For those of you who have been following the story of the children, here's a quick update:- All three children are doing well!
- Pascale is in good health and is still excited about attending school.
- Rita has completed her national exams and, with your help, will be attending secondary school in January. We've decided that she will attend a school in/near Arusha, so that she can be closer to home.
- Vicky has just one more year of secondary school, starting in January. Eden Garden Secondary School is providing her with a great foundation to prepare her for her future.
As always, this is a once a year appeal for your support and all money goes directly to the costs of their education, meals, board, extra tutoring and transportation for the entire year. I am forever grateful to all for your support and I am excited to see how the children will use the gift of education to help others in their community. Thank you for being part of their very big village!
How our story began...
Our story began four years ago when I met Rita in Arusha, Tanzania, East Africa. I learned that she had been out of school for over a year and sponsored her attendance at Integrity Pre and Primary School. As I got to know her family, I learned that their living situation was dire. Justina(mother), Vicky(older sister), Rita and Pascale(younger brother) all shared a single mattress on the floor of their only room of no more that 10'x8'. They had no electricity, a split in their corrugated tin roof, and food was scarce.
To help Justina provide for her family, I helped her open a business, a local eatery called The Bachelors Cafe. Justina was proud and the children were excited to have regular meals. Lots of fun was had!
Less than a year after meeting the family, I was back in Canada when I learned that Justina was very ill. She had AIDS, untreated due to the stigma and lack of resources. She spent several months in and out of hospital and passed away, at home, in August of 2014.
There was no family able to take the children in at the time, so, with the help of a friend(Joshua), I payed a woman in the area to care for them. Pascale became ill and they moved in with Joshua and his family.
In October of 2014, I travelled to Arusha to follow up on their care. During the first three weeks of my visit, Pascale was hospitalized many times and almost died. He had AIDS and, with no immune system, Tuberculosis was taking over his lungs. Thankfully, we met with a specialist who used aggressive treatments that saved his young life. In Pascale's words: "If not for you, I would be with my God".
Just as we were gaining confidence in Pascale's recovery, trouble was finding Vicky. She was beaten by teachers at her government school for taking text books without permission, and she was falling in with the wrong crowd. I made arragements with Eden Garden Secondary School, a boarding school in Moshi, and Vicky went to be guided by the head master to prepare for the school year that would start in January. Vicky later told me that if not for that opportunity, she would be living on the streets and, most likely, have contracted HIV.The children are now being cared for by their uncle and aunt, and I am so grateful that they are part of a family. There have been countless people who have helped along our journey; many on the ground in Tanzania, and so many from different parts of the world.
" It takes a whole village to raise a child"- African proverb.
Thank you so much for being part of their village!
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