My Return Trip to the Beautiful Nkoaranga Orphanage

One of the days we were there, we took the kids on safari to Arusha National Park, which was so much fun! The kids loved it; I’ve never seen anyone get so excited about seeing a buffalo. They were talking about it for days afterwards and it was so nice to know that we had been able to give them such a lovely memory and repay them for all of the love they show us every single day.

Before we returned to the orphanage, Bekka made a video filled with messages from all of the previous volunteers, including myself. I was so amazed by how well the children knew the video; they literally knew it word by word, right down to the amount of kisses I blew to them at the end of my video- it really shows how much they must have watched the video and that they actually do care about us, as we care for them. The children are all so loving and smart and beautiful- I cannot actually describe to you just how incredible they all are, and what amazing things they are going to do in this world.

It was such a relief to see how HUGE Ebenezer had gotten, as he had been so ill when we had left, but now, he is a right little character! All the babies had gotten so big, and the toddlers, and the big kids! Everyone!

Abdulli has become a lot more confident as well, which is really nice to see as he had been so shy when we all left. But now, he is running about with all of the other kids and interacting with everyone a lot more than he was before. On a number of different occasions, he came running over to me to show me a toy or ask me for something- which was quite rare before.

It was lovely to meet the two beautiful babies at the orphanage- Peace and Shujah. Both so calm and happy- very settled and well looked after. This all just goes to show what a wonderful job the mama’s do in raising those children, which is something I am eternally grateful for.

Seeing the mamas again was also really nice. There were so many funny situations when one of the mamas would walk into the room, see me and run over with a huge grinning, but also slightly confused, face, before they enveloped me in a massive hug. It’s really nice to know that they do appreciate the work that we do at the orphanage and remember us all individually.


I don’t know when I will next return to Nkoaranga, but I am so glad that I was able to go there one last time before the oldest children went off to school. On my last day at the orphanage, Stevie, Eriki and Dainessi all went to boarding school for the first time and I feel so lucky for being able to wave them off.

They were so excited to go, as we sat there waiting for the car to arrive, reading and playing for the last time before they went out into the big wide world. I’m so glad I was able to have that time with them, as well as the older kids who were returning to boarding school after their Christmas holidays- Eman, Tumaini, Asimwe and Nsima.

As TFFT’s car pulled into the orphanage to take them to school, Dainessi, Eriki and Stevie all suddenly went very quiet and this look of fear flashed across their faces. Dainessi clutched onto my hand and looked up at me with this uncertain look on her face. So, I knelt down in front of the three of them and told them that school was going to be amazing. I told them that we loved them very much and were all so proud of each and every one of them. They turned to me and said ‘shule, ni nzuri sana?’ Meaning, ‘School, it is good?’ and I told them that school was very good and that they were going to love it. Then I hugged each one of them and told them that I love them and miss them every single day.

I then helped to load their cases into the car and Dainessi turned to me and said, ‘I want to sit on your lap in the car’, at which point Eriki and Stevie turned around with these annoyed looks on their faces and said, something along the lines of, ‘No! I want to sit on your lap’- which I couldn’t help but giggle at. Sadly I had to tell them that I couldn’t go with them to the school, but they were going to have an amazing time and love every minute of it. Then I stood there, waving them off, desperately trying not to cry as they sat in the car with these massive grins on their faces, waving frantically back. I feel so honoured that I was able to take part in such an important part of their lives.

Whilst returning to Nkoaranga, I was also able to go and visit Aroni, Farajah and Wema; who are all at another facility called S.O.S Children’s Villages. They have a very prestigious school, and these children were chosen to attend it as they are all extremely hard working. It was really lovely to see how happily they had settled in, as the last time I had seen Aroni, he hadn’t been very happy, but this time he was happy to show off all of his new friends and the beautiful place that he was living at.

A video of the kids seeing me for the first time in six months

I’m thoroughly proud of all of the children- they constantly throw themselves into everything they do and they do it with a massive smile on their face. I am so lucky that I was able to see the children again as, like many other volunteers, I am constantly thinking about the wonderful time I spent caring for those children. Needless to say, they remember us all. The amount of times they asked me where the other volunteers were and if they loved them- something which I could honestly and happily reply to with, ‘Yes, more than you could ever imagine.’ The children have a way of working their way into your heart and permanently cementing themselves there. I’ve never met anyone like them and honestly didn’t think it was possible to love so many people all at once. But, it is.

My trip back to Tanzania was perfect. Even more amazing than I ever imagined it would be. I am so grateful for the fact that I was able to spend two more weeks with them than I had before. I want to try and return there again, but unfortunately, I don’t think it will be in the near future. So, for now, I will cling on to my Christmas memories; the days I spent laughing, singing, dancing, loving every minute I had with them. With those funny, crazy, loving, smiling, smart, beautiful children.



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