The MFI staff in Iringa expanded during January and early February with two additions. In early January the Administrator at the MFI offices in Iringa, Miriam Ngakonda had a baby boy named Luis!
Then early February the MFI manager, Itiweni Luhwago, gave birth to a baby girl named Meagan! This came as a surprise. I talk with Itiweni almost every week but she never mentioned it. The infant mortality rate in Tanzania is quite high, so announcing the upcoming birth of a child before it is safely delivered is not common. In fact, years ago our Tanzanian guest Pastor Alec Mhange was surprised when he learned that Sandy was giving a baby shower BEFORE the baby was born. He told her that in Tanzania they wait a few months until AFTER the baby is born to acknowledge the birth and to name the child because it is much sadder to have to bury someone with a name.
At any rate, we now have two new mothers on leave in Iringa. They will be gone for three months (longer if they wish) and their husbands may well choose to stay home with them. It is interesting to note that in Tanzania, a third world country, the law mandates that employers provide paid leave to both the father and mother of newborns, (of course, since most people are self-employed this has limited effect.) while here in the US we are not so generous.
This month we have decided to present a review of our annual report in a short article by board member Norm Siekman. We believe that many people have a built-in aversion to reading annual reports and we wanted to be sure that we gave you some of the information. If after readying Norm’s article, you want to look more closely at the report, you will find it on our new website at iringahope.com.