Hello friends, and pole sana for not writing sooner. As you may have guessed from my last post, I have been busy welcoming Toa Nafasi's newest staff member, Heidi Lidtke, to the Project, to Moshi, and to life in Africa generally.
We have been awfully busy since Heidi and her husband Geoff's arrival nearly two weeks ago, so I am just gonna post a recent article from the Tanzania Daily News out of Dar es Salaam. I hope to have original content for y'all in the new few weeks!
Tanzania: Society Urged to Support Disabled Children
Same district, Kilimanjaro region — Mr. Jonas Kadege, who is a member of a non-governmental organization (NGO), The Kitaa Foundation, has called on the society to be closer to children with disabilities to learn and understand challenges they are facing and support them to lead a better life.
Mr. Kadeghe was handing over food and education materials to Same Primary School leadership. He expressed his concerns on how many parents and guardians stay away from the children.
He said it was pertinent for parents and guardians to make a close follow-up on matters related to disabled children in education institutions so that they make informed decision and attain their goals.
"There are many children in different schools, some have different types of disabilities and they really face complicated challenges, but if we come out, make follow-ups, they will turn them into opportunities, forget their miseries and move forward with success," said Mr. Kadeghe.
He noted that the solution for disabled children is not to separate them from others and build their own school. Rather, they need affection and support from others who have no disabilities and together could prove successful in lessons and life generally.
Mr. Kadeghe said the government should work together with different stakeholders to ensure disabled children who have neither parents nor guardians live a decent life by getting all their needs, especially education.
"The society around them is duty-bound to take care of them jointly with the government and other stakeholders. The children will feel that they are equally important like others as they would lead normal lives like those who live with their parents," said Mr. Kadeghe.
He was paying tribute to his former school, saying from then on he would be with disabled students at the school. He requested other Samaritans to join hands with him for the noble cause.
Speaking after receiving the support, Same Primary School Head Teacher, Mr. Richard Mpokera, unveiled that apart from pupils who have no disabilities, there are those with albinism, with poor sight and the blind, adding that there was a special unit taking care of them.
"We have students who have no disabilities but also here are some with albinism, partial sight while we also have the blind and need proper attention in and out of classes," said Mr. Mpokera. However, he said the school leadership faced many challenges in meeting the students' needs and serving them, singling out food shortage and medical needs.
He added that the food was mostly needed by those with albinism. "In the past, we had a sponsor who footed medical costs of all disabled children, so our task was to send them to clinics and clinics in turn sent the bills to the benefactor," he said, adding that the benefactor has since suspended giving funds. The Head Teacher noted that Same District Council has been in touch with the school, covering some of the costs in transporting students, whose clinics are at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC).