Community support 
Msamaria Center for Street Children. 

Click here for current needs list

Our goal is to sponsor expenses and material requirements of Msamaria in 2015. Please click here for THE LIST

If you are in Seattle. Feel free to drop any items at our Ballard office, 1416 NW46th Street #301, 98107 (just upstairs from Trader Joes near the Ballard Bridge). Alternatively contact Arlen or John and we'll arrange to collect them.  

In Moshi, Tanzania, we have since 2009, actively sponsored the Msamaria Centre for Street Children and had the privilege of watching the children of Msamaria thrive and grow, despite rigorous obstacles and ordeals.

With the leadership of Mr. Folkward Mapunda, director and social worker, the hard work of his staff, Mrs. Fausta Machuwa and Mr. Joel Ndewingia, and many volunteers, not to mention their own determination, the Msamarians have overcome the odds and progressed towards self-sufficiency and positive contribution to community.

In 2009 Msamaria Center was completely dependent on donations. Today, the children and staff run a small farm, they raise chickens, sell and barter produce, perform dance and acrobatics for visitors and they even have a soccer team playing in a local league. The children have learned photography and art and are using these skills to prepare for employment by contribution to the strong tourist industry in Tanzania. Many children are graduating from school. They have truly created a community where there was none.  

Msamaria is located in a neighborhood setting directly under the watchful eye of Mt. Kilimanjaro—A typical day at the centre involves a couple of children getting up at 4 a.m. to light the wood fire to cook breakfast: oatmeal, eggs and fruit. Kids who are enrolled in school will then head off for the day. Others will attend the Msamaria ‘pre-school’ classroom.  After school there’ll be non-stop activity, soccer, acrobatics, reading, cooking, cleaning, photography, dance, daily chores and  a chance to wind-down before the day starts over again. The centre has created an environment for healing, learning and educational progress and it’s a success story in a country where there are an estimated 437,500 children without homes. 

Contributing reasons for this include the death of parents from AIDS/HIV, Malaria, as well as domestic problems and family break-ups. The children at Msamaria have endured life on the streets and have been exposed to hunger, violence, prostitution and other crime. Prior to arriving at Msamaria, most of the children have suffered significant physical and emotional trauma.

The Msamaria Centre for Street Children is a registered Tanzanian NGO started by social worker and director Folkward Mapunda. After govt. funding ended, Folkward started Msamaria from nothing. At first he spent nights on the streets with homeless children to try and protect. Then he brought them to Msamaria. Under his leadership, the center has grown to be able to feed, clothe and support over 60 children. At times children have gone without meals, eviction notices have been served, and yet, throughout, the team has persevered and succeeded in not only taking care of the children, but preparing them for an independent and healthy life. 

Our goal is to sponsor Msamaria; to remove, as much as is possible, the centre’s lack of access to basic amenities. These range from simple oral care products to educational/medical supplies as well as soccer gear and sports equipment. For a complete list please click here 

Under Mr. Mapunda’s guidance, we are working on an exciting project where two Msamaria teens will join our 2015 Kilimanjaro expedition as videographer/cameraman. This will be the first time anyone from Msamaria has ever set foot on the slopes of Kilimanjaro slopes. Our intention is twofold: 1) teach the very marketable tools/skills involved in producing a documentary and 2) model the dream for every person who has had to learn to overcome difficult circumstances. 

We believe that what is happening at Msamaria is not only a beacon of strength and hope for every child at the center, but that they offer a blueprint of success for any child or adult without a home whether it be in Moshi, Tanzania or Seattle, Washington. 

Folkward Mapunda: “This is a very exciting project - for some kids to climb Kilimanjaro is a dream come true. And it is important because it shows the other children that good things can come from bad circumstances.”