One of the amazing things that Jillian and I are participating in while we are here in Tanzania is the creation of a comic book on child’s rights.  We are working with an organization called Mkombozi, which works with street children and promotes child rights in Northern Tanzania.  One of the administrative staff members approached us about helping them work with the street children in their group home to create a kid friendly comic book promoting child rights.  To do this Jill and I met with the kids at the center a few times and talked to them about child rights.   We gathered many ideas from the kids and put together a story line for a comic book that we are currently working with an artist to now create and give out to 5,000 kids across Northern Tanzania in the upcoming months.  Although the comic book is still in the works  to kick off their large campaign on child rights (haki ya watoto) Mkombozi had an event in Moshi for the children in town to celebrate their rights and to celebrate all the youth of Moshi.

All children were invited to this event and Jillian and I gave out invitations to our students at Kilimaehwa Education Center.  We told the kids it was up to them to get to the event and that we would be there to hang out with them but they had to talk to their parents about going and getting home.  The location of the event was on the opposite side of town and required the kids to take two dala dala (public buses) to get there and then to walk for about 25 minutes.  We did not think that the kids would show up but they seemed really excited about it.  Saturday morning, the day of the event, one of the children called us to tell us he was there and we needed to hurry up and come hang out with them. 

We arrived there at 10:30am to see 25 of our Kilimahewa students there.  We were so surprised and excited to see them.  They had gotten up early and many had arrived when the event first started at 8am.  While there we hung out with the kids, told stories, encouraged them to watch the presentations, to learn about their rights, and we laughed and danced.  The special needs students from Gabriella Center (another school we support) sang a song about children and other school groups performed.  We treated the kids to popsicles and enjoyed the day with them.  It was a great day and so much fun to see the Kilimahewa kids involved with the local community. 

Although the comic book is still in the works and we are hoping to have it published and distributed to children in both Moshi and Arusha before we leave in the beginning of August.  It is our hope that this book helps educate children and parents on children’s rights and gives kids something positive to read.  When we finish I will publish the comic book for you to see on my blog. 

Here are some pictures of the Kilimaehwa kids from the amazing event this weekend.  

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25 students showed up on their own to participate in the event
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It was so much fun
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Winifreda wore her EdPowerment t-shirt
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The kids dancing
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Salvatory and Peter enjoying popsicles
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Joseph's serious face
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Some of the girls
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Reading the Rights of children and smiling for the camera
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Some of the older girls
karen sielaff
6/17/2012 20:52:40

Good work Keri and Mkombozi.
You have such amazing things this year.

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