It’s the Little Things

Allies leaders and volunteers are very aware of the impact each visit has on the orphans. For many newcomers though, visiting orphanages as volunteers is simply a pastime or can even be perceived as a waste of time.

In Tanzania it’s not unusual for new volunteers, like it was the case with Eshe, to have low expectations and feel like they won’t be able to change anything or be of much service when it comes to the children’s situation. For example, before Eshe first started with us and joined the program, she had the common idea volunteers simply visited the children to drop off gifts, and perhaps, if time allowed, read them a couple of story books.  

To her surprise, like it happens to many of our new team members, she quickly realized what it truly means to volunteer for an orphanage, especially as an Allies team member. Just a few days into the program, Eshe knew it was something she wanted to do in the long run and even now has become a very active member ever since. It doesn’t take a lot for new volunteers to realize how much of a close impact the program and their visits can have on the children.  

We had the availability to visit the on December 23. Not only did we get to teach the children all about the different holidays and religious celebrations, but we also provided them with a memorable Christmas.  

Without our visit, the children would’ve likely gone to bed early without the opportunity to celebrate or even open some Christmas presents. This is sad because most of their tutors leave to be with their families during Christams, unconsciously extinguishing the children’s hopes for a merry and bright Christmas.  

Fortunately, Allies was able to bring presents for them and celebrate with a dinner party. This is a huge part of what we do as volunteers, making our own sacrifices to be with them during times like these.  

Also, as part of our usual routine, on other regular days, we usually try to help as much as possible in a way that can be of impact for them, and ultimately put a smile on their faces. We try to celebrate their birthdays, take food for them, help with daily chores, and teach them new lessons, including how to tackle the world out there.  

As volunteers we often get the opportunity to teach the children life-changing lessons that can launch them on a path for success and support their faith. From gratitude, different career paths, to cooking skills – you name it – volunteers get the delicate and valuable opportunity to beautifully impact these little ones’ perception of the world.  

A quick illustration of how impactful our short lessons with the children can be and the kind of questions and positive thinking they often ignite in them: just recently, one of the girls named Iptisam, who is only 9 years old, was left very intrigued and inspired after our lesson believing in yourself. To our surprise, after the lesson, Iptisam, who used to be very shy, confidently asked if it was true she could be a teacher if she believed in herself. Just a few minutes of empowering words and reassurance served as a reminder and motivator for young Iptisima, that she is indeed wonderfully made and capable of many things.  

We are often left in disbelief of the type of influence our visits as volunteers can have on these little one’s lives. This is exactly why we work hard to offer them our best during our visits. It’s always very heart-warming to learn about the many different ways we continue to influence the children for their own good and personal growth. We’ve come to learn that very few things compare to the joy we receive by helping and instructing these little ones who have for so long felt like they were not enough. It’s our promise to continue to uplift them and help them grow to be empowered young adults.