I just came back from an amazing experience in Arusha, Tanzania, where I worked as a volunteer in an orphanage. It was absolutely a life changing experience.
The orphanage’s name is Malaika Children’s Friends (Malaika in Swahili means angel). At the moment it hosts 12 children from 6 to 11 years old, but there are plans to increase the number of children.
I had the time of my life. The first day we decided to cook Italian food and together we all prepared homemade focaccia, pizza and tomato tortellini.
It was great fun and it was the first time in which I was actually a chef! I was deeply impressed by the teamwork skills of all of them. They all wanted to take part and help with great excitement. Even though they are all very young, they still respected the rules!
I have to say that every single day was full of joy and happy moments. During my stay we had done a lot of other “adventure” activities, including a few days after Christmas when we decided to take the children to a swimming pool. All of them were so excited to go swimming for the first time and had a wonderful afternoon, even if a few were quite scared at first.
We also went on a safari, where they saw elephants, lions, cheetahs and more. For this safari adventure we joined Malaika with another orphanage, Karama, and it was very nice to see how the children became friends easily.
During my experience I was amazed by the incredible charge of optimism from all the volunteers that I met working there. The first few days I was wondering where all the staff found the daily energy, the optimism to smile, and the courage to face very difficult problems. I quickly figured out that the smiles and gratitude from all the children is the most powerful stimulant to continue. (www.harveymaria.com)
After my time spend in the orphanage, I found that when you share with people, what you receive back is always more. What my family and I are doing by supporting, organizing and coordinating an orphanage, is just a drop in the ocean. But, it’s important to remember that the ocean is beautiful and every single drop can make the difference.
This is the website of the orphanage that my family is actively managing: http://en.malaika-childrenfriends.org/
Thank you so much to everyone for your support!