When Steve and I (Liana) first started Majestic Kilimanjaro with Tumaini we wanted to support an orphanage that really needed the help and extra resources. Tumaini introduced us to Babu and Bibi (Grandmother and Grandfather) at Paradiso Home Arusha. This started a rewarding period of time where our work really improved the lives of the children as well as Babu and Bibi. It also allowed us to partner with two other major supporters of the home, Ruth Sisk from Ireland and Charlene Westover in Canada in order to create a coordinated way to support the home.
After years of supporting the home, conducting renovations, paying school fees, and buying uniforms and books for the children, introducing our clients and new supporters to Paradiso, we are pleased to say that Paradiso now has so many supporters that we feel our funding is more needed elsewhere.
We are always happy to introduce our clients to Babu & Bibi, and support the work of Ruth and Charlene who continue their tireless efforts.
It has been a wonderful experience to watch the children of Paradiso grow, blossom and do well in school, and we look forward to following their progress in the future.
In June 2015, Steve and I travelled once again to Arusha Tanzania in order to do more work at New Paradiso. It was wonderful to see the children again and to see how much they had grown.
Coordinating International Donors
There are three (3) main donors that keep New Paradiso open, paying for all living expense, medicines, staff salaries, school fees and clothing - Charlene Westover (www.moww.cc) from Canada, Ruth Sisk from Ireland and Majestic Kilimanjaro Treks & Safaris.
While we each knew the other donor existed, we had not yet been able to make proper contact with each other and form a coordinated effort. Being as I was in Arusha, I was able to spend time with Babu (Grandfather of the Orphanage) to get very clear on their annual budget for living expenses and schooling. Through the magic of Viber, I was then able to make contact with Charlene and Ruth and after many hours of texting and Viber calls (at all hours of the night around the world) we were able to come up with a very clear picture of what the home's exact needs are and who was sending what.
I know we each felt a huge sense of relief that we are now working together, had a better control of finances and that New Paradiso has three very committed donors sharing the work of supporting these 24 children.
Staying in Arusha for one month allowed us to really see what was now needed at the home. We rolled up our sleeves and took care of the following:
Installed Showers and running water in bathrooms
While the house had been originally built with bathrooms and squat toilets in 2012, there were no running taps or showers. The children from (5 to16 years old) had to bring in buckets of water to splash in the toilet and they mostly bathed outside with buckets of cold water. It gets cold in Arusha.
So we decided to install running water taps to the toilets with the biggest excitement of all being to have not only indoors showers but hot indoor showers! Some of these children had never experienced a shower let alone a hot shower!
Conversion of wood stove to gas cooking
Bibi spends many hours cooking in the kitchen which is a separate small building with very bad ventilation. The years of inhaling smoke like this has left it's mark on Bibi's lungs and last year she was hospitalised for a time. So we asked Bibi if she would like a gas cooker and she was thrilled at the idea.
Steve, Tumaini and Bibi worked with the local metal worker to ensure the new stove would meet the demands of cooking for 24 children!
We also purchased the gas cylinder which arrived on the back of a motorbike - now that was a sight to see!! Converting to gas means cleaner cooking, money saving every year due to high cost of wood and less trees felled which is better for everyone's environment!
Faulty electrical wiring replaced
Some of the original electrical workmanship was very poor and so when Babu discovered that the lights in the bathrooms were potentially dangerous, he permanently switched them off which meant there was no lighting at night. We paid to have new wiring installed in all the bathrooms so now when the children go to the bathroom at night they can see. Yes it's the little things that count!
New Mattresses and clothes storage
It was definitely time for new mattresses so with help from Liana's family, overnight we raised enough money to buy each child a new mattress, covered in vinyl for easy cleaning (especially for those children who occasionally bed wet). We had enough funds to also buy each child a colourful laundry basket.
A client donation bought new school uniforms
While we were there, our client Rosa sent a donation so we used the money to buy each child one new item of school uniform. Wow the excitement they felt on receiving a new sweater, skirt or pants was infectious! Thanks again Rosa!!
Some of the other things we did were:
All in all we had a great trip!
Majestic Kilimanjaro and friend of the Paradiso Orphanage, Ruth Sisk from Ireland, had the pleasure this month of sponsoring the 24 children from the orphanage on a one day safari to Lake Manyara!
Lake Manyara is a small park ideal for a day trip and kids were happy to spot some of the park highlight like baboons, impalas, zebras, wildebeest, giraffe, elephants, water birds, ostrich and other birds. It was a good day
Thumbs up for a great day!
We use profits from our Majestic Kilimanjaro business to provide support to New Paradiso Orphanage. Clients who choose to use our services know that their money is staying in Tanzania and is being put to good use.
In September our Managing Director, Tumaini Sandi, suggested we purchase supplies such as 50 kg of Rice, 10 litres of Cooking oil, 120 Eggs, 10 kg of Sugar, tea bags, washing powder, soap for shower, tooth paste etc to help out the household. He then went shopping in Arusha town to purchase everything.
The beautiful children (most of whom lost their parents due to HIV/ AIDS) with carers Babu and Bibi are shown here happily receiving our gift. As you can see the eggs are taking pride of place.
You will find that many operators in Tanzania donate to worthwhile causes. As well as running our Scholarship Program for Porter's further education, we donate money to New Paradiso Orphanage to help pay expenses such as rent, school fees, food and workers' salaries.
Paradiso is the joyous home of twenty four orphaned children. They are lovingly cared for by two elders in their community, who are widely referred to as Bibi and Babu (grandmother and grandfather in Kiswahili). Paradiso began when Christopher C. Kaaya (Babu), felt moved to action by the realisation that many of the children in his community had been orphaned. At a time when he should have been settling in for retirement, he began appealing to friends and community leaders to donate time, rent, and food to the children's home he envisioned. With 120,000 Tanzanian shillings in donations (about US$95) in March 2005, Christopher and his wife Grace opened New Paradiso Orphanage.
Over the years, many other volunteers from Canada, principally Charlene Westover and her organisation Make our World Well (www.mow.cc), and Ruth Sisk in Ireland raised and donated thousands of dollars to build a new house on some land owned by the orphanage.
In March 2012 the children and carers were able to move into this new home, even though it was not yet totally finished. A significant donation from Majestic Kilimanjaro (on top of our monthly donation for living expenses), as well as generous donations by some of our friends went to building a very substantial fence around their new home. Tumaini also lent a hand in his spare time with painting and laying of floor inside the house.
About Majestic Foundation
Majestic Foundation is funded by the full 50% of Liana and Steve's share of the profits generated from Majestic Kilimanjaro Treks & Safaris. In fact, Steve and Liana take no income for their work in the business either.