Charlene Tait, Year 9, has displayed a selfless act of kindness for underprivileged children in Tanzania. Before returning home to Tanzania for the Christmas holidays, Charlene made a collection of unwanted school equipment and art supplies to donate to the Amani Centre, an orphanage, where she has previously volunteered.
Kids excited with their Art supplies
Art teacher, Rebecca Nutton, explained, “Charlene approached me in an art lesson with her idea and her enthusiasm for the whole project was so contagious that we did our best to help. I was able to collect some supplies which have been collecting dust in our store cupboard and she then extended her plea to friends and staff throughout the School”.
Q&A with Charlene
Where is the Amani Center?
The Amani Centre is located in a small town called Chamvino, Morogoro, in Tanzania.
What do they do, who is it for?
They are a group of around 30 children and about 5 teachers. Most of the children are deformed and some can’t sit up straight without help. Some can’t talk and some can’t walk. For this they have a physiotherapy room were two of the teachers sit and massage the children’s bodies to release pain. They don’t understand English but can speak Kiswahili. They do lots of fun games and lots of colouring. They have very little equipment but share it equally between them and this is why I am helping them.
What is your connection with them, or what work did you do with them in the past?
I found out about the Amani Centre through a friend of my mother, Cathy, who helps charities in Tanzania. I only started collecting items at half term but have had huge number of donations from staff and pupils. I plan to work with the Centre until they no longer need my help, but I will always visit them as they feel now part of my family.
What made you decide to help and how do you do it?
I was watching a program on TV the day I got to RHS and saw people begging for food. This reminded me of home and I have always felt sorry for people in need. Later on in the term, I decided to act and I talked to my Mum and she said that one of her friends helped charities. Over half term I discussed my plans with her and I went to visit the Centre. It had a friendly atmosphere but was a very plain building with no colour. I knew that this would be the one I would help. When I told the girls in my boarding House everyone was keen to chip in and we gave our first donation of equipment at Christmas.
What was their response to your last donation, what does it mean to them?
The first donation that I gave was a bag of wax crayons from home and the smile on the children’s faces when they saw the crayons was something that brought tears to my eyes. The feeling of making someone so happy is a feeling that can’t be replaced. This is the feeling that pushed me on to get as far as I have. I will be donating the items I have collected this term to the children personally this Easter Holidays.
What are your plans for the next collection of supplies and how is that going?
I often remind people at School about the Amani Centre and ask if they have anything that they don’t want but I don’t like pressuring people. I have been given many items, possibly enough for the year, and when I hand it over to the children I try to make it something special.
Are there any friends/family who have helped you so far?
My Mum helped with getting me in contact with the lady who introduced me to the Amani Centre and she has delivered some of the donations when I am at School, but she has also encouraged me to work things out by myself.
If you would like to help Charlene make this very personal but significant difference to a child’s life, please contact her art teacher, Rebecca Nutton at firstname.lastname@example.org or donate whatever you can to the Royal Hospital School for her to take back to Tanzania (please mark FAO Charlene Tait).
Gift of colouring pencils
Kids using their new supplies
One of the Amani Centre Orphans