Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
“Today WEEDO (Women Empowering and Entrepreneurial Development Organization) girls are very happy to be part of The J.Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust .
English is one of the official languages in Tanzania, at work place or at any official place. English plays a major role in creating opportunities for most of the people in Tanzania , getting a job , business , and marketing , this is the lesson why WEEDO provides English class for the girls .
Now we have enough English materials where every girl can have her own book, rather than how they were sharing before, we believe through this great support girls will be more motivated , and easily fight to the success.
24 English books brought yesterday”
Literacy and vocational skills such as sewing are part of the WEEDO project in Tanzania.
Mexico City, Mexico
“Although the J Kirby Simon Foundation is magnificently flexible about m and e, I just wanted to send along some pictures from our grant here in Mexico City. It’s being used for a cafeteria add-on to a small school in a town about 45 minutes outside the city. A local NGO will be starting a food program at the school to provide free breakfast as soon as it’s completed. Thanks again for all you do and making these grants possible!”
On April 28, 2021, a group of eight volunteers toured the shelter. The group members spoke with the shelter director, and made a list of possible projects we could help with.
As repair of two water pumps was urgently needed, the evening after our visit I deposited money for the repairs, which were completed soon thereafter. Flip flops for all of the young women (especially for use in dorm-like shower stalls) were also highlighted by the director as needed items; I purchased enough pairs for all of the women online.
After learning of a broken stove, two of the group members told me about a Consulate-owned stove that was to be auctioned off. The next day, I contacted post’s General Services Officer to explore if regulations would allow donation of the stove to the shelter. The answer was yes; I completed the paperwork necessary for the donation to be approved, and paid for repairs to the stove to make it functional. It was delivered and installed, along with the overhead fan, on July 17, 2021:
In June 2021, the Consul General decided that, in the spirit of American volunteerism, one of the Consulate’s activities to celebrate the 4th of July would be a collection drive to support Casa Hogar El Refugio. Consulate employees and their family members were asked to donate articles ranging from diapers to non-perishable food items to clothing and other items. CLO advertised the drive, and a small group of volunteers set up spots in the Consulate to collect the items. On July 17, 2021, the Consul General and a group of volunteers met the shelter residents and delivered the items.
On July 30, 2021, the Consul General met with a group of volunteers to brainstorm ideas to continue supporting the shelter. Born from that meeting was one volunteer’s idea to purchase journals for the young mothers and their children, and to impart a class on journal writing. The group thought this was a good idea, and I checked with the shelter director for her approval. I then purchased journals and pens (for the mothers) and notebooks and crayons (for the children). On October 1, the materials were delivered to the shelter, along with other donations, and a group of five volunteers gave classes to the mothers and children on journal writing.
Also in July 2021, the director reported that waterproofing of the roof was an urgent priority. Rainy season in Guadalajara sometimes brings torrential downpours, and water comes into the shelter’s different buildings because it is not properly waterproofed. Accordingly, on July 28, 2021 I purchased waterproofing materials, which were delivered to the shelter a couple of days later. The store even threw in a box of hand sanitizing gel for free!
In August 2021, a volunteer took it upon herself to organize monthly donation drives for Casa Hogar El Refugio. She placed an ad in CLO’s monthly newsletter, offering to collect donations of gently used clothing, shoes, toys, and other items to transport monthly to the shelter.
As of October 1, 2021, all of the J. Kirby Simon Trust funds have been spent.