A trip to Africa in 2007 for a holiday and to visit her sponsored child in Uganda led to a dramatic change in not only Tanja Curcic's life, but also a change in the lives of women and children living in the country.
"I quickly fell in love with the red earthy drumbeat soil, the picturesque sunsets over Massai Mara, the poverty was raw and, in your face, but somehow the wide smiles and belly laughs of the locals shone through," Tanja said.
After a day visit to Kibera (Kenya's biggest slum) Tanja's inner world changed in a way that can't be explained.
Upon returning to Sydney after her trip, Tanja couldn't make sense of her good paying, comfortable job anymore.
In 2010 Tanja Curcic set out on journey to Africa to volunteer teach children that couldn't afford school fees. She ended up starting Little Blue Shed in Uganda, a project to empower women living in challenging situations. The project is supported by the Taree Rotary Club and RAWCS (Rotary Australia Word Country Service).
"Mama was sitting inside a blue shed in a nearby village with one sewing machine. Mama asked for more sewing machines to be brought for the other ladies in the village. It was done! The shed was expanded, given a fresh coat of paint, and officially named Little Blue Shed," Tanja said.
Upon returning to Australia after a one-year journey, Tanja says there was no passion or purpose left in her corporate job. In 2015 Tanja booked a one-way ticket to Uganda.
"The next years living in rural Uganda were the most difficult but it was a transformative experience that opened a newfound understanding and compassion for women and girls living in Africa," Tanja said.
Witnessing the daily struggles and suffering that were so bravely endured gave birth to another level of vision for Little Blue Shed.
Little Blue Shed provides training, employment opportunities, counselling and care to vulnerable females living in poverty.
Often females in developing countries are faced with countless adversaries. Many are forced into early marriages, prostitution, trafficking, and other dangerous activities to survive.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The major cause of this is desperation is lack of education and opportunities.
Tanja now has two homes, in Australia and Uganda, where she has been for the last six years working benevolently and often sleeping in mud huts in the rural villages in Uganda.
Tanja is currently back in Australia building awareness about Little Blue Shed in Uganda and fundraising for the Little Blue Shed Empowerment Village Project.
"We are on a mission to construct a purpose-built facility to facilitate a number of skills, education and training programs for females living in rural East Uganda," Tanja said.
This will be a safe place for employment opportunities as well as counselling and an emergency drop-in centre for victims of domestic violence or ongoing trauma. The village will include:
"Please consider giving to help us construct this vitally important building and empowerment project," Tanja said.
To learn more about the project and to donate visit www.littleblueshed.info/buildingourhome. Donations are tax deductible.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.