July 2020

Greetings from the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Huruma students, like all students in Tanzania, have returned to in-person classes for the second semester of 2020. Some parents are keeping their children home for fear of contagion. They missed the customary celebrations of Africa Day, May 25 and Day of the African Child June 16. It’s now the long dry season equivalent to our winter. And still we are surrounded with illness.
As a delayed celebration of Africa Day we pray:

Oh God, We humbly bow before you with thanksgiving for your gift of African peoples and their many contributions around the world. We confess we have not done all we could to celebrate this. We recognize the historic and present inequitable harm and injury inflicted upon African peoples. Forgive us. Today, we see where these inequities have contributed to the disproportionate numbers of illnesses and deaths of African peoples affected by COVID-19. This disturbs us and we mourn the loss of life. We pray for wellness and access to good health care and nutrition for those who are and may be affected by this illness.

As we pray for the protection of all Huruma staff, students and families, Help us to live in hope and to advocate for the life of all people as we learn anew how to love God and one another. Amen.

Tanzania celebrates two more national holidays during this season. Sabasaba, translating to the seventh day of the seventh month, celebrates workers, business and trade, often with a bustling Trade Fair. Nanenane, the eighth day of the eighth month, celebrates agriculture and farm workers.

The mission of Huruma continues to be a model neighborhood school. Gradually, parents of children with disabilities are realizing that their children have a right to an education. Very gradually, they are bringing pressure on the government to provide appropriate education for their children with a wide range of disabilities, including those with multiple disabilities. In acknowledgement of our most recent wire transfer of funds, Mr. Toto sent these photos of Huruma’s reopening days. I hope you enjoyed them as I do.

In the meantime, our support for Huruma is of the utmost importance. Because of the
pandemic, I will not be visiting Huruma this year – just can’t expose myself to 36 hours in
planes and terminals going and then returning. My trips are not just to refresh my relationships with students, families and staff of Huruma. I also spend at least one day visiting local businesses, distributing Huruma brochures and soliciting local support for Huruma. As well as resulting in sizable donations, this spreads word of Huruma and the
rights of vulnerable children in the community.

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