Happy new year!!!
and a huge thank you to Charles, ICA and our staff at Majengo and to all you amazing friends and family in Canada and the United States who have so generously volunteered time, energy and support this year and over the last 4 years!!! It has been a fabulous year for Majengo, and on to 2013!!!
•the children.…our numbers swelling to supporting 135 children!
•our new Majengo facility, phase 1 on the go!!!! Hope to move the kids in March ’13!
•education, government schools and Mama Anna’s English primary school….
•hopes, dreams, and challenges.…
By December 2012: Majengo supporting 134 children, ages of 2 and 15, 75 living on-site, jammed into three small rental houses: 30 boys in the biggest, 45 girls sharing the two smaller cottages with a wonderful staff of 17 local people: all receiving basic needs, but it’s
Time to move!
In 4 years, the kids are getting bigger, we are desperate for more space…..in September, the thatched roof fell in on our outdoor dining room, and all 75 now eat together on the floor of the main house living room! They don’t ever complain!
But!! Time to move on!!
Living out kids: 60 children living out, in nearby homes of relatives or neighbours, Majengo supporting education and medical needs of the district’s most vulnerable children who start off in Majengo’s pre-school – the best in the district, for kids 3-7 with english, math, science, sports, arts and crafts overseen by Eva
and Matilda, 2 Masai tribal girls who we’ve sponsored for 5 years with our Masai Girls Education Fund, now Montessori trained. And Grayson, our head teacher off for the year taking his Early Childhood Education Degree, thanks to Margie Zeidler and the Fraser Mustard Foundation, standing first in his class and voted “chairman of the year” by students and teachers alike! Grayson gets back to head up our Pre School in May ’13.
Adding 20 new children: The Majengo and Mto Wa Mbu district of Arusha, Tanzania has no end of vulnerable children in terrible need, some orphaned by one or both parents with HIV AIDS, others in huge families struggling without basic needs, often with only a grandmother desperately trying to cope. Some found literally begging for food and sleeping on the streets, wth no one.
Education is the most important concern for parents in Africa. Most kids don’t go to Pre School. Primary school (age 7-14ish) is basically free for all African children, but for uniforms and shoes, books- about $50 annual. But after that Secondary and High school, trade schools and university are prohibitive ($650 annual), with only the very wealthy or very lucky, able to go.
The rest become farmers, sellers of necklaces to tourists, or if they have a little money, sell vegetables by the road. Most stay at home with little to do, have children, and the cycle begins again. In many cases, girls end up pregnant, forced into prostitution, their boyfriends “running away”.
Our goals: to continue to support the most vulnerable and neediest children in the Majengo and Mto Wa Mbu district….through primary, secondary, high and trade schools, until they are able themselves to get out and support themselves into the world.
Each January, we welcome new children into our Majengo family, chosen by village leaders intimately familiar with the poorest in thecommunity. These kids start off into our Majengo on-site PRE SCHOOL, where we can handle up to 30 little ones, who come to Majengo by day, and live out at night. At age 7, they graduate into local primary school, leaving space for more children in the community to be supported by Majengo.
In November 2012, 20 preschoolers reached the age of 7 and moved on, leaving 20 new spots open for us to welcome 20 new kids into pre-school in January 2013, hiking our numbers now up to 135 kids!
And into 2013! Visitors report enthusiastically how happy, energetic and approachable our Majengo kids are, bursting with enthusiasm, huge desire to learn, wonderful compatibility with each other – whether reading to each other, on the sports field, sharing bicycles, art supplies – it is fabulous to experience. Considering, only a few years back, the unspeakably sad and in some cases, abusive situations these children have endured, now bursting with joy in their big huge happy family…Bravo to us all!!!!
THE NEW MAJENGO FACILITY….well on our way!!!
Phase one...$120,000 raised - $20,000 to go!! Goal: finish 3 big new houses for the kids and their mamas….as of today, built up to the roof! on 10 acres of gorgeous flat land under the Rift Valley gifted by the local government – thanks to Majengo for supporting their children. Next step: dining and kitchen, office, and playground.
North Americans dig in to help local team: Warren’s Matt McK took a team over in June to finalize the legalities. In September, Jamie Bees headed up a team of Ist Presbyterians from Warren, Pa to work with local team: see past updates. Matt, Ian, Matt Moore and dad Norm over in November breaking up rocks and hand-mixing cement laying foundation for house 2, sweltering for hours under the hot African sun.
Give Get Go.. arrive Jan 05 with 12 volunteers to work with local team, running cable, pipes, plastering, painting, digging, planting, hand mix cement for foundation for dining room and kitchen….office…with another 12 volunteers going over in February.
Charles, Marci and I took 30 of the older kids over to clear land for the volleyball/ basketball sports area, cruising though the rooms of 3 newly built houses, showing them bedrooms, bathrooms, living and dining areas, pantries….vegetable gardens, chicken coops….non stop chattering, asking questions, walking the site, so excited..I can’t imagine how they must feel, so in awe!!! and so were weI!
Charles Luoga…our Majengo coordinator there…and Majengo Canada’s Lynn Connell. Not only is Charles running our entire operation at the orphanage, as an engineer he has taken on the job of overseeing the entire build. BRAVO to Charles..again and again!!!!
Veg Gardens..and trees, goats, cows, chickens….Planning to buy 75 little trees, for each child to choose and plant one of their own! With a government agricultural pro to teach the kids vegetable growing and maintaining: fruit trees…banana, mango, avocado….the raising and feeding of chickens, goats, maybe a few cows for milk..
EDUCATION: By far the most important part of raising a child, in Africa and everywhere in the world. Check out Mama Anna’s if you wonder how you can really enhance the education of a child…..please see below….
Pre-school, on-site….a whole new batch of 20 kids starting this month…age 2-7….
Primary: most of our kids attending local government schools nearby….7 levels…our Majengo kids with on-site, pre-school advantage, by far heading all the classes….
Mama Anna’s English Medium School: So far, we have 20 Majengo kids enrolled into Mama Annas… another $520 a year on top of of our operating costs. But well worth it. Everything is taught in English, with well trained teachers, and books, receiving a far superior education than that of the govt school, deprived of experienced teachers and adequate books. The lucky 20 are chosen by Grayson our teacher as the brightest AND/OR most willing and trying to learn.
Our dream is to get all our kids into Mama Annas….
Secondary School: Two of our oldest kids are going into secondary 2 this January….a leap for them, as secondary is taught in English…Most of our kids only know Swahili…working on it with an English teacher coming in part time…..
GOALS, DREAMS AND CHALLENGES…2013….
•continue to support the best basic needs of 135 children. Annual budget: $104,000.
•complete Phase 1 of the building, and move the kids in by April this year! Raise enough money to complete Phase 2 and 3…another $200,000.
•enrol 20 more kids into Mama Anna’s school by Jan 2014.
•hire an on-site volunteer/visitor coordinator, an assistant for Charles….
•at home, fundraisers, parties, talks, networking and raising awareness….