A Family, a Farm, a Future

Drake Medox ESL program instructor Cindy Cook shares one of her many wonderful experiences during her recent trip to Tanzania as an ambassador for World Vision.

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Normally in September, the dry season dictates a hiatus throughout the farming communities of Tanzania. However, Kitinda and Lucia’s farm in Kilago Tanzania was anything but idle when I visited it one recent September morning. We were greeted with a warm welcome by a multi-generational family group. Deeply touched and honored by the salutation, I felt curious and excited to learn about the bustling farm spread out before me.

As I walked along the rows of planted maize, I learned from Kitinda that a drip irrigation system funded by World Vision’s Child Sponsorship Program had converted an unproductive off-season into an image of productivity. Beaming with pride, this Tanzanian farmer related how a year-round planting season has changed life for himself, his wife, and his seven children. I needed no translator to understand his message of the powerful impact accessible water throughout the year has had on his livelihood. Now, for the first time in his life, he has the income necessary to support his children’s health and education, to build a sturdy family home and to plan for a future filled with hope.

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Kitinda and Lucia’s happiness was contagious and I found myself sharing their enthusiasm amidst many smiles and much laughter. It was truly an amazing and heart-warming experience to witness the joy of this hard working farming family, and I was reminded of my own roots in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. I too, come from a hard working farming family. If there is one thing that stands out for me from this background, it is that, along with long days and hard work, sunshine and water in balance is the key to success. I was also reminded of many happy childhood memories of running and playing in my uncles’ seemingly endless fields of corn.

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If there was one wish I could grant this Tanzanian family, it would be that their children could also look back on childhood years filled with many happy memories and look forward toward a bright and hopeful future. I realize as I write this that Kitinda’s success is testimony to a wish transformed into a reality. World Vision Canada’s initiatives in Tanzania, in cooperation with local communities and government, are transforming lives.

Yes, Kitinda and Lucia’s happiness is contagious, however it is also within reach of any Tanzanian child and family. As a Child Sponsor and a Child Sponsor Ambassador, I walked away from my visit to this farm in Kilago, not only with fond memories to treasure, but, as well, with a song in my heart and determination in my soul.

Click here to learn more about Cindy Cook and other Drake Medox College instructors.

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