Friday, January 29, 2010

A Tanzanian Meal

Do you like to cook? Do you like to try new recipes?

If you live in the Menomonee Falls or Germantown area (Wisconsin, USA), registration is now open for our Hearts in Unity "Tanzanian Cooking" class through the Village Recreation Department. See page 27 of the current brochure for information about the class, and page 40 for the class registration form.

We'll be making several traditional Tanzanian foods:
- chapati (flatbread)
- ugali (cornmeal porridge)
- mchuzi wa mboga (vegetable stew) and
- chai (Tanzanian tea)!

And after we finish cooking, we'll sit down together to eat our Tanzanian meal!


Even if you can't join us for the class, you can still get a
"taste of Tanzania" in your own home.

Check out the recipes on our website!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tanzania to Haiti with a Song

We tell the story of the mission of Hearts in Unity over and over.... of our dedication to help feed, clothe and educate the orphan and at-risk children in our villages on Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa.

We invite people to open their hearts to our Tanzanian children and to join us making a difference as we change lives... one precious child at a time.

Sometimes, however, a non-profit organization can get so entrenched in the mission that they have committed not only to paper but also to their hearts, that they lose sight of the basic foundation of the work that they are doing.

Isn't every charitable organization really built on a foundation of helping others in need? A foundation of caring and sharing?

I admire the non-profit organizations that keep their mission close to the heart, but who react with swift and decisive action to adjust to the ever-changing and urgent needs of the world that we live in.

One has to look no farther than organizations such as the American Red Cross, or World Vision, or Soles for Souls -- and their current focus on and committment to those in Haiti -- to see a ground swell of hearts opened to helping others. The efforts of organizations such as these are a testament to the impact and difference that our individual contributions CAN make when we come together in unity for others.

At Hearts in Unity, we don't want to lose sight of our mission to help the children of Tanzania, but at the same time, who would we be if we were to close our eyes and turn on backs on the children of Haiti?

In this time when there are so many children around the world with an urgent need for food, clothing and shelter, we at Hearts in Unity want to do our part to help the children of Haiti just as so many around the world have reached out to help our children in Tanzania.

And it is in this spirit that we are so very pleased to announce that, for the next 2 weeks, our long-time partner CDBaby will make a Haitian Earthquake Relief donation of $1 to the American Red Cross for each of our Roland Maanga "Omba!" music CD's purchased online.

In addition, Hearts in Unity will also donate an additional $2 to the American Red Cross for each online "Omba!" CD purchase through CDBaby. The remainder of the purchase price of every CD goes directly to the ongoing programs through Hearts in Unity to continue to help feed, clothe and educate the children of Tanzania.
Produced by Hearts in Unity, the "Omba!" music CD features original Tanzanian music by Roland Maanga, accomplished musician and the Tanzanian co-director of Hearts in Unity. The song lyrics are mostly in Swahili, but the music itself transcends all language barriers. Besides, each CD includes a wonderful booklet with all of the song lyrics in Swahili and English so you can sing along!

Listen to song clips on the CDBaby website, and feel the joyous beat of hearts overflowing with compassion for the children of the world as this amazing music flows around and through you. The music will fill your soul with the same hope that we wish for the precious children of Tanzania -- and now also, for the Haitian children who need your support now more than ever.

The children of the world are MY children... they are YOUR children... they are OUR children.

Let's join together, with hearts in unity, to make a difference. Take a stand for the children of the world and purchase a music CD for yourself and one for someone in your life that you hold dear in your heart.

Until next time, I'll leave you with a favorite quote from Charlotte Lunsford...

"We won't always know whose lives we touched and made better for our having cared, because actions can sometimes have unforeseen ramifications. What's important is that you do care and you act."

Asante sana -- Thank you very much.

Barnes and Noble coupons are always available for literary donations to deserving children.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Destination Tanzania!

Attention all world travelers
(and yes, world traveler "want-to be's" are certainly included)!

Today's destination?

Tanzania, Africa – home to the precious orphan and at-risk children who are held so close at heart by all those who support the mission of Hearts in Unity.

Let us give you a brief tour... Tanzania is the proud home to:
Mt. Kilimanjaro -- At 19,000 feet, it is the highest point in Africa and a destination for some of the world's most adventurous and dedicated climbers.

The "Big Five" -- lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, rhino. "Big Five" is a term originally coined by big-game hunters to refer to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot, but is used commonly now by most tourist and wildlife guides that discuss wildlife safaris.

Some of the most beautiful national parks in the world are in Tanzania (Our Hearts in Unity website includes videos of some of the national parks and also includes links to the official websites for each national park in Tanzania).
Located in East Africa, the eastern border of the country is on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Tanzania is also bordered by 9 other countries including: Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mosambique, Malawi and the island of Madascar. The island of Zanzibar, along with mainland Tanzania, make up the United Repuplic of Tanzania.

The influx of refugees from neighboring Rwanda, Burundi and Congo over the last decade has placed a heavy burden on a country already struggling to care for its own people. Tanzania is the 5th poorest country in the world with families living in heartbreaking poverty -- struggling to survive on an average household income of less than $1 a day.

$1 a day?
Can one even buy a cup of coffee these days for less than $1?

Maybe "living on less than $1 a day" in Tanzania is easier to comprehend when put it into some sort of familiar context.

Let's compare it to poverty in the United States. Our government has established that the "poverty level" for a family of 4 is approximately $21,000 per year -- or about $58 a day. Yes, it's all relative, and one must put the numbers into context, but the difference between $1 a day and $58 a day is both striking and alarming by any measure.

But for all the ways that this crushing poverty affects the daily lives of the people in Tanzania, they are a people rich in culture and hospitality. Perhaps they don't know what they are missing -- other than the basics of life such as food, clothing and education for their children.

But they seem to have their priorities in order. Their foundation is their family. Their strength is in their faith. Their hope is in a better future for their children. Though complicated in so many ways due to the poverty of the generations before them, their lives are simple.
And they simply need our help.

To learn more about the many ways that you can join us is in making a difference in the lives of the orphans and at-risk children of Tanzania, please visit our Hearts in Unity website.

Asante sana – Thank you very much.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Travel with us on Twitter!

Check out our "tweets" on Twitter! You don't need to have your own Twitter account to read the exciting updates on our mission. Just click onto our Twitter website and read all the latest!

Follow us on Facebook!

Join our new "Hearts in Unity" group on Facebook and get all the latest updates on our mission to help the precious children of Tanzania!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Partnership with "Cards for Kids"

Hearts in Unity is delighted to announce our new partnership with "Cards for Kids" -- an organization started by an amazing teenager who is dedicated to the creation of handmade and painted cards for children around the world who are facing poverty, homelessness, or difficult circumstances.

We just received in the mail our second package of beautiful hand-made cards from Haley and her friends at "Cards for Kids" which we will be sending to the orphans and at-risk children in our Tanzanian villages of Seela and Mwika.

These cards really do bring smiles -- and will be treasured by the children in Tanzania who will receive them.

Please visit the "Cards for Kids" website to learn more about our newest partner.

Become a fan of "Cards for Kids" on Facebook just like we are and read all about "Cards for Kids" in a recent news article.

When we join together, with hearts in unity for the children of the world, we can truly make a difference and change lives!

We welcome you to join us in this mission!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A New Year's Resolution

As you reflect on a the year gone past... and contemplate the year to come... consider the following...

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." -Morrie Schwartz-
Imagine the impact we could have on the world if we EACH were to make a New Year's resolution to do just ONE small thing to make a difference in the life of another.

A random act of kindness.
A friendly offer to help.
A word of encouragement.

It's really quite simple. And we can help you to help another.

All it takes is a pen, paper, a postage stamp and a few minutes of your time. Simple words of encouragement, written from your heart, can give hope to an orphan or other at-risk child in Tanzania, Africa.

It's a new year. Start it out with Hearts in Unity.

Visit us at to help make a difference in the life of a precious child in need of your encouragement.