Steven and Bethany Friberg are ELCA missionaries in Tanzania. Steven is a physician. They have helped establish rural clinics for the Maasai. Bethany also works with Maasai women in their income-generating projects, which mostly involve beadwork. To support the Fribergs, or another of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.
Sixty Maasai women in northern Tanzania have a goal — that each one will build a two-room permanent home with a roof of corrugated metal roofing sheets, called “bati” in Swahili. These would replace primitive, thatched-roof huts. Building houses has traditionally been women’s work so this idea came naturally when a supply of beads was donated to Naapok Project. By making and selling extra bracelets, the women have money to put aside for bati and trusses.
With the help of family and friends, the walls are made of termite-resistant cedar poles, horizontal branches, small stones and plaster of ash, dirt, sand and manure. Once the roof is on, the local evangelist is called to dedicate and bless the home.
So far 15 houses have been built. Many of you have been crucial in the process of turning bracelets into bati.
Thank you for buying bracelets!