Visiting the Children's Home in Kamashuku

This is going to be an exciting trip. There is always something special about visiting new projects and humbling to think that what was started by a community based shop in Bo'ness nearly 27 years ago could have an impact on an African village of around 3000 people all these years later. We arrived in Kilomanjaro last night. It was all a bit chaotic as people tried to pay their $50 dollars to get a visa stamp on their passport. Eventually we got through all the procedures and make contact with Calum Murray. Calum is on the staff of Vine Trust and among many others duties acts as our expedition organiser. We were up bright and early tis morning to go to Kamashuku. This is the name of the small town where we in the Vine Trust have been building a new children's home in partnership with the local Lutheran Parish Church. We had a most impressive day visiting the people of Kamashuku Parish. This is a congregation that decided to open their homes and take in the growing number of orphans that ad arisen die to the AIDS epidemic. Vine Trust volunteers spent some time last Summer and Autumn helping to start a building programme. Today was the opening of the first building housing the children.The little church was almost full as they gathered to celebrate what they had achieved. Later talking to their Bishop he told me that for him this congregation was an inspiration because they were demonstrating their 'readiness for community' I found that a telling phrase. To live out community is a challenging calling and these people are seeking to demonstrate this by the way they carry out their ministry. No doubt they have much to learn about operating a home for children but one get the distinct impression that they are up for the challenge. In the afternoon we visited the Rafiki School. This is a boarding school which is run by an American Foundation which has schools in 10 African countries. They taken in children who are completely destitute and offer them a home and education. It is a pretty impressive place. This school has opened opened their doors to the children of the Kamashuku home including them as day students. As we looked around the school it was impressive to see the resources of the school and it was commendable that they had made space for more children. talking to the director Philip Nickels, it was hearing to hear him tell us that some of the children from Kamashuku were amongst the brightest children in the school. We finished the day chatting over dinner and humbled by the enthusiasm of our new found friends many of them children. I'll never forget the old man who stood up in the church in Kamashuku and told the children your are not orphans anymore we are are your parents. As we left church a young ten year old girl touch my hand and asks me if I would be her father. I smiled and said yes of course I was. Did I do right. I couldn't do anything else. After all we are our brothers keeper. Tomorrow will be another day of visits.

Posted By: italker   On: 2 May 2012   At: 12:40am

Yeah sorry about the mis quote. Calum Murray is also known to many in Bo’ness So it was just a slip of the mind. It will come to you too William.


Posted By: Louise Hankin   On: 17 Apr 2012   At: 9:37pm

Sounds amazing!  And strikes me as the perfect opportunity to get child sponsorship set up in association with church congregations back home (maybe that’s already in place, I don’t know).  Our church here recently set up child sponsorship with a community in Sri Lanka, enabling a new feeding centre to serve food daily to local kids who might otherwise go hungry.  I know from links with World Vision how valuable it can be for children in need to have sponsorship.  As well as the financial help, it can also offer connection and sometimes even hope for a better future.


Posted By: Willie   On: 17 Apr 2012   At: 9:35pm

Great to hear something of Albert’s visit to KIMASHUKU. I think his Swahili needs a little polishing. Oh and I know Calum looks like a tennis player but it’s Calum Munro who I’m sure many of Albert’s blog followers will know.

I look forward to the next update.




Posted By: Helmut   On: 16 Apr 2012   At: 8:28am

For those about as puzzled as me,

will tell you that Kamashuku is in Tanzania. What a great ecumenical project!

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