Some reflections by Mosaic supporters, Madi Knauer-Graham and Gary Hein, on their recent visit to Building a Caring Community….
“I was generally not surprised how each child has progressed since coming to BCC as I know that a bit of intervention can change lives in miraculous ways. I was in awe of the dedication of the staff and volunteers and their willingness to open their hearts and classes to strangers. They all exhibited the true passion it takes to be in this work and they make it work with very little materials and personal supports! My biggest take away was that the teachers I met and the children and adults I interacted with are hungry to grow and learn more. They are proud of what they have accomplished so far. The concept of one world, one people, one god really rang out.”
“As with all schools and classrooms, even in the United States, there is always room for improvement! One thing that the school could use would be a safe playground with adaptable equipment so everyone will have access to play outside, which is vital for growth and development. The Tanzanian people, the teachers in the school, the people at BCC, and the diocese do not need us to just give finances, what they need is partners working side-by-side with them to build and recruit people to do this much-needed work. We could send things from the United States but it would be better to have things built with Tanzanian materials by Tanzanian people!”
“What I come away with today is a belief that with the power of God and the dedication of the people here in Tanzania that life for people with disabilities will greatly improve! I have witnessed the changes that are occurring here, seen the willingness to work hard to make this dream a reality and to stand in the truth with Mosaic that all people deserve a life of possibilities!”
“For me, the highlight of the Special Olympics day involved a young woman named Neema. I was manning the ‘jumping’ station with Mikey, and we watched as Neema maneuvered her walker down the walkway that consisted of square concrete blocks with 2-4 inch gaps between them. The wheels on the walker got stuck a lot, but she was determined. The other students took their turns jumping varying distances and then it was Neema’s turn. I thought she should at least try, knowing that a slide step would be the most we could expect, and I could tell her caregiver was skeptical. Neema came up to the line and we moved the walker away. As Mikey counted down, tatu-mbili-moja (3-2-1), I took her by one arm and Mikey took the other, and up she went with the highest ‘jump’ of the day. As we put her down, everyone burst into applause and Neema’s smile revealed pure joy. She was on cloud nine! She had been included with everyone else and had done something she only could dream about – defying gravity – if only for a second. All the participants continued making jumps and Neema tried again a few times with similar exhilaration. The enthusiasm of the group and responses like Neema’s reinforced my view on the need for inclusion everywhere. Her gift to us in those moments was extraordinary.”