This is Mack (pronounced mock), and this is her story.
She is 12 years old and lives in the village of Mramba, Tanzania. She comes from a very poor family and was selected as a “vulnerable child” by a village committee because her father is dead and her mother is ill. Mack wants to go to school but there is no money for that.
Mack is one of 50 vulnerable children selected for the Kids’ Club in Mramba. In this project developed by ETI with funding from the Des Moines Rotary Club, children from ages 7 to 12 meet every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a program of life skills training, projects and games. They are taught by three women from the village who attended a nearby college for a four-week program in child development. The kids eat breakfast and lunch at the school, which hosts the program.
For many of the kids, these are the only meals they will get that day.
The kids have two projects underway. The first is a large vegetable garden, and the second is an irrigation ditch to water the plants. Each week, they tend the garden by weeding and watering under the supervision of their teachers and volunteers from the village. At harvest time, they will divide the produce among their families.
They also practice singing, and Mack leads them in the traditional African call and response songs. She is a very bright girl and a natural leader.
After the initial Rotary funding of $2500 is spent, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Des Moines, Iowa will continue to support the program. In addition, the members of the congregation agreed to pay the costs for all 50 kids to attend school. So, now Mach will be a student and will develop her natural gifts.
News of the Kid’s Club in Mramba spread quickly throughout the region and many villages want to begin a Club. ETI is collecting funds to establish more Kid’s Clubs. Please connect to the donations page of our website if you wish to make a contribution.
This is one example of where a small amount of money will make a big difference in the lives of these kids. Someday, Mack may be Prime Minister. Anything is possible!