I'm finally getting around to posting these pictures from Tanzania that I took during my Africa trip in March. The Kenya portion was posted here. Having our first baby and moving from Japan to California -- all in less than 3 months -- took more energy than I could have ever imagined! I took these photos while documenting Compassion International's Child Survival program, which is wonderful and effective outreach to marginalized young mothers and their children in Tanzania. This is how it works. Compassion Int. staff, along with community and church leaders, identify the most needy and form them into small groups. They meet at least once a week to receive encouragement, spiritual guidance, livelihood training, and enough nutrient-packed porridge to feed their baby for the week. The latter is actually prepared by the women themselves, by mixing a variety of beans, nuts, and flour and placing them in sacks to be transported to the local mill. By the next meeting, the porridge will have been milled and measured equally among the women. The allotment will provide a hearty meal for either a nursing mother, or if old enough, their baby as well.

The stories of these women were almost more than I could bear to hear. Like the first woman in these pictures. I found out after photographing her at church that only days before her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident. Widowed with such a young child, she's facing a long and difficult journey in a country not able to provide any form of assistance. Her and the baby desperately needs the mercy and love that Compassion International is providing.

Compassion does amazing work and is by far the most effective organization I've seen that breaks the cycle of poverty, one family at a time. No matter your religion, if you're not doing something about eradicating poverty, God called and said you have to. Really.

Stepping down from the soap box right.... now.

compassion international tanzania At the age of 19, this woman (above) was widowed just a few days before I took this photo. She's being helped through Compassion International's Child Survival Program

compassion-international-tanzania-africa africa-compassion-international-tanzania tanzania-kids-compassion-international african-child-compassion-international africa-tanzania-compassion-international-food-program africa-tanzania-compassion-international Down the trail from Compassion's Child Survival project site, a young Muslim girl retrieves water for her family before school.

More pictures uploaded here