Community Center Opening Day!

Community Center Opening Day!

Happy September, friends!

Small Things Summer has officially ended, and thanks to your concerted efforts we have managed to hit 96% of our campaign objectives (scroll down for pictures!) For the past three months, we have witnessed a pool of global endeavors support one unified dream– all brought together by the belief that small, but intentional action can produce big impact!

We are humbled by the passion and involvement of our friends around the world and would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to everyone who has contributed to the success of this project.

We know that it hasn’t been easy! Despite time zone differences, resource limitations, and the invariable commitments we must juggle day to day, you continued to support the dreams of vulnerable families and children of Nkoaranga.

And, because of you, their dreams have been actualized.

Your generosity enabled us to animate two fantastic and sustainable initiatives.

The Small Things Summer funded a new bus (announced in the first half of our campaign) and supported the launch of the first community center in Nkoaranga! The bus was a HUGE step in TST’s development, allowing us to shuttle more than 30 kids back and forth from school daily, and setting us up for many years of expansion in the future, as more kids join us. The kids, as you can see, are also pretty psyched!

Wait–tell me more about the community Center!

The community center is a facility that houses a need-based day-care, a library and workshop space for supplementary educational programs. 

The construction of this center was funded, in full, by three wonderful donors who have closely supported TST from the beginning: Shazi Visram and David and Dorothy Goldberg. The gifts honour their parents- Amir Visram, Max and Hilde Goldberg and Hazel and Ian Ross Russell. Thank you Shazi, David and Dorothy for all that you have done and all that you continue to do here in Nkoaranga.

Children, grandchildren, visitors from adjacent villages, international volunteers, people who may never meet you–they will all use this facility and be impacted by your contributions for years to come.

And thanks to all of our supporters, we were able to outfit this center with the necessary book-shelves, books, desks and supplies that will help make education possible! Small, collective efforts really helped materialize a beautiful dream!

As you can imagine, the availability of this new resource marked an exciting occasion for the community of Nkoaranga! As such, TST hosted an opening day celebration meant to highlight the accomplishments of the village thus far and, well, to acknowledge the fresh opportunities ahead! Opening Day was received with tremendous warmth, gratitude and happiness in the village. Hundreds of villagers arrived to participate in various festivities , to tour the facility and to celebrate the future! Preparations were made up until the morning of the event as we all worked together to dust, clean, and organize the grounds for our incoming guests. The watoto were particularly pleased to help shelve books, collapse boxes, wipe down chairs and pitch in with various activities in HFCV. Oh–the anticipation! The energy surrounding the event was palpable–you could literally feel the excitement coursing through the air as we waited for the festivities to begin!

Around 12PM, our guests began to arrive and were led to an open area where dozens and dozens of chairs were laid out above the Children’s village. There was a main banquet table situated in the center and the sitting area afforded all of the guests a panoramic view of the space. Your ongoing efforts have really helped us achieve so much and in that moment, when eager guests poured in and when our staff stood on the sidelines laughing as children weaved between rows of chairs, all of our hearts really did swell with pride as we saw the impact we had all made, together, in Nkoaranga. It’s kind of hard to articulate and even harder to wrap your head around the idea that small actions really do produce big impact. Even though this is a maxim you hear a lot around here, sometimes, in certain moments, it really hits you.

Overall, the event was a success and a wonderful way to bring the community together!

There were wonderful dance and song performances led by the children and mamas of our HFVC!

We feasted on a buffet of food and even had an mbuzi caki (GOAT CAKE) typically reserved for all the most honorable of occasions. 

We also had many reunified and outreach families in attendance, which was really inspiring for everyone.

Mostly, this was a day filled with love, appreciation and immense hope for the future. Your individual campaign efforts did not provide a finite version of charity—they provided chance and opportunity. Moreover, they provided a renewed belief in what can be achieved. 

We will continue to move forward here in Nkoaranga, fighting for families and these incredible children, and we are so proud and honored to have you, our amazing supporters, by our side.