IN TANZANIA, close to the towering Mt. Kilimanjaro, the vast plains of the Serengeti, and the Great Rift Valley, lies a village called Kambi ya Simba. It is a rural village, with one road in and one road out. Its 5,000 residents, spread over 40 square kilometers, are farmers.
They are poor, by every measure.
They know scarcity, which can make “enough” seem like plenty. In a world of digital technology and designer coffee, they illuminate the night with lanterns and drink from streams and pumps that often carry illness.
From 2005-2008, the U.S.-based nonprofit What Kids Can Do (WKCD) worked with students at Awet Secondary School in Kambi ya Simba to document daily life in their village—with digital cameras and tape recorders.
The students’ photographs and stories appear in the book In Our Village: Kambi ya Simba Through the Eyes of Its Youth (Next Generation Press, 2006). We provide excerpts here.
Their videos, which provide a “virtual visit” to the village, appear here in full.
Tanzanians, among the friendliest people on earth, greet friends and strangers alike with the phrase karibu. It’s Kiswahili for “Welcome, please enter, feel at home.”