Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August 6th - This week, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time at the Matonyok Parents Trust – an orphanage that provides a structured environment where some of the area’s neediest children can come to learn. Since the term ‘matonyok’ come from a Maasai term meaning ‘struggling very hard together’, there is little wonder that the directors – Emmy and Ndemno Sitayo – are working hard to provide quality education for Maasai children who have been neglected or left parentless for whatever reason. In particular, the Trust hopes to educate Maasai girls to not only offer them a better quality of life, but they hope to end the brutal practice of female circumcision and prearranged marriages that currently is part of the Maasai culture – at least among the students that attend classes at Matonyok.

Both Emmy and Ndemno have committed their lives to helping children. Emmy, a nurse by training, would visit the remote countryside to offer her services to developmentally disabled Maasai children. It was then that she realized the need for a more comprehensive center where these children – as well as orphaned children – could come to learn in a supportive environment. Opening their home at first to one child, Emmy and Ndemno now have thirteen children living with them in their two-roomed house – as well as seven children who come from the surrounding areas to attend classes at Matonyok. It is both Emmy and Ndemno’s hope to build a learning complex where they can educate fifty children a year, thereby improving the quality of life for some of Tanzania’s neediest children.

TFFT is working with Matonyok to take the first step in this dream. By upgrading the sanitation facilities (which currently constitute four posts in the ground surrounded by plastic tarp), we hope to have built a fully functional shower and bathroom facility by February 2009. This will help not only to raise the level of hygiene among the children at Matonyok, but it will also help to prevent communicable diseases – as there is currently no money in the Trust’s budget for emergency medical attention.

posted by T.C.

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