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acts of kindness

THe TanZanian CHilDRen’S FunD anD THe RiFT Valley CHilDRen’S Village

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on Long Island, India Howell spent her early years in the Northeast, attending Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut and then the University of Vermont. After college she worked in several different industries in New England, including construction, publishing, and hospitality. So how did India end up living in an impoverished rural village in Tanzania? “If someone had told me, when I traveled to Tanzania in 1998, that I would be the founder of the Tanzanian Children’s Fund, I would not have believed them. I just went to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro! But, I’ve heard it said that our path in life is most often found when we are on the road to someplace else. That is certainly true for me. I discovered my path the moment I stepped off the plane in Tanzania. “After climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, I returned to the States, cancelled my plans to buy a B&B in Vermont, and took a job with a safari company in Tanzania. My job took me to the city of Arusha every week to buy supplies. As time passed, I noticed that there were an ever-growing number of children living on the streets.

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I learned that these kids were mostly orphans who had run away from relatives who had abused and neglected them. I thought to myself, ‘What can I do?’ I was raised by a mother whose motto was ‘there are no problems, just solutions.’ So after much thought and planning, the Tanzanian Children’s Fund was born in 2003.” The Tanzanian Children’s Fund provides support for the Rift Valley Children’s Village, an orphanage in the Karatu region of Tanzania, and other community-based programs that improve the lives of the marginalized children of Tanzania. The Rift Valley Children’s Village (RVCV) provides a home, family and community for orphaned and vulnerable children. The core mission of RVCV is to prepare these children to become informed, resourceful and responsible citizens in their community and Tanzania. Today India Howell is known throughout the Karatu District of Northern Tanzania as “Mama India,” a woman who has given a home to orphaned children; developed a microfinance program to provide loans to villagers and build local commerce; overhauled the failing Geytighi Primary School to create a safe and productive learning environment for students, and implemented a free bimonthly medical clinic to improve the overall health of the local communities. The Rift Valley Children’s Village currently provides a home for 85 orphaned children. From its location amidst coffee plantations in Northern Tanzania, the Children’s Village staff work with local village leaders to identify children in the surrounding community most in need of the safe haven RVCV can provide. From the moment they step through the gates, these children are no longer orphans – they become permanent members of the RVCV family. “When they arrive at the Chil-

long island country capitalist  

weston magazine group is the publisher of 12 upscale & sophisticated hyper-local regional lifestyle publications in the new york city metr...

long island country capitalist  

weston magazine group is the publisher of 12 upscale & sophisticated hyper-local regional lifestyle publications in the new york city metr...

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