Thursday, December 3, 2009


This is very, very belated, but I want to share with everyone the awesomeness of Myers Park High School, Amy Hammond, Ashton Ratcliffe, and Drew Hammond (as well as chaperone extraordinaire Julie Hammond).

At the end of June, Julie brought her daughter Amy, her son Drew, and friend Ashton to Tanzania to volunteer at our partner orphanage, Matonyak, whom you have read about in previous blogs. These young girls were inspired by TFFT and the children in our programs and decided to take action. They got their peers at Myers Park involved in fundraising for TFFT, more specifically sponsoring Richard Francis, one of our scholarship recipients (who just graduated Class 7). Then, when the girls decided they were coming to Tanzania, they began fundraising for Matonyak where they would be volunteering for several weeks over the summer. These young ladies were creative; designing and selling t-shirts, and collecting money in any way possible way. They ended up heading to Tanzania with a couple thousand dollars raised by their high school!

Once here- they got right to business, figuring out the dala dala system (the local transportation which carries people, chickens, goats, veggies and anything else they can fit in the tiny little mini van), and walking for ages out to Maasai land. They spent their days teaching the children at Matonyak and creating fun projects for the kids (they made books about themselves, and took pictures and decorated them, to name a few). After lunch, instead of resting they worked with Emmy and Ndemno to figure out what more they could do to help. With the money raised they were able to provide a new playground for the kids, desks and chairs for the classrooms, some bicycles, chickens and TWO cows! They spent their afternoons in the Maasai markets, wood shops, walking through the villages with the cows or bargaining for cheaper prices. The cows were built a nice home and were named Ashton and Amy, appropriately.

It was a wonderful few weeks for the children at Matonyak, TFFT, and me personally. It was even more wonderful to see more young people working to create a better future for others, and receiving support from their parents, teachers and peers. Thank you Julie, Amy, Ashton and Drew for your hard work, dedication, and support! Karibu Tanzania any time!