First year medical student Priya spent a chunk of last summer in Tanzania at the orphanage and hospital. Bear in mind that during this time, we had only just started our projects with the kids. Since then, with your help, we've installed water filters, rewired the orphanage, fixed all the washing machines (and are buying a new dryer in the next few weeks), hired one new mama (with another to come this summer), redone the playground, and are so close to reaching our goal in order to install solar lighting in the orphanage and hospital - not to mention started three amazing kids in school already and are more than halfway towards getting full sponsorship for four more! Take a look at the Nkoaranga of last summer through medical student Priya's eyes:
Although these children did not live in the best of conditions, sometimes lacking clean water, balanced diets, and clean clothes, they still had so much life in them. The way they danced and sang made it seem like they had not a worry in the world. These were the strongest people I have ever met in my life. Each child had their own personality and style and as time went by I grew attached to them.
When it was time to leave, I did not even know how to say good-bye. I did not know how to say thank you for all they had taught me. They showed me an appreciation for life I will never forget. They showed me love as I have never seen before. I am truly blessed to have met these children and it has been my mission since I have been back in Canada to fundraise for these children and to be their voice. I hope to put my fundraising efforts towards The Small Things Projects and I cannot wait to return this summer and see their gorgeous smiles, see how they have grown and see the many improvements The Small Things have made for these beautiful children of Nkoaranga orphanage.
We can't wait to work with Priya this summer as she returns to Nkoaranga, and we hope she'll be thrilled with the progress made so far! One of the things she mentions is the most crucial - the constant need for more hands and more attention. The volunteer house is full for the summer - but if anyone is interested in volunteering in the fall or winter, please get in touch. To volunteer directly with the orphanage with the assistance of The Small Things, we require you to have fairly extensive experience living and travelling in the developing world. Alternatively, we can direct you to some wonderful volunteer agencies in the area!