Making A Difference
‘’What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal’’ – Albert Pike
As part of our social responsibility, we support Joy children’s centre founded by Ernest Edward Kutingala. It is a project we all believe is worthy of immediate and continued support.
Joy Children’s Centre is a registered small non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation that runs a Kindergaten for poor maasai children and orphans in Olturumet ( Ekenywa Village) at the base of Mt Meru in Arusha,Tanzania.
The centre has chosen the word Joy because it characterizes their vision – to bring joy where non exist to each child and flourish in an environment of love and stability while growing in mind, body, and spirit. In 2004, Ernest realized that many Maasai families in his village were too poor to properly provide education for their children.
The traditional nomadic Maasai living in the outskirts of Arusha did not have enough land to graze their cattle and the results were devastating.
Most men were uneducated and without their cattle they had no permanent sources of income and therefore wracked by poverty.
While it is hard to assist a whole generation of unschooled parents, Ernest felt that the best approach was to educate their children who in turn can help provide for their parents in future years. He realized that the centre could be a place where an eager young mind can grow, be enlightened and educated to illuminate and lead a child into a secure, rewarding and stable future.
There is need in every community and it is never easy to select the most deserving or worthy cause to support. However, throughout the ages and in all societies, education has been the key that unlocks the mind ,frees the spirit and sets the child on the road to success And so he began his quest of convincing the poorest families to send their 3-6 year-old children to kindergarten school at the center to start a new generation of educated Maasai who can once again be the proud symbols of East Africa.
After attending kindergarten they will be better prepared for primary school; in the past the Maasai children were behind other kids as their parents were reluctant to take them to school; but since Ernest is a maasai himself, it always easy for him to convince the parents as they can see how education has changed his life.
The idea was to teach them the basics of arithmetics and English – the universal language of business!
But he had two problems -
a) Many children were from broken families and several were orphans. AIDS and despair have decimated once-strong family bonds, and
b) There was no kindergarten in his village!
Goals of the Centre
- To identify the less fortunate Maasai children and orphans in the region.
- To establish innovative and developmental programs that meet the need of the identified children.
- To enhance better life in the society through caring for children at the centre in terms of providing them with food, clothing, shelter, education and training to better their future survival.
- To co operate with other Non Governmental Organizations in sensitizing the communities, government departments and community based organizations to realize that the family is the primary unit for better child rearing and self appraisal.
- To identify the social and economic difficulties hindering children from receiving better care and preparing them for a brighter future.
- To establish a children orphanage village for offering education and vocational training services to the already affected children so as to acquire knowledge just like other advantaged children. The aim is to establish a Centre which, after some time, will be able to support itself in offering such services.
- To ensure that we leave a legacy of education and training excellence in these children and society as their future potential pride in the generations to come.
Ernest is facing financial challenges in running the centre as it is growing very fast. More teachers are required and physical infrastructure needs to be expanded to accommodate the extra children joining the centre.
In a perfect world the kids will have a kindergarten with several classrooms, proper teaching aids, several teachers earning acceptable salaries and a play area.
The centre has become a place where the children can just be children without the stress that they endure at home. We all want the centre to remain open and achieve its objective of changing lives of so many maasai children.
You too, can make a difference !!
A small contribution goes a long way in this rural village school, Ernest is not trying to save the world; he is helping a small group of very young children by offering them an education, he is hoping that they will be responsible citizens of this country and contribute to it’s social & economic well being in the future.
The centre is completely unlike most international charities where board members earn huge salaries and work in fancy high-rise office buildings.
- MJCC board members earn no income (in fact they donate time and money and work for free )
- Administrative overhead is very low and sponsored by smart adventures and other well wishers. This means that 100% of your contributions go to the cause itself and not to “administrative services”!
- Cash contributions are easy. An international wire can be send to the the centre’s bank account in Tanzania ( Details will be provided on request)
- Pre-school books, stationary and other items are most welcome. Unfortunately shipping costs are very high (starting at $75 per box from the USA), so it is better to discuss this with us beforehand.
- Why not visit the centre yourself and meet the teachers and children, we can include the visit as part of your safari while in Tanzania.