Rotary Helping Tumaini

Updated:  July 30, 2015 – Story by: Ron Baker, Simcoe Rotarian

L/R Club President Tim Fitzgerald, Kelvin Minja, Hon. MPP Toby Barrett, Mama Dee, Mayor Charlie Luke, Lohai Josephat, Past President Gerry Goddard and Hon. MP. Diane Finley

L/R Club President Tim Fitzgerald, Kelvin Minja, Hon. MPP Toby Barrett, Mama Dee, Mayor Charlie Luke, Lohai Josephat, Past President Gerry Goddard and Hon. MP. Diane Finley

Simcoe resident, Cherie M. Szucs, Founder/Executive Director of TUMAINI CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION, located in Usa River, a village, near Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, East Africa; shall receive a Rotary donation of $8,000, and a welcome by a large audience of Simcoe Rotarians, dignitaries, friends and visitors on Saturday morning, August 1 at 11:45 a.m., as The Rotary Lynn River Music and Arts Festival opens at Wellington Park in Simcoe, Ontario. “TUMAINI” means “Hope” in Swahili. Part of the funds, raised during The Lynn River Music & Arts Festival, shall go to support TUMAINI.

Matching funds, of $8,000, have been pledged by other Canadian Rotarians; more are sought.


Simcoe Rotarian Ron Baker

Since its founding in 2010, TUMAINI has grown to provide a healthy, safe and love-filled home, with good food, clean water, medical care and quality education, for 54 disadvantaged, orphaned, or abandoned children and youth in the Village of Usa River, near Arusha, Northern Tanzania. Cherie Szucs has just returned to Simcoe, after working for many weeks at TUMANI with the children and volunteer staff, developing the facilities. Rotary funds shall be used to purchase and install solar panels for electricity. In a continuing project, backed by Rotarians, Cherie Szucs is applying high Canadian standards to build a school expansion, with a residential home for the benefit of all the village children in need, the staff and volunteers, on a new site. Simcoe Rotarians are helping lead long-term TUMAINI fund raising.

rotary imageThe Rotary Club of Simcoe Executive Board, led by President Tim Fitzgerald, Past President Gerry Goddard and a number of area Rotarians, have identified TUMAINI as worthy of substantial, long term development help. New funds from wider sources in Norfolk County, Western Ontario and New York State, USA; as well as the whole Rotary International network, are being sought. Partners, in various Rotary Clubs, and their many friends, including Norfolk County residents, have been assembled: in Europe, The Netherlands, Canada, USA and Tanzania, to assure that TUMAINI flourishes as a not for profit, volunteer-led foundation. 

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Posted:  January, 2015

Like so many FIRSTS we have enjoyed here at Tumaini, Simcoe Rotary, ( from Tumaini’s founding town of Simcoe, Ontario, Canada, is spearheading a “longterm” partnership with us to provide “significant aid”, in order to help build a new school in the village of Kiwawa as well as a permanent home for our Tumaini family.  President Gerry Goddard, International Chair Dennis Zukowsky and Committee Members Ron Baker and John Featherstone are all, hard at work, facilitating this opportunity.

This news is very exciting for my partner Oddo and I because locating and negotiating a site has taken us the better part of five years.  We have that site now and will commence construction on the school first, in an act of good faith towards the villagers and their children.

Dover Maple Leaf, Jan 14, 2015

Dover Maple Leaf – January 14, 2015

The property, (approximately 5.52 acres) will house the school and required support buildings; a football (soccer) pitch and our new home!  We couldn’t be more excited, and Simcoe Rotary (District 7090) has committed to supporting this project on a “long term” basis!

Thank you Rotary!!!

Thank you Rotary!!!

We are getting our ducks in order, following the Rotary Foundation Code of Policies with respect to international funding and we are reaching out to other Rotary Clubs internationally (Rotary in the Netherlands has invited us to present), to help us help provide QUALITY education to children AND to build a forever home for our children.

Five years we have dreamed of this . . . today, with Rotary’s help, we begin to realize our dream . . . Asante.