Monday, August 13, 2012


Pardon me for hitting and running this week, but I wanted to post a lil' sumpin sumpin though I have very little time and even less energy.

The major news is GOOD, however, which is a nice change from my usual trend.

The Toa Nafasi Project is officially registered as an active international NGO in Tanzania!! 

I found out just before I left the country last week though of course it was not without some stumbling blocks that we got the job done.  However, faced with two long days of travel and three months stateside to follow up on my 501c3 and work on branding and programming from the U.S., I tried not to sweat the small stuff.

The biggest issue we faced was that, for some bizarre and unknown reason, the Tanzanian government authorities rejected the word "project" in Toa Nafasi's name.  They seemed to think that it suggested a for-profit outfit as opposed to a humanitarian organization, demonstrating in my opinion not only a dubious grasp of the English language but also a certain pestiferous tendency to meddle in totally inessential matters.  So when Diwani Kiwelu went to register for me in Dar and was told as much, he went with the word "organization" as opposed to "project," i.e. "Toa Nafasi Organization" instead of "The Toa Nafasi Project."  Naturally, when I was told of this news, I pitched a fit of rather gargantuan proportions, but was gradually appeased when Baba, Kiwelu and I came to the conclusion that "organization" could be used solely on the legal documents, simply "Toa Nafasi" would be printed on our office signboard, and the proper name, "The Toa Nafasi Project" would be used everywhere else.

It's not perfect, but it's done and that in itself is an accomplishment.  I have a proper Tanzanian board of directors, a set of bylaws in Swahili, and a certificate of registration as well as two staff members and an office.  If I want to amend the name legally - I would have just registered as "Toa Nafasi" had it been me in Dar or had Kiwelu consulted me - I can do so after six months.  But it's not crucial, and there is much work to be done in other areas.  I've only been back in the States a few days and already my To Do List is several pages long and fairly demoralizing.  But polepole, things will get done.  Hopefully, by the time of my next post I will be in better spirits and a bit more organized and encouraged.

So, until then, I leave you with this methali or Swahili proverb which I find to be apropos for the moment at hand: Hakuna masika yasiyokuwa na mbu.  It means "There is no rainy season without mosquitos."  Sigh....indeed....

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