Dear girlfriends

We are all ready now to reacive letters from the women of project Africa in rural Kenya.

I should mention here that many of the women have never writen in theirn lives. So they will be helped by our project leaders and staff in in the Projects. Every women will write the letter for herself. Others will be long others will be just the sentence My name is .... but i know that with time you will see how the woman improves in her writing skills and extents her paragraphs

The rules of the letter exchange is that when you write the letter to the women we insist that you should not indicate your address but only Your name. Your address provided to project Africa will be kept in Project africa database. this is to avoid abuse of this important exercise by those whomay wish to solicit for gifts and money. So make the project free from such abuses I recomemnd that You provide your address to Project Africa office.

In the event that you would like to support your Rafiki we kindly advice that you do so through the project and we will deliver the gift to your rafiki.

How will the women receive the letters?

Yes the women in rural Kenya will receive their letter by post. So you will be informed which station your rafiki is situated and the two main address are

Project Africa mission house p.o box 1055 50100 kakamega Kenya


Project Africa mission house P O box 10 80402 Lungalunga Mombasa, Kenya

Normally a letter posted to Europe or America from the two statins may take between 7- 10 working days to get to you. Please be patienrt with the women and know that they will write in. In case of inconveniences and delayed posts we will infirm you of the same.

I look forward to sharing with you this empowering experience.

Thank you all

Comment on this Post


thank you Susan

I will inform you as son as i receive your address and i will send some photos of the handicrafts as I had promised then later I will post the samples. i tried sending you an email yesterday with photos but the photos were too large. So i will do it again later this evening. take care

I have been wanting a pen pal, and here one is dropped in my pulsewire lap! I would love to recruit some friends to join in this as well, but for now, will send you my address. Thanks MamaAfrica!

in happy anticipation, elsie

Dear Lisa

Yes all correspondence will be in English. May be your Rafiki will share a few swahili words and what they mean so the cultural aspect is enjoyed. Welcome to the club will communicate soon on who we match you with. please tell your friends to join Rafiki Club

I would like to share with everyone a piece that was recorded on National Public Radio here, in the U.S.A. These are the words of Chameli Waiba who does not speak English but recorded this with the help of Antenna Foundation Nepal. It so strongly and beautifully describes the life-changing impact of literacy. Please encourage all your friends to join with us in supporting the literacy program of Project Africa. You will forever change someone's life for the better.

Weekend Edition Sunday, February 15, 2009 The Magic Of Letters by Chameli Waiba

I believe in the alphabet, because it has the power to change life.

I realized the power concealed in the alphabet on the very first day I joined the adult literacy class. For the first time, I was introduced to letters that stood for my name. In discovering the Nepali alphabet, I discovered I was Cha-me-li and not Cha-mi-li, as everyone used to call me. It felt like magic. A little loop of "e" for "i" changed my name!

If three letters could change my name, how much would I be able to transform my life if I understood all the letters? I spent that whole evening writing and rewriting my name. After that, I carried the spelling book with me while I went to collect firewood, weed the maize field, just everywhere, until I learned to write.

Before learning how to write, my life was like the nearby Indrasarovar Lake, always stagnant. I had the pain of child marriage, my husband did not support me, abject poverty was my way of life and I didn't have any skill or courage to do anything. But I saw that the number of people learning to read and write was growing — and their lives were improving. I then realized it was neither wealth nor beauty that I lacked, but letters.

As my new knowledge of words boosted my confidence and courage, I made a resolution: Yes, my life has been like this, but I and my sisters and brothers should be given education, as much as we would like.

The immediate obstacle to this was the Tasar River. The village school was on the other side of the river and children would be cut off from going to school during monsoon season. I wanted to erect a bridge over the river. In the beginning the villagers did not help. Some even mocked the idea, saying it was only for me and called the idea, "Chameli Bridge." But finally we got support, materials were collected, volunteer laborers were available and the bridge was finally constructed.

Now I cannot express my satisfaction seeing children running to school over that bridge. It is a bridge of iron, a bridge of letters, a bridge of community. Nothing is achieved without the cooperation of all.

I am now heading five women's microsaving groups. Ten or 20 rupees that used to be spent buying petty cosmetic items have been collected into a fund of 300,000 rupees. We are planning to open a small cooperative in the village soon. We also want to run permanent literacy classes for women and open a library.

All this is the result of my knowing the alphabet, even though I learned it late. Letters have immense power. They have magic. The greatest thing in the world is the alphabet. That is my belief.

(Independently produced for Weekend Edition Sunday by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman with John Gregory and Viki Merrick. Special thanks to Madhu Acharya of Antenna Foundation Nepal.)

Janice PulseWire Community Director

Thank you Janice for the stori of Chameli. She is a sign of victory that every women learned and illliterate must emulate. I know for sure that literacy is a bridge to empowerment. many times when going to school in Kenya, my teachers told me that We go to school to learn so that we can get good jobs, Be doctors, be lawyers be pilots etc. That was a peak that every girl in my class determined to reach. It is true that some of us made it to the top. However today, as I work with women across the remote villages of Africa, I know their highest peak is Empowerment. That if only they can read and write then they like Chameli will understand how to invest meaningfully and earn income for their families, that if only they can grasp the power of the alphabet they can sign their names on a piece of title deed and not loose their only inheritance because they thumb signed. that they can read the doctors prescription of medicine, taht they can improve on family nutrition, that they can read that sign board that stands outside their village. that their world can be enlightened.

I believe that a Program like The rafiki Club is the way to go. where women help womankind to see the dawning of a new day. More Chamelis shal be born and before we know it they will habve built many bridges for the empowerment of all, children, women and men alike.

Thank you for sharing

I have also emailed my address and look forward to being matched with a Rafiki. I am curious -- will the women be learning to spell like the English or the Americans? Bahati njema with the programme (English) or program (American). I assume English as Kenya was a British Colony until independence in 1963.

Hej Janice

i never thought about it that way, haha haha may be they will only write swenglish ( Swahili- English) and say programu am sure the message will be passed accross. That liberalism free to do as you wish for as long as you hurt no one. your address is received thanks