YES alumni from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania partnered with the Natalia Foundation to organize a day-long community project at the Tulee Yatima Tanzania Orphanage (TUYATA). The Natalia Foundation is a nonprofit organization that raises funds from community members and local organizations to support local orphanages.
Although orphanage visits are common in Tanzania, the alumni wanted their project to stand out by actively participating in the orphans’ day to day life and assisting the staff. The alumni started off the day by helping the kids do their daily chores. The group cleaned the living quarters, swept the playground, and removed and properly disposed of garbage. Upon completion of the cleaning activities, the alumni invited the children to participate in reading exercises. The children were encouraged to read their favorite story book and where assisted by alumni whenever necessary. The goal of the reading exercise was to start developing a love of reading in the children. The alumni believe that reading is a great and affordable way for children to expand their imagination and vocabulary.
The alumni found this experience to be very rewarding. At the end of the day, they brought out a birthday cake for a symbolic celebration of the birthdays of the kids who don’t know their exact date of birth. This was a very successful project for the alumni, the staff and the children and the orphanage. Children appreciated the opportunity to spend the day with the alumni and got to ask them a lot of questions about the YES program and how they can participate as well.
The alumni have already begun thinking about their next visit to the orphanage. One idea is to raise funds to support the orphanage. The woman in charge of the orphanage mentioned to the alumni that one of her challenges is finding funds to cover the children’s school fees. The alumni are hoping to help with this issue the next time they visit. They are also hoping to visit the Makumbusho Village or Bagamoyo to visit with the children there.