brothers through thick and thin

amani childrens homeWhile some children arrive at the Amani Children’s Home, an Intrepid Foundation Community Project in Tanzania, having already spent some time at school, others have never sat at a desk or ever touched a book. Such was the case with Baraka and Ima Mathayo, two brothers who arrived at Amani Children’s Home in late 2009.

Baraka, aged 12, and Ima, 10, fled an abusive home in search of safety and an education. The brothers eventually ended up at Amani and, since their arrival, their smiles have been lighting up the library. Though Baraka was wary of adults when he first arrived, he could not resist the allure of books with bright, full-page pictures of wildlife in the Serengeti. Ima sat patiently at a table with Christina, Amani’s special education teacher, receiving his first lesson. In only an hour, Ima had mastered the vowels and had written his first words: his own name, and “ua”, the Swahili word for flower.

As the weeks passed, Baraka’s and Ima’s enthusiasm for the library never waned. When the brothers finished their classes, they would come to the library to flip through picture books, look over other students’ shoulders, and listen attentively to story after story. In January, that pattern changed: Ima pulled a book from the shelves and, without any help at all, patiently read his first book aloud – from cover to cover.

Both Baraka and Ima are dedicated students in Amani’s starter class and are already talking about their hopes for the future. While Baraka says he hopes to grow up to be a farmer, Ima has a different dream: he states with certainty and a smile that he will grow up to be President of Tanzania!

Please help us help more Tanzanian children to have a positive independent future. Your donation to Amani through The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar, up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$300,000 for all donors in each financial year.

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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My husband and I will be travelling in our own vehicle overland from South Africa, north thru Zambia and Tanzania, maybe to Kenya and would be interested in staying for 2-4 weeks to help at the Foundation. I am an architect and my husband is a quantity surveyour and retired building contractor. Could we be of help?

Evon Smuts

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