Monday, April 23, 2007

FAQ about TumainiKids

We are so pleased that Blogger has chosen Tumaini Kids as a Blog of Note! The kids are thrilled - and so are we (Lara and Claire; contact us at HopeRuns@HopeRuns.org)! We have received many questions about the children here and we would like to take a moment and answer them.

"What does Tumaini mean?"

In Swahili, Tumaini means Hope!

"What brings a child to Tumaini?"

There are four main reasons that the 170+ children have ended up at Tumaini, and why there are so many more hoping to enter.

1. Either one or both of a child's parents died of AIDS. A common misconception is that the term "AIDS Orphans" means that the children themselves are sick. This may not be the case. The term actually refers to their parents' cause of death, and can be used on a larger level to refer to the "Silent Crisis" behind this lost generation.

2. The child is orphaned for another reason.

3. The poverty level is such that a child's parents cannot support him or her.

4. The parents are mentally unfit to care for their children.

"What languages do the children speak?"

For most children, their first language is Kikuyu, their second language is Kiswahili (the National language of Kenya), and their third language is English. School is taught mostly in English.

"Do you go running with children who are sick or malnourished?"

No. We only run with those children who are healthy, and who have been at Tumaini long enough to become so. We also are not only running with the children, as the Hope Runs program's primary focus is on establishing the first structured after-school athletics program.

"Who runs this blog?"

Claire and Lara, who started Hope Runs: Partnering with Children to Outpace Poverty (www.HopeRuns.org) at the end of their 8 month trip around the world. You can read all the entries from that trip, as well as their daily current posts on their award-winning blog: www.TrippingOnWords.com.

However, we are currently in the process of training the children with the internet and typing skills to continue this work after we leave Tumaini in August.

"Who funds this blog?"

You do. Currently Hope Runs and one generous donor have given the equipment and part of the funds to make this initiative possible. But this is not a long term solution. The children have some computers in the computer room at Tumaini, but there is only internet when there is money to run it. All internet is done through a dial-up modem through a donated Celtel cellular phone.

Hope Runs is exploring technology grants so that the Tumaini Kids can continue to have internet after we leave. Internet access here will run close to one hundred US dollars per month. Tumaini also opens the computer room to the greater community when the children are in school, providing the only internet within an hour walking radius. They charge a small fee for these services.

"Are there any other projects besides the blog?"

--Hope Runs: Partnering with Children to Outpace Poverty is a new non-profit we have started. Hope Runs works to empower children in impoverished communities with an understanding of personal health, social entrepreneurship and technology through running. On-site service learning coaches lead daily running programs, while also organizing an internationally-attended race that calls global attention to the community and its unique challenges.We are using Tumaini Children's Center as our pilot site, and hoping to export this model to future children's centers next year. See HopeRuns.org for more information.

--Books: we are working to bring over the 500+ books we have collected to the orphanage. We are also looking for ways to gather more.

--Art: we are introducing some structured art programs that are not provided in school. We have begun an art therapy project (Hero Booking) for the primary school, and a drama project of student-written plays for the secondary students. We are also hoping to record a CD of the Tumaini Children's Choir that visiting churches have expressed interest in purchasing.

--Website: we are setting up a website where Tumaini can sell the handmade crafts created in the sewing rooms. These sewing rooms provide income for local women, who work to provide the children with school uniforms and to teach the kids practical crafts skills.

"How can I help?"

There are so many ways! Any ideas you have on how you would like to get involved would be so very welcome!

These are some of our current needs:

--Videography and Production! All elements of video creation from production to editing. You can see the great need for this, as well our past videos on YouTube through TrippingOnWords.com.

--Airline Connections to Help Ship running shoes and supplies.

--Sponsorships or Endorsements through Companies interested in helping the kids here, the running cause, or any of our upcoming races!

--Running and athletic related equipment and supplies

--Technology Support, including the money to pay for monthly internet here at Tumaini (see above)

--Marketing and Public Relations

--Writers and bloggers interested in the cause to create a grassroots awareness network

--Donations through PayPal

--Connections to running clubs, marathon tour groups, or marathon tourists interested in helping us with our inaugural 10K out here at Tumaini!

--Other children's centers and orphanages interested in any of these activities

--Volunteers! We are grateful to have a number of volunteers coming this summer, and would love to host more.

"How can I contact the kids, Hope Runs, or Claire and Lara?"

To contact a child directly, you can leave a comment on the blog! If you would like to email a comment to a child, or get in touch with Hope Runs or Claire and Lara, please use HopeRuns@HopeRuns.org!

Thank you for reading, and have a great day!

Lara and Claire
hoperuns@hoperuns.org

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

google

April 24, 2007 at 7:01 AM  
Anonymous Barsawad said...

The least I can do, now, is link to your blog. God bless you and all at Tumaini.

April 24, 2007 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger Innomentors said...

Thats really good work keep it up.

April 24, 2007 at 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of your bloggers, namely Grace, 10, "The Story of My Self," hasn't received any comments from anyone on her posting, and in fact her posting doesn't seem to have a "Comments" facility like all the other kids' postings do. It seems a bit rough on her to be the only one of the kids to get no response from readers. Can that fixed so people can respond to her too?

April 29, 2007 at 1:30 PM  

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