Arsheen Dhalla is busy doing remarkable work in Zanzibar through the Daraja Foundation. Daraja means bridge in Swahili. During one of her infrequent visits to Calgary, I had the pleasure to sit down with her and listen to her story. There are many stories to tell. For this first video in the series, we decided to focus on the development of life and business skills.
The Chicken Farm Club
Initially when Arsheen traveled to Zanzibar in this capacity, her work primarily centered on an orphanage and a local hospital. From that early time, Daraja focused on empowerment, education, and sustainability in their projects.
More recently, Daraja partnered with a school to set up a Chicken and Organic Farm club. This club has a practical purpose. It teaches students farming, administrative, and business skills that serve them well upon graduation. Despite some early setbacks, the club is now self-funding, self-sustaining, and run by students.
Local (in Zanzibar) restaurants and residents provide an ongoing demand for quality meat and eggs. The students make enough to earn an allowance. Everyone wins.
Another terrific aspect is that volunteers from around the world are hooked up with opportunities to make a difference. One of those volunteers was Sharon, who brought expertise on chicken farming and helped get the project off the ground.
I encourage you to watch the entire video to hear the stories directly from Arsheen.
Helping Out at Daraja
If you found this story inspirational, you can find more at the Daraja Foundation website. Like all non-profits, they survive off of donations in both time (volunteer information) and money (donate here).