What is it like to sit in a classroom on the other side of the world? Can we still play our favourite games and laugh together even though we speak a different language? These were just some of the questions 11-year-old Elliot and 10-year-old Emilie asked as they stepped off a plane, 4,000 miles away from home.
This April they embarked on a Tanzanian adventure with Compassion and UCB radio. They built friendships with Compassion-supported 13-year-old Ana and Anold from Olkolili in the Northern region. The pair welcomed Elliot and Emilie into their everyday lives, sharing a glimpse into what daily life is like growing up in their community.
When Elliot met Anold
‚ÄúOn my way to meet Anold, I felt both excited and a bit nervous. But once I had spent some time with him I really liked him and in many ways, he was a lot like me. We got on well together, he spoke great English and we chatted a lot. We also loved playing rugby together.
At the project, the kids come together and play games and spend time learning lots of new things. During the break, they got a large mug of hot sweet tea and bread. Then for lunch, the staff made a massive pot of meat and rice stew and it got shared out to almost 300 people. It was a brilliant day!
Next, we went to visit Anold at home and met his family. Anold lives on a farm, most of the buildings are made out of mud and have wooden walls. They have wallpaper made from newspaper. The family have two pigs, a cow, a chicken and three goats. Anold gave me a lesson in how to milk the nanny goat! They don‚Äôt have a lot of stuff in their house like we do, but they have everything they need.
One of the things I really noticed about life in Tanzania was that the people are really friendly and loved saying hello. A lot of them wore traditional clothes like the Maasai people. People bought their food from roadside sellers who set up stalls of fruit and vegetables. Some of the ladies carry food on their heads like big bunches of bananas. They also love it when it rains because the rain helps the crops to grow, providing them with the food they need.
I think when kids are given hope and opportunities for the future, it changes lives and that‚Äôs what sponsoring a child does.
Now I‚Äôm back home I will try and remember that the world doesn‚Äôt revolve around me and I will appreciate the things I have a lot more.
I think that a child can change the world when they are given the chance to dream, learn and are believed in by those around them. When a child has everything they need to grow, then anything is possible for them.‚ÄĚ
When Emilie met Ana
‚ÄúThe first time I met Ana was at her Compassion project. I was feeling a little anxious as I knew she was going to be looking after me for the next few days and I wanted it to be amazing. But from the minute I held her hand, I knew she was going to be a great friend and I would never forget her.
Next Ana gave me a tour of the project and showed me her classroom and we sat at her desk together. Ana's classroom was very different from mine back in the UK because she didn't have an interactive whiteboard, carpet or anything really hi-tech. All they had was wooden benches, a table, chalk and a chalkboard. Ana had a lovely teacher and she loves to learn just like I do.
At the project the children have lessons, play time, eat together and have lots of fun. The teachers are very supportive, kind, caring and loving. I really enjoyed being there because I saw lots of happy faces and the children enjoying themselves.
Next we went to Ana‚Äôs home. She had about ten goats and 15 sheep and two rabbits, so they are quite blessed compared to other families in the area. Ana lives with her Mum, Dad, Grandad, Auntie, two older brothers and little baby sister and I could tell how much they all loved each other. My home is very different, it‚Äôs a lot more comfortable but just like Ana I have a family who love me very much.
I think the thing children in poverty need most is food and water because one child we went to visit was living in extreme poverty because his mother only got paid one pound from working in the fields, and that isn‚Äôt even enough to buy a loaf of bread here in the UK!
Looking back on my trip my friendship with Ana is the thing I think I will remember the most, because from the second she came out of the crowd I had a feeling that I would never forget her.
I really believe that a child can change the world. My Nanny used to say to me, 'You can achieve anything you want to Emilie' and she was always right.
‚ÄúChildren are no different than adults and if an adult can change the world then a child can!‚ÄĚ
I think every child deserves an education, it changes everything for them and can also help their family. A child can change the world when they have a good education because it gives them hope and confidence in their future.