By Lindsey Page
My husband, David and I were fortunate enough to travel to Tanzania in the summer of 2009 to volunteer at several orphanages. We decided to volunteer in Tanzania as David planned on climbing Kilimanjaro, and I had always wanted to volunteer my time, love and efforts somewhere abroad. After months of research and planning, we left for Tanzania two weeks before David’s scheduled climb so he and I could volunteer together.
After a couple of long flights, hauling around an extra large suitcase filled with goods and presents for the children and David’s climbing gear, we arrived in Moshi, Tanzania. We didn’t know what to expect, but we walked into the experience with open minds and open hearts. Our goal was to help in any way possible.
During our first week, we experienced laughter, fun, learning and frustration. We played with the children, washed dishes, sang children’s songs, and helped feed children and put them down for naps. The language barrier became easier as we learned rudimentary Swahili. After two weeks, David left to climb Kilimanjaro, and I had an opportunity to work at another orphanage in the afternoon to teach English, play soccer, and distribute the items we brought from America. The time spent with each and every child was unparalleled and their laughter and love was uncontainable.
I believe that it is extremely important to help the needy in any way and by any means possible. Whether that means sponsoring a child or volunteering, the experience is priceless. These children are often voiceless and lack adults or parents to speak for them or appropriately attend to their needs. Any small contribution can make a world of difference in their lives.
We currently sponsor a child, Resty, in the Philippines through Maya’s Hope. We correspond with him often, and we love getting his letters. To know that you are making a difference in someone’s life halfway around the globe is something we will always treasure, and Maya’s Hope has allowed us to build a strong connection with Resty. This connection of support, love, and strength is a critical in children’s development and maturation. To be able to help create this with someone is an experience that words can’t describe.