African Safari – A Visit to an Orphanage
The night before on the way to the lodge, we had traveled a very rough dirt road through a small enclave of homes (a village?) and past this orphanage.
Some of the members of our tour group had brought along some items to pass along to an orphanage and this orphanage became the beneficiary. According to our guide there are a great many such small orphanages scattered around Tanzania and Kenya. The children are often the survivors of families in which natural diseases and illnesses have taken the lives of their parents. The scourge of HIV/AIDS has exacted a terrible toll through many communities in East Africa. This particular orphanage which we visited is currently set up for about a dozen children with camp-style bunk beds in one section, a section for dining and a section set up as a school classroom.
In many ways the orphanage’s facilities are modern by comparison to some of the surrounding housing and the children certainly seemed happy and healthy.
Workers are presently completing an additional space to be used as a dining area. It was my impression that projects such as this move forward in fits and starts with each stage remaining unfinished until additional funds become available. The pile of blocks in the front yard, for instance would thus stay untouched until money is raised for concrete and plaster, etc.
One of the items that was given as a gift to the orphanage was a box of small cars. Of course, these were an instant hit. Always tough to get boys away from toy cars but the children wanted to show us their classroom so off we went to see their “school”. We only left one child behind when we headed to the ‘school’ room :-).
In addition to singing a welcoming song for us, they also recited their numbers and alphabet in both English and Swahili. Certainly better than something that I could do in Swahili. A day later, I heard our driver humming the welcoming song so it would be my assumption that the song is a common school song but since I don’t understand Swahili, I can’t guarantee that.
Donations are always welcome.
The orphanage mailing address is:
AC Daycare and Orphanage Center
P.O. Box 12387