Byron and Lisa Borden have spent the last thirty years in full time, cross-cultural service. With extensive experience in both practical and spiritual development in many challenging locations, the Bordens are convinced that the best “assistance” comes through relationships that empower and nurture the whole person. Committed to and inspired by Christ, the Bordens seek to alleviate poverty while encouraging an active faith in a loving God.
Byron has spent most of his life in East Africa and has grown increasingly passionate about enterprise (the development of small to medium sized businesses) as the best approach to the desperate poverty and broken economies on the continent he loves. Never afraid of new territory, Byron has thrown himself into facilitating business for transformation endeavors in East Africa. He is excited to wake up and get to work every day because he loves the way enterprise instead of aid is impacting the men and women he is involved with.
Lisa grew up in Europe and Southern California, arriving in Africa the week she turned twenty-two. She has spent the last three decades nurturing new Christians, first among Kenyan students, then among the Maasai of East Africa’s wilderness before six years among young people in Europe. Back in Africa, her passion remains the development of simple, authentic faith among those she comes into contact with. Lisa writes, speaks and teaches, and manages many details for Wema Ventures.
The Bordens team with local and expatriate partners in East Africa to carry out Wema's work. They have been married 33 years and have 4 grown kids, 2 daughters-in-law, and one particularly adorable grandson :)
We're based in Arusha, Tanzania, a growing and somewhat chaotic urban center serving as a hub for the region. With over 1,000,000 residents, our city draws people desperate for work. Lack of jobs and painfully inadequate wages leave many families unable to thrive. With an average income of less than $2 a day, Tanzanians here and in every part of the nation are in need of training and opportunity. From our strategic location, we're able to impact the urban core as well as outlying rural areas as we help men and women create opportunities to provide for their families and transform their communities.