Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Special Thank You to Lou Corse & Friends...

Lou Corse hosted a lovely evening of Christmas Carol singing back in December for family and friends. The evening benefitted The Foundation For Tomorrow as everyone was asked to kindly bring donations of toys, clothing, or school supplies for our scholarship children. We received boxes and bags of items as well as generous monetary donations which were used towards purchasing over 200 pairs of shoes for our scholarship children!
Along with our 66 scholarship children, all of these donations also benefitted more than 90 other children at Nkoaranga Orphanage and Good Hope Orphanage. Toys and especially stuffed animals have all found loving homes in the arms of toddlers & babies at Nkoaranga. Each child at Good Hope had the chance to choose a special gift of their choice from the donations, the smaller ones going for toys and books while the older ones were so excited to have new pieces of clothing. Greg Forster with CMC Automobiles donated footballs (read: soccer balls) and the kids at Usa River Academy haven't stopped playing since! We are so grateful to everyone for their donations and support of our mission here in Tanzania, it wouldn't be possible without you! Here are some pictures of all the children you have helped along the way...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Also, for those of you who wished you could have been there and missed the bus, here's my address from the event (the event being the Matonyok Dedication Ceremony):



Dear honored guests, friends of Matonyok and ‘The Foundation for Tomorrow’


I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to attend this ceremony for the dedication of Matonyok’s new sanitation facility.  As Emmy would say, ‘You are welcome.’


For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Tim Carey (also, Baba Timu) and I am a representative of ‘the Foundation for Tomorrow’, the NGO which provided the support for this project. 


What you see in front of you is the result of not only hours and hours of hard work, but the dedication and vision of so many individuals.  From the donation of the funds by the Hornig family of America, to Ms. Meghann Gunderman the Executive Director of The Foundation for Tomorrow, to Ms. Lali Heath our Managing Director – to the contractor, to the fundis, to the teachers, to the volunteers, to even the children – this has been a labor of love, and one that has been a learning experience for all.


 State of the art, not only is the new sanitation facility equipped with a bio-gas tank – but the water reclaimed from the showering process will be used in the newly planted organic garden.  This means that Matonyok will save money every day on cooking and irrigation, thereby benefiting the center  - and the children - as a whole.


In particular, I would like to thank Ms. Emmy Sitayo and Mr. Peniel Ndemno, the motivating force behind Matonyok.  These two individuals have been pivotal in making what was only a blueprint five months ago into this new facility, which will meet the daily needs of the twenty-seven children at Matonyok.  This building, Emmy assures me, is the first step in realizing her dream of establishing a school on these premises – the Engeno Matonyok Maa School.  Inshallah, Emmy. 


Both Emmy and Ndemno have committed their lives to providing quality education to the children here, and they truly embody the spirit of compassion and giving that makes this center such a wonderful place.  Not only have they provided these children with the basic necessities of life, but they have created a sense family that will give each of the students at Matonyok the tools that will help them to make their communities a better place for all. 


On a personal note, this project reinforces the mission statement of my home organization, the Foundation for Tomorrow – ‘empowering the future of developing nations.’  After all, nations are created from one basic building block – the individual.  And before the individual can think about “Tomorrow”, a few basic needs must be met - food, shelter, education and health.  While Emmy and Ndemno have done a wonderful job in providing the food, shelter and education – I can only hope that this sanitation facility will help to provide the children with a healthy living environment, so they can change the future and, in fact, empower the future of Tanzania as a whole. 


Again, I thank you for your time and invite you to enjoy this event among the members from all different backgrounds in what the Maasai call ‘Matonyok’ - working toward one goal. 


Thank you again. 

Hey Everyone - Here's the press release from the Matonyok Opening Ceremony:


Maasai Home Converts Waste to Fuel With Help of TFFT


Olasiti, TZ   Becoming environmentally conscious provides significant benefits to the Matonyok Parents Trust and the 27 children who live there. On Wednesday, February 4th over forty members of the Tanzanian and international community gathered in the Arusha district of Olasiti for the dedication of a state-of-the-art sanitation facility at the Matonyok Parents Trust. 


This facility was funded by the Hornig family of New York, USA and was built with the support of ‘The Foundation for Tomorrow’ (TFFT), an NGO which provides quality education for orphaned and abandoned children.  Among the ceremony attendees was the Founder and Executive Director of TFFT, Meghann Gunderman; the local US Embassy Warden for Arusha, Mrs. Ruth Edwards; Mr. Raphael Mollel, Ward Executive Office; Philemon Parshuku, member of Social Welfare; Ibrahim Mayo, Agriculture Officer; and the patrons of the Matonyok Parents’ Trust, Ms. Emmy Sitayo and Mr. Peniel Ndemno.


The sanitation facility took over five months to build and contains a bio-gas reservoir which will convert waste material to safe cooking fuel.  Also, included in the structure is a grey water reclamation system, which will provide the necessary water for the Trust’s recently planted organic garden.  To combat the rising cost of food, this garden will greatly reduce their reliance on outside vendors for food and will also teach students the importance of a healthy and nutritional diet of locally grown fruits and vegetables.    


The Matonyok Parents Trust is a registered Tanzanian charitable organization, and currently provides the necessary education, food, clothing and shelter for twenty-seven Tanzanian children.        

Monday, February 2, 2009

Going Clean

This month was the official kick off to our Term 1 Full Circle afterschool program. We spent the first week of school dividing into groups, choosing group names, which range from Tembo (elephant) to Manchester, and discussing what the kids would like to learn. The younger kids, as I suspected, are game for anything, while the older kids had some great ideas. This month is Go Clean, which has us focused on hygiene and how to take care of ourselves.

We've now covered how to wash our hands properly and how to brush our teeth. Both weeks have proved to be pretty successful and entertaining! It's easy to forget that our kids don't have anyone teaching them such basic hygiene outside of the aunties at school, who I imagine are pretty busy.

Add some singing, soap and fun in the water and you've got yourself a TFFT Full Circle afternoon. First the kids all learned a song that Lou and I made up in Swahili, telling them to wash the front, backs, middle (in between their fingers), nails and wrists. Then we had them sing the song while demonstrating their new hand washing technique individually for me. Of course we had breaks for biscuits and changing the water in the basins which added to the fun. However, I think they all walked away with a better concept of when, why and how we wash our hands!

This past week we learned how to brush our teeth properly. Again, we hit the songs, this time in English (to switch it up a bit). The kids had a great discussion about why it's important to brush their teeth (bacteria being a central theme here) with Lou and then they all got their own paper toothbrush to color. They wrote their names and "Brush 3x Every Day" on them and loved showing off their many colors.

We then had a "re-cap" day while the older kids were with the Support for International Change HIV Counselor that falls into their Go Clean curriculum. We're going to do a science experiment with eggs and vinegar to show what happens if we don't take care of our teeth (I know a little extreme) and make signs to hang up around campus reminding everyone to wash their hands and brush their teeth. Now we just need to cover feet, bodies, clothes and all the other dirty situations kids get themselves into!