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Globalization thru the internet and satellite TV has shown me both the beauty and desperation around the world. Yet it seems sometimes that I feel powerless to help those with the most need. Trekking for kids reminds me that a small group of individuals really CAN change the world-we just do it one step at a time. Johanna Ramos, Washington, DC
Tanzania 2008 Trek
Johanna Ramos, Washington, DC
Trip Report: Tanzania 2008 - Mt. Kilimanjaro
Trekking for Kids is pleased to report that the Tanzania Trek 2008 – Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition, in September of 2008, was an extraordinary experience and an overwhelming success! Apart from spending seven incredible days on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Trekking for Kids’ volunteers spent four unforgettable days at the Msamaria Center for street Children, an orphanage in Moshi, Tanzania where we made a lasting, tangible impact.
Thanks to the generosity of individual donors and corporate sponsors, Trekking for Kids was able to raise $50,000 to benefit the Msamaria Center for Street Children in Moshi. The donations from Tanzania Trek 2008 – Mt. Kilimanjaro came as direct funds or in-kind donations from donors throughout the United States and Europe. Trekking for Kids organized fundraising events in Atlanta, Miami, New York City and Washington, DC while individual trekkers organized grassroots fundraising efforts in Dallas, Atlanta, Washington DC, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Denver, St. Louis, Connecticut, and Madrid.
Thanks to the generous donations, Trekking for Kids and our 2008 volunteer team were able to renovate and repair the existing Msamaria Center in several ways that significantly enhanced the living conditions of its 50 plus occupants. Cracked floors were replaced by new, painted concrete; all of the buildings were given a fresh coat of paint, inside and out; mosquito screens were added to all of the windows to help reduce the incidents of malaria among the children; bright, colorful murals were commissioned for all of the rooms from local artists who themselves were former street children; and, the existing bathroom and shower facilities were remodeled. A significant impact was the replacement of the kitchen. The new building boasts a large pantry along with 3 new stoves. These burn much cleaner and more efficiently than the previous ones, because rather than using the more precious and expensive wood, they are fueled by recycled materials: logs made of sawdust. A large, outdoor, multi-purpose gazebo was also commissioned to replace the old one as well as a network of sinks – also outdoors - for washing and drinking.
One of the greatest impacts on the Center was the addition of basic furniture for the first time ever. Prior to the trek, the children and staff had been eating, studying and playing on the floor, as well as sleeping three children per bed. Today the Center is filled with new, locally-built furniture including desks for the students and teachers, chairs, tables, benches, bed frames and new mattresses. Trekkers also brought school supplies, clothing, sports equipment, games and toys with themas gifts for the children.
And finally, our donors’ gracious financial contributions also allowed for Trekking for Kids to go beyond the brick and mortar and provide a year’s worth of school tuition and fees for all of the children along with their first-ever school uniforms.
On the Trail: Trekking for Kids Trekkers spent 7 amazing days on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak. The 6-day ascent took a diverse group of 20 trekkers, ranging fromages 24 to 67 to the so-called ‘roof’ of Africa at a summit height of 19,340 feet. Days were spent hiking as the group traversed thru the mountain’s various ecosystems, enjoying the views by day and braving the frigid cold by starlight. As on all of TFK’s treks, the time spent on the trail provides a unique opportunity to bond with existing friends as well as cultivate new ones through the shared experience of adventure and personal journey that only a trek like this can provide.
At the Orphanage: Most valuable to the trekkers were the several unforgettable days working and playing with the children at the Msamaria Center for Street Children in Moshi. Entire afternoons were spent playing a variety of sports and games with them. Additionally, children and staff were taken on their first official field trip to Marangu Falls, where they bathed in the water and enjoyed a catered lunch. Finally, true to TFK tradition, the last night was spent together in celebration, eating delicious Tanzanian food, enjoying cultural performances, and singing and dancing to live music with all of our new friends.
Trekking for Kids would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our volunteers, individual donors, corporate sponsors, and friends who helped make the Tanzania Trek a success. We invite you to join our team in Mexico or Spain in 2009 or become a contributor, and experience the magic of Trekking for Kids, as we Improve Today, Secure Tomorrow…One Step at a Time.
20 Trekkers set out for the top of Africa, for the sake of the children living a the Msmaria center in Moshi, a home for orphans and street children.