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The "bigger steps" of the help2kids projects in East Africa.

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December 2016

This month has been one full of fun! First the children finished with their classes and have been on Christmas Break. Then they were thrown a party by ICAP an organization here in Dar es Salaam. After that they celebrated Christmas AND Boxing day! To top it all off they finished the year off in style by taking a trip to Mbudya Island for a fun day in the sun. We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who made 2016 such a memorable year. See you next year!

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November 2016

November was quite the busy month here at help2kids Tanzania. We were happy to see the graduations of several of our older students (Tausi, Evaristo and Nuru). The Health Project has also been incredibly active securing vitamins for malnourished students at Bajeviro and providing special Health talks at the various projects and partners. Keep up the good work guys! Lastly we were visited by our President Frank Hakenjos. Frank came down to discuss the year and set goals for 2017. We then topped off his visit with a fantastic staff party! 

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October 2016

As the school year begins to wind down we made our final push to acquire sponsors for our Education Sponsorship Kids.  We would like to extend a special thanks to all of the people who have helped make this program a success both this year and in previous years. Education is the key to success for these children. Thank you all very much.

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September 2016

September was an exciting time for help2kids. We saw success at the Goat Races, Dar es Salaams premier charity event. We managed to secure a bid which will enable us to provide additional medical support to all of our projects and partners. We also saw the success of the One Sight eye clinic which provided free eye check ups and prescriptions for over 300 of our kids and staff at no charge! Finally Congrats to our standard 7 kids at our primary school Bajeviro who are graduating and moving on to bigger and brighter things.

   
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August 2016

August was quite a busy month for help2kids. We organised and hosted our first Annual help2kids Charity Football Tournament, we have successfully kicked off our latest drive to find donors for our Education Sponsorship Program, we held a fantastic Fun Day after several days of intense testing for our standard 7 kids and the Health Project put together an educational workshop at our school Bajeviro!

 

   
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July 2016

While the kids in Tanzania had a nice break in June, July marked the return to school and with it the return of homework! Luckily It also brought a slew of new volunteers! We have been making good on our commitment to education at all of our projects in no small part to the tenacious efforts of our staff and volunteers. We have also seen the donation of over 40 computers  finally put to use. Our computer education program has started which we hope will have a wide reaching and positive effect on our staff and children.

 

   

 

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June 2016

This month in Tanzania, the help2kids children ended their school semesters after much testing and hard work. The children from the Children’s Home were treated to a very special gift thanks to the generosity of several donors. With their support we were able to spend a lovely day at Mbudya Island for a much deserved ‘summer’ break for both the staff and children. It was the first time the children and our Mamas were able to visit the island and they all spent the day enjoying the sun, sand and sea.

In Malawi, as our volunteer program begins to get busy for the summer, help2kids volunteers have been enjoying our new sports project which started at the end of May. Volunteers and team members alike are engaged by the energetic and engaging atmosphere. As concerns about hunger increase in Malawi, we have fortified our maternity feeding program at Lifuwu Health Center with a 1,700 kg donation of Maize from a former volunteer. We also welcomed John Songo as our new Program Coordinator and interim Volunteer Coordinator.

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May 2016

This month help2kids’ Bajeviro Primary School opened their new kitchen. Bajeviro’s cook, Johnny, is especially excited with the new renovations. Previously Johnny had to work out of a dark and concrete block, struggling with charcoal everyday in order to cook the large daily amount of beans and ugali required for the 340 students. Now, with a dry and sanitary storage closet, as well as gas stoves, Johnny has been able to cut down his work time as well as provide a higher quality of food to the hungry students and staff. help2kids is grateful to the donors who made the construction possible and to Johnny who continues to work hard everyday to supply our students with a healthy meal.

In Malawi, during the second week of May, Standard 8 students across Malawi wrote the Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education Examination (PSLCEE). The comprehensive, three-day exam determines a student’s academic future, and high scores are essential to secure one of the scarce spots at government secondary schools. In Lifuwu, to ensure they are not late for the strictly regulated tests, students often miss both breakfast and lunch, writing the monumental exams on empty stomachs. To make sure the students perform at their highest potential, help2kids provided breakfast at the testing center in the morning before examinations and a nutritious lunch during the mid-day break. Best of luck to the learners as we hope to admit the top scorers into our Education Sponsorship Program.

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April 2016 Malawi News

April 2016

This month the help2kids Tanzanian staff said good-bye to their Health Project Manager, Melisa Yorgancioglu, and welcomed her replacement, Yangzom Tshewang. Yangzom is originally from Bhutan and acquired her Masters in Health Psychology from the University of Westminister in London. She is passionate about community health care and is excited to begin her work at help2kids. We are sorry to bid farewell to our esteemed former employee Melisa, who worked diligently in establishing the Health project at help2kids, however we anticipate exciting changes and growth with Yangzom’s management.

In Malawi, we saw Chisomo Nursery School officially reopen as a bigger, more beautiful, and better-equipped institution. The students, teachers, and parents are ecstatic about the improvement to the point where we have noticed a sharp increase in enrolment at the school. We are all extremely grateful that the quality of the facilities finally matches the quality of the instruction at Chisomo.

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March 2016

Our new Children’s Home and Nursery Coordinator, Filipe got straight to work this month at the Kunduchi Nursery school. Working alongside local Dzinyeto, the two teamed up to finally reopen the project which focuses on teaching children aged 3-6 years old basic English, Kiswahili, and Mathematics skills. Almost two months in the making, the team was proud to finally announce this month that the project was ready for its first classes and volunteers to enter. By the end of March, around fifty students were attending daily, with three help2kids volunteers and Dzinyeto teaching classes.

In Malawi, the construction on the Chisomo class building has nearly been completed.  help2kids volunteers Nicole and Susanne have painted beautiful designs in the two classrooms.  All that remains are some finishing touches and desks.  Also in March, Anja, who is a health professional in Switzerland presented a large donation of medical supplies to the Lifuwu Health Center.  Out of all the deeply appreciated supplies, we are very excited about urine test sticks which will help health center staff diagnose patients much more easily.  Thanks for everything, Anja!

 

 

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February 2016

Projects site were busy in Tanzania this month due to new help2kids hires, Filipe Malgahaes and Jovina Mabula. Filipe, the new Children’s Home and Nursery Coordinator, and Jovina, the new help2kids caretaker at the Children’s Home, were welcomed with open arms by the children. However help2kids was busiest at Bajeviro, working around both heavy rains and a heat wave, in order to complete the new student toilets. Once completed, Bajeviro will have 12 new student toilets, two student showers, and two staff toilets for the entire school. The Sanitation Block has been much anticipated and students and staff alike are ready for its official opening.

Our volunteers in Malawi have an unquestionable impact on the community, but when they team up, the results are truly amazing!  Lena and Anja, while they did not volunteer at the same time, both wanted to help improve Chisomo Nursery School.  They combined their fundraising efforts and have started to substantially change the face of the under-equipped school.  The first phase of the improvements was to construct a toilet near the school for the children and community members, which was completed this month.  Construction on an addition to the minuscule classroom has already begun.  Stay tuned for more updates!

 

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January 2016

help2kids Tanzania prepared for the end of the holidays and beginning of the school year in January. As the former Standard 7 class at Bajeviro readied for their first classes in Secondary School, the Children’s Home sent all 31 children back to school with new uniforms, books, and school supplies. After nearly a month and a half of holiday leave, the children were more than ready to head back, seeing old friends and ready to make new ones. Two of the Children’s Home students went into boarding school, saying good-bye to the rest of the help2kids family until their return for Easter holidays.

In Malawi, we purchased solar lights for Kazembe Primary School to enable the standard 8 class to have evening study sessions in preparation for the Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education Exam (PSLCEE).  Students must score highly on the PSLCEE if they hope to compete for the limited number of spots available at government secondary schools.  The students are now able to study at night in a well-lit classroom instead of straining their eyes and risking their health while studying under exterior lights, near expensive candles, or hazardous kerosene lamps.

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December 2015

At Bajeviro Primary School our Education Sponsorship Coordinator provided tutoring sessions for the school’s recent graduates with the help of volunteers. They celebrated their hard work during a holiday party on Christmas Eve with candy, music, and a movie. Meanwhile the help2kids Children’s Home enjoyed three days of parties: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and the monthly birthday party. Thank you to our supporters who provided donations to help2kids to make the children’s holiday special.

Our Tanzanian team was sad to see some amazing staff work their last days in December: Molli Ferrarello (Fundraising & Marketing Manager), Mari Yogi (Field Manager), and Mama Deme (Children’s Home Caregiver). We thank them for all of their hard work with help2kids and wish them best of luck in the future. help2kids was also happy to welcome back Amy Goeppinger to the role of Volunteer Coordinator in Malawi.

The spirit of giving captivated the Lifuwu community this holiday season. help2kids continues to donate maize and vegetables to maternity patients at the health center, which inspired a local women’s group to clean the health center’s campus and provide a donation of soap. We had a visit from a Zambian preschool teacher who exchanged ideas with our own Tiyanjane Nursery School teachers. To end the holiday season, Tiyanjane teachers gave gifts to one-another during an especially uplifting game of “Secret Santa.”

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November 2015

November was a month of hard work and celebration in Tanzania. Our Health Project created and launched an HIV/AIDS Workshop at Bajeviro Primary School for Standards 1 through 7. These sessions educated students on what HIV is, preventative measures, and why we celebrate World AIDS Day. The project also partnered with Restless Development for a series of Sexual and Reproductive Health workshops at our partner schools and orphanages. In addition, our team welcomed help2kids President and Founder Frank Hakenjos back to Tanzania. We wrapped up his visit with a productive meeting in which we discussed the exciting future of help2kids. We then celebrated everyone’s hard work with a staff party at Karibu Art Gallery. Lots of dancing and great food were the perfect ways to end a long month!

help2kids Malawi continued to make strides with the safe motherhood initiative and clinic garden projects as more women are drawn to deliver their children at Lifuwu Health Center. We proudly unveiled the recently completed clinic building this month, sponsored by Konda Ku Lifuwu. Frank Hakenjos of help2kids, Ministry of Health officials, and traditional royalty attended an opening ceremony for the building. Frank also thanked help2kids employees and community partners at a staff appreciation luncheon during his visit. We finished the month by celebrating the United States holiday Thanksgiving by enjoying a delicious meal with our volunteers.

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October 2015

In Tanzania, October brought an exciting football game as part of the help2kids Sports Program, pitting the Bajeviro Rainbows against Mbezi Beach Primary School. The highly anticipated game drew in a crowd of over one hundred people. Mbezi Beach Primary was a tough test for Bajeviro, but the Rainbows came out on top, winning 1-0.

This month in Malawi we saw our innovative clinic garden, part of our safe motherhood initiative, sprout from seeds and mature. Within two weeks of its first harvest the garden was able to feed 35 women. Blankets, sheets, and reed mats were also donated to the clinic as part of this program. Our volunteers continue to make a difference in the community through projects like English class and were even invited to attend a local wedding this month.

Both Tanzania and Malawi celebrated the births of happy, healthy baby girls in October. In Tanzania, Teacher Happy Esther from Mwandaliwa Nursery School welcomed her daughter Purity and in Malawi, our volunteer/cook Annie gave birth to daughter Shila. We're happy to have some new additions to the help2kids family.

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September 2015

The help2kids teams in Tanzania and Malawi were able to collaborate on some exciting projects during the month of September. Together the staff and volunteers promoted the launch of our new crowdfunding platform, myhelp2kids.org. This exciting new site makes it easy for anyone to support projects in Tanzania and Malawi and allows for a great deal of personalization. We hope everyone is as excited for the new platform as we are!

At Bajeviro Primary School in Tanzania, the Standard 7 students finished their final exams and had their graduation ceremony. The students are now coming in on weekends to prepare for secondary school in January. We are working hard to find new sponsors to ensure that every student who graduated can move onto secondary school and continue their education.

At help2kids Malawi, our education activities began again for a new school year with volunteers assisting at Kazembe, and Aids Toto club once again gaining momentum at Lifuwu Basic. We are supporting seven secondary school students this year through sponsorships, the largest our program has ever been. Our newest project is a garden which will supply expecting mothers at the health center with nutritious meals while they wait to deliver their babies.

At the end of the month, Mari and Molli from our Tanzania office had the privilege of traveling to Malawi to meet up with Nicole and Chris. The four attended the Lake of Stars Festival on Lake Malawi, one of the largest music and culture festivals in Africa. help2kids was selected to be a part of a small group of NGOs with a presence at the event and met some amazing people interested in our mission. After the festival our staff members were able to collaborate and discuss each other’s projects.

 Members of Association Ofirdaws painted the bedrooms of the Children's Home. Safari Malawi 2015

August 2015

August brought a full house at the Friendly Gecko in Tanzania, with many awesome volunteers filling the projects. We welcomed Association Ofirdaws, who spent a week with us, painting the Children’s Home and donating new mattresses for all the children and ceiling fans to Mwandaliwa Nursery School.

We said goodbye to our wonderful Children’s Home and Education Coordinator, Mathilde Simon, who is heading home to Paris and will be missed here in Tanzania. We also welcomed Justine LeDonne to the position, and are excited to have her join the team!

August was a busy month for help2kids Malawi! John and Heidi, teachers from the UK, came and conducted excellent training workshops for all of the nursery and primary school teachers in Lifuwu and donated many teaching supplies. Their generous fundraising efforts also supported a trip to Kuti Wildlife Reserve for our secondary school sponsorship students, who saw many wild animals for the first time. At the clinic, we planted a garden to supply vegetables for expecting mothers waiting to deliver and their caretakers, and provide nutritious food for children living with HIV.

 

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July 2015

July was a busy month for our team in Tanzania with three new employees joining our staff. We welcomed Francisco from Spain as Education Sponsorship Coordinator, Gavin from the U.S. as Marketing Coordinator, and Imerine from the Arusha region of Tanzania as a help2kids intern, currently helping with our Health Project. We also enjoyed a visit from our board member Kurt Widmer with his wife Marianne and celebrated the annual Sports Day at Bajeviro Primary School. 

For the yearly assessments of pre-school students in Malawi, Tiyanjane Nursery School hosted a competition among the three nursery schools in Lifuwu. While both Chisomo and Tiyanjane performed extremely well, Chisomo edged out Tiyanjane by a small margin. It was wonderful for the community to see the excellent work all three schools are doing.

 

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June 2015

help2kids Tanzania welcomed a new Volunteer Coordinator in June. Originally from Rome, Fabrizio comes to Tanzania with extensive international experience working in Malta, France, and Portugal, and volunteering in Kenya and Peru. He's excited to join the help2kids team and will also be managing the Friendly Gecko Guesthouse. June also marked first term break for Bajeviro Primary School, Mwandaliwa Nursery School, and some of our kids at the help2kids Children's Home. The kids at the Children's Home received their semester reports from school and Kulwa, Dorie, and Angel were all in the top three of their respective classes, with Kulwa first in his class of 33. While the kids were home on break, volunteers channeled their creativity and organized fun, educational activities. 

help2kids Malawi saw its first sponsored student graduate from secondary school. Fyness graduated from Beautiful Gate Academy. Fryness is the daughter of Patson, one of the guards at the Friendly Gecko in Malawi. Congratulations Fyness! help2kids Malawi also constructed four ramps at Kazembe Primary School in June to make it handicap accessible and assisted with a community health workshop on adhering to ARV treatment for people living with HIV. 

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May 2015

We welcomed Melisa Yorgancioğlu to Tanzania as the new Health Project Manager. Melisa earned her MSC in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science and before joining the team, worked with youth living with HIV/AIDS at an NGO in London. Melisa is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of children in Dar es Salaam and is excited to be part of help2kids Team Africa. 

At the end of May, help2kids attended the Dar es Salaam Charity Goat Races. Staff members occupied a booth at the event and raised money and awareness for the Food Program at Bajeviro Primary School. Thank you to everyone that participated in our fundraising games and a big thanks to the Goat Races! It was a great day.

In Malawi, Standard 8 students across the country took one of the most important exams of their lives, which determines whether they are able to attend secondary school. The Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education Exam is a gruelling three day test lasting the entire day. It leaves very little time for the children to go home to eat, so help2kids provided snacks in the morning before tests began and lunch during the (brief) mid-day break so that the students did not have to write their exams on empty stomachs. Thanks to the two help2kids volunteers whose kind donations made this initiative possible!

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April 2015

In Tanzania, Alvin, a standard five student at Bajeviro, was recognized in a ceremony in the city center for ranking among the top seven students in his standard throughout all of Dar es Salaam. It was a great day and we are all very proud of Alvin!

 

In Malawi, volunteers worked with staff of the Friendly Gecko to develop computer skills through one-on-one tutoring sessions. Our staff has already started to display great progress in these sessions. 

 

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March 2015

We said goodbye to Thommo Hart, our Marketing Manager who did an excellent job in his role in Tanzania, and welcomed Molli Ferrarello, as the new help2kids Marketing Manager. Molli is a recent graduate of James Madison University, double majoring in International Affairs and Media Arts and Design. She is thrilled and excited to be part of help2kids Team Africa.

In Malawi, feeding programs began at both primary schools in the village where we work. help2kids volunteers donated the materials to construct a structure that serves as the cooking and eating areas for these programs. A big thanks to those that donated time and materials to the project! 

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February 2015

In Tanzania, help2kids staff and volunteers began painting the classroom at Mwandaliwa Nursery School, our newest project. Volunteers also began helping the teacher in the classroom specifically, with teaching English to the nursery school students.  

In Malawi, great progress was made on the new clinic building with expert carpentry assistance by help2kids volunteer Andreas. 

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January 2015

Martin Kuery and Mathilde Simon joined the help2kids team in Tanzania! Martin is the Education Program Manager and Mathilde is the Children's Home and Education Coordinator. We are thrilled to have them aboard!  

In Malawi, we were able to provide four students with secondary education. Three students are now attending boarding schools while another attends a secondary day school, all thanks to the generosity of education sponsors!