Why we need to build a school in Luhombero

In this video, Father Placid explains why they need to build the three room school house in Luhombero. It will be called the Yosef Wosk School, named for a wonderful donor. Most schools are in the towns and not close. In any case they are expensive and often have 120 students per class.

If you would like to donate, click on this link to  The Provision Charitable Foundation at Canada Helps. In the drop down menu, select “Luhombero Primary School,” and enter the amount you would like to donate and your personal information so that you may receive a tax receipt. If you prefer to use Paypal (no tax receipt), you can click the Paypal button below.





In this video below, Father Placid talks about how the whole village worked to build the bricks for the school. He asks for help from Canada and all the children thank you very much, “Asanta sana!!”


THANK YOU!





Because of improved irrigation, agriculture is improved in the Village

Because of your donations, Placid has been able to install improved irrigation. Now they can plant a lot of maize (corn), melons, tomatoes and more. And they are even starting to raise pigs. There is no longer hunger in the village.

Here the villagers of Luhombero are planting 6 acres of maize.

Father Placid proudly showing off the tomato field!

And here is the beginning of their pig farming industry.

Thank you for the car!

Father Placid thanks everyone for the donation of money that allowed him to purchase a new car (truck). With it, he can transport patients to hospital, get their spare produce to the market town and move tools and farm equipment. This is a godsend for them.

In this video, because of the new truck, Father Placid is able to drive a pregnant mother who was having difficulty delivering her baby to the Health Centre in the next village.

And in this video, he drives at least 20 children to church. See if you can count them all!

Working in the fields

Here is brief video of villagers helping with the harvest.

In this video, they are growing seedlings that will be transplanted later, into the fields.

In this video, Father Placid shows us the fields and the crops that are made possible by your generous donations. The village now enjoys food security, which they did not have before.

A Visit to Luhombero in January, 2018

Who do you think of when you think of a Renaissance man (or woman)?

Leonardo da Vinci? Dude who painted the Mona Lisa and harnessed solar energy 450 years before green energy was cool.

Ben Carson? The neurosurgeon and presidential candidate who is currently dismantling the US Department of Housing and Urban Development?

Lisa Kudrow?  She was a biopsychology major before becoming Phoebe on Friends.

Julia Shinnick and her mother visit Luhombero 2018

Julia Shinnick and her mother visit Luhombero 2018

I think of Father Placid.

I first learned about Father Placid Kindata when he was the bursar at Kasita Seminary, one of the premier Catholic secondary schools in Tanzania. Having completed a masters degree in business administration, that administrative role made sense for him.

Then, I met him when he was a parish priest at Kasita parish, a small parish down the road from the seminary. He started a kindergarten there. Due to an unwavering belief in the power of early childhood education, he could often be seen with a swarm of 5-year-olds following him.

Water access is a huge issue in Mahenge, and when there was not enough water to irrigate the small farm he created on Kasita land, he found a natural spring to water it. Then he set about trying to implement year-round farming.

At the same time, he oversaw the construction of a massive, new building to replace the parish church, serving as a contractor for the project. And he taught people how to look after livestock.

Over beers during a visit in the rainy season, Father Placid has told me the stories of how he used to trap animals of all sorts—warthogs, hippos, antelopes, to feed his grandparents and others in his village. He learned to fish and farm around the same time.

During one of these stories, two little girls came and joined us for lunch. Before long, Father Placid was laughing heartily with them over rice and beans. They were born with HIV and their classmates refused to sit with them at lunch, so Father Placid invited them to his house instead.

Julia Shinnick and a mysterious beekeeper

Julia Shinnick and a mysterious beekeeper

Father Placid fixes a myriad of problems arising from life in the under-privileged and remote village of Luhombero, and he’s also fixer of problems of the heart.

As well, one of the things that makes me love Father Placid and proud to call him my friend—beyond his great sense of humor and his talent as a conversationalist and his infectious laugh—has been his unwavering commitment to help people with epilepsy.

A generation ago, many people in the Mahenge region believed that epilepsy was a curse from the devil or ancestral spirits. To this day, many people with epilepsy in the area are discriminated against and thought incapable of working.

Having worked to help Dr. Louise Jilek-Aall provide medications and rehabilitation for people with epilepsy, Father Placid sees the potential and ability in those who have been viewed as hopeless cases.

This especially matters to me in particular because I was born with refractory temporal lobe epilepsy.  I would have been seen as a hopeless case had I been born in Luhombero rather than the United States.

If I had been born in Luhombero there’s a pretty good chance I would have been ostracized at elementary school, too, like those two girls afflicted with AIDS, and I’d most likely be unemployed as an adult.

Julia listens to Father Placid explain more irrigation plans

Julia listens to Father Placid explain more irrigation plans

Instead I’m applying to Ph.D programs. I live and normal and often privileged life.

Father Placid is the sort of person that every young person with epilepsy needs: the teacher who treats them as capable, the social worker who makes sure they are not too anxious, the case worker who makes sure they took their medications, and the friend who invites them to a meal all in one.

Having now visited him in Luhombero, I’ve seen how he serves as the epilepsy jack-of-all-trades for the communities of Luhombero and Mahenge.  Genetics or fate didn’t call him to this work. This is a man who pours his heart and soul into working with people with epilepsy simply because he sees their need and believes that everyone deserves a fair shot at a decent quality of life.

Too often this work with people with epilepsy day-in and day-out goes unrecognized.

It’s important for my good friend Father Placid to know he has allies in North America.

If you’re reading this far, you are likely someone who cares about such matters.

Please help Father Placid help Luhombero.

Please made a donation by contacting us. Even a little makes a huge difference.. Thank you!

— Julia Shinnick

Beekeeping comes to Luhombero

Donations from readers of the literary newspaper BC BookWorld in Vancouver, Canada, continue to make a huge difference to the lives of people in the remote village of Luhombero.

Placid on zip line over river

Father Placid en route to his beekeeping seminar, crossing Little Ruaha River.

Empowered to purchase extensive irrigation equipment, Father Placid has been able to develop two large farming projects at Luhombero and Kasita. These agricultural projects will soon be self-sustaining.

Now, to start a new industry in the area, Father Placid, has graduated from a course taught by Ted Rabenold of AfricanBeekeeping.com to train African beekeepers in both English or Swahili. This course was taught in a rural area outside Ifakara, accessible by ‘zipline’ ferry that enabled people to cross the Little Ruaha River one at a time.

Working with the widespread Apis Mellifera Scutellata bees, Rabenold’s organization has held seminars in Mbeya, Iringa, Sumbawanga, Rukwa Valley, Ufipa Plateau, Nairobi, Kijabe, and Maasai-land.

Meanwhile ten thousand dollars has now been set aside for the eventual purchase of a vehicle in conjunction with MIVA, a European organization that will pay 50% of the purchase and delivery costs.

We still have a long way to go before a vehicle purchase can be made—another $5,000 at least—but Rome was not built in a day, and Luhombero cannot be uplifted overnight.

Thank you to all who have given.

Placid and beekeepers

Placid and beekeepers

Inge Bolen Writes to Father Placid

Here is a letter we received from a wonderful woman who helps poor people in the Andes.

Inge Bolen dancing

Inge Bolin, a Vancouver Island University anthropology professor, joins in celebrations to honor the deities of nature, continuing halfway through the night. The more one dances, the happier is Pachamama and the better will be the meadows and harvests.

Recently I came across the beautiful letter written by Father Placid Kindata “The Irrigation Systems are installed at Kasita and Luhombero.”  Given climate change, water scarcity and its pollution, it’s wonderful that an irrigation system took priority in your village. Father Placid might want to investigate that work “Engineers without Borders” do in different parts of the world.

This organization was brought to my attention by one of my former students at Vancouver Island University, Lori McFadyen, who built a school in India and has been running it for several years. The school and the village of Sainji are very happy about the work of “Engineers without Borders.” I also will inquire if they can help us in Peru with our water-related projects there. I will be in Peru again in April.

Isn’t it interesting that places without electricity, running water and other amenities always call us back?

Inge Bolin
Vancouver Island

Link to information about Inge Bolin’s work in the Peruvian Andes