Sarah Zack wrote -
Last year, I (Sarah) traveled to Tanzania and spent two months volunteering at Nkoaranga Orphanage. I am headed back for three weeks in June, with a Five Star team of super hero volunteers. They are, in no particular order: Mary Beth Zack, Claire Weider, and Bette Nunez. Read on to find out a bit about the orphanage and the projects we're working to support through fundraising.
The Orphanage: Nkoaranga Orphanage houses up to 30 children and works to provide the love, care, and education that each child needs to grow and develop into strong and capable individuals. Nkoaranga is run by a head mama, Mama Pendo, and is staffed by local women to provide 24 hour care. The orphanage educates children at their own preschool until they reach the age of 5. When they turn six they begin school at a local boarding school. The children must be boarded and stay at school until school vacations when they get to go home to extended family, or come back to the orphanage until break ends.
Children's Village: It's been recognized by staff and volunteers that starting boarding school at at 5 can be stressful and traumatic, and it's difficult for the staff to check-up on the children's wellbeing once they're at school. Land has been purchased and plans for the construction of a children's village are in the beginning stages of development. The children's village will essentially be a village for children without families, and will provide each child a home with three or four other children, and a hired mama. Children will go to school during the day but come home at night. They will receive valuable life skills by living in a family structured home, and will receive the love and support any child needs.
Project Riziki: Project Riziki aims to ensure the orphanage has the financial back-up to continue providing 1-1 care to premature babies, medical bills, staff overtime, and transport costs for premature and sick babies. In just three days, towards the end of April 2014, the orpahange tragically lost two baby girls to illness. One of the girls, Hope, was brought to the orphanage at just one day old and weighed no more than 5 pounds. She arrived during my stay at Nkoaranga and the volunteers immediately fell in love with her. Project Riziki will help cover Hope's medical costs and ensure that the children of Nkoaranga receive the best medical care they can.
Your donation will help support the children's village and Project Riziki, and will ensure that the watoto of Nkoaranga can grow to be educated, healthy, and happy little beasties!
Follow us each on Facebook for photos and updates while we're there! Asante sana!