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While helping upgrade some existing needs at the SABCO Orphanage in Tanzania, our group expedition discovered the great sorrow and joy that is in these precious kids. We’d love to highlight a few of these children to show that they are not just numbers on a paper, but little humans with the full range of emotions, hopes, and desire for connection that one would expect to find anywhere in the world. As we soon discovered upon arrival, however, children as young as infants often show up at the gates of the orphanage, without any further information, and there is no choice but to take them in.

Frank (2 or 3 years old) and Dorkus (around 6 months old), were one such example- they showed up at the gates a few short weeks before ROAM arrived. Initially, Frank wanted absolutely nothing to do with anyone or anything; he seemed frightened, tentative, and uneasy about this brand new environment. Dorkus, whom we held in our arms the entire time, had a shaved head and the typical cultural ear piercings, which signaled that they belonged to some familial unit, but yet, were abandoned. Over the several hours and couple of days our expedition spent in the orphanage, Frank transformed into a different kid who relished being loved on, wrangled, and played with. He laughed, wanted to be picked up, and teased with: it was quite the 180 flip from the Frank who showed up at SABCO days prior!

Alice was another unforgettable child we got to know- she and her four siblings landed at SABCO after their parents died in a tragic car accident. Alice loved having her picture taken and playing with our volunteers. Her huge infectious smile easily charmed her way into everyone’s memories. Each child there was full of light, full of love, and impossible-to-ignore smiles!

What this experience showed us is that there is always something for each of our expedition group members to do; not one volunteer is ever bored because there is no shortage of physical or social needs. Helping to build classrooms or improve upon the physical conditions of an orphanage or school is so central to our purpose. And yet, the simple but significant moments our volunteers offer of laughing, dancing, singing, and playing with these children is truly at the heart of ROAM and why with your generous donations we do what we do! 

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