2008.  This “walk” is 63.5 kilometers long, and takes the walker along a rugged road that lies between Gold River and Tahsis.  These are two communities that lie in the north of Vancouver Island.  As our volunteer collected pledges from family and friends in the community, her parents agreed to match all pledges made, dollar for dollar!  Not only did our volunteer take time to rally financial support from the community for the libraries in Tanzania, but also went through months of training, then a full 9 hours and 20 minutes of walking along gravel road and a successful completion of the grueling walk.  Thank you.  You inspire me and you inspire so many others through this example of sacrificial love to see the fulfillment of others’ needs.

Our volunteer has a few things to share about the experience;

Q: What are some “highs” you experienced?

A: “The journey with others and getting to know who they are, and who they are fundraising for and why…It was like a massive pilgrimage in a way, I felt apart of something BIG. What was the best high was helping each other out along the way. One woman and I met half way and finished together and without her support there’s no way I would have finished as early.”

Q: What are some challenges you faced?

A: The difficulty I encountered was mental. I needed to keep pushing, keep walking, even if my legs didn’t want to.

Q: What is some advice you would offer to anyone looking to do the Great Walk?

A: I’d say BE PREPARED!… They need to train, they need the right shoes (two pairs), the right equipment socks, moleskin, rain jackets, etc., a determined attitude, but mostly they need a cause they really want to support because that will motivate them through when they hit a wall out there…and having a support vehicle if there’s a few of you would be a GREAT idea. I’m sure there’s more to add but those are the big ones. OH and it’s SO WORTH IT!

Kathy

a librarian from Vancouver, BC has given her whole self to the libraries in Tanzania.  When she first heard about the Kwekitui library she quickly offered her expertise and support. Over the years Kathy has fundraised donations from the community, purchased library supplies for the Kwekitui and Chamazi library, donated books, and even took time to create a manual for the libraries to use as an aid in running the library smoothly and successfully.  She has rallied other groups to get involved, including the Congregational Library Association of BC, where she and I had the opportunity to share the amazing stories of success that the Kwekitui library offered.  She has also taken time to visit McRoberts Secondary School in Richmond, BC where her and I have had the opportunity and honor to share with students about the libraries in Tanzania.  Her vision and dedication towards these projects only grows stronger with the passing time, and will finally take her on a journey to visit both the Kwekitui and Chamazi libraries in July 2009.  Over a span of two weeks Kathy and I will be running some teacher orientation sessions, perform readings in the libraries, and help the librarian with daily tasks.  She is investing her own time and money to be able to serve as a volunteer for these two weeks in Tanzania.  Again, I am amazed and humbled.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart Kathy.  My gratitude is endless towards you.

Danielle

from the Comox Valley is an amazing unsung hero of the Kwekitui Library.  Last year Danielle went to visit Tanzania, using her own resources to travel and stay at Kwekitui.  While there she spent her time working with Rogers, the librarian, and visiting in the classrooms at Kwekitui Primary School.  Her fiery spirit and heart for Primary school students helped her to engage teachers and the librarian in innovative thinking of how the library can impact their classrooms.  Her time there was short but made a lasting impact.

When I was visiting Kwekitui last July almost every person I met with told me to pass on their love and greetings to Danielle.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart Danielle.  You did more good there than you may understand.  Perhaps one day you can come visit us again in Kwekitui.

There are many more donors and volunteers I would like to spend time thanking.  I will do so through this page progressively over the next few weeks.  Thank you to you in the meantime, you know who you all are.


13 Comments

  1. CiscoGIII says:

    WOW… I am so glad you got the blog off the ground!

    I also love the theme. It is now in my RSS feeed =)

    Cisco

  2. Teresa says:

    Fulbright Grant available for 2010-2011 academic year working on libraries in Zambia with NGO. Do you know anyone who might be interested?

    Thanks, Teresa (favl.org too)

    • sarahswitzer says:

      Hey Teresa… I am not sure if I know anyone working in Zambia but I will keep my eyes and ears open. Thanks 🙂

  3. susana (mexico) says:

    hi, im in mexico again…u remember me =) ?????
    the musterd seed in calgary… i claim refugee… please
    answer me …

    my english is so bad ok but i nees say …thanks…im in home… and im good…
    4u

    susana jurado (facebook)

    • switzer says:

      I am so happy to hear things are working out for the better in Mexico. All my prayers and blessings are for you! You are an amazing, strong and brave woman and you taught me so much during our short time together in Calgary.

  4. Tonjott Bhandal says:

    Hey!

    I hope you remember me, its Tonjott, from Punjabi class! Saveen and I have been wondering about you and what you have been up to. So I looked you up and found you pretty easily with the Tanzania card you gave me. I finally got into Nursing and finsihed my first year. I am still planning on coming to Tanzania when I graduate and do some work. How is everything for you, and hows the family? Still on top with your punjabi I hope…I can tell you I forgot most of it, haha. Are you on facebook? Respond back, I know Saveen will be happy to know I found you! I tried adding you on yahoo but my email would not go through. Hope everything is well for you.

    Tonjott Bhandal

  5. neil and mj crouch says:

    We ARE from Comox and we DID visit Sarah in the flesh and she is everything you might imagine. She does it all. She welcomed us to her home in Tanga, to her new beau and his family, to her school WAAAY up the hill (and I thought I could take a bus there!!!!) and we DID see the wonderful library, all clean and beloved and raring to go. We didn’t get to see the kids and the adults who worked so hard and love it so much but we walked the land outside and felt the heartbeat of the place. It is truly a thing of beauty and honour and recognition of lovely people, very far from the outer world, but they have been recognized as significant and worthy–and of course that education is important. WELL DONE SARAH.

    blessings, Neil and mj

    • CanadianCook says:

      My dear friends Neil and MJ, Your visit stands out among many years of visitors as being the hugest blessing and such a breath of fresh air amidst so many ups and downs! Thank you for your amazing encouraging words and all the love you poured out on AJ and I. I am so glad we had that special time together. I hope I can visit with you again soon… Lots of love and light to you both.

  6. it is great for what you guys has accomplished, sarah and your team, you are doing an amazing job here in the united republic of Tz. God bless you all

  7. will like to meet you working with building libraries in rural areas

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