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Restore Datashred and Share Tanzania: An African Adventure
/ Categories: Datashred News, February

Restore Datashred and Share Tanzania: An African Adventure

When the staff at Restore Datashred aren’t helping businesses with their confidential document shredding, they are just as focused on more charitable endeavours.

In 2017 the teams at Datashred made a significant contribution to a small children’s charity in Tanzania; Share Tanzania. In fact, over the Christmas period, a four-strong group spent some time in the Moshi region of Tanzania.

They weren’t there for a charity climb of nearby Kilimanjaro, instead they were learning about Tanzanian culture, exploring the stunning landscape and visiting the team at Share Tanzania.

Here’s our Marketing Manager, Kieran Buckley, to share his once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Share Tanzania Story

Set up just five years ago, Share Tanzania was created by John St Julien. It was his dream to help children in need in East Africa and, through an initial large donation and ongoing support, he was able to do just that.

The charity is still young but, with the vision and drive of a fledgling team, it’s expanding to fill the gaps in the local communities.

The level of support currently offered by Share Tanzania is unlike any other charity in the region. They operate solely on the donations of private individuals to help fund everything from medication, food and teaching to property and, most importantly, providing a safe and secure environment.

The Moshi region is located on the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro but, despite being a coffee-growing hub and a tourist base, there is great deprivation among local populations. This is especially the case when a crop fails or disease takes hold.

Share Tanzania’s projects care for highly-dependent children and their families – if they have one. The people that they help come from a range of backgrounds, some with learning difficulties and many having experienced sexual and mental abuse.

No child has the same history and each one requires different levels of support from the network of doctors, physiotherapists, teachers, carers, animal therapists and drivers who either work or come to volunteer for the foundation.

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How did we get there?

A key contact at Datashred found out about Share Tanzania through one of her close friends. They were looking for people who could volunteer their time to the charity.

Here at Datashred we were inspired by what we read and heard about the work and progress Share Tanzania had been making with deprived, able-bodied, disabled and street children in the Moshi region of Tanzania.

Throughout 2017 a group of us volunteered our time and fundraising efforts to raise capital for the charity itself. To this end, we ran a number of car boot sales from donations made by colleagues and a bonus ball incentive. We set up a tuck shop in the Manchester office and hosted a ‘Food Friday’ event where we cooked our colleagues’ favourite dishes for them.

Alongside the fundraising, a small number of us decided we wanted to self-fund a visit to the foundation to see for ourselves the work John St Julien and his team were doing, so that we could come back and spread the word.

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Our Share Tanzania Experience

Over Christmas 2017, Datashred kindly enabled us to head off to Africa on this life-changing trip. And so, one day in December, Christopher Howard, Amy Robertson, Adam Leishman and myself gathered at the airport to start our adventure.

Feathers Tale Children's Village

Our first stop was the Feathers Tale children’s village, which caters for young children with special needs and disabilities and their parents.

Providing much-needed critical support and respite, particularly where other routes such as guardians or foster families have failed, Share Tanzania offers a secure place of rehabilitation with facilities that allow children and their families to experience peace of mind.

The professional team at Feathers Tale is always on hand to help with everything from physiotherapy and health advice to helping develop the relationship further between both mother and child.

We got to meet the team who make the charity such a success, from those who care directly for the children to the ladies who prepare hot meals every day.

Angels Gate

Down the road is Angels Gate, which is home for able-bodied children, mostly boys, who have lived on the streets of Moshi town, often falling into drug use and being sexually exploited by gangs.

It was the story of one street boy which inspired John St Julien to found the charity in the first place; a boy who used to take the money from the men in the street, round up the other street kids and hide them in the woods until it was safe to return. Now in his teens, this young man works at a hotel and is studying hospitality – a life completely turned around.

Angels Gate provides a home where the children can feel safe and cared for, going to school and learning how to live in a family environment.

Share Tanzania makes great efforts to locate and reunite the boys with their families wherever possible, helping the whole family learn about and adapt to a stable way of life.

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The Butterfly Centre

Last but not least on our visit, we went to the Butterfly Centre. Here orphaned children are cared for, some being placed with families while others look after themselves. The key aspect being that they remain in education to help them achieve a good future.

For me, a personal highlight of our visit to Share Tanzania was playing ‘Superman’ with a young, severely disabled boy; swooping him around for some flying fun.

While it was a small gesture, his smile lit up his own and all the other children’s faces.

Our experience in the Moshi region of Tanzania was truly unforgettable and something that will stay with me forever. We're hugely proud of the support that Restore Datashred gave us in making this amazing journey and we look forward to helping the kind and selfless people at Share Tanzania to continue their fantastic work.

For more information, visit the Share Tanzania website.

 

Special thanks to: Adam Leishman, Rachel Shorrock, Chelsea Greenwood, Alicia Hurst, Dan Williams, Aaron Gasper, Amy Robertson, Kelly Turnbull, and Christopher Howard.

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