Education…a right, or a privilege? For the most vulnerable children of Tanzania, it is merely a dream. These children come from the poorest families, sometimes with dying parents, sometimes with no parents.
They cannot afford even the uniforms required to attend school, and are often malnourished, and failing to learn the social and practical skills needed to survive in the their own culture, because HIV has taken away all the adults responsible to teach them.
The ETI Most Vulnerable Children’s Club in Mramba, initially sponsored but a grant from Rotary International and supported by St. John’s Lutheran Church in Des Moines has found a simple, but highly effective answer!
The MVC Club uses the local school building, trained a few teachers who volunteer their time, and provides Saturday School for 50 children, chosen as most vulnerable by the village leaders.
These children learn life skills, such as nutrition and sanitation and how to plant and grow a vegetable garden (yes, they get to keep their vegetables!) and they are fed two meals. They are given uniforms, which has allowed them to go to school during the week, and by pulling them out of the community and spending special time with them, leaders find situations like Mack, an 11 year old girl who has lost both parents and is raising her younger brothers and sisters alone, and can find ways to address these issues as a community and help.