small foundation with a big impact

Paul first visit

Four years ago Matti first told me about his Tanzanian adventures. It was immediately clear to me that it involved a group of committed people who were working in a result-oriented fashion to make a real contribution to the lives and welfare of a group of vulnerable children. It didn’t take much convincing on Matti’s part to persuade my business partners of the merits of this exceptional project, and so the sponsoring link between Nielen Schuman and Happy Watoto was born. 

Until last summer, the company’s involvement was limited to an annual donation, and despite several invitations, the idea of visiting Arusha was postponed. But last summer, it finally happened, and we combined a visit to Happy Watoto with a family holiday in Tanzania and Zanzibar. Marjolein de Rooij’s Good Safari organised a fantastic trip for us, during which we were introduced to ordinary life in Arusha and of course in Kikatiti and Ngorika. We saw the happy children and spoke to some of the staff members, and it became even clearer to us that the project makes a real difference to a large group of children. 

We were enormously impressed by the decision to house the children from a young age, to bring them up in a family-like environment, and eventually to guide them along the entire path towards economic independence. The commitment of all those involved is impressive, especially in combination with a healthy dose of good business sense. Good prospects for the future are based on sound education in a safe learning environment, which are the principles on which Happy Watoto is founded. Good schools are scarce in Tanzania, but ours is one of them! The decision to open the school to children from the surrounding area also seems to be a sound one. The school is so good that parents are prepared to pay real tuition fees to send their children there. This has created a good local source of income, as well as a more diverse group of children. The school offers commitment and professionalism, as well as a desire to give children something in the long term, that is, a future, in this fantastic, beautiful country. 
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