Sunday, May 4, 2014

April 2014

The month of April was another busy one here in Mufindi with Foxes’ NGO. April is always highlighted by Easter festivities, and it marks an anniversary of the founding of the NGO. Our Tanzanian organization turned 9 years old last month, and along the way there have been some fantastic supporters from the UK ( ( and the US ( and we have made new friends from various countries around the world. It seems the successful projects here, and the people of Mufindi have an affect on people whenever our stories are introduced.

Yohana taking an afternoon nap at
house number 2, aptly nicknamed
 'the baby house'

Recently, we welcomed Yohana into the family. He becomes the 12th child under 2 years of age at the Children’s Village. Our ‘campus’ has 6 children’s homes, and house #2 is home to all the babies. At the age of two or three, children ‘graduate’ to other houses if or when a new infant arrives. Each case is different, but most of the younger children come from extremely impoverished backgrounds, and their families either need to get healthier through treatment and time, or re-build their lives to create a safer environment for their children. All children enter into the Children’s Village under the official guidance of the District Social Welfare Office, the village leaders in the area, and trusted community members. Only the most extreme cases are entered into the Children’s Village, as every effort is made to help the family raise the child in the village.

Yohana is one of the many young children brightening everyone’s day at the Children’s Village. He is well-loved, and is a real crowd pleaser at the baby house! He actually arrived the day he was born as his mother had complications during childbirth and had passed away. He was brought to the Children’s Village by his uncle and aunt who contribute what they can to his upbringing, but are hoping to  prepare a stable environment for Yohanna’s childhood once he reaches the age of 3 or 4. Yohana is now 2 months old, from the village of Isipi. Upon returning to his family in the village, he will hopefully be able to enroll in a nursery school program as the Nursery/Kindergarten program as we hope to expand the program to each village in the area.

Kamilia Kihongole helps a student at
Igoda Children's Village Kindergarten

The integrated early childhood education program for nursery school and kindergarten has continued successfully even as the organization continues to search for support for this program. 30 teachers have been trained in Montessori teaching methods that will bring creativity and self-directed learning to young children. 11 schools now have some form of pre-school education where before there was none, and students were forced to enter grade one- often times having never held a pencil, or any education preparing them for reading and writing. This program will change the lives of so many children in the area, and will no doubt have a vast impact on the future of this community. The foundation of early education is of utmost importance to this community, and many villages have banded together to support their schools’ program. Our organization plans to work side-by-side with these communities, as we will offer seminars, help with support the school with basic materials, and assist with monitoring and evaluating to ensure the schools get the most out of their schools. The program seeks to tap in to the desire for education that the entire community has, and we look forward to these partnerships coming together to facilitate foundational education for all young children.

For Easter this year, all the children were invited to play water balloon tag, and go on a scavenger hunt with guests at the nearby Fox Farm Lodge. At the end of the day a group picture was taken with most of the NGO ‘family.’ We are so proud of all of them, and the contributions they are making to their community.

One of the now annual traditions- the family Easter photo (2013)

April is a particularly difficult month for weather in Mufindi. The hard, heavy rains seemed to continue non-stop this month! We were blessed to be given an Ambulance through the hard work of Bob and Elaine Prior, and all of the supporters that helped with their campaign! We were further blessed to make it through the rainy season with no problems as the heavy duty Ambulance/Land Rover was able to pass through any obstacle the muddy roads presented.

This month also saw the graduation of Akida Mdalingwa, and Florian Mtilega from A-level schooling. Both of these young men grew up in Ikaning’ombe village, and overcame many challenges to score exceptional marks in their schooling, and became leaders at schools that are well-renowned throughout all of Tanzania! They each received support through sponsorships from supporters of the NGO. Florian won leadership awards at his graduation, and Akida was the student selected to give his class speech to the honored guest at graduation ceremony. We are very proud of both of them, and we can only hope we find future sponsorships to enable more exceptional children from this area to create a brighter future for themselves and Tanzania!
The NGO family made sure Florian Mtilega had the biggest contingency at
Ruaha Secondary School's Form 6 festivities this year!

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