February 2022

Taste of Tanzania!

Our past fundraising events, Taste of Tanzania, have been so much fun! Because of the continuing restrictions caused by this pandemic, we will not hold an in person event this year. We are eagerly looking forward to a time when we can all be together again to celebrate the delicious food and beautiful culture of Tanzania. 

This year, we will hold an email fundraising campaign instead.

In order to continue to provide for our students, we depend on your continued generosity. If you have made a prior gift, we are so grateful and now ask again for your kindness. If you are new to Huruma, please consider carefully how you can make an impact in the lives of these young people in Tanzania and give generously. 

Watch your inbox for a special letter!

January 2022

Dear Friends of Huruma,

To share with you the good news of Huruma this month I will primarily quote from the end of the year report of Mr. Toto, Director of Huruma Special Unit.  Huruma began its new school year 17 January 2022. 

Mr Toto says: “It is a great to be writing to you and let you know how Huruma is doing to date, and what activities we performed year 2021. Before all, we are grateful for your support. Your support is crucial because teachers and all staff of Huruma continued providing training to handicapped children simply because Huruma paid their salary every month from January to date on time.

May you NOT lose hope to support Huruma, we promise to continue serving handicapped children with all our heart, to provide quality education they deserve.

Achieved Areas /successes 

This year 2021 again, we managed to conduct inclusive class together with neighbor school Pasiansi for grade III, grade IV and grade VI. Grade 4 had national examination in October and we are waiting for their results, which will be out soon December. Normally when students gets into grade four they must seat for national exam that determine their capability to continue with grade five, six and seven or to repeat grade four in case they score below average.

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Inclusive class grade III have 1 student, in grade IV (right) there four students and grade five there are seven students from Huruma. We are proud that our students have been doing well in their inclusion classes. The community now can see and understand, some take their responsibilities to take children with disabilities to school. 

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Two students, volleyball players from Huruma (Yohana and Julius) were selected to join national team to participate in Special Olympic for East Africa that will take place in Rwanda June 2022. We are proud that our students are capable of participating at national level for international games. 

We also managed to train successful two students in life skills and we expect to see those joining higher vocational skills in Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA). We secured vacancy for these two of our students to join VETA training center. We shared with their parents and we hope parents will support them to pursue vocational skills at VETA centers. The following students are the ones we expect to join VETA next year 2022.

We keep local chicken now. We started with four chickens, after reproducing we have now more than 20 chickens. We expect to have more than 40 chicken by the year 2022. The thing we need to do now is to improve chicken shed. We use this project as a class too, students learns how to clean chicken shed etc.

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Rachael (7years girl on a wheelchair), a student with physical disability. Rachael enrolled at Huruma 2020; she likes school and is very happy at school. She understand different things now like, house, cow, goats, pencil, bed, chair etc. She can point them if drawn on a paper. She cannot speak but she understand and follow instructions, she has an idea of numbers. Rachel is learning numbers 1-5 now. This is a great step for her compared to last year. Through physiotherapy exercises every day at school, she can now stand up with assisting object for at least 20 minutes.

We have now a TV, every Wednesday in religion period students gets 10 minutes to watch TV a lesson taught by a teacher (Teacher Thereza teaches religion)

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December 2021

Dear Friends of Huruma,    Heri ya Krismas! Blessed Christmas!  

Our holiday wishes for you are many.  Secure in the love God has shown us in the birth of Jesus, may you be energetic in working for justice, generous in sowing kindness, and generous toward the suffering and those bound by various limitations of their freedom.  May you enjoy the confidence that you are loved just as you are!

Know that our gratitude for your  support of Huruma students is boundless.  Because of you they  enjoy companionship, the satisfaction of continued academic and physical growth, the safety of face masks and transportation,  the dedication of their teachers and the pride of their families.  None of these would they experience without Huruma.

Picture what these children would likely be experiencing without Huruma. No wheelchair, no companionship – other children being afraid of them, no shoes, no physical therapy, no mental stimulation – most homes have only one book, a Bible – no paper – no pencil or crayons or scissors, no encouragement to try to dress themselves, to drink a cup of uji by themselves, no hope for a useful future;  daily awareness of being a burden on their family, of having nothing to contribute.

All of that changes with enrollment at Huruma.  Here Emanuel wears a school uniform and receives an education appropriate to his abilities. He attains confidence that he is like others his age with hopes for a future.  His friend, Daudi, works on math problems.  With that he will be able to run errands for his parents, be trusted to bring home purchases and accurate change.  Now he contributes to his family. Students learn by playing games. In contrast to most Tanzanian schools, Huruma teachers utilize manipulatives.

Huruma students have completed another school year and are enjoying time with their families.  Because of your financial support, they are confident that Huruma will welcome them again in January 2022.  But we need your continued support to meet our commitments through the next school year.  Please consider making another tax deductible donation before the end of 2021. 

October 2021

As most American children have now settled into a new school year, Huruma students are nearing the end of their school year. Seventh grade students took mock exams in September and will take graduation exams in November. These exams determine the quality of the secondary school they will be invited to join. Fourth graders who have been in an inclusion classroom are taking statewide exams this month. These used to determine whether the child was allowed to continue to complete an elementary education.

As we in Oregon begin our rainy season, Tanzania also enters the rainy season. These rains relieve the need to carry water for the garden meaning it’s time to plant crops that need abundant water like corn. They also fill the very large rainwater collection tanks filled by run-off from the roof.

Huruma now has electricity to replace the generator we used to move water inside for restroom use from the larger rainwater collection tank outside.

Tanzania has no winter season, but the rains bring cooler weather. So you see teachers and students wearing sweaters and jackets. There is no heat in the school just as there is no heat in their homes. Temperatures never drop below 60 degrees.

How can you help?

  1. Become a sustainer by making a regular donation. (This is our lifeblood.) You choose the amount and frequency: monthly, biannually or annually.
  1. Hold a yard sale or a bake sale or a bottle drive at your local church, organization, youth group or neighborhood. Send the proceeds to Huruma Chapter KILEO.
  1. If your local grocery store or department store collects change for community projects, ask them to add Huruma to their list of recipients.
  1. Ask a local restaurant to designate one day a month when they will contribute 10% of each meal price to Huruma. Then encourage all your friends and acquaintances to eat there that day.
  2. Join me on a trip to Tanzania. I really shouldn’t be traveling alone anymore.
  3. Volunteer to maintain Huruma’s facebook page.
  4. Include Huruma in your will.

June 2021

A heartfelt thank you to all who helped make our virtual Taste of Tanzania 2021 wonderfully successful.  Though we are not able to meet all of Huruma’s requests for 2021-22, we are able to increase our bimonthly support slightly.  It is not too late to contribute.

Here are some of the items our grant is unable to cover:

$ 435.00 toward daily transportation of students to and from school

$ 434.00 Uniforms

$ 400.00  A pair of school shoes for each of 76 students.

$ 100.00 for each of 5 special activities:  Huruma Day, International Day of the Disabled, Graduation celebration, Special Olympics, and Day of the African Child.

Maintenance: $150.00 for repair or replacement of worn shutters; $200.00 for floor resurfacing of one classroom; $300.00 for roofing repairs; $150.00 for replacement of water soaked ceiling tiles; $200.00 for chair and table repairs/replacements.

Every year since 1991 Tanzanians celebrate the Day of the African Child.  The African Union uses this day “to celebrate children as well as to inspire a sober reflection and action towards addressing the plethora of challenges that children in Africa face on a daily basis.”  This years theme is “Accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children.”  This Agenda has 10 specific goals.  In 2009 Tanzania focused on Goal 3 “The registration of every child’s birth and other vital statistics.”  At Huruma we helped our families acquire this documentation for all our students.  The lack of birth certificates, which up to that time no one had, led to legal problems, bribery, and corruption. 

Since its beginnings Huruma has focused on Goal 5 “Every child grows up well-nourished and with access to the necessities of life” and Goal 6: “Every child benefits fully from quality education.”   

So Huruma has never turned away a child because the family was unable to pay a fee or purchase school shoes or uniform.  Every child receives a daily meal, snack and clean water.  Students have access to clean toilets and toileting assistance if needed.

Students are prepared for inclusion in the regular classroom as quickly as possible. We are pleased to see many hearing impaired students studying with regular students in grades 4-7.  All Huruma students have daily PE with activities suited to their capabilities. As evidenced in the photo above, teachers adapt the instructional activities and pace to  each child’s IEP goals.  Physical therapy. wheelchairs, braces, hearing aides are provided as appropriate.

A 10 year old student with autism, Ibrahim has been at Huruma for 3 years.  At entry, he preferred to isolate from others rather than joining in.  Cooperation was very difficult for him.  Initially Ibrahim could not respond to teachers or other students.  After 3 years of patient encouragement, he now responds well.  Besides being talented at making beads, flowers, simple bracelets and necklaces, Ibrahim now cuts fabric with a scissors to make dice.  Most Huruma students have never used scissors because their families don’t have them unless mother is a seamstress, but they can all use a razor blade to cut their toenails.  Similarly, families don’t have a hammer or screwdriver unless father is a carpenter.

We take so much for granted.  

This is semester break in Tanzania.  Classes will resume  early in July.

November 2020

We have marvelous news to share today.  Huruma will soon have a fully operative website, www.tzhuruma.org.  There’s already a video on the “About Us” page, several entries on “Blog”  and photos and information on the “Contact Us” page.  Soon the Home and Events pages will be available as well as an option to Donate online.  Thanks to Melanie Lucas for taking on this projects.

Now for updates on Huruma and its needs.  The seven students pictured here are anxiously awaiting results of the recent exams which will determine their eligibility for secondary school.  Their attendance in class (inclusive class) is amazingly good.  And they like their class. For porridge and lunch they return to Huruma.   With COVID and poverty, Huruma staff sometimes encounter a lack of parental support to these teenagers when they are back home from school.

Government support for school lunches is unrealiable.  Recent elections in the non-governmental organization to which all Huruma parents belong have brought new leadership.  Fortunately with this new leadership, parents have started to contribute for food shortage. 

Huruma teachers are well, safe and productive.  One member of the leadership team suffered a light stroke and is still under medical care, but has returned to work. With her dedication, enthusiasm and creative, Mathilda is an inspiration to staff and parents.  Please pray for her complete recovery.

With the the help of our friends in Mwanza and one parent, Huruma has now installed electricity in our school building.  When approached, two friends volunteered to provide electrical material for wiring and another to do wiring activity. Then one parent paid for installation charges with the Tanzania Electric  Company. Now we have electrical power at our school. Up to now Huruma has used a generator to draw water from outside storage tanks to inside tanks that serve restrooms.  The Director now does not have to worry about keeping his laptop charged.  Teacher who do not have electricity at home will be relieved to charge cell phones at school.  This also creates opportunities to explore educational uses of electrical equipment. Electricity may also be more economical for cooking than the current gas.

The Huruma garden has recovered from neglect during the dry season and COVID-19 holiday. Until the rainy  season, which is expected to begin soon, students in the work skills program water daily, carrying buckets of water. The garden looks good and serves both for training and for student meals. Vegetables from the garden enrich student meals daily. In the background beneath the gorgeous Tanzanian sky, you can see the waving banana trees and farther behind, a residence hillside.  Way off in the distance, but visible on a clear day, is Lake Victoria.

In the meantime, Huruma depends on our support for staffing, maintenance and educational materials.  During the current pandemic, we have all realized our reliance of each other.  Calls from family and friends, offers of help or cheer, government assistance, food banks have all kept us going in spite of physical restrictions.  So we can imagine how Huruma staff and parents are buoyed by awareness of our accompaniment.

I hope to see many of you at our virtual Taste of Tanzania.  If you won’t be able to attend, here’s information on how to help anyway until we have an option to donate online.

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.

April 2020

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. C:\Users\User\Pictures\12-24-2014 Import\2020-04-03\042.JPG

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.