Kassie Stanfield, daughter of Kelly Stanfield and 2014 graduate of Effingham High School, spoke to Effingham Sunrise Rotary about her upcoming volunteer trip.
Kassie leaves in 10 days for Tanzania to volunteer for Neema Village. Located in the sight line of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Neema Village is a rescue center for very young orphans in Tanzania. Currently, Tanzania holds 3.1 million orphans out of 59 million total population. Over 5% of their population is orphans due to one of the highest maternal mortality rates and the rate at which babies are abandoned. Because babies cost most orphanages more money per baby (due to formula, diapers, 24/7 one-on-one care, etc...), many orphanages in Tanzania do not accept babies.
Currently, the Neema Village has 50 babies who are in the need of constant care. Kassie can’t wait to volunteer a year with the program, helping the mothers, working with babies, and utilizing her CPA as needed for the non for profit.
Neema Village was started by a couple from Texas who witnessed the lack of help when they found a baby who was abandoned on the side of a road. The village not only houses a place for babies, called the Rescue Center, but also holds the Mothers Against Poverty (MAP) Program. The MAP program enrolls mothers who are at risk for poverty and tries to teach them skills so they can create businesses for themselves. Single motherhood is a struggle for many women in Tanzania and that leads to a high abandonment rate.
The next goal of Neema Village is to help train midwives to make giving birth safer. While no international adoption is allowed in Tanzania, there are opportunities for sponsorship of the children on a monthly basis.