An Update from Africa

Just back from a wonderful visit to Tanzania. It had been about 6 months since my last trip. This time, I went with my sister Brianna in tow. We visited our sponsor kids, distributed donations to our school, and dropped by to see the families of our sponsored students. Brianna took a few moments to write down some of our experiences. Here’s the view from her eyes. Enjoy!:

Jenga Jumuiya
by Brianna Bruckner

The experience with Jenga Jumuiya is something that is not easily put into words…
When someone thinks of Africa, in this case Tanzania, they think of the animals and the wonderful safaris — but the people are what make the place so much more than a neat zoo.

We did many things for Jenga Jumuiya on our two-week trip to Arusha, Tanzania. We donated 50 pounds of books to one of the top schools in the area. This school is where Gifty, one of our sponsor students attends. She was in great spirits and very grateful for the new clothes we bought for her. She is doing excellent in school both academically and socially. Everyone is so proud of her!

Our next stop on this trip was to the Oldonyo Sambu Primary School where Jenga Jumuiya had previously donated and built two new classrooms and offices for its growing number of teachers and students. The school is holding up well, especially for being in the middle of a dusty plain in Africa! We were there right when the students were let out to go home…it was like being in any school yard when the last bell rings. Kids were everywhere! Of course, staring at us like we were something at the zoo. It’s not everyday that the school has visitors – especially westerners, but they clearly have appreciated the work Jenga Jumuiya has done. We donated a box of school supplies while we were there, too. But the most touching experience with Jenga Jumuiya came next…

We found Joyce among all the kids! Joyce is another one of the students Jenga Jumuiya sponsors. We asked if we could take Joyce with us because we were going to her house anyway to drop off some donations. She jumped right into the Range Rover. We found out on the ride that Joyce had never ridden in a car before! Most people can’t remember their first time in a car, but I’m pretty sure Joyce will never forget hers! Once at the house, Joyce’s mom was so grateful for all of the new clothes we bought for her children and also for the sugar, tea, and other basic supplies. She welcomed us in to her boma and gave us hugs and truly seemed happy to see us. Joyce’s brother didn’t want to miss out on any of the action either…once he saw that there were visitors at his house, he started running home from school. We could see him coming from almost half a mile away, running across the fields waving at us.

That day we also donated some clothes and basic cooking supplies to another family in the area, and took turns holding their newborn baby. To top off our exciting day we gave a little boy his first ride in a car as well — this time it was into the town so he could sell some eggs for his family. The ride was really bumpy – and he had to hold them tightly!

Jenga Jumuiya is doing a great job working with the people of Tanzania. The thing that makes Jenga Jumuiya different from other non-profits is that it doesn’t merely help or give — it works with the community to understand their needs and the best way to work together.

What’s next for Jenga Jumuiya? We are currently looking for another major building project. We visited a couple of new school sites on this trip and are continuing to look for more. We will also continue our current support to the schools and the students that we are sponsoring.

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Thanks, Brianna!

I’ll be updating everyone with our newest endeavors once we have project plans approved and in place.

As always, thank you again and again for your continued support to Jenga Jumuiya, our sponsored students, and our school projects!

Thanks for reading!

Heidi

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