“To endeavour to initiate creative ways of raising awareness as well as much needed funds for causes; in particular, assisting developing nations and the unique challenges they face.”
This is the core mission of Humanidee, started by Danielle (Dee) Limpus and Michael Chin. It all started in 2010 after Dee volunteered in Moshi, a town near the base of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. She volunteered teaching English in an informal nursery school, but also worked on projects dealing with Women’s empowerment and AIDS initiatives.
Dee discovered that education is the key to helping Tanzanian children progress in life. Unknown to most westerners, the majority of children who do not get a formal education in Tanzania end up homeless on the streets; in street gangs where brutal initiation rituals, sexual abuse and violence are a part of everyday life.
Children who are able to attend local schools are taught all classes in Swahili; yet if they graduate and proceed to secondary school, the syllabus is taught completely in English. As a result the majority of these children fail and drop out of school, falling back into life on the streets with very little chance of a future without poverty.
For most poor children, their only meal each day comes from their school or orphanage, which can only afford to feed them ugali, a dough-like porridge made from maize flour and water. It is heavy and starchy and fills their stomachs, but has little nutritional value for developing minds and bodies.
Upon her return home, Dee knew she had to do more to help. She and Michael set to finding a means to continue to support a project from Australia, although they were frustrated that they found they could not find a reliable means through which to send resources, nor a project they could trust to ensure 100% of their funds went to the children who most desperately needed help.
In 2012 Michael and Dee returned to Moshi with the primary purpose of finding a local organisation they could trust to be their agent on the ground and an orphanage with children that needed their help. After a month of research and volunteer work at a number of projects, they found Hope Village; a small orphanage run by Cecelia, a 26 year old teacher with a passion for caring for children. She currently receives no financial assistance from locals or westerners, although is the carer for 5 young children who are either homeless or vulnerable, meaning their situation at home is so bad they may as well be on the streets.
Humanidee have committed to using 100% of all money raised to pay the school fees for the children attend a formal English speaking primary school from grades 1 through 7, and ensure the children have nutritious food to eat at the orphanage.
A local charity Path to Africa, run by an Australian women, monitors the children’s progress at school, and when able, places independent international volunteers for short periods of time to help with the children’s studies outside of schooling.
Michael and Dee will endeavour to travel back to Tanzania every couple of years to visit the children and to find other projects that need assistance, with the aim of one day purchasing land and building their own orphanage or school for homeless and vulnerable children.