If you drive about three kilometers from Longido out into the dry and deserted bushland of Tansania you will reach a small village by the name of Darajani. This village consists of multiple Masai homes, called “Bomas”, which give shelter to two to three families. The village holds around 15-20 Bomas. Darajani does not have direct access to water, which is why the women of the community have to walk three to four kilometers, for the cumbersome task of getting even a single jug of water.
In Darajani there are many children and when we started our work there in 2010, they were some of the first we reached out to. Full of joy and great curiosity the children would follow each of our movements around. Every night we held a special program for them and the number of kids joining us grew and grew.
One morning around ten, I remember walking past the place where we usually met, as I saw to my surprise that all the children had gathered already, waiting for the night’s program. All day long they would be sitting around, awaiting our arrival in the late afternoon, for with us there would come stories, songs and games.
Meanwhile we purchased some land in Darajani and were able to build a school on it. A teacher is living there and teaches 25-40 children each day. At the same time, he is a church elder and coordinates the worship services.
Children there will attend preschool there for two to three years and are then ready for public school.
In the Darajani preschool, the children get a warm meal every day and even their parents see them developing better than in other local schools.