I meet lots of people in every country and city that I visit; a few have become special to me. During my recent trip to Zanzibar, I met Kili.
Kili is a member of the Maasai tribe from Kilimanjaro (the origin of his name). He looked after me while I was in Zanzibar, and we have maintained a friendship since I left the country. He is incredibly funny, kind and smart. In fact, despite his lack of formal education, Kili has taught himself six languages (I struggle with only two).
When he was only eight years old, Kili was pulled out of school because his family could not afford the fees after the company that had been sponsoring his education stopped providing aid. Unfortunately this is a common scenario in Tanzania, where about 5.1 million children aged 7 to 17 are out of school.
Because of changing agricultural practices in Tanzania, many Maasai have been pushed off of their land. In addition, the effects of global warming make access to clean water an increasing challenge. As a result, many young Maasai are moving to cities to find work and support their families. However, without an education their job opportunities are limited.
As the oldest male child in his family, Kili is responsible for supporting his 11 younger brothers and sisters. His father sent him to Zanzibar to sell jewelry to tourists because he didn't want him to have to work in the gold mine—one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Imagine trying to raise 11 brothers and sisters on money made from selling jewelry to tourists.
Kili wants to become a safari guide. For young people in Tanzania without a high school education, working in tourism is a path to a better life. A good job will not only improve the quality of Kili’s life, it will allow him to keep his siblings in school, giving them opportunities he did not have. However tuition to become a safari guide is cost prohibitive for Maasai, unless they have a sponsor.
You Make The Difference
Kili is intelligent and hard-working, but too often the quality of our lives is determined more by luck and opportunity. That's where you come in.
The money we raise will send Kili to Mount Uluguru College of Hotel Management & Tourism for a six-month program to become a safari guide (including the cost of tuition room & board $3600, field training $200, school uniform, books, etc $300) https://www.facebook.com/MountUluguruCollege/
Helping Kili get on a path to a better life will improve the quality of life for his whole family, and help lift up their entire community.
Getting the money to Tanzania turned out to be more challenging than I expected. I will be sending money to Kili directly via Western Union, in installments timed with the monthly school fee schedule. He will pay the school directly in cash, and save the receipts and share them with me. He will keep us posted including pictures on his progress in school.
The pictures above are Kili and his siblings.
I encourage you to give generously, but even a small donation can make a big difference. If you believe in providing opportunities for people to build a better life please make a donation and share this campaign. Thank you!
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