Islamic Help

Blog, Mission Possible Aug 2015: Building a future for the children of Tanzania

29 th August, 2015

Children are the future of any nation but without the tools and support to prosper, youngsters in deprived or impoverished communities can struggle even for basics like food.

As part of the Mission Possible deployment to Tanzania, volunteers have not only been distributing school equipment but giving pupils the chance to ensure they have a daily meal, as Khaleda Shummi explains.

Today we started off with the expansion of the communal gardens at the primary school in Mwembeni. This school went from being the worst to the best school in Mwembeni and it was all down to a selfless, inspirational man called Segat who helped make this possible. I really hope that seeing this man do so much for his people inspires others to do just as well.

By expanding the crop field it has given the pupils a future. They now have food to eat and can concentrate on their education instead of worrying about when their next meal will be and if they will eat or not.

Alhamdulillah, we have given them enough to eat and even sell the crop for a profit so they can continue to develop their school by providing stationery, books and better facilities to accommodate their needs in order for them to grow as individuals and make something out of their lives.

After speaking to some of the children in the school we found out that most of them had high hopes and big dreams of having good careers such as vice president, doctors, nurses and teachers. This made me feel so proud of them and knowing that I was a part in making their dreams come true made me feel so happy and makes me want to help them even more.

We also distributed stationery to the 232 children. We gave them mathematics sets, rulers, exercise books, rubbers, sharpeners, pens, pencils and plastic folders. As we were handing them out the kids were very excited and very eager to line up and collect their new equipment.

By providing this for them I really do hope it motivates them to do even better for themselves, so they can enjoy a better education by having the simplest things we in the UK take for granted in order to study and go to school.

The following day, we started off by organising a sports day for the children. We set a few different activities such as limbo, potato sack race, sprints, 100 meter races and high jumps. Despite the language barrier all 232 children were more than happy to join in.

After the sports morning, we had an environmental training session with the people of Mwembeni School. This session gave us the time to talk to them and explain to them the importance of the environment.

To be honest I was quite shocked to see that they did have  knowledge but continue to burn down trees to the detritment of the environment. Hopefully our 30-minute session will help them to better the situation for their sake of their lives and the environment around them.

Later that day, between the six of us, we planted 30 different trees, where we had to dig up and plant the trees ourselves in the pouring rain. Although I was the last one on the field I was the first to finish planting. Because of my sore, swollen foot I decided to take part 15 minutes after the start.

Although I was in severe pain, the reason why I changed my mind was because I once read that even after you die you can still earn rewards for the next life and one of the ways is by planting a tree as it provides food and shelter for people and animals etc.

When it started pouring down with rain, I got really frustrated because it made it harder for us to dig but Alhamdulillah when it started raining heavily we were able to test the rainwater harvest system. The joy on the people’s faces was unexpected; as the tap started pouring out filtered rainwater they were all smiling. Although I was annoyed with the rain, I was so happy to see the system for myself and how it was working.

During the end of our day at the Mwembeni School we had a very heart-warming send off from the kids and teachers. They prepared a special little dance, gave us individual letters and wrote five different messages on the blackboards in five different classrooms.

As I was walking through the classrooms I felt so sad; each board had a different message. The message that touched me most was ‘You have changed our lives forever and may Allah (SWT) bless all the Islamic Help volunteers’.

At this point I felt very proud knowing that I had made a difference in their lives, Not only were they people we helped but it’s like we became one big family that will continue to grow.

In one of the letters that was translated by Suliman, the school couldn’t thank us enough. They thanked us for everything including the malaria nets we had distributed, the stationery distribution, the rainwater harvesting system, renovating the school etc. Being a student myself, I think education is almost everything and to give the children this opportunity will help them to have a better future.

Khaleda Shummi