Victor Mavika, a Tanzanian Ambassador for Safe Water for the Sonjo Tribe

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Welcome to the Sonjo story. The Sonjo tribe is one of 131 distinct tribes in Tanzania. They live near the Serengeti Plain. There are around 35,000 Sonjo. Their religion is an African tribal religion. There are around 400 believers so just a little more than one percent. Cross-cultural worker, Gina Helms, has spent much time doing evangelism and training among the Sonjo people for 7 years with a goal of also raising up Tanzanian youth who will be missionaries to their own people. One youth involved in this ministry is Victor Mavika. His ministry among the Sonjo led to the opportunity for Victor to attend Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Missions pastor Doug Chandler, made it possible for Victor to attend URBANA conference in St. Louis at the end of 2015. While at the conference, Victor stopped at New Life International’s booth and shared his involvement in the Sonjo ministry and his desire to provide safe water to the Sonjo villages. To promote the launching of NLI’s crowdfunding projects on our website, a sponsored purifier system was offered to the best project submitted at URBANA. Victor’s story as a Tanzanian ambassador for safe water for the Sonjo people was compelling and he was awarded the system that is being taken to Tanzania in June 2016. Though Victor is in university, he is making a difference in his native land. As long-term worker Gina Helms continues the ongoing Sonjo ministry, now thanks to Victor and NLI, safe water will be a new way to show the love of God to the Sonjo people. Following are the plans for 2016 and beyond:

Water Project Plans for Sonjo

• Phase 1: An immediate need is for water purifiers to serve the primary schools in the 12 villages of the Sonjo tribe. The water projects which include water engineering, irrigation, filtration, rain water harvesting are all immediate needs and priorities. At this time, water purification is a greater need than additional water sources. Two water purifier systems will be going this summer. The plans are to install these two systems in two primary schools, which will allow the safe water to be accessible to the nearby villages as well.

• Phase 2: Implementation of water projects to serve four other primary schools in 2016.

• Phase 3: Implementation of water projects to serve the six remaining primary schools.

• Phase 4: Repeat water/education projects among the remaining Sonjo people as it is small enough to envision this with a concentrated effort.

• Phase 5: Repeat water/education projects in additional unreached people groups in Tanzania.


The village of Yasimdito, Tanzania celebrates the completion of its new water purification system with a dedication ceremony on November 23.

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