Amani childrens home
Trip Start Aug 10, 2006
21Trip End Oct 16, 2006
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We were welcomed straight away by the teachers there. A Dutch couple have recently tried to introduce an education programme and they are now schooling the children. Apparently it used to just be chaos (and not organised at all!). They have started up a schedule to teach maths, english, kiswahili, science, history, geography etc and even life skills which is probably the most important one of all!! It seems that the children revert to basic instinct = street survival when faced with a problem (even if that means throwing rocks at the head of someone because it is easier than chasing them around!!)
There are about 90 children at Amani childrens home, all of which are street kids, a lot of whom are orphanages but some have parents who are beggars in Moshi. This can be quite a problem; because the children can come and go as they wish it is detrimental 2 fold. 1) all the effort invested in teaching them goes out the window when they go back to the streets, and 2) if their parents are nearby and begging then that encourages them to aswell.
We felt like we were back in school! Mike and I went to their lessons and sat on the benches with the children. It was so much fun! The Kiswahili lessons we didnt quite understand! They have such basic facilities - the children will sell any pens etc so it was funny to see them being searched on the way out of class to make sure all pencils were accounted for!
We stayed for lunch with the children - the cook had a hard job feeding 100 mouths! They cook in big cauldrens over the fire - rice and avocado which you have to eat with your hands.... yummy.
We got really involved in the work even just the day that we were there. That is what I love to do I think; working with street childrem - it is something that I am so passionate about, they are so needy - but so cheeky and friendly! We played football with the children, and catch - chasing them around. 2 little boys were playing with bugs in the dirt so i squatted down on my haunches and joined in! they decided the bugs would be happier on my arms - I wasn't!!
It was a great day. One of the teachers (called Honest! - they have names like 'goodluck' 'godbless' etc.) invited us to his house, so after classes we walked for miles (our own mini kili!) along dirt roads (which they were digging up) to his house and met all of his family! They were so kind. The Tanzanian houses are so basic but they are clean and the people are proud. It was a brilliant day - and it was so nice to be involved and not just a mzungu tourist.