A new concept for a Children’s Village
Not every child can be found a home with relatives, and for these children we created the Children’s Village on 30 acres of land, facilitated by the wife of former President Mkapa.
It is an integrated, modular design based on the family principle. The children all live in family houses with a house mother and 10 brothers and sisters. Christian children live with a Christian house mother, and Muslims likewise, as would have happened normally. The family houses surround open sided central halls where the children play and eat and the mothers can supervise.
Cooking is done by a rota of house mothers assisted by the children, at the main kitchen using biogas from food waste and charcoal braziers. The main diet is Ugali (a maize porridge) or rice and beans which are cooked in bulk and carried to the central hall. The diet is supplemented with vegetables fresh from our gardens, meat and eggs.
Although the children go to local schools, there are four large classrooms where remedial teaching, homework, computer lessons and some vocational training like sewing take place. Every Friday night for instance, there is a debate, overseen but with little interference by a house mother.
The Dutch architect ensured that rainwater is harvested from all the roofs. This enables irrigation of the crops in the dry season, and the growing of high value produce out of season. There are two 25,000 litre water tanks, and a new basin of 800,000 litres was installed at the end of 2013, which will fill up during the monsoon rains of April and May.
We are determined to feed ourselves, teach the children how it’s done, and produce a good surplus to sell in Dar es Salaam.
The mothers have all received first aid training and there is a dispensary on site. However we are fortunate to have a hospital only five minutes drive away, where any serious cases can quickly be taken.
The Village Manager, James Kalinga is a qualified social worker and teacher at both primary and secondary levels. He is married with a young daughter.
The Village was officially opened in July 2010 at a televised ceremony conducted by former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, attended by over 250 guests.
Malaika Kids has also twice won the prestigious Uhuru Torch for its groundbreaking work for social development in Tanzania.