Harel Delegation, January 2021

The Harel delegation went on a mission to the special school Mwema Children’s Center in Karato, Tanzania – just before the sky closed in Israel, due to the Coronavirus crisis. The special school, which became a home for street children, gives them the opportunity for formal education and a better future. We brought with us a gust of hope. We came carrying 450 kg boxes that included clothes, blankets, toys and board games, with NIS 20,000 worth of donations to purchase equipment for renovations and computing.

We set out to build a dining room for the children who used to eat on the steps of the living quarters until then; Set up a computer corner in one of the school spaces, where all the laptops we have collected would soon be installed. Just imagine what a leap that computer access would allow these kids!

We’ve painted the walls of the building and decorated them with murals of iconic sites from around the globe – to give the children inspiration and hope.

We’ve turned the neglected yard into a terrific playground – ’cause the soul also needs taking care of…

We’ve renovated the restrooms and installed an outdoor sink with running water, just for hand-washing. Yes, indeed. What we take for granted is an essential part of education and progress.

Beyond the physical conditions – which only after our work reached a basic level, in Western terms – the real change was in our souls, both volunteers and children! We could share and give, cross boundaries and ignore cultural differences. Smiles, songs, dances and games accompanied every moment of our stay there and etched beautiful memories in our hearts.

…And then we went on Safari.

Once our two-week Mwema Children’s Center renovation was done, we moved on to the fun part – exploring new places, enjoying ourselves and spending time in this magical, exotic land. We went on an organized trip to Tanzania and were introduced to Africa’s exceptional beauty: endless open spaces and a great variety of animals that roam freely – elephants, zebras, giraffes, rhinos and diverse migratory birds. The relaxing treat was left to the very end – some fun days on the golden shores of Zanzibar. Nothing beats traveling amongst a bunch of volunteers with hearts of gold.