As we sit in the middle of our coronavirus imposed inspired isolation preparing for Holy Week and Easter, we reflect on our connected to all the suffering across the world. As life slows down, we have time to really look at those we do see with more open and understanding eyes. Perhaps we even see the face of Christ. I invite you to see the face of Christ in Dotto, pictured below. Before closing for the safety of all, Huruma enrolled 6 new students this school year. May God bless the children he has so generously given to us, and may God bless the hands and hearts that hold them.
Taste of Tanzania 2020 was very successful raising enough money to support 75% of Huruma’s needs from July 2020 to June 2021. We were fortunate to hold our event before gatherings of this size were cancelled. Photos of the event are not yet available but here’s a quilt lovingly handmade from Tanzanian fabric and donated as a raffle prize.
Many thanks to all the willing hands and minds who worked together over months to bring this about. Our new venue, Zion Lutheran Church, was an ideal setting. Our new accounting team managed check-in and check-out smoothly. Kwele entertained us with drumming while Edna organized a fantastic Fashion Show. Returning to the joy of all were our caterer, African Cuisine; our MC Chris; silent auction and sales by PSI Chapter of DKG; and many others who provided publicity, decorations and set-up and all the details that go together to equal success.
Introducing Huruma student, Dotto Jumanne: “I am 15 years old, I have been at Huruma for 5 years now. I can hear but cannot talk (dumb). “
Dotto’s teacher’s assessment: Dotto has mental disability and he cannot learn sign language. At his early years at school, Dotto needed assistance for everything, it was hard for him to depend on himself for almost everything. Dotto needed assistance to go toilet, he needed help to wear and take off both cloths and shoes. Eating was little bit easy for Doy (his nick name).
Dotto has sibling named Kulwa (Twins brother), Kulwa’s disability is almost the same as his young brother. They live with grand mom. Parents left them and they are been taken care by this grand mom. Only Dotto was brought to school (Huruma).
For all these years of studying, Dotto has improved more on life skills, he can go toilet and wash by himself, and he can perform lot things by himself. Huruma is proud of Dotto for his improvement.
He is very impressing to the community especially to his family. Dotto is helpful for his twin brother, is taking care of his brother by assisting him to washroom but also to other needs like wearing clothes, shoes etc. Mid of year 2019 because of his improvement he impressed his grandmother to send his siblings (twin brother) to school (Huruma). Now we have both Dotto and Kulwa studying at Huruma, more emphasis is put on life (vocational) skills studies.
Now let’s take a minute to imagine how Dotto’s Grandmother is coping with the CoVid-19 lockdown. She still has to walk every morning to carry home buckets water for her family’s daily use. Now that her grandsons are home all day, she has to prepare 2 extra meals for them each day using precious charcoal she has to buy. Her 3 room home has no electricity = no refrigerator – she still has to go to the market every day, no TV, no computer. How big are the rooms? Two of the rooms may contain a double bed with standing room beside. The other perhaps has 2 chairs and and a small coffee table with a water barrel in the corner. Pit toilet and shower are shared with neighbors. (This is the best likely scenario. It’s possible they live in a single room with only mattresses.) Belongs are stored in plastic buckets with tight lids that originally held chemicals used in the mines. Clothing is likely stored in suitcases. Anything Dotto and Kurwa can do to take care of themselves is so appreciated.
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 the meantime, our support for Huruma is of the utmost importance. Perhaps remembering that our nation did not recognize the right of every child to a “free and appropriate” education until 1972, can help us to be patient with less developed nations and encourage us to assist.
For those of you we didn’t see at Taste of Tanzania, here’s information on how to help anyway.