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On Monday 21st November the members of the Rotary Club of Church Wilne were given an informative insight by Colin McArdle into “Kids Aid Tanzania”

Back in 2005 he visited Mwanza in Tanzania to see a small orphanage, set up and run by local people who were seeking help to develop its work in caring for children who had lost their parents in the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and who had no relations to look after them. KAT was set up to help them address the needs of street children and other impoverished and vulnerable children living in their village communities.

There are three areas they are involved and committee too being the village community, the orphanage and street children. Colin spoke in detail about the Ukerarie Island where there are 160,000 children of primary age or under, which is one of the poorest areas in Tanzania and this is where they set up Lake Victoria children. This was originally set up by local people, as they are aware that the only way out of the island is through education. In the video shown the members became well aware of the health problems, infections, sleeping accommodations and the importance of their donation of many Mosquito nets.

There are 45 children in the school and they are taught hygiene, given a meal a day, lessons in English and given a head start before going to junior school. The education is free but they have to buy their books and school uniform. In Lake Victoria they make and give to the children the school uniform and so far this year they have made and given 844 uniforms.

The members heard about the provision and medical care and in particular Kulwa, age 9, who was taken off the island to have two cataracts successfully removed. They also make washable sanitary towels to help girls remain at school during their periods.

Colin spoke about Malaria and the need to supply bed nets to prevent children being bitten by malaria-carrying mosquitoes at night. In the last three years they have supplied 4,500 nets. Up to four children sleep together on the floor under a net and the nets are guaranteed for 5 years. On distribution of the nets they are given details on how to use them.

To help combat malnutrition among village children they distribute nutritious floor.

Colin then told the members about Ester and David Madulu, a very enterprising couple they met a few years ago when visiting the area. They were looking after around 20 children and he would take presents on each visit such as blackboards, chairs and they then paid for Ester to go for a year’s course to qualify as a teacher. They now have 2 rented pre-schools and have a mainstream project having found a plot of land to build two classes for 50 children. All they need is £6,000.

Elaine Millighan from the Rotary Club of Ilkeston said their club had supported Colin and his team for the past decade and are kept informed of just where the money goes. They are now working with the District 1220 Team as an International project under the Foundation Grant scheme which will be matched by Rotary. Several other Rotary Clubs have indicated their future support and it is hoped that many of the 71 clubs in the district will get on board.

In summary Colin said “around 10,000 children have benefited, it’s all run by volunteers, all administration, travel costs are from trustee donations and also part of Gift Aid.

The clubs vote of thanks was given by Adrian Perkins and congratulated him on the informative presentation along with the massive achievement over the past decade. All this from small beginnings here in the Derby area.

Photograph: Colin and President Simon Beal holding the floor and mosquito net.

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