Larry & I have committed ourselves to help with the Village of Hope and the farm in Bulale. Each year we spend a couple of months helping on site. While Larry was busy at the farm developing infrastructure projects (future post), I enjoyed spending time with the children at the Village of Hope. This school is one of 10 Village of Hope locations in Africa and opened in April 2018. Both the Lower Class (Junior Kindergarten in North America) & Upper Class (Senior Kindergarten) have approximately 17 children who were chosen because they were ‘at risk’ for a variety of reasons and may not have otherwise had the chance to attend school. I spent most of my time with the Upper Class and really came to know them & their amazing teacher, Betty.
I was really impressed that these kids didn’t know English when they started school and only 6 months later are taught exclusively in English. They take pride in their work and were happy to show me what they were working on.
A huge advantage of the small class size is the chance for one-on-one attention when needed.
Mid-morning they are served a nutritious porridge which they really look forward to.
The kids enjoyed stories, crafts & playing.
They also had a lot of fun with my hair 🙂
Outdoor fun was always a huge hit!
I can’t wait to see them again next year!
We had a great visit at Village of Hope Mwanza. Village of Hope is an amazing organization that gives help to vulnerable children by providing education, nutrition, healthcare & housing (when needed). They currently have 9 locations in 6 African Countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe & Burundi) and provide help to 3,000 children.
We were very impressed with what we saw at the Village of Hope Mwanza. Not only do they house 86 children ranging in age from 3 years old to early twenties, they also have about 200 kids from the community that come each week day for school & nutritious meals. All of the older children go to community high schools as VOH Mwanza currently offers classes from pre-school through Grade 6.
In total they have 10 houses, each with 8 to 9 kids and one house mother. Every house has both boys & girls as well as mixed ages which feels more like family to the children. The kids are also required to help with chores such as laundry, cooking & cleaning so that they learn the skills they will need to be independent. The meals are cooked in a traditional Tanzanian outdoor kitchen.
There is also one large outdoor kitchen where all of the house mothers cook a mid morning & mid day meal for all 250+ kids who go to school on-site. Watching them cook was very fascinating which may deserve a blog post on its own!
The grounds were well cared for and kept clean both by the kids and staff.
One room is set up for sewing as well as a dedicated man who does beautiful beadwork.
There is also a large garage/machine shop where many pieces of equipment, large & small, get fixed.
The kids were a lot of fun to meet! Huge smiles, happy greetings and a lot of silliness 🙂
We will be back!