Report from the field from GO Campaign’s CEO Scott Fifer
Just back in LA from our wonderful annual Peru trip (which you should sign up for next year!) for 4 days, and it was time to board a plane again – this time traveling alone, to Tanzania where we have many wonderful projects run by inspiring Local Heroes.
The trip started a bit rocky, when local authorities at the Kilimanjaro airport wanted me to pay taxes on the donated water filters I had brought to distribute. I was tired and cranky and in no mood for paying taxes on donations, so I caused a fuss and it almost worked, but then the boss called in and suddenly they were taking my passport and calling the police. This has never happened to me in my 10 years of traveling to Kilimanjaro, so no need for alarm and I encourage you all to go there. I was just feeling argumentative and wasn’t in the mood to pay a bribe in order to help their own countrymen get clean water.
Anyway, once I got that behind me, the trip was smooth sailing. I was busy, surrounded by children (now teens and young adults) who I have known since 2005, and we were visiting all the wonderful local projects that GO supports. I saw a thriving poultry project we funded that will generate significant income for the education of the orphans living at Children of Destiny. I saw a well-constructed security wall we funded that is protecting the orphans of GlobalVision and the kids were so grateful – they are so much safer with a wall to protect them. I visited workshops at the Kilimahewa School where we have built 2 large buildings to help Mama Grace give a 2nd chance to secondary school students eager to continue with their education. And I met up with our newest board members, Jamie and Jonathan Ward, and gave them their first taste of the transformative Gabriella Centre that changes the lives of intellectually-challenged children and youth, and they were blown away by the work of our Local Hero and Gabriella’s Founder, Brenda Shuma.
I also hopped on a plane to Rwanda where I was met by Father Leo, who picked me up and transported me back over the border into a remote village in Tanzania where we funded goats and school support to families who have taken in orphans. There’s no electricity in this region, and many live in small one-room huts or structures. It’s a challenging area with little resources. But the kids were happy, dancing, and even wrote and performed a play about GO Campaign helping the community. (One young boy shaved his head and put on a suit and sunglasses so he could portray me. Talk about dedication to your craft!)
And yes, I was able to distribute the water filters along the way, after having gone back to the airport in a more friendly mood to collect them from the local authorities. The recurring theme of the trip was the many expressions of gratitude and the many thank-yous I heard from so many people, thanking GO Campaign and all our supporters for helping lift up the children in their communities… I promised I would relay their deep appreciation back to you…. because you make it all possible.