I arrived in Moshi in August 2019 not really knowing what to expect. It was a long flight and a battle with
a Customs Officer, over bringing in bras and soccer balls which were to be donated to the
Kaloleni Community, left me feeling somewhat flawed. However, the Coordinator of Team Vista Ally
came to my rescue and from that moment our friendship was cemented.
I have seen poverty in the past, but I was not prepared for what
I witnessed. The Kaloleni Community live next to a rubbish dump and people can be seen looking for any items they might be able to sell. Yahaya who works as a Youth worker in
Team Vista was able to walk me through the Community
and explain the living conditions. There is often no electricity, running water or sanitary and Team Vista kids often have to study by candlelight. I was privileged to meet with the family of one of the students that I sponsor. It is a credit to her and her family that she is determined to study hard in what can only be described as extremely difficult conditions. Proudly she is currently the top student in Kaloleni Primary School. She has ambitions to be an Engineer and give back to her community.
I was given the opportunity to teach English to the Primary and Secondary Students of Kaloleni schools. I really enjoyed the opportunity to teach these kids a little of Australia and had kids singing Australian songs and jumping around the classrooms like Kangaroos. To see the kids laugh and sing was a real joy for everyone.
The Girls Empowerment Group on a Friday afternoon was really special. Both Kerry and I were able to talk about how women can succeed and make a difference in their communities and even govern a country. We were able to cite Female world leaders who have made positive contributions. These discussions generated great questions by the students and we hope we were able to gave them a sense that education can lead to great things. Women don't have to be constrained by their gender and we discussed that in Moshi the head of the Police is run by a Muslim Woman.
Ally and Yahaya play a pivotal role in the day to day successful running of Team Vista . They have enormous commitment, motivation and drive to ensure that Team Vista remains visible in the community and that each Team Vista kid reaches his or her potential.. I really was blown away by the work that these two young men do every day. I was really happy to share some formal training with them on Trauma, Mental Health and the Circle of Domestic Violence that might help them in their daily interactions and work within the community.
I was unsure before I came if the money for sponsorship actually reaches the children. I can say with confidence that it does. I witnessed first hand Kids getting school uniforms, a hot meal each lunch time, tuition and opportunity to attend Team Vista House after school for extra help within the Home Work Club. Ally will often stay back at night to help kids who need a bit of extra tuition.
I guess I thought that my visit might be a bit tokenism.... however I soon discovered that there is a vital role for anyone who is wanting to come over and lend a hand for either a short or long stay. I came away from that visit to Moshi and meeting the kids, parents, teachers and support workers learning a great deal .... but I think I was able to add a little bit of joy and laughter and practical help.... So much so that I have booked again to go next July for a month.
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