"Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people's
curiosity. It is enough to open minds, do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If
there is some good inflammable stuff, it will catch fire." - Anatole France
I met someone today. Her name was Aminata. She is a woman
from Sierra Leone, former raped and abused refugee. She was outside Paddington
central, my local supermarket/go to for everything place on my street. She had
a stand just by the bus station, and I could see people doing their usual, “I’m
very busy and can’t stop sorry” walk past as she tried to get their attention.
I myself have played this game sometimes when I feel too guilty to stop and say
“I simply don’t have the money but I really do care more than anything”,
because who will believe it when it’s an excuse they hear every day?
She was volunteering is UNHCR for refugees in Syria. As I
rushed past her (my ‘to do list for the day was more than up there on the
hectic scale, as I was returning to NZ the next day and had a lot to organise)
I heard her call out to me. I stopped only 10m away at am ATM, and then
returned and looked her in the eyes, feeling patient enough to maybe take a
pamphlet and listen for a few minutes. That all changed when without saying
anything, we both knew I was the person she had been waiting for finally,
someone who understood, and I knew I was meant to meet her. Our mutual desire
and love of Africa, despite its downfalls was clear in in one second of our
gaze. We were sisters of a continent in strife. We traded personal details and promised to
keep in touch.
I stood there in my running gear, freezing yet warmed in the
chill of the early morning sun (and would happily have done all day) as she
described to me her reasons for volunteering for such an amicable cause, her
time as a refugee in Sierra Leone, raped and abused, broken and beaten but for
one thing. I could sense [...]
Hi there all, for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere hopefully spring is starting to kick in, for the rest of us in the South it is winter that is arriving…….
In Arusha it has been very, very wet. This has created quite a few difficulties for some children getting to and from school, with roads washed out and impassable, as well as being extremely muddy.
Many children have had coughs and colds, as their home environments are often not waterproof. However the children in the boarding facilities have been dry and able to continue their studies uninterrupted.
ACE is pleased to announce that Blandina is now in a situation to start implementing the ‘Pastoral Care’ programme that is so crucial to the children’s development.
This involves her spending a morning with the children outside of school time, (usually a Saturday) where they talk about their goals and aspirations, learn about caring for each other, confide in Blandina any issues they may be having, and take the opportunity to also write to their sponsor. (Which is scanned and emailed to you.)
Over the next few months we hope to get letters from all children, to all sponsors.
After a break the children are all now back at school for the second semester, see attached some photos of them returning to class.
Thank you for your commitment to the children, and we look forward to your continued support.
Mary and Vinnie Duncan
Hi there everyone,
There has been a lot happening for Blandina in Arusha over the past week or two. The children are now on vacation after completion of the first semester, and we are slowly getting progressive reports through. Please bear with us as we try and access all students’ details, it’s a slow and cumbersome process but we are making progress! Several children are doing extremely well, which is pleasing to see. Some are struggling more than others, particularly the day pupils where homework, sleep and food are compromised, but those in desperate need are also getting some extra tuition through the holiday break. Shortly Blandina will be checking that all uniforms and school necessities are available and in good order, as well as supplying the boarding children with their needs for the 2nd semester.
It has been extremely wet in Arusha, with some serious flooding. This makes transport very difficult and as a result the attendance of some of the day pupils is not great, and we have had several children who have needed medical attention because of coughs and colds. Many of the day children live in extremely derelict accommodation and it is difficult to stay dry.
Special mention needs to be made of Maulidi, Jovin and Immanuel at Shepherds School, their grades were exceptional for the first semester and they are all in the top 10 students in their class.
Thanks so much for your support for this programme. It means the world to these kids. I know we keep asking, but if you have friends or family who would like to sponsor a child, or if you are in a position to increase sponsorship from a [...]
Hello, just to advise you what has been happening in March.
The children have just finished their exams and first term tests, and break for a months holiday starting this Thursday.
One of the students, Michael Nicodemu, the first to leave school, has just got a placement withing the safari industry which is great news, after completing his courses.
We welcome Blandina back after a couple of weeks away with illness, and she will be ensuring this week that all the children have a safe place to go to during the break.
Please feel free to contact us through facebook or email if you have any queries, and email us a letter for you sponsor child if you wish also.
Thanks to all,
Mary and Vinnie.
Hi there from the ACE team.
February has been a busy month with nearly all the children sitting their initial tests to monitor progress and make sure they are studying at the correct levels.
Blandina has once again been busy, she visits the boarding children on their visiting days with juice and biscuits, and is in regular contact with the schools to ensure all the children are OK.
Preliminary results from Shepherds school show that the children are all progressing, with Maulidi in particular shining in his studies.
Haradali are all sitting their first tests this week, and the results should be online soon. We are still testing the online system, and will forward the passwords on the ones that are already working to the relevant sponsors shortly.
We had a reminder of how fragile things are again last week, the ACE vehicle was broken into whilst Blandina was at the markets with the children, luckily the thieves were disturbed before they were able to steal it.
As always, thanks for your support, and if you know of anyone else in your community who would be interesting in sponsoring, we still have several children in need of urgent assistance. Thanks to all!
Hi there all, sorry for the delay in getting this post up, it’s been a busy time all around but we are now all settled back in for the school year and can give you some updates.
Every child was back at school for the beginning of the new term for 2013, a couple were a day late but got there in the end. All the children are now at either Haradali, or Shepherds, with one, Esther, at the New Life Secondary school. Several new boarding arrangements have been put in place for those who were struggling with getting to school, or being able to complete their studies. Both schools supply enough good food and learning environments for the boarders, with Haradali also buying milk of a local farmer, all the boarding children get a full glass of milk every night.
Blandina has been exceptionally busy, getting everyone stocked up again for the year. She takes 20 – 30 children at a time to the Tengeru markets, where they are installed at a stall with a drink and a snack, and then she takes four at a time to get their shoes and necessities. It involves a lot of bargaining and is a busy, noisy experience, but it would be impossible to do without her and get the prices that she is able to buy for, being local. The whole exercise takes several hours and is quite a mission!
The first Saturday of every month is the visiting day at Shepherds, where the boarding children meet with their guardians or relatives. Blandina takes a snack and drink for the children on these days and spends the morning with them, they are always happy to see her and confide in her if there are any problems.
Haradali conducted their first monthly tests last week, so [...]
Hope you are all enjoying the photos – for those of you who know your children personally you will see that they all are doing so well, healthy, well fed, and ready to enjoy their Christmas break. They will all be going for the break with 3 kgs rice and 2 kgs of beans each, plus a few items of essential clothing. We have several children who have done exceptionally well this year, in particular Silus and Maulidi at Shepherds, who were lagging at the bottom of their classes upon arrival and have now moved to near the top. Dorcus at Haradali has been no 1 in her class several times this year, and several other Haradali children are high up . Reports should be available over the next wee while, which we will try and get to you. Thanks again for your support – you are all truly making a difference.
Hi there all,
It is a busy time at Haradali, FK and Shepherds, as the school year draws to a close and the children complete their examinations and tests. The end of November marks the beginning of the Christmas Break, and we are currently busy making sure that everyone has somewhere safe to go over this time. All the children will once again receive a small food parcel and gift to take home with them to assist in their family or homestay situation over this period.
As is the case everywhere, costs for food and education have risen in Arusha. I have received the fee structure for 2013 from Shepherds and Haradali, and will be getting a copy of these out to all sponsors over the next month.
The 2013 school year will start again in early January, and we are required to pay at least half the fees at this point, so it would be very much appreciated if all sponsors could please make their payments promptly upon recepit of an invoice.
Please see below the letter received from Mr Simon Severua, of Haradali schools, explaining the fee increase.
Meanwhile, Blandina continues, with little daughter Kemmy and husband Tusime, to do a marvellous job for ACE in Arusha.
We shall have photos and end of year reports for all chidlren over the next few weeks.
RE: REVIEW OF THE SCHOOL FEES
Dear friends and Children supporters
Recently; with the help of financial people; I was forced by the situation to go through our
economy as far as running of the Haradali School.
The findings have clearly proved that we will never be able to run the school with current fees
structure and maintain or uplift the current standard unless we have subsidice from somewhere
else. The reason I requested the findings is because we have been running under a big financial
If you can help sponsor a child, please contact Mary or Vinnie through the contact details on this site, or at email@example.com.
We need your help, so that you can help a child in Arusha. You will develop a very personal relationship with a child who will benefit enormously from your caring, and be able to benefit directly from your involvement.
Its a long term committment, so come and help us make a difference to a small person in a tough town, who really needs it.
Visit us also on Facebook – Arusha Childrens Effort
Thanks, Mary and Vinnie.
Hi there all,
Just to let you know all the kids are back at school for the last term of the 2012 year. Many of them will have exams, with a couple sitting their Grade 7 level which will see them graduate to Secondary School. All three schools also hold their School Trips during this term, an exciting adventure for the children. Generally they go to one of the Game Parks for a couple of days.
On another note, ACE has lost the support of several sponsors, which is a real blow to the children who have been given an opportunity to learn, grow and acheive through the education programme that is offered, as it means that unless new sponsors can be found very quickly they will have to leave school and return to their previous situation, which is very cruel and in some cases life threatening for these children. If you know of anyone at all, who would like to help by sponsoring a child, and enjoy the subsequent knowledge that they are making a real difference to a small persons life , please contact Vinnie or Mary asap. It may be a family member, friend, work colleague, or even community intiative – anything at all is welcome. Thanks to all who support ACE to date, its a great thing you are doing.