Visit to the Serengeti National park with Musoma en Kinesi orphans
As you can read on their website (http://www.globalresourcealliance.org/aids-orphans-support-program), GRA is currently funding two orphans support programs in the Lake Victoria Region: “Tumaini Kwa Watoto” and “Kinesi Orphans Program”. Both are operated by their partner Global Resource Alliance – Tanzania (GRA-TZ), through the work of wonderful local people as Christopher Gamba and Esther Raphael.
The Tumaini Kwa Watoto (Hope for the Children) Program
This first program provides essential support for about 85 orphans living with their extended family – usually with their grandparents or aunts and uncles – in the Musoma area of Tanzania. The program provides the basic necessities such as food (maize, beans and rice for the entire foster family), basic healthcare and school uniforms and supplies, weekly group activities such as art, drama, sports and singing, secondary school tuition, … to the orphans and the foster families.
The Kinesi Orphans Program
This program is for orphaned children in Kinesi Village (near Musoma across Lake Victoria). Last week, we visited the beautiful permaculture plot in Kinesi, which provides food for the seventy-five families caring for the orphans enrolled in the GRA programme. Beside these food supplies, these orphans receive school fees, clothes, mattresses and basic healthcare.
As you might know, part of our mission here was also to do something for the orphans in both GRA orphan support programmes. You already saw pictures of us involved in a little art project the first weekend we arrived in Musoma (remember the “Ojos de Dios”), and the middle weekend we helped the orphans writing letters and drawing pictures for their sponsors. But last weekend was a special treat for 12 orphans from Musoma and Kinesi (and for us): a visit to the Serengeti National Park!
We left on Saturday morning: Tara & Lyn, the 5 teachers, Mister Ben, Christopher, Esther and the 12 orphans. First activity on the programme for the weekend: a visit to the Mwalimu Nyerere Museum Centre. This museum is dedicated to the Father of the nation of Tanzania and located at Butiama village – the birth and burial place of Julius Nyerere – on the road from Musoma to the Serengeti National Park.
As it was already quite late, our next destination was our accommodations in the Serengeti National Park, about 4 (dusty) hours from Butiama. We weren’t even in the Park yet, when we already spotted our very first wild animals: gazelles, zebras and even beautiful giraffes, one crossing the road in front of our bus. It was hard to tell who was more excited: the children or us. And when we stopped at the youth hostel, the most amazing thing happened: a huge elephant, standing just a few meters from the accommodation, was peacefully going about his business and not paying any particular attention to us – but still giving us a tremendous show.
Next day: the safari in the National Park. We can’t even start to tell you about the beauty of the Serengeti, the animals, the colours, … Hopefully the pictures will give you a good idea. It was a beautiful experience, even more so because we could share it with the orphans.