A message from Alan Edwards the chairman of Malaika Kids, UK.
Thank you all Big Givers! Our Christmas Appeal was tremendously successful. The overall total raised was nearly £11,000 – well ahead of our expectations.
And this has been followed by Malaika Kids winning an award of £15,000 from PIMCO (an investment management company). A special thank you to Sophie Florentin-Siu, who enthusiastically pressed for votes from fellow employees in order to make this happen.
December is going to be an extraordinarily successful month for Malaika Kids UK – giving us the capacity to support Malaika Kids in Tanzania even more strongly in 2017.
Looking back over the last 12 months, 2016 has been a great year for Malaika Kids in Tanzania…
- Fikirini now works in a hotel, and Husseini works as a mechanic.
- Leila, Maria and Amina are finishing their hotel management course with a secondment to the upmarket Protea Hotel.
- Mariam has begun her course to become a Social Worker.
- Badru has finished his O Levels with flying colours and will begin A Levels next year.
At the younger end of the spectrum, we were able to send 10 children to a small private school near us which teaches wholly in English, and in class sizes much smaller than the state school. Over time, this should pay enormous dividends for these children.
Jovina, a girl with sight and hearing problems, has won a place at a special secondary school that only takes children with high academic potential. She starts in January and is very pleased with herself.
This year, we have been able to fund a programme of regular visits outside the Village, so that our children get a better taste of the “real” world (and have more fun).
We have brought in a respected university lecturer (James Danda) to counsel our more troubled kids, helping them to address some of the trauma they have been through before coming to us.
Our team in Dar es Salaam has been more successful this year in finding families for children that have been brought to us by the local Welfare. While we were ready and able to look after these children permanently, we very much prefer them to be returned to families (so numbers at the Village have not grown too rapidly).
We have also been able to enhance the support we give to single parents or grandmothers struggling to look after children in a family setting. Fresh fruit and vegetables have been added to the monthly food package, in addition to continued help with health insurance and education support. The number of children we have been able to help in this way has increased by 50%, from 45 at the start of the year to 67 as of the end of November.
I would like to thank the management of Malaika Kids in Tanzania for making all this happen. Najma Manji (our CEO) and James Kalinga (the Village Manager) have been, as always, a pleasure to work with. The addition of Shezan Manji (Najma’s daughter, and a skilled IT person) has transformed our administration, so that it is now very professional. Emanuel Thomas, our new Child Support Supervisor, is now acting Village Manager as James takes a well-deserved 2 week holiday.
But most of all, I want to thank the Malaika Kids supporters in the UK, the Netherlands and the US who continue to make this happen.
Wishing you a very happy Christmas and New Year!
Malaika Kids UK