2020 was a watershed year for MGRC After going through tremendous growth in 2019, we shifted our focus last year to sustainability. We did a lot of work behind-the-scenes putting processes in place to make us more efficient to ensure our high quality of care for the girls for many years to come.
Our Tanzanian organization is now solidified as an independent, fully registered, tax exempt Tanzanian International NGO with an international board. By adding the appropriate structure and staff, we are now a licensed Children’s Home. This allows us to partner with the local community and government. I also hired an experienced on-site manager (Elisante Loi Laizere) who will manage the local staff, freeing myself up to work on future strategic plans. Our U.S. organization remains a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Proof that this program is working is evident on our educational successes and breakthroughs. I am watching the girls become more confident, develop their personalities, and seeing them move from living one day at a time to working diligently towards achieving a better future for themselves.
The best is yet to come Our original facility and location had significant short comings. The building was too small for the 58 girls, the land did not support our sustainable food projects, and the owner of the site did not give us the flexibility we needed to operate.
Our future plans are to build a sustainable ecoVillage on our own land. Our first step was to move to a rental facility in Karatu that provides our girls a secure home close to where we permanently locate. We have also purchased 15 acres in Karatu to build new facilities that aligns with our mission and sustainable vision. Review our 2020 Annual Report and our 2021 Operational Budget.
To help us create a masterplan for our ecoVillage, we sought assistance from Architects Without Frontiers, who setup a pro bono partnership with a globally renowned architectural firm out of Australia (ClarkHopkinsClark). The MGRC ecoVillage masterplan will include homes for approximately 100 girls, a pre-school, vocational training area, dining hall, volunteer living quarters, ecoFarm with livestock barns and gardens. The plan also includes a new ecoLodge that will create sustainable funding for MGRC.
I can’t put into words how thankful I am for all the hard work from our staff, volunteers, and generous sponsors and donors, who are making our vision into reality. Together, we are directly and positively impacting the lives of the girls at Maasai Girls Rescue Center.