Year Joined MKLM: 2012
Project(s): Lubango Center
Project Goal: To be a pair of hands for the Holy Spirit, bringing a seed of hope and confidence to those struggling to meet their primary needs in the Nyashana area of Mwanza, Tanzania
Richard is from the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado, where he was a member of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Alamosa, CO. He holds a Master’s of Science in Physical Chemistry and a Master’s of Science in Instructional Systems Technology. He served in the US Army and spent seven years on short mission trips to different parts of Africa. He worked at Eli Lilly and Company for 31 years before retiring.
Richard serves at the Lubango Centre in Nyashana, which is a poor suburb of Mwanza, where most families are without running water and electricity. The Lubango Centre was created to mainly address poverty in the area and is made up of a Kindergarten, Home Craft School for girls and a library. The focus of the Centre is mainly on the youth and young women, but the library provides a study place and book resource for the young men and women in the area. Richard is working to train and / or refresh the teachers in English as well as trying to provide some exercise instruction to the kindergarten and craft classes. Richard tells us, “The building complex is beautiful and the children are well dressed in uniforms however, there is great stress in living in an area where the need for food, water and shelter are primary. It is hard to build up their confidence and spirits and break the cycle of poverty and inequality between men and women. Hitting one another, especially men beating women, is still difficult to stop; the realization that education can occur without hitting is still a big challenge. The whole community can benefit as a result of showing love instead of breeding fear, especially here in Africa, where interdependence is needed for existence. Having people model behaviors as, ‘What would Jesus do’, can change the world – slowly.”