Update

We had a crazy week at BCC. With the funeral the week before and in preparation of our trip to Kenya, everything piled up. We had bags to ship, meetings to attend, an advocacy effort to initiate, and numerous other items that had accumulated over the past few weeks. Needless to say, the office was incredibly hectic, but fortunately, BCC got almost everything accomplished!

BCC is working on an advocacy effort to register every child that BCC serves for public special education school. The government has a national policy that states that every child will receive a primary education. This is not happening for children with disabilities. There are three special education classrooms that serve 20 children each. To put the need in prospective, BCC serves 197 children, and there is demand for BCC to expand and serve more children in the Moshi area.

We are working with the special education classes in this effort. The teachers and the Head of the Moshi Department of Special Education are all working with us on this effort. Any advocacy effort can be difficult at times, but it is incredibly inspiring to see Tanzanians standing up for their rights and for their children! Genevieve, the BCC Education/Health Coordinator, has truly become an advocate for these children. We are so encouraged to see her dedication and tenacity! Hopefully we will gather the data needed so that we can advocate to the national government and work toward better services for all children in Tanzania!

Also, we have some wonderful news to report about Neema, a child we wrote about in the “Through Their Eyes” section two weeks ago. We had an amazing response and Neema is fully funded for the duration of her education at Faraja!! We also have received more donations for children who are hoping to attend Imani vocational center! We still have 1.5 more children to fund, as well as one child who will attend a school for children with autism. If anyone is still interested in donating, please email us at john.melissa.tanzania@gmail.com!

Next week we will be visiting an IMPACT project in Kenya. We are not sure what we will experience there, but we are excited for the opportunity to visit a different project. It will also be fun to visit another East African country!

Finally, Melissa’s parents visit this week! We will fly home from Kenya and, barring any unexpected delays, we will meet them at the airport on Thanksgiving! We are so happy that they are coming to visit! We are very family oriented and it has been difficult to be away from our families for such a long time. It will be wonderful to spend some time with them, show them where we live, and teach them about what we do here! We are incredibly thankful that they are coming to visit. We will talk about what BCC is thankful for on a special “Thanksgiving Day” edition of “Inspirational Tid-Bits.”

With the good news of a successful week, the excitement of visiting Kenya, the joy of Melissa’s parents coming, and the hope of an advocacy effort comes another harsh reality check: A child served by BCC recently passed away. It occurred at a difficult time for BCC staff and some of the facts about the death are still unclear at this point. We will write more about this in the “Through Their Eyes” section this week.

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