Before Lockdown (season 2) I had tea with two girlfriends. One of them, Maria Spink, wanted to tell me about the charity that she founded – LYRA in Africa. Having listened to the work that she is doing with these young Tanzanian girls I wanted to share this small charity with all of you.
Lyra in Africa is a charity operating in Tanzania:
“We believe in the power of education to help end poverty. We work to equip youth, focusing on girls to drive systemic change, and create a positive multiplier effect throughout their rural communities.
We are community-led and partner with remote and rural communities where children are forced to drop out or leave school without vital basic skills.
Our infrastructure projects are designed with innovative green technology, sharing sustainability values and low carbon solutions with our local partners.”
Lyra in Africa invests in girls’ education. Because every girl deserves to be in school. And educated girls create prosperous communities, through smaller, better educated families.
Why I want to share these stories
I have chosen now to share these stories as I think we have become so absorbed with this pandemic and the effects it is having on each and every one of our lives. We may, therefore, be more understanding of those that permanently live in very difficult environments lacking in so many of the basics that we take for granted.
We may be worrying about whether we are going to be able to spend Christmas with our family. These girls have no family to speak.
We are concerned that schools remain open for our children because we know how much education benefits our children. Yet there are still so many children around the world who do not have access to school.
I was humbled by the work that Lyra is doing. When I received this essay from Grace, a girl that, when she wrote this, wished to be sponsored by Lyra, I wanted to share it. I have not edited this essay. Grace’s English is not perfect. However the fact that this young girl acknowledged that education is the key to her future is so heartwarming.
Grace Mtekele’s Story
Status: Single Orphan / Difficult environment Age: 13 (Born 2006)
My name is Grace Mtekele, 13 years old, I am coming from Idete Village, Completed standard seven at Idete Primary school, 2019. I am the second born in a family of three children. Currently we are two children with my sister, our last born passed away soon after mother’s death in 2011. Our father left us. We are living with our grandparents in the village (from my father side)
My Grandparents are 75 years and they are drunkard, there is no understanding between them, they are fighting every day. They are cooking separately and have own Shamba (vegetable garden). We are farming with grandmother in a small farm because she has not enough energy for work. We are harvesting little amount of maize which lasts us five months of the year.
When I was in primary school, during lunch I go home and return hungry because there was no food, sometimes I go to neighbors houses and ask for the food, otherwise I ate Fruits. Studying while you’re hungry you are not understanding anything.
My Sister who is in secondary school at Madege secondary school is living in Lyra Hostel because she is sponsored with Lyra. When she in Holiday she is not happy because she is telling me how bad she feels during the holidays, she wishes there should be no holidays, so she can stay in hostel and have three meals a day.
During holidays we are working with my sister on other peoples farm, to earn money for our school needs. We have Aunts and uncle in the village but they do not care if we are hungry or if no other needs like clothes and soap. When my sister is at home, my life is simple because she is doing work and make sure that I eat.
I wish to stay in Hostel, because I hear of good hostel life from my sisters, I wish we could have good relatives who will help us, because we are living very difficult life- since standard seven I was going to school without shoes.
I don’t know if I will ever get to secondary school, because our father never sees us and our grandparents have no money. I have no ability to work for other people alone, as I am waiting for my sister during holidays so as we work together trying to find money for my school needs. I wish to be a Lawyer and have ability to help needy girls.
Grace has now been sponsored and is under the care of Lyra receiving the education that she craved and the security that all of these girls need.
Here’s how you can help us raise extra funds, without having to spend a penny more!
However there are so many more young girls in Tanzania like Grace who need our help. I am not asking for large donations. There is a way that you can help without costing you anything.
Lyra have signed up to AmazonSmile, so that you can give to Lyra in Africa every time you shop on Amazon – at no extra charge to you! Signing up is so simple, and whenever you shop, Amazon will make a donation.
With Black Friday just around the corner, you can help Lyra make a real difference whilst you shop on Amazon. Imagine if all our supporters were signed up – what an incredible gift.
Sign up in 4 easy steps:
1. Visit: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/
2. Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials
3. Select LYRA IN AFRICA as your chosen charity
4. Start shopping! (And remember to use AmazonSmile every time you shop!)
OR, if you have the Amazon App:
How to turn on AmazonSmile in the Amazon Shopping app:
1. Make sure you’re signed up for AmazonSmile (use your web browser to visit smile.amazon.co.uk)
2. Download or update to the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app for iOS or Android
3. Open the app and find “Settings” in the main menu (☰). Then tap on Programmes & Features and you will then see Amazon Smile.
4. Tap on “AmazonSmile” and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile in the app.
Lyra have put some simple instructions on the website to help you here
Please share the sign up link with your friends and family too. Every penny helps build a brighter future for the girls, their communities and generations to come.
Finally Lyra empower women and girls to start and grow successful businesses. They teach them to take charge of the future for themselves and their families. To make it happen, they deliver business training and mentoring. They use technology to help women see new opportunities , connect, learn and reach new markets . We teach them about safe, informal finance systems and networks. Lyra listens to what women tell us matters most to them and where their biggest problems are.
Go to the Lyra in Africa website for more information on this charity. Click HERE.