Orphanages in Zanzibar Have Amazed Me
I landed in the beautiful island of Zanzibar a few days before the volunteer group. I managed to go through some tours here and there and explore the beautiful island and meet different people. Once I have started the volunteer program with “The Hope “I figured that the day was very well organized and included not only volunteering but also tourism once the school day is over and a dinner at a high end restaurant.
On certain days I decided to replace my trip with the group for the search I had in mind. I called my tour guide and asked him where I might find the local orphanages. He did not do volunteering tourism, his company was specialized more in those camping and traveling around Africa, he would be their guide as they cross Tanzania. So for him and myself this was something to explore.
We started by asking around and the first place we were led to was an orphanage managed by the government I believe. The building was security at the gate and was the size of a large school one might say. It was towards the end of the work day for the administration staff therefore we were given a mini tour by another staff member ( a teacher I believe ). I was surprised to see the many rooms and classes provided, as well as, a nursery equipped with cradles and four nannies taking care of the babies preparing milk in bottles for them and changing their dipers.
Another class we got to enter was a religion class where a group of children were reciting Quran with their teacher. As we headed out, we met the headmistress of the orphanage, a very classy lady who spoke to us in a very respectful manner. We asked how we can help in any way possible but she informed us that everything is well provided for the children but she will not stop us from placing donations such as clothes or toys for example. They asked to have my contact, so I left my name and number on a piece of paper and headed out ready to see another place.
I was so impressed by the way things were well organized, hearing the sentence that everything is well provided for the children put a smile on my face instantly. The second place we saw was placed on a a very big piece of land. As we entered we saw a large Masjid where students where having a class with their teacher, they were all very well dressed in uniformed traditional Zanzibar clothes.
We saw the other sections, such as their living space and classes where we met one of the ladies working there, who was like a mother to them. She explained to us how the living spaces are sectioned by ages and gender in addition to, what is provided for the children in terms of food and clothing etc…
The place was very well kept and everything provided was of high standard, I was surprised to even find a fully well equipped computers room.
After our chat with the lady we said our goodbyes and wondered where to head next. The process took a few phone calls yet there was no result, to our luck our driver has remembered a certain area to have an orphanage. We headed as close to the area as we can and we found a young man standing on the road, we figured he might be a local from that area a
nd this time we were lucky, we headed towards the direction we were given by this man.
We reached a very green well planted area with simple houses around and lots of chicken running here and there, however the road had stopped and our car was a small one that could not handle such rough roads. We decided to walk, it was a very short distance and there we were in front of the orphanage. We were greeted by the founder of the place also known as “Mama Suzy“. She told us about how this whole thing started with taking care of one child in the village then two more and later on those who has issues raising their children or found abandoned street children she was the lady to go to.
I knew this was the place where I can help, the children were not discriminated against they were all raised equally and a few classes were provided for them. In addition, to sending them to school, tutors are provided for them after school and also a religion teacher is provided for the Muslim children. The small farming land the lady owns help in providing food for the children and cutting the cost. After going through all the details, I knew I will be visiting this place again.
Here is a short video of the orphanage:
To be continued …