Thursday, August 8, 2013

Visit to the school for the blind and endangered children (Part 2)

Finally the "big" day dawned and we all congregated at Amanda's house to load the vehicles.

Loaded to the hilt with toys and treats and ready to roll!

Although, like life, this post about a special visit to very special children, is not about me, I have to add something here. Normally in a long series of photos, you never see moi/Jo/yours truly! There are generally no photos of me. Why? Because I'm behind the camera and not in front of it. However, this post also contains several photos taken by Louise (which I will credit accordingly) And in Louise'  of our departure from Amanda's house, I appeared! Well, the back of me! Take a look-see...

From left: Amanda, Rina, Jo (the back of!), little Barack, Linda and Chef Paul (Photo credit: Louise Prinsloo)

Soon we were on our way in a convoy of four vehicles traveling to Shinyanga. At the school, there weren't many children around (I think they were being kept aside with the promise of mzungus coming with zawadi/gifts.
Soon the little ones were couldn't contain their curiousity crept closer (Photo credit: Louise Prinsloo)

After we unpacked the boxes in age groups, on a ledge, we asked the carers to get the small girls into a line and then the small boys. Although we were told beforehand that 75% of the children were "with reason", which we took to be eight years and older, it soon became apparent that there were far more little ones than any other children. So while Amanda and Linda handed out the gifts, I quickly re-arranged some of the gifts from the older children's boxes of goodies. 

Photo credit: Louise Prinsloo

Once each child received his/her parcel, they were directed to Rob's vehicle where Rina and Louise handed them a packet of popcorn, a bag of cookies, a cupcake and a bottle of soda.

Top: this little lad clutches his toy; the little ones wait for their turn; bottom: the next group of older boys being given their eats and treats (Photo credit: Louise Prinsloo)

Eventually it was the turn of the last group - the big boys - to queue for their gifts and then for their refreshments. The children then all sat in the shade of large tree to open their parcels and to enjoy the treats
Oh yum! Life's so good! (Photo credit: Louise Prinsloo)
You're never too small ... (Photo Credit: Louise Prinsloo)
...or too big to enjoy a toy!
Comparing toys (Photo credit: Louise Prinsloo)

 The model shamba/farmyard was most popular

While the children enjoyed their eats and treats under the tree, the head teacher took me through the children's' living quarters. 
Top: the kitchen; bottom: the library and an open braille book
In all my sixty years on this earth, this was the first time I'd ever seen a page of braille! 

 The dining room

Girls dormitory. When I asked where the missing mattresses were, the teacher told me several children have accidents during the night so the mattresses were being aired in the sun

Once back outside, I saw that Fr Duncan was leading the children in songs for the mzungus. When he'd thanked all the mzungus for the party, lifted Barack and said that it was entirely due to this little boy that Amanda had discovered the school!
Fr Duncan pays tribute to Barack who was indirectly responsible for Amanda discovering the school
 Singing The Lord's Prayer in Swahili

This lad couldn't resist...

...taking a few mouths full under cover of prayer! 

 Barack's first-ever party...

..and did he enjoy it! 

While handing out parcels and treats, we noticed dozens of children outside the grounds,  with noses pressed up against the school gates. As there were lots of goodies to eat remaining, the carers let them in and we gave them sodas, cupcakes and cookies. Within minutes even more children poured in through the gates and soon our food was finished. The head teacher then firmly shooed them back through the gates and told the askari to lock it.  Sadly, the children we helped that day were only a handful of hundreds of thousands of needy and hungry children in Africa. If only we could help them all but it's just not possible. 

I trust you're all having a great week.


  1. Saddness and happiness all rolled up in one....Thank God for you and your friends Jo.....

  2. What a heartwarming story dear Jo. God bless you and all the other ladies who made this special time possible for the children. Barack looks so happy and it was wonderful he too could join the party. Have a great weekend. (Hugs)

  3. I agree with the two other comments!You and your friends did a great work and God bless you all! Your blog post really touched me.
    Have a nice weekend,Jo!

  4. Well, Mrs. Hedges, I do declare you have me all misty-eyed now. I would have loved to be part of your group visiting the children but then I'd have wanted to bring half a dozen home with me.
    Bless you and your friends for arranging a day the children will never forget.
    Hugs, K

  5. Such joyous faces. Thank you for helping where you can.

  6. It is so special to be able to visit places like this and help out, Such small things mean a lot to these children.

  7. What a heartwarming and also sad post ! Our children have so much, too much and these once are lucky to have at least something ! You laid another stone to paradise !


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