I founded SASHITA in 2008 with support from my family and friends, who believed in my idea of empowering communities in rural district of Tanzania, where I was born. I am a mother of one, married and an entrepreneur!
I speak Sukuma as my first language, Swahili as my second and English my third language! I was born in Tanzania, from a huge and strong tribe in Shinyanga called the Sukuma. The wealth of a Sukuma family in Shinyanga, is having lots of cows! Normally, when a girl gets married an exchange of cows as a ‘dowry’ is paid to her family.
I was born into a large family of 8 (5 girls and 3 boys). Traditionally, a family of 5 girls in Shinyanga means the family is very wealthy. Girls bring lots of cows, and with boys in the family it means cows are taken away to the other ‘girl’s’ family.
Luckily, my father worked hard and sold his cows in order for us all to have an education, where others prefer to keep cows rather than give their girls an education!
I came to live in Edinburgh, Scotland as a young girl in 1992. Ever since I have studied and worked in Edinburgh. In setting up SASHITA I felt it appropriate to make a difference to those not as fortunate as myself.
Pamoja/Together - we can make a difference!
I have been involved with Sashita since the second Trustees meeting.
I had met Maggie Mazoleka at St Mark's church, where we are both parishioners. Maggie had told me of her desire to help her home village and I immediately wanted to get involved.
My own background is nursing, having been a nurse since leaving school at 17. I have forty years experience of full time work as a trained nurse in both medical and psychiatric field. I am now semi-retired, but still work for NHS Lothian staff bank.
I have some knowledge of life in rural Africa, as my sister, Pauline O'Driscoll lived for many years in a small village in Nigeria, which had similar characteristics to Samuye. Pauline too, is a nurse and midwife and she worked in the village hospital, caring for the sick, delivering babies and training the local women in nursing and midwifery skills.
In the past eight years with Sashita, I have been involved with fundraising, developing volunteering protocols and helping in the sewing project. I have also previously held the role of secretary, which I enjoyed, however I have too many commitments. I was therefore, delighted when Janet was nominated and agreed to take over the role.
I was born in Edinburgh and grew up in Penicuik where I attended Beeslack High School. I am currently employed with Dundas & Wilson Scotland's largest law firm where I work as an IT Support Analyst.
I met Maggie Mazoleka (founder of SASHITA) in 2000 at Napier University where we studied Computer Networks and Distributed Systems together. We got married in Tanzania in 2010. We have a young son called Robert who was born in Jan 2011.
My main hobbies and interests are football, surfing, hiking and mountain biking. I am a season ticket holder at Tynecastle and follow Hearts as much as is possible, I also watch football on TV religiously. I try and get to surf as often as possible but it is weather dependant and not always possible. As part of a group I walked the West Highland Way this year for SASHITA and climb mountains on a fairly regular basis. I also try and get out on my bike as often as possible and cycle to work at least 3 times per week and get up the Pentland Hills as much as I can.
I have an interest in Africa through my relationship with Maggie and have visited Tanzania a number of times. I was lucky enough to visit Samuye last year and have firsthand experience of the hardships the villagers experience on a day to day basis be it collecting drinking water to the lack of good sanitary conditions.
I joined the Trust in July 2014.
Married to Isobel with one grown up daughter, I retired in August 2012 after 38 years in teaching, the last 15 of which were spent as head teacher of a secondary school in Fife.
Since retiral, in addition to becoming a Trustee of Sashita, I am also a Trustee of Headroom, a Dunfermline based counselling charity which provides a service to young people in West Fife, particularly in secondary schools. Isobel and I are volunteers for Waverley Care and can be seen every year at the Fringe shaking buckets at the Pleasance!
As a Trustee I hope I can use my experience to assist in developing and implementing Sashita’s strategic vision as well as being able to act as an effective ‘ambassador’ for Sashita.
Married to Mike for 40 years with one daughter, I was a Modern Languages teacher in the Edinburgh area for many years before becoming a Guidance teacher in St Augustine’s RC High School in Broomhouse. I retired in 2012 but still mentor and befriend young people at the school on a voluntary basis. Working with teenagers keeps you young in spirit!
I have been involved with Waverley Care, a local charity, for many years, mostly with the fundraising team. I became a Trustee of Sashita in 2014 and hope to use my life-experience to help SASHITA continue to grow.
Françoise Gaudron Rutherford
I joined the Trust in May 2012. I am now retired but have many years of experience in project and programme management. I worked with the Lothian Regional Council's Urban Regeneration programme supporting voluntary sector organizations in disadvantaged areas
In the 1990s, I worked in Brussels where I had oversight of transnational training and employment initiatives at EU level. Long before that I had spent a year in an upland village on Bougainville Island, now in Papua New Guinea with my social anthropologist husband.
More recently, I have been a Citizen's Advice Bureau adviser in North Edinburgh and a mentor of black and ethnic minority people with Linknet Edinburgh.
I joined SASHITA in 2015.I am married with three girls and retired from the teaching profession in 2013. Having enjoyed thirty seven years in secondary schools, my last six were spent as a Head Teacher.
With my children now having flown the nest, I enjoy going to the theatre, reading, listening to music and both holidaying abroad and learning to dance with my wife! My background in mathematics hopefully means that I keep SASHITA’s accounts up to date!
Married to Dave with four grown up children, we are now (young) grandparents to 2 grandchildren.
I have been involved with the running of SASHITA since its foundation in 2008 as Chairperson of the Trust and also as the Charity Fundraising Coordinator. I have seen with all the hard work the organisation flourish and grow.
My working background includes Nursing, both in General medicine and Psychiatric care. Once my children were all at school I re-trained in the media concentrating primarily on radio working with Scot FM and as a free lance journalist with BBC Radio Scotland . I also studied photography and film making but treat this area more as a hobby.
Over the years I have served on many committees including School Boards, PTA, Scouts and church youth groups.
In recent years I studied counselling skills and graduated with Honours from a Post Graduate Diploma in Chaplaincy Studies from Maynooth University in Ireland. My previous experience working with a registered charity was from 1994 when I became involved with the charity St Andrew's Aid Relief in the transporting of Humanitarian Aid to Russia and continued this for the next 14 years. Much of my charity experience was learnt during this time as member of the Board of Trustees, Fundraising, Collecting and Packing clothes, Medical supplies and Educational Resources. During that time I visited rural areas within Northern Russia with the charity.
With the many areas of life experience I have gained throughout the years I am enjoying the challenge of working with SASHITA in Tanzania's rural areas
I am a self employed tutor doing freelance work at Pembertons Sewing and Craft centre in Stirling. I teach general dressmaking, pattern drafting and embroidery.
In 2003 I attended Jewel & Esk Valley College completing a short course in Historical Heirlooms for which I was awarded a Highly Commended Certificate. Wanting to further my embroidery, I embarked on City & Guilds Course in Creative Embroidery at Edinburgh’s Telford College, which I completed in 2010. I am promoting my work through exhibitions with fellow students.
I became involved with SASHITA through my son Grant and his wife Maggie Mazoleka and visited Samuye at the time of Grant and Maggie’s wedding. I therefore, have seen first hand how difficult life there can be. I am committed to helping the people of Samuye as much as I can.
Over the past few years I have run craft work shops, teaching the trustees/volunteers sewing and jewellery making skills and together we make craft items to sell at craft fairs. During 2014, I was fundamental in teaching the ”Stitch in Time” sewing classes, helping local women in Oxgangs learn sewing skills. In turn, many of the students have continued to make sellable items for us to raise further funds for Sashita.
As a young entrepreneur, I have a deep passion for business, strategy and management. I am a warm young lady with a friendly and full of life attitude. My great sense of humour only adds to the fact that I am both focused and motivated. I love reading, shopping (which unfortunately, I never quite have enough money for), being around my family and friends, planning and organising (I am not quite sure whether this is a hobby) and everything that involves music.
I come from Dar es Salaam, the industrial capital of Tanzania and I have many relatives in Samuye including my grandparents, who are Maggie's parents. Although I have been to Samuye on numerous occasions, it is after my engagement with SASHITA that made me see the village in a completely different perspective. I had never realised how easy it could be to change someone's life and make a difference. Being a part of SASHITA has given me a deeper understanding of my responsibility and capability to
bring, both economic and social, development in deprived areas.
As a trustee, I have a profound passion for youth based activities and have a dream of interconnecting the youth/young people in Edinburgh with those in Samuye. I believe there is a tremendous amount that they can learn from each other and even further develop the young minds to align themselves with sustainable development to help eradicate poverty in developing nations.
I invite everyone and anyone who will be interested, to come and join us and make a difference, one life at a time...