Once again, we are back in the city in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, even working with the same orphans as in 2014. Just that pretty much everything has changed for the worse.
We want to give the children a new safety and protection, a place to play and laugh again, to sleep in a bed, to have enough food and to have trained caretakers that are there for them. This year, we are working with Kilimanjaro Children's Fund and together we are trying to place as many children as possible in a boarding school which guarantees a good education and a safe environment.
Why boarding school and what did actually happen?
Years ago, the orphanage was one of the most popular ones in the area, but within the last two years it turned out to be a real distress for the kids living there. Social workers were fired, the kids were not allowed to keep toys or other gifts which they received from visitors, food was rare and the hygiene became terrible. Most of the times, the kids go to school tired and exhausted. After coming home from school, they are not allowed to leave the compound anymore. When 2 years ago, the main supporters of the orphanage, an American couple, found out that the director of the orphanage misused the donations, they were kicked out of the orphanage. To the surprise of many, the director now uses the kids as some kind of money machine. Donations-in-kind and even food are directly being sold again and the money is going into the director's pocket. The prevailing corruption in Tanzania makes things hard: The director pays police and officials so that no extended relatives or organization has been allowed to come into the orphanage to get the children out, while the over 60 children have been struggling with the life circumstances in the orphanage that kept on getting worse.
The somewhat "good" solution:
The hardship that the children had to face cannot be undone. After fighting for months and only with the help of a local TV station in Tanzania, around 40 of the kids were able to be rescued from the orphanage. For the children who are somehow not safe in the city of the orphanage anymore, there is the possibility to move to a boarding school. A secure place, where they can concentrate on their education again, where they can move freely in their free time. Meanwhile, Social Welfare started being active a little so there is a lot of hope, that soon the rest of the "brothers and sisters" will be released. The Kilimanjaro Children's Fund is also getting ready to pay their tuition for a boarding school.
The American couple values a good education and good life circumstances in the boarding school and we share this point of view. Therefore, we are supporting their organization Kilimanjaro Children's Fund with this huge financial challenge. Every donated Euro helps to give back a normal everyday life to the children, far from fear and sorrow.
*The pictures were taken by Philipp in 2014 when we were still allowed to visit the orphanage.*