Overcoming poverty through education.. One child at a time

Dear Friend,

Thanks to YOU, over the past year, House of Blue Hope has been able to grow, helping more children and their families overcome poverty through education.

Think about a time when you asked your own children ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ I’m sure there was an array of aspiring answers. With your help, I was able to witness the children of House of Blue Hope discuss their passions in life and actually begin taking the steps necessary to achieve those goals. They have the same hopes and dreams as your children and, with your support, they now have a chance to reach for those dreams.

My time spent in Tanzania, living at the houses with the children, has showed me just how far your generosity has taken them. Thanks to donors like you the children have more opportunities to learn, be cared for, and most of all be loved. Seeing the smiles on their faces every morning when they headed off to school was such a joy and is a direct result of your support.

With your continued support House of Blue Hope has been able to provide services that meet basic needs, and assist in early childhood development and life skills.

We are excited to say that with the support of donors like you we have been able to open our doors to more children every year. We have expanded our girls’ house and have moved our older boys to their own home, in order to focus these young men on their transition to adulthood and independence. This has been tremendous not only for our children but the community of Mabibo. House of Blue Hope has been able to role model parenting abilities and early childhood interventions to other families in the community.

Your support has allowed us to expand our efforts into helping the mothers of our children by offering guidance in showing these women how to start a small business of their own and create a better life for themselves. Recently, House of Blue Hope has received acknowledgment and praise directly from the Tanzanian government for the success of our women’s program. This has a great impact on our children as they love seeing their own parents become self- sustaining, contributing members of society. We have even begun to take things further by establishing a daycare, not only for our children but for the children in the Mabibo community. With your support we can now reach beyond the children in our houses and give support to other families by teaching them early childhood development skills.

As House of Blue Hope continues to grow we want to thank you and encourage your continued support. House of Blue Hope could not do this work without you. There are many more children in Tanzania waiting to be a part of House of Blue Hope. Your support, generosity and donations can make that happen! Thank you for giving.

Ashly Witkowiak

2018 Stewardship Report

Thank you for making a lasting impact on the lives of the House of Blue Hope Children!

For many vulnerable children in Tanzania, a home and an education are only a dream. Since 2006, the House of Blue Hope has made that dream a reality – children without access to school have transformed into self-confident students, broken the cycle of poverty, and forever changed the trajectory of their lives. Your philanthropic partnership has been integral in strengthening HBH programming and expanding our reach, helping more children find a home and a life-changing education at House of Blue Hope.

Your generous contribution has impacted the work of House of Blue Hope since January 2017 by helping HBH:

Increase the number of children in our care from 15 to 29 (a 93% increase!), changing not only the life of each child forever, but that of their families as well.

Open a third house, which has been used by the high-school-age boys, allowing them to gain a sense of independence and maturity, while freeing up more space and resources to add additional younger children to the program.

Strengthen our Women’s Empowerment program - a hand-made purse and jewelry business - owned and operated by impoverished Tanzanian women, including the mothers of some of our own HBH children.

Train our staff to become better teachers and caregivers at Meadows Preschool – one of the premier educational institutions in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Expand our HBH (U.S.) board by eight members, launching new fundraising events from Florida to California.

Your continued generosity will impact the work of House of Blue Hope in 2020 as we intend to accomplish the following:

Transform our fourth house into a daycare facility for our youngest children, while providing the same first-class learning and care to our neighborhood kids, in an effort to create a self-sustaining income source for HBH Tanzania.

Add a fifth house and support 45 kids (adding 16!) by the end of 2020.

Add our first HIV-positive child to House of Blue Hope, providing this child with all the resources needed to have a successful and healthy life, while educating the HBH children and staff about proper health safety requirements.

Grow the HBH Women’s Empowerment project to generate enough revenue to distribute living-wage dividends to its members.

Expand fundraising from $100,000, received in 2018, to $120,000, projected in 2019, and achieve our ambitious goal of $150,000, in 2020, while launching even more fundraising events globally.

— We hope to achieve our 2020 fundraising goal through: • identifying, applying for, and obtaining local and national grants available to organizations like HBH;

• partnering with charitable service organizations (i.e. Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.);

• increasing the HBH network by adding board members and fundraising events; and,

• increasing our monetary donation per donor.

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What year did you join the HBH Board?


What motivated you to become a part of the HBH Board?

I went to the Milwaukee wine event 3 years ago and read the children's stories. Once I did, I felt that I could offer my unique perspective of being a therapist to the organization. I left my information with Adam Weiss hoping that HBH would call me.

After a few months, I received a call, and from there I offered to go to Tanzania to meet the kids and see how things were going. I actually did not go into this to become a board member. I just knew that I could offer a good perspective on how to help the children.

How has joining HBH as a Board Member impacted your life?

This has been a wonderful and exciting experience for me. It has helped me grow personally as an individual, especially after spending time in Tanzania. On the professional side, it has opened my eyes to how many ways you can truly help someone. I have been in the field for over 10 years, practicing directly with children and families. This board work has shown me another side to helping people. Helping to organize the business plan, take part in strategic planning, gaining a new understanding of fundraising, and looking at the HBH community as a whole, instead of just one client and their family, has been eye opening.

Tell us about your professional background, and how it helps you contribute as an HBH Board Member?

I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Along with being fully licensed in the state of WI as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I have a certificate in family therapy, trauma work, and a background in child development. My main focus throughout my work history has been with children and their families.

What impact do you hope to have on the HBH kids, and our organization as a whole?

I hope that my unique background of being a therapist will help bring a more detailed look at how what we do, and what has happened to the children, impacts them. I feel that society in general does not realize how much a therapist truly knows about human development, human behavior, and how the environment impacts it.

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What year did you join the HBH Board?


What motivated you to become a part of the HBH Board?

I have ben a long-time donor and supporter of HBH. Billy Bludgus, Scott Sadowksi, Adam Weiss and myself have been close friends since our time together as fraternity brothers at the University of Miami. I have always been impressed by Billy's vision in beginning and growing HBH, and when I was asked to take on a larger role as a Board Member I was honored and humbled. I am happy to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these children we support.

How has Joining HBH as a Board Member impacted your life?

It makes me happy to think that some small actions that I can take here can have a ripple effect to potentially change the life of a child in Tanzania for the better. I am looking forward to my first trip to Tanzania next summer (2020) to see first-hand the impact that HBH has had on these children in Dar es Salaam.

Tell us about your professional background, and how it helps you contribute as an HBH Board Member?

I am an attorney in South Florida with my own legal practice focusing in the areas of Condominium and Homeowner's Associations, Real Estate and Civil Litigation, among other areas.

What impact do you hope to have on the HBH kids, and our organization as a whole?

I am hoping to help HBH increase its annual fundraising efforts. Obviously, the greatest

impact that US based board members can have on our Tanzanian operation is the ability

to raise funds and support the local team in Tanzania. I would like to see our fund raising

efforts double over the next few years, which will provide HBH the opportunity to bring

in and help even more at-risk children.

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