International Connection for CFUW North Bay

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What began as a three week fact finding mission to learn about the impact of HIV/AIDS on education in Tanzania has stretched over eight years of support for schools in the central and northern areas of this country.

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After my return from this first of three trips to Tanzania, I asked our CFUW North Bay club if they would like to have an international connection with  the schools we had visited.  Members were affirmative and very interested in offering their assistance.  Children at schools with names of Mwenge, Chibelela and Matambulu were overjoyed with school supplies, soccer balls and Frisbees.  Teachers were grateful for their educational materials, and large cooking pots used to prepare a meal each day for the children.

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Over the years, we received thank you letters and itemized account of how donations were spent.

A major fundraiser with the Toronto Welsh Men’s Choir raised about $3500 for the Mpunguzi Youth HIV/AIDS Resource Centre.  About the same amount was donated to the Nipissing University Learning Library from that same Evening of Music event.

The need among the Maasai located north east of Arusha was made clear during our second and third trips.  The Maasai children did not have the language, the preparation or the social skills to enter the government school system.  Through a retired Maasai teacher named Sara, we learned of her efforts to begin a Montessori school both in the village of Longdio and in the outlying area of Oltepesi.

While working with these children, we saw the promise and the possibilities of what they could achieve given the opportunity to learn in the right environment.  And Montessori was the key.

Since 2010, CFUW North Bay has been providing donations toward the  building of  a permanentMontessori  school in Oltepesi.  What began as the School Under the Tree, then a mud thatched structure is now a solid building which greets up to forty young children each day.

 Thanks to the generosity of organizations like CFUW North Bay, children face a better future with the positive start  the Montessori school offers.

As one Maasai mother said to us, I do not know how to read or write, but in the short time my daughter has attended school, she can write her name. There is no doubt in my mind that this little girl will be teaching her mother how to write her own name among many other things.

On behalf of all these smiling children and dedicated retired teachers like Sara, thank you for your consideration in supporting these schools in Tanzania

Donations this year could go toward providing the Montessori resource materials and the milk program for each child. 

Sauti Moja   (A Voice for Peace and Wellbeing) is a Canadian Charity that focuses on improved lives for indigenous people in East Africa, especially the women and children living under the most difficult conditions.  Projects include strengthening communities to fight HIV/AIDS, support to child mothers, livelihood support for widows, early childhood development and education, and raising global awareness of challenges facing these pastoral people.

                                                                                                        Submitted by  Brenda Robertson