VOLUNTEERS AND SUPPORTERS
WILBERT & ELS DERKS
In the year 2000 I met Father Arbo in Bromley. He was our parish priest but later we also became good friends. I got impressed with his passion to help the less fortunate back home in Tanzania and he also inspired me to help via his charity organisation You Touch Africa.
I support You Touch Africa because I fully trust that all help goes directly to those who need it most. Father Arbo's family, his local network in the communities and in the church in Tanzania and also the friends in the charity organisation in London are a solid guarantee.
Els and I have been supporting the food for schools project for about 15 years now and it feels so good to know that the children love to come to school knowing they can get good food with vegetables and spice oil, which is not only more tasteful and healthy but also increases school attendance. Education makes a difference. Recently, we have also been able to send about 120 computers from my firm Hoyng Rokh Monegier in Amsterdam to several schools in the Moshi area.
We have been so lucky to see for ourselves in Tanzania the wonderful work that the charity organisation does. It is one of my dearest memories when we were welcomed by the teachers and hundreds of children from the Makome primary school thanking us for our support. The children sang and danced for us and presented gifts. We felt so honored and grateful to be able to give and make a difference in these children´s lives.
We have a pleasant and good life. Helping less fortunate people to have a more pleasant and good life makes our lives more meaningful and I am happy and grateful for that.
JENNY DORSEY, TEACHER
(FORMER TRUSTEE & SUPPORTER)
I first met Fr Arbo, the founder of You Touch Africa, in 2007. I had always wanted to volunteer in Africa and mentioned this to Father Arbo when he was visiting our parish. He told me all about You Touch Africa and the amazing work the charity does in Tanzania and inspired me to volunteer. And so over the next few months, we arranged my trip to Moshi district to assist at Kimanganuni Primary School, which is very close to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
I wanted to help improve the food for the children and the cooking facility and decided to fundraise through attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Although the mountain was so close to the school, high entry fees meant that it was inaccessible to most local people. The trek was extremely hard but felt worthwhile as I knew I would be helping raise money for the children at Kimanganuni school. The money we raised was put to use almost immediately to improve the cooking facility. I was so glad to have been able to join with others to make a small difference to this school and to repay the kindness I was shown. I hope someday to return.”
VANESSA & CRAIG SCAMPTON
I first heard about You Touch Africa from a friend who was a teacher. She told me that they offer volunteering opportunities in Tanzania, and that she was thinking of volunteering during the summer holidays. I thought that would be an amazing experience and told her that I’d love to come too! I’m not a qualified teacher but I had a few year’s experience working with children and young people at a children’s outdoor activities and education centre. We both went out to Tanzania together and were very kindly looked after by Father Arbo’s family in his family home in Kiraracha village.
My friend taught in a local secondary school and I taught in Kiraracha primary school. We were in Tanzania for about a month, which consisted of about 3 weeks teaching, and a week visiting other You Touch Africa projects. We even had time to fit in a short safari to the Ngorogoro crater, which was incredible. I taught English and PE to a range of different primary age children. I loved every second, and it was one of the most rewarding but also challenging things I have ever done. Before our trip we had collected some school supplies and sports supplies that were kindly donated by our local church to take with us, and these were very gratefully received by Kiraracha Primary School.
Four years later, in 2011, I felt that I wanted to do something else to support the school, so my boyfriend (now husband) and I went to Tanzania to climb Mt Kilimanjaro to raise money to help build new school classrooms for Kiraracha Primary School. I really liked the fact that You Touch Africa was a small charity with a direct family link to Tanzania through Father Arbo. This made me feel more confident that money and support was going directly to the communities who need it. I didn’t do any teaching this time, but we visited the school and there were still some familiar faces who gave us a lovely welcome. Again, we were looked after amazingly well by Father Arbo’s family. We extended our trip to include a safari to the Serengeti and a trip to Zanzibar and I feel very lucky to have had these experiences in this beautiful and welcoming country.
TOBY & SINEAD HEAVER
We first met Father Arbo through Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Church and were instantly struck by his warmth, sincerity and kindness. When we learned of his involvement with the You Touch Africa charity, we were keen to get involved. As trained teachers, we volunteered to go out and help in two schools on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and one that remains very close to our hearts. As well as contributing to the charity's fundraising efforts, we brought with us a range of resources for use in the schools. It was amazing to see first-hand the difference that even the smallest donation can make. From a personal perspective, it really brought home to us how lucky we are to enjoy such privileged lives.