From Marquette Magazine to Tanzania: A story’s impact
By Nicole Sweeney Etter
Photos courtesy of the Boos family
Sometimes the most powerful Marquette connections occur off campus.
One October day in 2011, Carol Daun was flipping through her husband’s copy of Marquette Magazine when a story caught her eye.
“Project Tanzania” told the tale of Dr. Eric Boos, Grad ’96, and Karene Boos, PT ’95, who have spent more than 15 years traveling from their farm near Elkhart Lake, Wis., to work in Tanzania. The husband-and-wife duo have helped build and support a $25 million Catholic college, a primary school, women’s co-ops, orphanages, an AIDS clinic and a physical therapy clinic, among other projects. The Marquette Magazine story also mentioned their latest ambition: to work with fellow Marquette alum Brother Albin Laga, S.D.S., Grad ’06, to build a nationwide Catholic radio network in Tanzania.
That’s when Daun had an idea.
What if she and her husband, James, PT ’92, could get their parish, St. Matthew’s in Oak Creek, Wis., to help? She emailed Eric Boos and “one thing led to another,” she says. The parish decided to raise funds for a new radio tower as part of its Lenten almsgiving project.
Eager to know more, the parish invited the Boos family to St. Matthew’s to present on their work in Tanzania.
“A big part of their presentation focused on the Mgolole Orphanage and the children who live there,” Daun says. “The parishioners were moved by Eric’s description of their everyday lives and struggles. … What was even more compelling was the desire of parishioners that St. Matthew’s involvement with the people of Tanzania, most specifically the orphans of the Mgologe Orphanage, not be a one-time deal.” The parish continued to raise funds — more than $13,000 so far — for the radio tower and two orphanages.
The Boos family urged St. Matthew’s to find a way to send one or two parishioners to see the orphanage for themselves. This October, a group of 10 people representing St. Matthew’s will make the trip, and more are considering going next fall.
“It is truly awesome how the Holy Spirit just continues to bring people together on this,” Karene Boos says. “We were thrilled when they decided to take so many people. This experience will change all of them and their parish.”
The Marquette Magazine story has led to other ripple effects.
“The original story was a Godsend to our ministry in Tanzania,” Karene Boos says. “It brought in contributions and prayers that helped us finish the radio tower and transmission station in Masasi.”
But the Boos family is already on to the next project.
Working with Brother Albin and Sister Helena Ntambulwa, a Catholic nun, they are working to develop a village for albino children on a 10-acre site on Lake Victoria. “Tragically, albino children are hated, feared and scorned,” Karene Boos explains. “Parents of albino children often abandon them because others claim they are demons or spirits. Ugandan witch doctors put a bounty on albino children. People kill them and bring in their bodies so the witch doctors can make potions with their internal organs. Even if they are not killed by others, they are ostracized to such a degree that life is unbearable for them.” They have raised $5,000 toward the project’s estimated $450,000 cost and hope it will be a small step toward healing the human rights atrocities faced by the 170,000 albinos in Tanzania and Uganda. To get involved, contact Karene Boos.