Thanks to the success of Small Things Summer Campaign, the new day care at Happy Family Children’s Village’s Community Center officially opened its doors to the public on October 3, 2016 and now cares for 15 children from needy families in our community! As you can see, the children and the teachers are already comfortably settled in and everyone is eager to start learning.
The setting is clean and brightly coloured– a natural buttery light spreads itself over the open floor plan and offers an encouraging ambiance for our new students. Standard operations run from 8AM to 4PM, Monday through Friday and inside, the center contains three oblong tables that face a raised blackboard, several cribs, a game and activity station positioned in the rear of the class , two latrines and a separate cooking area with stove and perishable storage.
There is also a playground on site, shared with the residents of our HFCV, that all children have access to during recess hours!
WHY DID TST LAUNCH A DAY-CARE INITIATIVE?
The Meru District is one of the poorest regions in Tanzania and many of the surrounding families struggle to support the basic needs of their children. The government has done its best to provide assistance by abolishing school fees– however, a large majority of individuals are still living in poverty. After conducting several problem-assessment surveys with the local community, it became evident that one way to effectively provide aid to the vulnerable families of Nkoaranga would be to host a need-based day-care service.
It’s a difficult statistic to digest, but about 28 % of Tanzania still lives below the poverty line. Despite the high economic growth rate the country has experienced in relation to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, families still struggle to better their situation. To fund the basic needs of a child, one must be able to earn a sustainable income, and this is increasingly difficult for families with young children that require constant care and attention.
The TST Day Care project–rolled out thanks to the support of our global network of donors and friends–targets vulnerable families in the surrounding area, children who used to live at Nkoaranga Orphanage or Happy Family Children’s Village prior to reunification, and any individuals unable to provide attention and stimulation to their children during the working hours of the day.
The Nkoaranga Day Care Center provides opportunity to hard-working entrepreneurs struggling to support the financial needs of their family without compromising child-care. Moreover, the facility employs local caregivers and educators, provides children and families the ability to access basic education in a safe and stimulating environment, encourages creativity, and increases both the local and foreign volunteer presence here in Nkoaranga. In the long term, this program will be able to prevent more children from entering orphanages, and allow others to move home much sooner than they would otherwise have been able to.
By strengthening the children and families at the household level, we strengthen the community and empower individuals to break the cycle of poverty–one small action at a time. Join us!