Kizzie, Natalie, Happy, Joshua, Eva, Isaka, Rehema, Vincent...those are just a few of the names of the 97 children that call Rift Valley their home. I can honestly say I still remember the laughs; the songs, the smiles, the tears, the cuddles, the late night back scratches, the soccer ball kicks, the screams, and the goals and admirations of each and every child. When I think about returning I instantly get butterflies in my stomach because there's no place on earth that it compares to. During my stay, my days consist of an early morning alarm (typically 5am), helping my make breakfast/getting to kiddos out to Gyetighi Primary School or ready for preschool which is on site. Having breakfast with other volunteers and starting the day. I was in charge of preschool both time's I volunteered, as well as what is equivalent to a 1st grade class and a ESL class once a week. After a morning of learning and laugh, and the occasional dance party, I would have lunch (kids eat lunch in their houses) and take an hour to soak in the beauty of The Rift Valley. I'd go for long walks and even sometimes run into a group of elephants. The scenery in Tanzania is undescribable. After a break I'd either help the older kids with homework or play sports/do activities with the younger kids until dinner and movie time. I'd ask the kiddos about their day and they would continue to ask me if I personally knew Zac Efron...wish I'd answer with "I wish." High School Musical was popular those days. After the kids had dinner it was time for the volunteers to fuel up so we would have dinner and talk about our days and life in general. The connections I made at TCF are unbreakable, and some of the best memories I have. I'd set myself a 9pm bedtime because after a day of educating, cuddling, learning, comforting, laughing, walking, and caring you get pretty exhausted. The best type of exhaustion is the type where you are helping someone else. That feeling is priceless.
I have set a fundraising goal of $3,000, which yes, may seem like a lot of money, and you're right it is. However, I've included a list below in detail that explains just what $25 can do. In the US, $25 is a little over a week of coffee expenses at Starbucks. At TCF, $25 provides a child with their primary school uniforms and supplies, giving them the tools they need to achieve success. Take a minute and put that into perspective.
$150 covers 10 years of healthcare costs for a child living at RVCV, ensuring the kids, grow up healthy and strong.
In Tanzania, there are many economic barriers outside of tuition that prevent students from attending secondary school. $316 eliminates these barriers, like lunch program fees, students to complete their freshman year at Oldeani Secondary School.
$825 feeds a growing boy at RVCV for an entire year. AN ENTIRE YEAR!
$2,500 will cover the first year of college tuition for a child, empowering them to explore his interests and build upon his talents.
This does not mean you have to donate $3,000 to make a difference. $1 makes a difference, that's $1 towards a bright future for an amazing child. Please consider helping me but more importantly helping the lives of those who truly need it.
I'll be updating this page regulary, as well as when I am abroad. Once I return back to the US, I plan on sharing my trip through photos as well, to truly share my experience with those who are interested. Thank you, I couldn't do this without you.
- Claire Hanken
- Abbey Manley
- Hilary Powers
- Courtenay Schunemann
- Tim McCormick
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