A Message from Wendy Black-Nasta
This summer we returned to the village of Kibosho-Umbwe,Tanzania. Our team included 5 dentists from UConn Dental School—who opened the AFWP Free Dental Clinic. Our team saw approximately 300 villagers. We also expanded our Free Eye Clinic, distributing 100 pair of prescription eye glasses that Ray Dennis made our patients from our last eye clinic, and we also distributed hundreds of sunglasses.
We again worked with the Peace Quilters through the cottage industry we began in 2016—continuing to teach the art of quilt making which enables the women to increase their daily income. AFWP raffles the quilts and sends the money back to the women to continue their work.
Having seen the need to address women’s health issues in the village, we partnered with Days for Girls and Mooncatchers to provide recyclable sanitary kits to girls and women, and I taught a class that I called “From Puberty to Menopause,” in which I discussed women’s health and health care needs.
We also brought the children on their annual vacation—which included a trip to both the city and the beach in Dar es Salaam. And of course, just spending time with all of our children is always the highlight of the trip for me.
In March, both Robert and I traveled to Kathmandu University in Nepal to meet our scholarship recipients. We established the AFWP Dr. Yoram Kaufmann Scholarship at the university 5 years ago. Our first recipient graduated, and we are happy to say he will be continuing his music education in a Masters program at the University of Alberta. We also awarded a scholarship to a high school student in our home town. She will be pursuing a career in Music Education at the University of Connecticut.
Once again we are grateful and humbled by the talent and generosity of the artists who helped to make an incredibly successful AFWP on Broadway (our 6th Annual) and our 5th Annual Dance for Peace.
We are now focusing our attention on bringing our work home. With all of the lessons we’ve learned the past 10 years working in Tanzania, we are now launching our NATIVE EYES PROJECT—opening free eye clinics on Native American reservations around the United States. Our first clinic is slated to open in June of 2018 on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
With the guidance of our Board of Directors, Council of Elders, staff, volunteers, and our circle of artists and supporters, we are able to continue using our art to fulfill our vision of changing the world—one child, one family, one village at a time.
Thank you to everyone who helps make our work possible.