Dordt College News

Obiero braids her way to Tanzania

March 14, 2014

When Winnie Obiero, a sophomore from Kenya, decided to go on a Dordt mission trip this winter, she sat down with her Sioux Center host family to brainstorm ways to raise money for the trip. 

Obiero had already been braiding the hair of many local children with an African heritage for free and for fun. Her host mother, Jen Hanno Sandbulte, came up with the idea of turning this into a fundraiser.“

Braiding is fun,” Obiero said. “It takes a long time, and the kids sometimes have trouble sitting that long, but then when they get to see how it looks, I get to see the big smiles on their faces.”

Obiero and Sandbulte planned a braiding party, and invited kids over one day to have their hair braided. Obiero also scheduled other appointments and spent many weekends braiding. She was able to raise almost half the money she needed for her trip.

In January, Obiero went to Tanzania with a Dordt AMOR (A Mission OutReach) team to work with World Renew and spend time with kids there.

“I chose Tanzania because it is kind of close to home,” Obiero said. “And I know Swahili, which is the national language there.”

Knowing the language ended up being very helpful for the team. They planned a game day for the children in the community and spent time at an orphanage. Although the team did have a translator, Obiero was able to help with translating, especially when they tried to teach the kids American games.

The trip is over now, but Obiero said she will probably keep braiding. She has still had parents calling her to set up appointments. And she loves it when the kids she sees at church in Sioux Center recognize her and run up to say “hi.” 


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