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Letter from Lynda: looking ahead to the future

Dear Friends,

Those of you who know me well may recall my (almost annual) exclamation, “NOW we can get started with the real work!”. We have faced many challenges over the last fourteen years, developing our rural centre for Tanzanian children. We have earned a positive reputation for social responsibility within the community. And so you will not be surprised to learn that we have NOW begun work on the creation of a school.

This is a long-planned formal education program, within our project (Vijaliwa Vingi - VVS) which supports children in dangerous circumstances. It offers the potential, over the next seven years, to create a financially self-sustaining, not for profit social enterprise: a boarding school which, through fees, will help support our childrens’ home. It will also offer subsidized tuition to eligible students.

We've started small, with an English/Swahili bilingual daycare program on the ground floor of our two-storey multi-purpose building, to which many of you contributed. Over the past three months, some 20 children, ages 3 to 7, have been attending weekday morning classes. Our Tanzanian teachers, Monica and Esther, are thrilled with my plan to invite Canadian teachers to work with them. Maria, who has been with us since 2008, and who recently completed secondary school, is thrilled to be their aide.

It's a great start. It emphasizes the principles that have led to the community's acceptance of VVS over the past fourteen years: inclusivity, human rights, and a positive approach to discipline. (Our house rules apply to all children and adults at the project.) The daycare offers a healthy start to English, and a commitment to reading, and all of the elements of the Tanzanian school curriculum. These advantages are not normally available to young children living in rural areas of Tanzania.

The VVS/CanaDares partnership is developing a business plan which envisions a complete primary school facility. We are looking for volunteers as well as long-term financial support for adding one grade each year. You can help us grow a school which will not only be financially self-sustaining, but which will also eventually reduce the dependence on donors of our childrens’ home.

This is the type of organizational structure which the United Nations has visualized in its recently launched Sustainable Development Goals. This is your invitation to renew your commitment to CanaDares, and be a participant in this exciting new phase of our wellestablished Tanzanian project.

NOW we can really get started! Call me, and lets get at it!

Lynda Kearns,

On behalf of the boards of CanaDares and VVS, and all the kids at Vijaliwa Vingi

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