Life was terrible before God brought MAD into my life in 2008. With Make A Difference (MAD) my life was enhanced. I was introduced to life planning where I had to set a goal for my life. Before MAD I had no goals in life. I was also taught good manners and how to live a disciplined life. I was taken to the best English medium primary school and later to secondary school and now I am in one of the best Universities here in the country moving closer to my goals. I had people to take care of me and when I got sick, I was taken to the hospital. I had good food and I stayed healthy and focused on my education. I became aware of how important education is and that I struggle to attain success, help my grandparents and the community.
"I'm happy because MAD (Make A Difference Now) has kindly helped my life become better.
MAD as an organization, has made my life easier since I was six years old and couldn’t afford anything in life because my family is very poor. MAD has not only made sure I received a quality education but also has provided me with all the school supplies I needed. These include text books, school uniforms, notebooks, a laptop, writing pens, and more.
I’m grateful and happy to be supported by MAD and so is my family. MAD volunteers have visited my village several times. Village visits are meant to expose volunteers to the Tanzanian culture.
MAD has also provided us with transport money. When school is out, we, the students of MAD are provided with money to travel from school to our villages so that we can visit and support our grandparents in our home villages.
MAD has also made us aware of viruses such as, COVID 19. They provided us with gloves, masks, soaps, and created water taps around our villages so we could wash our hands to prevent viruses entering our bodies., Hence, everyone in our village used water that was provided from MAD thus to help us wash our hands and make our environment clean.
I'm in college now and I'm striving to reach my goal of being a nurse. Much thanks to MAD I really love this Organization because it has made me think more successful things that could bring changes in my life, family and village in general.
One of the best and most effective charities that I have ever been involved with! Make a Difference Now is having a real impact on the world, and seeing the success stories of the young adults that have been part of the program is incredible.
Since 2017 Make A Difference has been a huge part of my life and such a blessing to me. I grew up in an extended family whose source of income was not sufficient. My parents are farmers and they have to take care of my other five siblings and relatives. Make A Difference Now ensured that I got the best education, healthcare and all the necessities. This encouraged me to focus more on my education so that I can achieve my dreams. I graduated from United World College East Africa in 2019 and enrolled in The University of Edinburgh in Scotland. I am about to start my second year in September and for that I am so grateful for MAD continuous support in my life.
My name is, Esther Mndeme. I am a student who is sponsored by Make A Difference (MAD) Now, the organisation has been a blessing to me and many others. MAD makes sure we get quality education, proper nutrition and other basic needs. Currently, I am studying at a international school in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania called, the International School Moshi, which is one of the best schools in Tanzania. Because I'm studying at such a good school, I now have a better chance at getting into a top university and learning from teachers from around the world. Hence, I can see a bright future ahead. I have learned a lot from MAD. Such as the importance of serving others, being open minded and responsible. Moreover, I have become more interactive with others as well as increased my knowledge on technology and other people's cultures from the volunteers that help MAD. I love MAD, volunteers and all people involved in the organisation. I am grateful for their support and everything they offer.
Many blessings to Make A Difference Now.
I started out as a volunteer with MADNow in 2018 and was offered a job as their digital coordinator, I gladly excepted! Working for MADNow brings me so much joy, I see the difference they are making in the world, and I am honored to be a part of it. Our MADNow team and Theresa (the founder) have worked tirelessly over the years because we believe our students can beat the odds, rise out of poverty, and become leaders for change. MADNow’s vision is to make the world a better place through our students and your support. If you are not currently a volunteer or supporter of MADNow we would LOVE for you to be apart of our family. Join us!!
Make A Difference is a truly exceptional company, that cares for the students they provide for like they are part of their family. They raise the bar for international education programs by getting students to a college graduate level, so they can make a real change in their communities.
My father passed away when I was eleven. A few months later, our mother was struggling to take care of us. She was sick and had six children to look after. Eventually, she sent me off to live with my uncles. Everything about life was just depressing and gloomy. But then I meet Theresa Grant with MAD Now. I recently graduated from Duke University and currently working at Thomson Reuters as a data scientist. My eleven-year-old self would never have dreamt of this. Yet here I am, and it's all because of Make a Difference Now.
I was lucky enough to visit the Make-A-Difference-Now home base in Tanzania in February and I was so impressed by the students and by Janeth who manages the operations there. They welcomed us so warmly with an amazing lunch. Then the students talked to us about their lives and their studies and we danced and had a lovely day. Seeing how MAD has helped these students to go from very unfortunate circumstances to being accepted and graduating from prestigious schools is incredibly inspirational. I know that with the great foundation the students received from MAD they will surely go on to be productive citizens in their communities and around the globe. I highly recommend this non-profit organization. Many kudos to Theresa and her team!
"Ensuring education is a right and not a privilege is the first and the foremost goal of Make A Difference (MAD). MAD creates meaningful educational and employment opportunities for children and youth from impoverished communities in developing countries. These rewarding experiences allow them to gain the satisfaction of mastering new skills, while contributing to their communities. MAD is near to my heart and I hope it will continue to grow to make even more impact in the communities they serve to end poverty in developing countries."
Administrative Assistant (Current Employee)
" Providing quality education is the first and foremost goal for Make A Difference (MAD). Children are sent to private schools where quality education is provided. MAD is also dedicated to providing balanced diets, medical care and sports therapy to the children it supports. Additionally, MAD supports schools by building libraries and technology centers for the schools it sends its kids. MAD must hit high goals and by this way, its contribution to end poverty in Tanzania is great."
I volunteered with Make A Difference (MAD) in Tanzania when I was 17; the organization and kids have held a special place in my heart ever since. It is rewarding to donate to a nonprofit that is making such a difference in the lives of kids who are now growing up to be leaders. What a great model for building up Tanzanian communities! I would 100% recommend volunteering with and donating to this worthy cause.
I have volunteered with MAD twice - once in Tanzania and once through hiking Patagonia. Both programs were seamless! Working with the kids in Tanzania was great and we also had a really great idea where our donated money went! I would strongly recommend MAD!
Previous volunteer back in 2012 and have been an annual donor ever since. Fantastic organization with equally fantastic leadership. Future goal is to join one of their annual fundraising treks. Life long supporter.
Make A Difference has really made a difference in my life. Through education, Make A Difference has successfully helped me to take a greater step towards my goals. It made a good foundation by taking me to an english medium school which is a rare opportunity for many of the kids here in Tanzania and in Africa. Currently I feel blessed as I am in the best college for Pharmacy here in the country. If I was left in the village with my grandparents it would have been difficult for me to reach my goals. As my grandparents could not afford to provide me with basic needs including paying my school fees. Thanks to Make A Difference, apart from graduating from the best primary and secondary school and being enrolled to the best medical university, I have an ambition to cut the chain of poverty and transform my community.
I am studying at the Kilimanjaro school of pharmacy college to become a pharmacist. This is done with the help of Make A Difference. Make A Difference has made a big difference in my life. First Make A Difference helped me with my education from primary school to college and is still helping me with my education. Before Make A Difference I had no dream and goals. I did not even go to school but Make A Difference gave me hope by taking me to school and now I have dreams and goals. At first I had no proper clothes but Make A Difference helped me by providing me with clothes. At first I could only speak one language which is Swahili but now I can also speak English. Therefore Make A Difference has helped me a lot in my life.
I would like to give thanks to Make A Difference for supporting me in my education and all basic care needs. Before I wasn't able to get an education or simple necessities because my grandparents had nothing to support me with. Thank you Make A Difference for changing my life and I hope one day that I will also make a difference in other peoples lives.
Make A Difference has made a lot of changes in my life through education, basic needs, healthcare, behavior and all necessary requirements I have been provided with. Through the organization I now know what it is like to have goals and dreams and how to work towards these, something I could never have dreamed of in my childhood where you only lived to survive. I had lost my family but Make A Difference gave me a huge family. I am very proud of this organization and thank you for helping me be where I am today.
Make A Difference (MAD) organisation has made a big difference in my life in all parts such as Education, Health, Clothing, Shelter and Food. I remember my life started to change when I met Mama Theresa at the age of 7 years and now I am 20. I got into a good school (English medium), got to go to a good hospital if I was sick, received nutritional meals, had a good place to live etc. When I joined Make A Difference, my ambition became to do better in my studies and to help others by making a big difference to them as MAD has done to me.
I would kindly like to thank Make A Difference and may Almighty God be with them forever.
Make A Difference (MAD) Organisation has greatly made a difference in my life. In the year of 2008, when I first met the founder of Make A Difference Organisation, my life was horrible in all sectors such as education, lack of healthcare, lack of clothing as well as no food. I remember studying in a government school where the teachers who would enter our classroom and teach, could not do it properly and were not serious in teaching us. Mama Theresa made sure that we all went to a Primary private school where teachers knows what they are doing and makes sure all the students understand what they are being taught. And also there was not a problem in getting to and from school, as the school bus took us back and forth from the orphanage to the school. In the orphanage we got nutritional meals and there was enough food for all, whereas before I got to MAD, getting food was a very tough thing in my life.
When I got sick, I used to go to a nearby hospital for treatment. The hospital was very near to the orphanage (Faraja Hospital). This was an important factor as I could get proper treatment faster and get back to school.
Mama Theresa made sure that we got new uniforms at least once a year. Even ordinary clothing that we wore after school hours was available.
Honestly speaking Make A Difference Organisation has changed my life. Without this organisation I couldn't be here. Thank you very much for your support.
I worked with Make A Difference as an intern for a couple of months and it was the most rewarding months of my life. The impact this organisation has on these students is astounding and truly getting to know the students and stories from disadvantaged backgrounds to successful college students is what this organisation is all about.
I have been following Make a Difference's activities for several years and the work that is being done is fantastic! I've followed many students through MADs updates, but I've had the good fortune to actually meet with one of the program's recipients on several occasions. He is so appreciative for the opportunities he has been given and what he will give back to his community will truly "make a difference."
No matter what you're able to donate to MAD (money, supplies, etc.) it will be gratefully accepted and used to benefit as many as possible.
I volunteered solo and bonded with these strong kids. I felt safe at all times. Teresa does an amazing job of organizing and taking care of her volunteers. The small organization allows for unfiltered time, helping where needed. I will return when I can. Please support this wonderful nonprofit!
Best non profit around!! Love brining a team of volunteers to teach chess with MAD every year.
I love Make a Difference Now!!! My company Premier Chess had such a great time teaching there
I volunteered with MAD back in 2014 in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. We spent a week with Theresa, kids at the orphanage, MAD staff and also the staff at the school that the kids went to.
Being there in person, we fully understood the mission and value that MAD stands for.
"To provide quality educational opportunities for vulnerable children so they may become leaders within their countries."
It has been 4 years and through updates from MAD, we are seeing the progress of the kids, the school they go to and growth of the program.
It warms my heart to see the older kids wining scholarships, truly living their dreams and giving back to their community. The younger kids are graduating and their school campus now have an amazing library. Everything we touched 4 years ago are progressively coming to fruition all thanks to the MAD organization. This is something I look back on all the time knowing that I have been part of an initiative that truly made an impact on a community and the momentum is moving forward to do even greater things for the world.
MAD truly is an amazing non-profit organization that lives up to their mission and core values.
I look forward to seeing all the great things these young leaders will bring to their communities, changing more lives and a positive impact in the world.
I'm impressed with the vision of Make a Difference because of the depth of its scope. By focusing on the selected participants and committing to support them through all of their education, MAD is guaranteeing life-changing opportunities and potential. Often the outcomes of nonprofits are compromised by the desire to do as much as possible for as many as possible. I respect the approach taken by MAD and have witnessed some of its results.
I get to work with MAD ever since 2017, and it has been a great experience getting to know the organization's personally, and see how dedicated they are to providing children in Tanzania with quality education, and make sure that these children are going to make big changes in the place they live.
My name is Janeth and have 3.5 years of experience with this charity. Make A Difference is helping youth with education and also supporting school development projects such as building a tech center, play grounds and library serving over 500 community!
Of its most amazing achievements, is its sustainability to send 26 students to private schools for quality education whereby 100% have completed primary school and 58% in university in Tanzania and overseas. This is a huge difference since majority of students in Tanzania find it difficult to complete primary education and end up with early child marriages or end up in streets. Only 70% complete primary education.
Again before the students had joined the organization, their English level, computer and leadership skills were very low. Now, I can rate their English level, computer and leadership skills with "A"s and all these have been achieved by sending students to private and international schools which are much better as well as enrolling students with TOEFL classes.
Confidently speaking I can say that the organization has ended poverty 100% to its clients !
Make a difference Organization has helped me a lot in may education since standard 4 up to date Am in college the third year, not only education but also through school suppuliers and has make sure that i get enough amount that helps me when Am at college.. Thanks a lot MAD organization
through Make a difference it made me to meet my dreams, being confident woman that i can stand alone due to education that a have got comparing to other women who have not gone to school and also prevents me from early marriage. always I am happy with this non profit organization.
thank you so much
Make A Difference helped my family to organize a cultural tour and volunteer experience that was rewarding and educational for our teenage children. We witnessed first hand the incredible work they are doing to provide school fees and resources for children who were orphans so they can have a quality education. They had excellent communication, monitored donations for a book drive we organized and carefully spent money donated to fund two school libraries that will help students with daily assignments. They are a small non profit with lots of heart and dedication. I have been employed by larger non profits in the past, but their attention for detail and heart for the lives of the students they help will keep me returning to work with Make A Difference Now.
This past summer I had the privilege to volunteer for Make A Difference in Tanzania, Africa. To say my life has been changed for the better ten-fold is an understatement. The wonderful people I was able to meet on this journey who took extra care of us, from gentle Paul our driver/interpreter/guide to Janeth our wonderful hostess to all the wonderful smiling faced kids we volunteer for, opened up their hearts and showed us their world, their struggles and their inspirations. I wouldn't have asked for a better organization to volunteer for than Make A Difference, where you can actually see where each dollar raised goes towards. For example, the computer room and computers at a local government school, or the computers that were donated to the school the kids of the program attend or even the local library being built for the community town of Moshi where the kids live. Attending the local village of one of the students was a highlight for me and also very humbling because we were given a glimpse into how locals actually live. Houses made of mud and stick being compromised by the elements of weather and termites. The lack of education is quite present when you visit rural Tanzania and it is very great to see the impact Make A Difference makes for these children who would otherwise have very slim chances of obtaining a great education and healthcare they deserved. If you are looking for an organization to volunteer with, Make A Difference is a great choice, especially for families because you can give your kids a wonderful insight of world culture. For adventurers, Make A Difference organizes climbs as well to Mt. Kilimanjaro (and in other areas they reach like Everest and Machu Pichu)... What can be more rewarding than giving your time to these wonderful kids of Make A Difference and conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro for this great cause!?!
I volunteered with Make A Difference in Tanzania in 2017 and the experience exceeded all expectations. Theresa and the staff were so accommodating and made sure to make our trip and stay educational and fun. We had ample time to interact with the students of Make A Difference doing lessons, playing games, touring their school and even visiting their homes in their villages. I would highly recommend this organization. The money they raise goes directly to help lift kids out of poverty in Developing Countries and their results have been extraordinary and these kids are passionate about their education, helping others and creating a better world.
This organization is fantastic! When you go to their orphanage in Tanzania, you can see first hand how they have changed the lives of so many children for the better. It is truly amazing. All of their kids at the orphanage are thriving because of the love, care and nourishment they are receiving from Make A Difference. The charity also employs locals at the orphanage and their facility, so they are helping the local community as well, which is awesome!
If you are lucky enough to visit their orphanage in Tanzania, Make A Difference provides you with accommodations and food at a reasonable price, giving so many people the ability to help these children first hand. I visited the orphanage and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro as well to raise money for the children, and it was one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my life.
I cannot say enough good things about Make A Difference and the positivity they are bringing to children in need. If you are looking for a charity to donate to or help, please, please consider this one!!
My Make a Difference (MAD) experience was unforgettable. The program, led by Theresa, was not only educational for the students but also for the volunteers. As part of our participation, we were immersed in the culture through language classes, eating local foods and visiting the students homes and schools. The students are well taken care of and their well being is at the forefront of everyone's minds. The students are very well spoken, smart and truly aspire to be key contributors in their communities. We left knowing that we did make a difference in their lives. I highly recommend donating either your time or funds to MAD as the students clearly benefit directly from the support.
Thank you, Make a Difference! Although our son procured donations of funds and supplies for Make A Difference orphanage (MAD), we were the true beneficiaries of our involvement with MAD. From start to finish, MAD assisted and communicated in professional and personal ways. While visiting, MAD gave us experiences to last a lifetime. MAD's work does not take away from a country's culture, nor does it impose a new belief system. Instead, MAD builds a country from within, one orphaned citizen at a time, by offereing a comfortable home, the best available education, healthcare, tutoring, and exposure to people and resources. The children in MAD's care have survived unbelievable pasts to become smiling, articulate friends to visitors like us. We played soccer at their school; we helped with letter writing; we accompanied children on trips to the market and to a remote village. All the while, MAD children exuded curiosity, warmth, and genuine appreciation and engagement. Given the opportunity, we would return, donate, and advise orphanages to replicate MAD's model. Make a Difference, thank you for the experience of a lifetime and for your truly amazing daily work!
I had the opportunity to work with Make a Difference Now in Tanzania. It was the experience of a lifetime because I knew I was part of a phenomenal organization with a successful model providing an exceptional education to orphaned children who otherwise would be left behind. The MAD staff who are on the ground in Tanzania are committed to mentoring/guiding/assisting the students through their primary education into advanced/college education.
My name is Fortunatus Shukuru. I am a website consultant who has been been working with MAD for more than 3 years now. The first time I encountered the organization it was small and I couldn't imagine it would grow to becoming what it is today and having the great impact it is having on education here in Tanzania. As a Tanzanian, getting an international standard education here is very hard especially now when the world is becoming a small village. But MAD does everything to fill the gap and expose the children to getting an international standard education the world improves. Thank you MAD, you really make a difference!
I dreamed of serving with Make a Difference ever since I first learned about Theresa Grant's amazing journey to create this organization and serve orphaned and vulnerable youth. Work limitations meant I held that dream for 4 years before I could actualize it, and it was worth the wait! In 2015 I spent a month in Moshi, getting to know MAD kids and offering professional development support for teachers who work in schools MAD kids attend or aspire to attend. Every day was an adventure, a lesson in humility, and deepened my appreciation for the possibilities education opens for children. I'm so proud to have been able to experience the magic of MAD first hand and make a small contribution to the organization's efforts to help people grow and break the cycle of poverty through education. And the lasting impact on me cannot be overstated - I learned so much. From how hard it is to cut bananas for banana stew, the how to listen to the needs of teachers and students from a culture that is so different from my own, to my lasting appreciation for the beauty of Tanzania's people and country side, I am a better person because of my time with MAD. Many thanks to all MAD peeps!
There is no greater thing we can commit our time to than helping others.
I truly believe that and Make A Difference is proof that it's true. I traveled to Tanzania in July of 2017 after learning about their mission and purpose.
I also believe that everyone has something to give, share or teach. Everyone has different gifts and talents. Make A Difference operates on the beauty of that principle, that when all come together great things really can happen.
One thing I really appreciate about MAD is that it's not about the "Americans coming in a saving everyone", it's about working alongside local people in unity to make stronger lives for all involved. The students with MAD are not just given free handouts, these kids are some of the hardest workers I've every met and they will be real earth shakers.
And what better of a way to raise money than running charity hikes in Patagonia, Tanzania and Nepal?
It's about all around wellness, for the volunteer and the children that MAD sponsors.
It's about living a full life through giving, receiving and growing.
Make A Difference is pure gold.
Those that discover it, I trust, will happily agree.
Tremendously impactful organization! Very little of the funding goes to admin, most goes right to the areas where kids need help - school, books, healthy food, etc. Your support helps change kids' loves!!
I spent a week with MAD in Tanzania last fall, and it was an incredible journey that I won't soon forget. The amount of time spent working and playing with the kids, in their home and school environments, was unmatched. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a life-changing experience in the heart of Africa. MAD takes care of your accommodations end-to-end, from airport pick-up to whatever other adventure you choose next (safari/Kili climb/etc).
My family and I were volunteers with MAD in 2010. We have continued to stay involved with this organization because of the sustained impact it has on children, and because of the long term vision it provides. Not only does MAD support the education of disadvantaged children who have suffered the death of one or more parent, as a path out of poverty, but it also teaches them to give back to the community of which they are a part. The organization teaches children true leadership values, fosters a balanced diet in an area of the world where poor nutrition and malnutrition are quite prevalent, and helps provide for the medical needs of the children it supports. The children that MAD sponsors go on to rigorous secondary schools, and even apply to competitive colleges in Tanzania and the U.S. Because this organization has its roots set down locally, in Moshi, it is able to have a large impact on the community it serves in a truly sustainable manner.
Early last year I volunteered with Make A Difference (MAD), a small grassroots organization that is passionate about educating orphans and vulnerable children in Tanzania. I was so inspired by this organization that I took a sabbatical from my business and am volunteering for a year. Now eight months into this assignment I am more impressed than ever. Not only does MAD educate children, they do significant investments in the children's school. This not only supports all current students, but future students and the community.
The children are beautiful, smart, and grateful for the opportunity they've been given. I work closely with Theresa, the founder and Executive Director. She works hard, is creative in fundraising, spends money carefully, and has a vision for growth that will help MAD educate even more children.
Make A Difference has a unique and powerful focus on educating orphans as they provide support to develop them into leaders. I appreciate that they not only provide quality education but also care for the children holistically. This was apparent as I visited Tanzania earlier this year. They not only educate but provide housing, food, clothing, health care, enriching experiences outside of school, and the love and support that have resulted in children who are smart, polite, healthy, happy, and an absolute joy to be with. A focus on finding ways to support the larger community also inspired me. It may be by the children volunteering to help others, planting trees at one of the primary schools, or helping to build a community library that both the children and others can benefit from. So impressed with this non-profit I'm volunteering again next year.
I had the great opportunity to volunteer with MAD in May. It was such a great experience meeting the MAD kids, visiting one of their villages, and helping at the Royal School. I could see how grateful the MAD kids were for the opportunities they've received through this org. They are so smart and have such a great attitude despite their difficult pasts. MAD is truly making a difference in their lives!
Make A Difference's attention to each and every orphaned child's education and overall well-being is phenomenal. They truly focus making them productive members of society with education and experiences they otherwise would never have without this organization. They are really Making a Difference in the world! I have been volunteering for many years of my life and I can truly say I am blessed to have found this organization and to be a part of it.
3 years ago, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Make A Difference Now. The work that the Founder, Theresa Grant is doing to help improve the lives of these children with a focus on education is inspirational. The children through education, have been empowered to become whatever it is that they want to be, and have the capability to be lifted out of poverty. Make A Difference is making a positive local impact on the community of Moshi, and Tanzania as a whole. Responsible, Transformative, Inspiring, and Sustainable. Make A Difference Now will always hold a special place in my heart. So much so, I have visited there on 2 occasions . And continue to support their efforts from afar.
Our involvement with Make a Difference happened purely by chance. Please be patient as I tell our story … My husband and I traveled to Tanzania in August of 2013 to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and go on safari in order to cross a couple of items off our bucket list. We trained for months for our climb and digested every possible scrap of information we could find to help facilitate successfully reaching the summit. While I am pleased to report that we were successful in reaching Uhuru Peak and our safari was truly an amazing experience, what we didn't anticipate or prepare for was the life changing experience we encountered a few miles outside of Moshi at the Kilimanjaro Kids Care Orphanage.
We stumbled upon the orphanage via the Pack for a Purpose website. While I was checking out the Bristol Cottages website, the hotel where we stayed before and after our climb up Kili, I clicked on the Pack for a Purpose link and began to investigate what that organization was all about. I learned that PfaP was affiliated with Bristol Cottages, and that the hotel supported the Kilimanjaro Kids Care Orphanage. We found the current list of needs at the orphanage and then decided that this would be a great mission project for our church to become involved in. I prepared a flyer, and for a couple of Sundays before we left for Africa I did an announcement in front of the congregation. Donations began to pour in. We not only filled up one huge suitcase, but two! We were so excited! We had 102 pounds of donations making the trip to Africa with us!!
Since we arrived at the Kilimanjaro Airport on a Saturday evening and didn't actually start our trek up Kili until Monday morning, I inquired with Gloria Moshi, the owner of Kindoroko Tours (who we booked our trip through), if she could arrange for someone from Bristol Cottages to take us to the orphanage on Sunday so we could deliver our supplies in person. Gloria graciously volunteered to take us herself – she picked us up on Sunday afternoon and personally drove us out to the orphanage, stayed there with us for the afternoon, and returned us to Bristol Cottages! When our car pulled up at the orphanage, we were immediately greeted by the smiling faces of children spilling out the front door. We were hugged over and over and over again. And not just any hugs. These were the kind of hugs where the kids just kind of melted into your embrace. Yes, we were already fighting back tears and we hadn't even got through the front door!
All the kids gathered in one of the rooms where the seats were arranged in a circle around the edge of the room. Each beautiful child stood up and introduced themselves in English -- stating their name, how old they were and what they wanted to do when they grew up. Mark and I then introduced ourselves, and we were able to show the kids where we were from (Indianapolis, Indiana) on a map of the world that was painted on one of the walls.
We then began passing out the supplies we brought with us to the kids. We had soccer balls, tennis balls, backpacks, lots of shoes in all different sizes for both boys and girls, medicines, vitamins, personal care items, bath towels, solar calculators, pencils, pens, rulers, etc. Each child was so happy to receive something new, and lots of smiles and hugs were exchanged!
After everything was passed out, the kids wanted to know if we would play football - soccer to us in the U.S. We had to break in those new soccer balls, you know! We spent the next couple of hours playing with the kids in the yard in back of the orphanage. We kicked the soccer ball around for a little bit, but quickly figured out that we were out of our league! Those kids can definitely play soccer! Being from Indiana where basketball reigns supreme, Mark spotted the basketball goal and felt more adept with that sport. While Mark was shooting baskets with a few boys, a young boy named Peter wanted me to throw a soccer ball back and forth with him. Peter kept wanting to throw the ball faster and faster, and then we got two balls going back and forth at the same time. I think he likes to play goalie.
Towards the end of our visit, we all gathered together in a circle in the backyard and the kids sang some songs for us. One song involved lots of repetitive clapping and dance moves. We tried our best, but I think the kids were pretty amused at the Americans with no rhythm! LOL! After the songs, one amazing young man stepped forward and spoke on behalf of all the kids. He spoke in English -- very articulate for his age -- and thanked us for the supplies we brought and for spending time with them. Once again, we found ourselves fighting back tears as said goodbye and drove away.
A little over two weeks later we were back home in Indiana and couldn’t stop thinking of those beautiful children. So, I got on my computer and began to investigate the orphanage further. That is when I discovered the phenomenal work that Make a Difference Now is doing. I found the MAD website and read about Theresa Grant and the organization’s history. I shared it all with my husband, and what we read and learned further solidified our desire to help.
Through the amazing work of MAD, the children at the Kilimanjaro Kids Care Orphanage all have amazing spirit and hope. Their smiles are contagious. They are all good students and are working hard to make a difference not only in their own lives, but in the lives of other Tanzanians.
The local community surrounding the orphanage is benefiting from the ongoing support and assistance provided by MAD as well. In addition to supporting and educating the children at the orphanage, a library/technology center, cultural center, science lab, outdoor educational trips for the children, libraries at the schools that the children attend, and a sports program are just a few of MAD’s projects. All this is possible because of MAD and its philosophy of changing lives through education. The world needs more organizations like MAD. People have an inherent desire to help, and MAD offers many opportunities to do just that.
Many blessings to all who work to Make a Difference!
I've been involved with MAD since 2012. What initially started out as a mere orphanage has now become a transformational organization in the Moshi area.
In 2012 I was won over the many opportunities MAD's progam provided to interact with the children it supported. in 2014, I was impressed with the impact it has achieved in the Moshi area overall via the Public Library program and the technology center. MAD is truly inspirational!
Thank you for everything that you do!
I spent time earlier this year in Feb / March with MAD. Theresa is an amazing force of life! An inspiration for both the volunteers and the children. I worked with the children closely for about 4 days and spent time with Theresa as well discussing how to ensure that the children get through to college. I was impressed by how far-sighted she was - she even had a spreadsheet with the education costs going all the way through 2020! I've kept in touch with MAD since and watched how she takes her charges along with her though the ups and down of life - so refreshing!
Writing this as a past volunteer and current donor. Couldn't be happier with the work MAD is doing. Having worked with a few other orphan and/or education support programs, I can say this is light years ahead. I was happy to donate funds because with MAD, I know exactly where the funds are going. 5-star, for sure.
I've had the great opportunity and honor to work with Make a Difference NOW since 2013, and the experience has truly been life-changing!
Initially, I traveled to Tanzania in 2013 to meet the 22 children that MAD supports through education, shelter, and a family environment. That experience was so impactful, as I was able to see how transformational the work MAD does is to the lives of these deserving kids. The kids are intelligent, educated, kind, warm, and, most striking, HAPPY, despite having experienced so much loss and hardship.
Seeing first-hand the impact MAD is able to make has shaped me into a committed and grateful volunteer. Since my first visit, I've participated in the Machu Picchu 2014 fundraising climb, and am currently the group leader for the upcoming Patagonia 2016 fundraising climb. Through my company, Salesforce, I've worked to spread the word about this great organization, participating in information sessions and being interviewed for their corporate responsibility video. We've organized company-wide Bake Sales and bartending events to fundraise for MAD, donated iPads to the school and orphanage MAD supports, and helped spread the word about upcoming volunteer opportunities.
The reason for my commitment and passion has everything to do with the impact I see MAD make, the value the organization brings to the lives of these 22 children, and ultimately, to the world! As an organization, MAD has its heart in the right place, and the dedication and action behind it to make things happen and TRULY make a difference. I have no doubt that this organization has single-handedly TRANSFORMED the lives of these kids, as well as the many volunteers, employees, interns, board members, and donors lucky enough to be a part of it. I am endlessly inspired by the work MAD does, and honored to be able to help in any way.
As an administrator of one of the schools that MAD is working with, I have to say that MAD has really changed the lives of not only the children that they sponsor at our school, but also of the community around them. For these children, being an orphan equates a lifetime sentence in torture. Orphans have no way of accessing a good education, health services and even decent living conditions. More often than not, they end up as someones housegirl/boy, early marriages for girls or as street urchins.
MAD has changed that for the lucky few that they can afford to host. I always wish that they could help more, that they could touch more lives.
We are greatful to MAD for their priceless help and contributions in building of the school computer center, school library and are now working on the playing grounds. All these ammenities not only serve the school, but also the community around it.
So thankyou Theresa, MAD and MAD volunteers. May God bless you so much.
I am Grace,
Make A Difference helped me accomplish my career through their internship program. It has been a while since I graduated and started working with MAD.I appreciate and value our Make A Difference team.
I am experiencing lots of positive things from MAD.
Four years back I joined Make a Difference (MAD) not knowing that was the best decision I had ever done as a teenager, not only has MAD transformed my life in a tremendous way, it has also made me a better person, it's hard to IMAGINE how my life would have been if I was not part of this amazing organization.
My name is Upendo and I am a student that is supported by MAD. I like MAD because they help me with my education, clothing, food and anything else I need. I lost my parents and my grandparents are the only ones to take care of me. They are old and it's too hard for them. They live in a small room and make very little money. They can barely take care of themselves.
I love the volunteers who come to help us. They are fun and also support us in many ways.
MAD also helps all of our schools we go to here in Tanzania. They help the schools with computers, books and sports. They really make a difference in many ways and believe in us!
I hope to be an eye doctor one day and with the help of MAD, I think I will be!
Make A Difference (MAD) is an organization which pays for my school fees so I may attend one of the best girls' schools in Tanzania. The school that I attend is called, Anwarite. I have had the opportunity to meet many people from around the world through MAD, improve my English, learn about technology, read a variety of books and go on educational trips within my country. I hope one day I can become a doctor who helps people recover from accidents. I want to help fix their bones.
Make a Difference NOW is a great organization that not only touches the lives of those that it helps provide for (the children in the orphanage), but those that are fortunate enough to volunteer with this great organization as well.
I cannot say enough about how great this program is and how much I wish I could go back and volunteer again. Theresa, the founder, is an amazing person that has created a well run organization. I loved not only the work we did on the technology center, but the one on one time that we got to spend with the children. They are really amazing kids with so much love and enthusiasm for life, you cannot help but fall in love with each of their awesome personalities.
I am thankful to have come across this organization and look forward to finding more ways to help stay in involved over the coming years.
I have traveled around the world and visiting the orphanage in Tanzania was by far my best travel experience ever. Make A Difference and Theresa are the real thing! The organization supports 22 children with nutrition, excellent education, life skills and hope for the future. Furthermore, the organization focuses on sustainable when making connecting with the local community. I volunteered there for a week and we now have a fundraising for the orphanage every year in Phoenix as well as sponsoring one of the children.
This is the real thing!!! It is a a grassroots organization committed to educating children and improving on the society that they live in. I had the pleasure of volunteering at the orphanage in Tanzania. It was the most incredible experience to see someone so dedicated to 22 children. This is about making a difference and doing it in a sustainable way. It is about improving the lives of not just the 22 children but their family members and villages!
What I like best about Make A Difference is that they really do what they promise. The program is also unique in that it has helped one group of kids throughout their school years so that no one gets lost along the way. MAD has kept their program manageable to ensure all the kids make it through school.
I first heard of MAD in August 2012 when I volunteered for a week with my university. Before I left, I was trying to change my flight to Cape Town to stay with MAD for that week instead! Needless to say, I had instantly fallen in love with the organization. I finished up my undergraduate & stayed home for the holidays, before returning to Tanzania for 3 months. My three months here is almost up and I couldn't have imagined a better experience. I genuinely felt like I was contributing to the organization. Even after getting an inside look at the organization, I still believe that it is run by incredible, talented individuals, and that everyone who comes in contact with MAD is deeply touched by the organization.
I first discovered MAD in August 2012 on a trip through Western Washington University. In 4 short days those kids stole my heart. A year later I light up just talking about them. They are the happiest people I have ever met, and it is all because of MAD. These kids go to the best school in the area and are brilliant, dedicated students. MAD provides food and shelter for them, but the most important thing they give these kids is love. Everyone working there would do anything for them. I will be going back to Tanzania February 2014 to work at Make A Difference for 6 months and can't wait to see everyone again!
Every interaction I have had with Theresa Grant and Make a Difference has been very positive. We met several of the older children in March and we are so impressed with the quality of their education and their many attributes. They are ambitious, loving, polite, conscientious and personable. I believe Theresa is caring for and educating some of tomorrows leaders in Tanzania.
Make a Difference is unique in helping Tanzanian orphans in that the organization puts emphasis on education. By educating the children at the best local schools, Make a Difference prepares the students for further education at the best learning institutions in the country, thus preparing them for leadership positions in the country and beyond.
Make a Difference (MAD) is filled with loving, amazing volunteers and people who are servants at heart. This organization has made an incredible difference in so many lives, not only in the lives of the children and families that are touched, but in the lives of the volunteers and donors as well. When I see pictures of the children with smiles on their faces, I wish I could be there to embrace them. It is so beautiful to see the work and love, generosity, experience, willingness, giving, sharing and joy expressed throughout the organization. Due to health reasons, I am not able to volunteer, but if I could, I would. Make a Difference continues to do great work in Africa and India, and are appreciated by so many people, including me, around the world. So thankful for this organization, their leader is amazing and it ROCKS!
My heart is so filled with joy, whenever I interact with Make a Difference! Follow through is impeccable, and the work is THE WORK. I know my donations get used to make good things happen, and i can easily see the results. I am always kept in communication. One of my ALL TIME favorite orgs.
One of my all time favorite organizations, MAD is stellar not only in the work they do, but in the management and business skills of staff. I am very particular where I put donations of time, money or goods. I will always support the wonderful work of this organization and they hold a very special place in my heart.
I had an amazing time as a volunteer with MAD. The professionalism of the way the volunteer experience had been planned and co ordinated was superb, the children being supported through the charity are a superb example of the results that the love and education have produced.
The MAD team are a super representation of the founder, Theresa, and her passion for the education of the children and the support they are receiving shines through every member of her carefully selected team.
I enjoyed every minute and found the experience life changing.
I found MAD quite by accident when I accompanied a friend on a volunteer mission to Tanzania in 2010. I met Theresa, the founder, spent time with the children at the orphanage and visited with the teachers at their school. I cannot say enough good things about this organization. The caring and loving atmosphere enables the children to thrive. The value of a good education is instilled in them and they are eager to learn. I have since then been sponsoring a child and supporting MAD through donations. I am getting ready for my next trip to Tanzania in a few weeks and am looking forward to do some more work with all the children.
The folks who run MAD are Passionate and dedicated. Their love for these kids shine through. We love supporting such a great team.
We love this charity. We have been donating for many years and will continue to do so. Kids like Edward have amazing opportunities now. Grades are stellar because of the MAD programs and best of all these kids know people love them and care about them. These kids will be the game changers in Africa. They are confident, amazing human beings.