Life is not so different “at the core” BUT life is much harder day to day- “at the core”

Life is not so different at the core
BUT Life is much harder at the core

  • All mamas and daddys love their kids, all kids want to be loved and approved of
Asante Africa Foundation

This mama sells sweet potatoes on the streets of Mto wa Mbu


Asante Africa Foundation
  • Parents typically want their kids to have a better future than they did — 1 generation to the next
  • Most parents struggle in some way to make that possible better life happen for their kids
  • Most people WANT to be honest and do what is right and be well regarded in the community
  • Most people have a guiding moral system provided by religion- Christianity, Islam, Muslim


Asante Africa Foundation
  • All kids want to spread their wings and test
  • Young people do not see too far down the road — 3 months feels like a long time
  • Students sneaking out to go watch a soccer match on TV at local pub
  • Music and friends are the ultimate importance to teenagers — EVERYWHERE
  • All kids enjoy bring a bit silly once the option is given to do so


Asante Africa Foundation

BUT life is much harder day to day- “at the core”

The basics of toilet- outhouses, swat toilets and sit down toliets — I definitely cut down on my water consumption because you never know when or where you may have access to any kind of toilet (much less a pretty flushable one)

  • water coming out of spigots is quite the luxury and more typical is carrying buckets on your head,
  • taking the local taxi because you have no other means of transport (sardines — 24 people in the last van ride),
  • trying to stay clean and presentable in a heavily dusty world,
  • wearing business cloths and moving about
  • electricity never being predictable-if at all

Something as simple as having someone over to dinner takes hours to manage ( no water, charcoal stove, no refrigeration, no prepackaged coconut ( having to do the real thing)

AND There is no welfare system here

  • One young man told me that he needed to stay in good with his family because at the end of the day- they are his welfare system if something happens to him or his wife
  • I think we have gotten so calloused to the HIV/AIDs problem and we forget to put a face to it. It is devastating to loose your mom or dad, and possibly both and there are emotional scars to manage
  • if you live here. the probability that you have had an HIV death in your family- 90%,
  • if ou live here, the probability that you will raise some subset of your nieces and nephews -80%,
  • 40% of our 125 students do not have either parent and most are being raised by older sibling or grandmothers
  • It is really hard to concentrate on math or physics if you know your mom might not be alive when you get home
  • the probability that if you are educated at high school level that the burden to educate all those siblings behind you is 80%+.
  • One young woman who has recently finished high school is now carrying the burden of educating 4 younger siblings (and she is only 19). She sells carrots and sweet potatoes on the side of the road to tourists and locals.

And they are still striving to achieve and keep up or catch up with the western culture/ technology. Whew!!! It is exhausting some days.

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