I have been asked—and have accepted the challenge—to be a member of a short-term mission trip to The Salvation Army Matumaini School for Disabled Children in the city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Some of you may remember my wife Donna Lee, participating in a similar mission trip in 2011. The current trip is scheduled for May 7 – 24, 2013.
The Matumaini School for Disabled Children is a primary boarding school for 200 physically disabled/handicapped children. The name “Matumaini” means “place of hope” and the vision of the school is ”Creating hope for today, Tomorrow and Forever.” It opened in 1967 and is the largest school of it’s kind in the country.
The children of Matumaini range in ages from 7-20 and suffer from a variety of physical limitations such as post-poliomyelitis, cerebral palsy, congenital deformities and amputations. Not only does the school provide them with their only real chance for education, it also provides all their necessary medical treatments through local hospitals and the resident physiotherapist. An on-site workshop makes and fits children with the necessary caliper crutches, orthopaedic shoes, artificial legs and splints.
The school is located on a 12-acre compound which includes a church, local and national offices for The Salvation Army, a hostel, kitchen, as well as other programs. The upkeep and maintenance of a facility such as this is difficult–not only financially, but logistically–given the unavailability of people to do the work.
This is where the MissionTANZANIA team comes in.
We will be working voluntarily at the school in an effort to complete the following tasks:
- The workshop referred to above requires a new roof and its ceiling must be raised to make it more suitable for all the work that is done in the shop. This will be our primary task.
- Each day we want to engage with the children in several ways. One, is to take materials with us to provide crafts and other activities. Another is to participate with them in games like football, or soccer as we call it here. I know from the team that went in 2011, that this was a highlight.
- We are planing to live on the compound, enabling us to share in fellowship not only with the children but with the officers and staff on the compound.
I am excited about this incredible opportunity and invite you to join me in the challenge.
Each team member has been asked to raise $2,800 in support of MissionTANZANIA. All money raised will go directly to the cost of the trip. To help me reach this goal, I am asking for your support in the form of a “Toonie a day.” Two dollars for each of the 16 days I will be working on site – for a total cost of $32.00 a day.
Please make your cheques payable to The Salvation Army, and forward to me at:
Six Columbus Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Please ensure your correct address is shown on your cheque, as tax receipts will be issued for donations above $10.00. Due to Revenue Canada Restrictions, please do not mark anything in the memo box on your cheque. If at all possible, I will require your kind contribution by March 31st, 2013. I would also solicit your prayers for the mission team and the school.
On behalf of the MissionTANZANIA team and the students and staff at the Matumaini School, please accept our heartfelt thanks for your time and anticipated support.