Christmas News

 

magreth-jesca-and-doris

With the school being closed, December has been very calm.  In the beginning of the month, most kids went back to their respective families for Christmas.  Only Doris, Jesca and Magreth stayed.  With only three kids left, Tawny, me and the kids all moved back up to the main house where Joyce and Kaaya stay together with Corfield.  Calvin also joined us, as well as two other cousins of Corfield’s so all together we had 7 children up at the main house.

having-funThe children who went home were very excited to spend Christmas with their mothers and/or other family members.  Thanks to many generous donations and with fewer kids at the orphanage, we were able to do some fun activities with the ones who, for different reasons, chose to stay at Peace Matunda for Christmas.  We took them Christmas shopping, braided their hair etc.  It felt very important to spend some quality time with the kids who didn’t get to go see their families and we ended up having a great Christmas together.

Tanzanian Christmas is traditionally celebrated on the 26th of December, American Christmas on the 25th and the Swedish Christmas is on the 24th… so we decided to celebrate 3 days of Christmas.  Thein-the-pool 24th was spent at Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge where we had lunch and used the pool.  On the 25th, we were invited to Havilah Village Children’s Home, an orphanage close to Arusha National Park.  We had a great time having lunch together and playing with their kids.  On the 26th of December we had a calm day at home with gift exchanging etc.

Peace Matunda received a lot of donations before Christmas.  Kathy Franklin has continued with the calendar selling and also raised money at schools etc. in Esterhazy.  Ex-volunteer Heather Campbell also raised more money through a used books sale.  Furthermore, we received a very generous donation from the Hope family that came to Peace Matunda with the Unique Expedition group in September last year.  In terms of donations, the greatest news this month is that the givemeaning.com money has reached us!  After a lot of waiting, postponing, organising and endless of help from ex-volunteer Andy Rosenhek we finally got the 17,000 Canadian dollars that have been donated over the past year through givemeaning.com.  Thanks to this money, we have been able to start building the next school building.  We will have another classroom, bedroom and more showers.

On behalf of staff and children at Peace Matunda, I want to say thank you for all the support that have been shown and given to us during 2008. We wish you all a happy new year!

Johanna Hemmingsson
Project Manager

buildingKaaya by the new school building

Paypal problems again…

We ran into problems using the Paypal system after all and we will therefore not be able to receive donations via Paypal anymore. All donations/payments made so far will reach Peace Matunda, but future donations will have to be made via bank transfer. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Doris moving in

A series of unfortunate events brought Magreth and her sister Doris back together. Since over a year back, they have been living at separate orphanages; Magreth at Peace Matunda and Doris at Mama Nora’s Orphanage. The other day, after learning about a tragedy in Magreth’s family, we took her to visit her grand-father. Since he lives nearby Mama Nora’s orphanage, we stopped by so that Doris and Magreth could meet. They hadn’t seen each other since September 2007. It was a very happy reunion and a lot of tears were shed, so when Magreth asked me if Doris could come with us to Peace Matunda it was impossible to say no. Mama Nora didn’t oppose to the idea since she hasn’t had the funds to school Doris. Doris is only one year older than Magreth, so they are now studying and living together at Peace Matunda. We are all very happy about how things turned out!

Moving In!

The children have finally moved into the new orphanage! We’ve waited so long for this, and sometimes it felt like it was never going to happen… but they’re at last down there! Our two matrons and nine children slept their first night in the new building last Saturday. Since then, things have gotten more and more in order. This morning the matrons could prepare breakfast for the first time in the new kitchen. This is a lot thanks to the safari group Unique Expedition from New Zealand who helped us finish what was missing in the kitchen (shelving, gas cooker etc). I think it’s so important that the children finally have a home of their own. I was a bit afraid the change was going to be difficult for them; having to move, no longer share beds with each other, not be on the same compound as the volunteers etc.. However, the children have been nothing but excited over these changes and say that they love their new house. I want to give a huge Thank You to everyone who’s helped in making this possible. So many people have contributed in such various ways (roof, windows, doors, cash etc.). It wouldn’t have been possible without you! Thank you!

New Matron

Tawny Hutchings, who volunteered here in March this year, came back last week. Along with Mage, she will work as matron until April next year. As soon as the orphanage building is completed, Tawny, Mage and the kids will move in there. With her positive attitude and hard working spirit, Tawny is a great asset at the Orphanage. We are very glad to have her back with us!

Matunda News – July 2008

Matunda News from Johanna Hemmingsson, Project Manager

Just like in June, many volunteers have been coming and going this month. At the most, we had 10 volunteers at once. Currently we have a really good group of 6 volunteers staying at Peace Matunda. All volunteers passing through have contributed in different ways, and I would like to give special thanks to some of them.
Bridget and Danny, who left mid-July made sure Magreth and Jesca got eye glasses. They are only using them in class and they have been very good at keeping track of them.
Volunteers Michael and Kasey also left in mid-July. Kasey is a student teacher in the U.S.. Together with Michael she spent 8 weeks at Peace Matunda and was a great asset to the school. From friends and family, they also raised money to buy text books, in English, Kiswahili and Math, for our Standard 1 class. We were very happy to realize that we had to buy the Standard 2 text books in both English and Maths since the Standard 1 books were to easy for our kids.
After teaching the kindergarten class in a half finished class room, volunteer Lindsay had had enough of the prison-like room. With the help from her family, she is funding what was left to finish the classroom in terms of walls (outside and inside), floor and furniture. We are very grateful for this and admire her will to help after her patience has been pushed to new limits by Global Crossroads’ malfunctioned organization. Together with volunteer Jenna, she has also introduced, in the kindergarten class, a green-yellow-red light system in order to encourage the kids to behave in class. Apparently it’s been working very well and most of the kids find satisfaction in behaving well and staying on green light.
Jenna also brought Uno cards and volunteer Jessica taught the kids how to play.
Volunteer Jason took the kids “swimming” in the river, which was a lot of fun for everyone.

With a complete lack of objectivity, I always like to say that our kids are geniuses. Lately, however, they have been even more creative than ever. Especially Ema who made a swing last week. Maybe not the most advanced swing construction one could think of, but pretty impressive for being made by a 7 year old! He also makes slingshots on his own. And under the direction of Ema, the kids’ mud house constructions are getting more and more advanced.

We have a new child with us at the orphanage. Neema. Both her parents are deceased and she had been living with her grandparents. Due to their old age, they have not been able to take very good care of her so we offered to let her live with us at the orphanage. She has adapted well to living together with all the other children, and they, in return, have accepted her as a part of the group. She had very bad clothing when coming here, but thanks to a donation left by Michael and Kasey, we were able to buy her what was missing in terms of clothes, shoes etc. However, her first couple of days have been pretty rough. She got the chicken pox. She was taken to the hospital where we found out that she also had malaria and pneumonia! She’s doing well under the circumstances, and, so far (crossing my fingers), none of the other kids have gotten the chicken pox. Since most of them only have been living with us for a year, we’re unsure as to who has already had or been vaccinated against the chicken pox.

This might be new to most of you, but Jastin’s name is actually Godwin… and Jastin is his last name. The other day, Jastin made it clear that he, from now on, wants to be called Godwin, and not Jastin. In the long run, this is a good idea since it will be less confusing. However, it is very hard getting used to it. Luckily, the new volunteers are very good at being consistent in calling him Godwin and hopefully it will stick to everyone soon.

Thanks to a donation made by Peter Downs, we have been able to fix the laundry machine. Joyce and Mage did a great job hand washing while it was broken. But it’s hard work and very time consuming, so they, and everyone else at Peace Matunda, are very happy to have the laundry machine running again.

A group of high school students volunteering at a nearby secondary school made a day visit at Peace Matunda last week. They were travelling through an organization called Global Routes and were helping with building at the secondary school and staying in local host families. It was very nice to see how interested they were in the orphanage and before leaving they made a very generous donation.

Last but not least… Welcome to our new website! It is almost completely finished except for some details. I want to give a huge “Thank You” to Lori Beckstead, without whom this would not have been possible.

Johanna

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