A Rock Star and some Orphans
On Monday, January 19th, I spent the morning at St. Joseph’s orphanage in Tanzania with international musician Jim Kroft. I met Jim at Blues & Chutney lodge in Arusha where I spent a week having meetings and doing site visits for Unite The World With Africa, our foundation, Ashe Collection and Tour program. As part of his new Journey’s Program, Jim was hosted by lodge owner Martina Gehrkentrappe to perform in Arusha at the wildly popular Blue Heron on his way to Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar and beyond.
Before his evening gig, Jim had a small window of free time and opted to join Josephine Brunoski, Unite’s director of medical programs, me and our Tanzanian partner Fred Mollel as we met with Sister Crispina Mnate, founder of St Joseph’s Orphanage, to discuss Unite’s current programs on site and future plans.
The 43 children of St. Joseph’s are all orphans. They were each once discarded or abandoned. More are arriving. None have living extended family members who are capable of, or interested in, caring for them. While the situation at St. Joseph’s is dire in terms of extreme poverty, the love and direction they receive from Sister Crispina, and their siblings, is inspiring. They are faithful, kind, polite, hardworking, intelligent children who can all have bright futures IF they receive proper educations.
Unite is currently seeking sponsors for each of the 43 orphans. In addition to providing access to a core competitive academic experience, we will work with the music outreach program Umoja Community Arts to bring to them a variety of musical experiences and educational opportunities. Why? Because Jim’s short performance was met with huge smiles, loads of laughter, dancing bodies, and even, from a few students, great technical interest and a show of aptitude. Here, we take an education in music and the arts for granted. In Tanzania, these perceived unnecessary elements of education are vastly unheard of.
We look forward to working with Jim Kroft in the future to mobilize further support for Unite and our new music education initiatives.