- Compensation of farmers Mkuranga
- Tanzanian Bank treats Malaika kids
- The rainy season causes a lot of damage
- Preparing the site in Mkuranga
- Doctor and dentist pay a visit
- Suzan celebrates her birthday with the Malaika kids
- New computer for Malaika Kids in Tanzania
- Subsidy from the Dutch Embassy enables renovation
In order to start building the children’s village in Mkuranga, a certain procedure has to be followed and local government plays an important role in this. In 2006 it was agreed that Malaika Kids could build on a piece of land not far from the centre of Mkuranga (both district and place are called Mkuranga).
The piece of land placed at our disposal is currently used for agriculture. The district has been allowing village farmers to use the land for growing various crops ranging from cassavas and pineapples to cashew nuts.
In the Tanzanian system the land is ‘sold’ including all crops. Naturally we have to compensate these farmers for the loss of these crops. In the past year an inventory of all these existing crops and the owners has been made to facilitate the compensation process. On the basis of this detailed documentation, the amount of compensation due to each farmer has been calculated.
To make the compensation payments Malaika Kids thought it important to pay the farmers directly, without intervention from the district and the district agreed.
The compensation took place without problems; in most cases the farmers were represented by the eldest of the family. It was noticeable that a large number of women came to the chairman’s (a sort of village chief) office for payment. In return for the compensation, forms were signed – or, as most could not write, a finger print was given as proof of signature. Compensation enables the farmers to plant new crops and in some cases to start a small business.
This compensation forms an important step in building the children’s village. The farmers were satisfied and for us it was a major step forward; so it was definitely a win-win situation in Mkuranga.
That the work of Malaika Kids is also valued and supported in Tanzania, was confirmed again on 22 March, when the Standard Chartered Bank of Dar es Salaam treated all the Malaika kids to a day out. The children from the home and the children in the Relatives Support Programme were taken to the beach, where they enjoyed themselves all day long. They played in the sand, but stories were also told and many songs sung. In addition there was plenty of food and drink.
As if this fantastic day wasn’t enough, the bank also offered Malaika kids a gift of groceries and school materials for the children. In short, it was a very special day about and the children will be talking about it for a very long time.
The long rainy season has begun in Tanzania and that’s quite different to the rain in Britain! Enormous rainstorms that go on for hours and hours. It can be a spectacular and overwhelming experience and it is also good for nature. Unfortunately enormous rainfall can also cause a lot of damage. The damp, warm climate is not always healthy and a lot of people become sick during this period. For the mosquitoes the rainy season is of course an ideal time and in order to keep these insects way the screens have been renewed in the children’s home. By doing this and having the children sleep under mosquito nets, we try to avoid the children catching malaria.
The heavy rains have also ruined part of the outside floor. Because it’s so important for the children to be able to play, a new layer of cement has been laid. When it’s dry the children can enjoy a game of football outside.
At least 25 men from the village rolled their sleeves up and removed all the weeds and bushes between the cashew nut trees and casavas. Two of them will now maintain the land, receiving payment from the crops. The rest of the harvest will be used to feed the children in the home and the Relative Support Program. The felled trees and bushes will be dried and later burned. The land looks a lot cleaner and tidier and is now ready for the next phase in the development of the children’s village.
The care for our children naturally includes medical care; here also our volunteers play a crucial role. This time it was Mama Bev a supporter of Malaika Kids for a number of years – who brought doctors and dentists with her on a recent visit so that they could check the children’s health.
The doctors checked the children from head to toe and asked them if they had any complaints. Most children were very healthy but a couple of children with minor ailments were given some medicine. The children’s home was also given a store of vitamin tablets because also in Africa they say, ‘the higher the resistance, the better’.
The dentist’s visit will long be remembered because some of them needed to have a tooth pulled. Not really something to look forward to you, especially if your little friend before you has just had his tooth taken out, but all the children bravely showed their teeth to the dentist for the check up. Afterwards all the children were given a lesson in how to polish their teeth!
Suzan van Geldorp is working for Malaika Kids in Dar-es-Salaam for a period of two months. Apart from working on a number of plans, she also works in the children’s home. What do you do then on your birthday? Celebrate with the children of course!
After getting to know Malaika Kids and its work in the last year or so, Suzan quickly decided that she wanted to mean more for the children in Tanzania. In consultation with Malaika Kids and at her own expense – she left for Dar-es-Salaam, where she is now working on a subsidy application to the Dutch Embassy. She also helps Joukje Dam (a volunteer who lives in Tanzania) with drawing up a school plan and is she is looking at the running costs of a future children’s village. She is building up great experience which will be of tremendous help when she returns to The Netherlands and works as a volunteer fund raiser for Malaika Kids. She has already persuaded her employer, Law firm Van Doorne: during Suzan’s stay in Tanzania they have donated her salary to Malaika Kids.
Suzan is pleased to mean something to the children of Malaika Kids and says that she has had a heart warming time with the children: “I see here very happy and settled children, but I know that they have experienced many difficulties in life”. Recently she celebrated her birthday with the children. They had cake, party hats and make up for the children; on the photo the party is in full swing!
It may seem a long way from what the orphans of Malaika Kids really need, but a PC and the internet is actually vitally important. The problem was that the computer in the children’s home in Dar-es-Salaam could no longer keep up with the digital highway, and when the printer also gave up, it was time for new equipment. Viking Direct was immediately prepared to help Malaika Kids and recently the new computer and printer arrived in the children’s home.
The importance of a good computer to the organisation in Dar-es-Salaam cannot be underestimated. All the information on all the children in the children’s home and in the Relatives Support Programme (and soon in the children’s village) is stored in the unique Online Donation Control System (ODCS) of Malaika Kids. This enables us to book and control the monthly expenses. All expenses are entered and coupled to projects, after which funds can be released (currently from Europe). This transparency, which can be followed by internet, allows each donor to see exactly what the money is used for. This financial transparency is one of the key elements of Malaika Kids policy.
Internet is absolutely essential for this system, and the computer in the children’s home had no longer been suitable for this for quite some time. In addition Malaika Kids wanted to communicate more efficiently and cheaply via Skype, but that appeared to be totally impossible. The last straw was the printer packing up not long ago, which meant that reports for the Tanzanian government agencies could no longer be printed. It was time for action and Viking Direct came to our rescue!
During her two month stay in Tanzania, Suzan van Geldorp successfully obtained a grant of US$16,000 to refurbish the Children’s Home in Dar es Salaam. A new kitchen, showers, toilets and dormitories for the girls and boys were among the improvements.
The home will continue to be used once the village is open as a reception centre for new arrivals and for administration of the Relatives Support Programme.