Zinat A. Kemper was nominated for SOSA award from Africa Bureau for her dedicated work to support her community in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania during pandemic. Zinat is an Eligible Family Member (EFM) working under a Family Member Appointment (FMA) in the Executive Office of USAID/Tanzania. She and her family have been living in Tanzania since August 2019. During the past three years she has undertaken several initiatives to support various beneficiaries, including a local school, an orphanage, and a small NGO, all of which had been suffering funding crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. Zinat has been involved with Women Empowering and Entrepreneurship Development Organization (WEEDO), a small Tanzanian NGO, since December 2020. WEEDO started operating in 2019 to provide English education, HIV prevention awareness, and tailoring training for adolescent girls and young women aged 13 to 22 in Kigamboni, a small rural town south of Dar es Salaam. WEEDO relies on volunteers and individual donations to support its program but lost all financial support when the corona pandemic started.
Zinat learned about the NGO, their work, their funding crisis, and decided to help. In early 2021 she took series of small fundraising efforts to help WEEDO to purchase educational materials and sewing machines. On the same year she applied for J Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust Grant to support WEEDO. In June 2021, Zinat learned that her grant application was selected for funding by the J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust. Her support to WEEDO and especially grant fund are ensuring that the organization can continue its interventions to provide education and livelihoods for adolescent girls. WEEDO purchased educational materials, such as beginner ESL and advanced English grammar books and other classroom materials, as well as vocational training materials, such as industrial and regular sewing machines, fabric, and other inputs. This support has ensured WEEDO’s ability to avoid a possible shut down of total intervention due to severe funding crisis.