Miles for Smiles, Arusha, Tanzania
"When we recently visited New York on a fund-raising trip, Donna saw the video presentation of our work in Tanzania,” shares Sandra Bellaviti, project manager for Miles for Smiles, "and decided to visit us."
Following are excerpts of Donna's documented firsthand experience describing the conditions and needs in Tanzania:
“Went to the school today and met about fifty of the children. They are very poor but very happy to be at Friendship School. The children range in age from 4-13. Many are waiting to be orphans, are orphans, or have only a mother to try to provide for them.
“We visited three of the children who live in a hut with a very muddy floor along with their 90 yr old grandmother. The grandmother was so embarrassed that she had nothing to offer us, not even a glass of water. Mario brought a stool (as a gift), but she tried to give it back as we left. She had borrowed a stool from the neighbors so we each could have a stool to sit on. We also bought her a leaf mat for her to sleep on so she wouldn’t be sleeping in the mud.
“Things move very slowly in Africa. Three people are hired to do in eight hours what one person in the U.S. would do in four. Most people here make between $25-$40/month.
”The illnesses here are amazing. There are people dying of malaria because they cannot afford the $1 cost of test and medication. The father of one child from the center was the (night) security person at the school until he started coughing up blood. The staff immediately tried to take care of him by sending him to the hospital but his sickness was TB. The father is now dead.
“There are also 3 different families waiting for their mothers to die of AIDS. Their fathers either died earlier or abandoned them. But in spite of all this sadness the children are happy and have learned an amazing amount of English and sanitary/health things. They exercise, they sing. Everyone in Africa sings!
”Inocenti (a 4 yr old) was given a wasoongo (white) doll to play with, he kissed the baby. Then I gave him a black doll, he kissed it and then made the two dolls kiss. When we gave candy to the children, Innocenti put his little brother (2yrs old) on his back to make sure he too received candy and could play with the dolls. It is amazing how much they appreciate these things.
”Here, near the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro, the air is crisp and wonderful. The vast array of colors is overwhelming, the flowers, the clothing, the art work. All things in Africa are beautiful, especially the people."
For more click the following link: Miles for Smiles