Our sponsors visiting the Hope Home
Our Weltherz-Sponsor Daniela from Würzburg visited her sponsored child Noreen in Tanzania together with her boyfriend and brother and tells about her experiences:
For a long time I have been looking for an organization where I can be sure that my donations will really reach the people on the spot. Through board member Vanessa I became aware of Weltherz e.V. and since March 2019 I am sponsor of little Noreen. Since some time she is the youngest living in the Hope Home orphanage and with her charming way she makes everyone happy 🙂 Already when I sent the application for the sponsorship, I had the wish to get to know Noreen and the other children personally. Half a year later, the plan became concrete: On December 18th, I was on a plane to Tanzania with my friend and my brother.
Arriving at the orphanage we are welcomed incredibly warmly and quickly become part of the big Hope Home family. The kids and also the two operators Sarah and Joseph do everything to make us feel at home during the five days. Each of the children has a bad fate and although they would have many reasons to be angry and sad, they are as loving and warm as I have never experienced before. To look into the radiant faces of the children fills me with an incredible amount of joy.
Christmas came early
In our luggage we have letters from the sponsors in Germany, sweets, lots of clothes and toys. Of course the children can’t wait until December 24th – so we decided to give them presents without further ado. The joy is enormous and as a thank you all sing a song together. After unpacking, we immediately start with puzzles and memory.
Very special for us is also the Christening Ceremony, in which we are allowed to participate. Three children (about twelve years old) from the surrounding area are officially accepted into the Christian church after passing an exam. For this occasion, all children from the Hope Home are washed, creamed and wear beautiful clothes. With Tuk Tuks we drive to the church, stacked one on top of the other, where the ceremony of several hours takes place outside under a colorfully decorated pavilion. There is singing, loud preaching and dancing. After the official part the champagne corks pop and a billy goat grilled in one piece is served. Traditionally, the children have to feed their parents before the buffet is opened for everyone. This church visit is a completely new experience for us and can hardly be compared with communion in Germany, for example.
Visiting the swimming pool
The visit to the swimming pool is by far the biggest highlight for the children of the Hope Home, as the last visit was already six months ago. Until we arrive there, however, half an eternity passes and also a few tears are shed. With the first turn (to ten) we set off in a borrowed car to the only swimming pool in town. Arrived there we stand in front of a locked gate – bacteria infestation. Full of expectations, the children look at us, so that we quickly rent a minibus and drive with the whole pack to Moshi, 30 kilometres away. But even there the swimming pool is closed – because of renovation work. When we are not allowed in again at the next attempt because there are too many of us, we look into 40 disappointed children’s eyes and I have to fight hard with the tears.
Only on the fourth attempt we are lucky. As there are not enough bathing suits for everyone, many of the kids jump into the water in their underwear. When one of the little boys notices that there is no swimming trunks left for him, he puts his clothes back on with tears in his eyes. But necessity is the mother of invention and Patrick quickly changes his boxers into swimming trunks. Since we also have too few water wings and only a few of the children can swim, each of us sometimes holds up to three in his arms at the same time. Despite starting difficulties, everyone has an incredible amount of fun in the end and I am happy that everything turned out well.
Besides spending time with the children, we also want to support Sarah and Joseph and do something good for them. Already after our arrival we notice that many of the beds and mattresses are in bad condition and the mosquito nets have huge holes. We write a shopping list and throw ourselves into the turmoil. Shopping in Boma is an adventure in itself and you have to plan a lot of time and patience for it – according to the Tanzanian motto “polepole”, which means slow, slow (once we walked to the butcher and were on the road for 1.5 hours in total). Back at the orphanage we are getting ready room by room and are supported by the children. Patrick and Christian are also mending the waterhole in the yard and laying a path to the house with stones. Now it is possible to reach it even when it rains, without having to tramp through deep puddles. Even the little ones are eager to help and some of them bring huge stones with them. Meanwhile I cooked with the older ones and learned a lot.
After five wonderful but also moving days we can safely say that the trip to Boma Ngómbe has opened our eyes. Once again we are grateful for the little things in life, appreciate our food, clean water and a mattress on which we can sleep. And above all we are grateful for our health and our families. We hope to live on this experience for a long time to come and to integrate a little bit of the lightness of children into our daily lives. The African proverb “Hakuna Matata” (no problems/worries) has taken on a whole new meaning for us on this trip.