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Oct 2, 2017

The Shop is OPEN!

Consoler and New Hope for Girls members
Consoler and New Hope for Girls members

What a summer it's been! It brings me great pleasure to share this update with you about your impact for young survivors of modern slavery in Tanzania.

You'll be happy to know that the New Hope for Girls Sewing Shop is now up and running! The store opened in July to great success. In fact, the shop brought in $400 in its first week, making it an excellent opening week in Dar Es Salaam. The store is on its way to bringing sustainable income to support more than 30 girls rescued from modern slavery.

It is your gift that enabled the store to open. We can't thank you enough for your generosity. 

The shop is called African New-Hope Sewing Supply Shop, or AFN. Eliya and Consoler have a vision of the shop as a “one-stop shopping” destination. Eliya says, “our customers really like that we offer a variety of sewing products so that they only have to go to one store. It sets us apart from other stores in the neighborhood”. The store is located in the city center/commercial district of Dar Es Salaam.

Another exciting event of this summer was the African Road Learning Trip to Tanzania and Rwanda. Coinciding with the shop opening, Learning Trip members were able to visit New Hope for Girls to see impact that Consoler and Eliya are making in the lives of young survivors of modern slavery. One Learning Trip Participant says, “I told my family that what I wanted to do most was stand in front of the New Hope for Girls family home and to know that what I’d heard about Mama Consoler’s work rescuing girls from modern slavery was real and successful. And there I was about to go in the door to meet all these lively, confident and happy young ladies. 34 girls ages 8-23…dream fulfilled. Everything else was a bonus.”

Another Learning Trip Participant says, “I saw with my own eyes the joy, intelligence, youthful exuberance of these loving girls, who know that no one will hurt them again. They have a clean, organized, peaceful household in which all girls talents and efforts are important. They can rely on being encouraged, being nurtured and secure. The feeling of love and acceptance was awe-inspiring. It may seem miraculous to read that two people can successfully raise 34 girls, but believe me, it feels even more miraculous to be there in person! Consoler is incredible, as is her devoted husband, Eliya!”

Two months in, the store is performing solidly. Eliya says, “we are happy with the progress of the shop, and we are learning the ABCs of doing business. We are also learning more about the market.” Eliya shared with us that the main goal for the near future is to find a bigger wholesale supplier to increase their inventory and lower their overhead costs.

You are the reason that these tremendous strides forward are able to happen!

There is still $3500 remaining to fully fund the New Hope for Girls Shop and make sure that these first steps are translated into long-term success. We invite you to deepen your impact and consider a second gift towards this meaningful project. You can continue to be a part of life transformation for young survivors of modern slavery.

African Road ED Kelly with Eliya and David
African Road ED Kelly with Eliya and David
AFN Store
AFN Store
Jul 5, 2017

Shop space leased for Sewing Hope for Girls!

Consoler and Eliya
Consoler and Eliya

We are thrilled to report that progress is underway! The first portion of funds raised in our March campaign, Sewing Hope for Girls, has been released to our New Hope for Girls partners in Tanzania.

With these funds, Consoler Wilbert, Director of the New Hope for Girls, and her husband Eliya have signed a lease for the business.

In March, African Road supporters put their hearts and hands together to raise over $5000 to get this project off the ground. Plans are shaping up for the store to open soon. Consoler and Eliya are extremely grateful to African Road supporters for making this happen!

Eliya says, “thank you so much for your kind hearts, time, energy, and all the support for our programs. For us, it is more than an honor to see a group of you gathering together for us.”

The Sewing Hope for Girls business will be a wholesale sewing supply store to generate income for girls rescued from modern slavery. Consoler, who is herself a survivor of modern slavery, has dedicated her life to helping girls coming out of this horrific experience by providing a loving home and a space to heal. Consoler’s vision is for a business with a sustainable income that will enable NHGO to continue its vital work for the long term.

In just a few days, the African Road team will be in Dar Es Salaam to visit Consoler and Eliya to learn more about Sewing Hope for Girls and show even more great progress. Stay tuned! Sign up for regular updates to hear the latest news.

Apr 6, 2017

Thank you -- and a story

Loveness with two of her NHGO sisters.
Loveness with two of her NHGO sisters.

Thank you so much to everyone who joined in for the New Hope for Girls campaign! Because of you, we met our first fundraising milestone, and a business will be started to empower survivors of modern slavery in Tanzania.

Consoler and Eliya -- New Hope for Girls leaders in Tanzania -- are so grateful that they wanted to send you their own personal thank-you. You can view their video thank you here: https://youtu.be/4NASDxpyOjw

I wanted to share with you a story from my recent visit to New Hope for Girls Organization in January. Your generous support means that Consoler and Eliya will be able to provide a safe space to many more girls like Loveness in the future.

I met Loveness, a member of New Hope for Girls Organization, in July 2016. Consoler — NHGO’s founder and mom to 32 rescued girls — asked me how old I thought Loveness was. I looked at her small frame and guessed 6 or 7 years old. In fact, Loveness was 12. She had bright eyes and a quick mind, but her body was tiny from years of neglect and lack of nutrition. Loveness had been discarded by her mother a few years before and left with her poor grandmother who lived in a one-room shanty. The grandmother struggled to sustain herself, let alone a child – even her own grandchild. Loveness didn’t attend school and spent her days wandering the dusty streets of Consoler’s Dar es Salaam neighborhood to look for food.

Consoler noticed Loveness, learned her story, and saw her spark. In April 2016, Consoler welcomed Loveness into the New Hope for Girls “Give Back to the Neighborhood” classroom for school readiness. In three months’ time, Loveness was reading at her grade level and excelling in all subjects.

In early June, Loveness stopped appearing for class. After several days of absence, Consoler went looking for her. The shanty hut her grandmother had lived in was empty. Neighbors reported that the grandmother had left the area but had not taken Loveness with her. Loveness was left to the streets. Consoler assigned two of the older girls from the New Hope for Girls home to begin searching for her. It took two weeks before she was found sleeping in the doorway of a shop near the city dump where she’d been foraging for food. Consoler and Eliya welcomed Loveness into their healing home, bringing the household count to 36.

The Loveness I met in July showed no signs of such stories. She was vibrant and had a sense of humor. She was back in school and, for the first time ever, could count on three meals a day, and just as important, safe, loving parents. 

Loveness is just one of 32 girls currently in the New Hope for Girls house. Each of the girls has their own story — but rather than being defined by their past and the unimaginable situations they have lived through, they are looking forward to the future. 

On behalf of everyone at African Road and New Hope for Girls, thank you again so much for donating to this remarkable project. You can know that your gift will empower girls like Loveness for years to come. 

Loveness in January 2017
Loveness in January 2017
The New Hope for Girls family
The New Hope for Girls family

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