How it all began…

In February 2017, we met in Arusha. Our paths crossed in the East African country Tanzania for different reasons. Sarah had decided to take a break from her job and to work as a volunteer at a preschool instead. Carla completed an internship in an orphanage as part of her teaching degree in social pedagogy. During our stay, we already tried to support the local institutions with donations. We were able to provide contributions in kind, such as clothes, shoes, towels etc., as well as the financing of fruit meals and the assumption of school fees in the two institutions we worked for.

Things changed…

…after Godson, a small five-year-old boy, fell off a slide. The joyful boy, who loved playing football more than everything else and always had a cheeky smile on his face, had broken his thigh. A half-orphan, who lives together with his mother and siblings and attends the Mwanga children´s foundation, a preschool. In Germany, we would have just called an ambulance and Godson would have been transported to the next hospital to get surgery as soon as possible. In Tanzania, things are different. We called his mother first, she asked us to bring Godson home. Her justification: she was unable to pay the treatment in a hospital. Without thinking twice, we called a taxi and took Godson to a hospital. Instead of doing the surgery, the doctors applied an extension bandage and recommended a six-week bed rest. We visited him in the hospital every day, entertained him and payed the treatment costs. Sarah even stayed overnight, to relieve Godson´s mother. Unfortunately, the next X-ray displays that the break had shifted further. We started collecting donations from our families, friends and acquaintances until we were able to transfer Godson into a private hospital where he could receive the necessarily needed surgery. We were overwhelmed by the resonance and the multiple donations we had received. The surgery went successfully, and by now, he is playing football again as enthusiastically as before the accident.
Godson at the hospital
Godson at the hospital
Sarah, Saidi and Carla

Back in Germany…

…we had the desire to do more. There are so many more children in Arusha we would love to support continuously, to enable them to be positive about their future. We felt like we could do more for them. Basically, this is how we developed the idea to establish an association. In the course of 2017, this idea took shape, the foundation for this project was laid.
Sarah, Saidi und Carla
  • July 2017: inaugural meeting
  • January 2018: register entry by the Berlin local court
  • May 2018: recognition of non-profit status by the Berlin tax office
  • October 2018: further stay in Arusha to sign the contracts with the project partners
  • “Many small people, who in many small places do many small things, can alter the face of the world”
    Proverb of the Xhosa

    Helping hands

    We are convinced, that a successfully working association depends on teamwork. Many helping hands are necessary and we are thankful for each and everyone in this team and their voluntary commitment. As the board of WATOYO, we maintain the overview over everything. We communicate, support and work together with the project partners in Arusha. Additionally, we look after the accounting and financing of projects, as well as the issuance and dispatch of donation receipts. Once a year, we invite all the members to a general meeting, reflecting the current status and discussing upcoming projects. Clearly, every now and then, we go back to Arusha for being able to work on common projects together on-site, and to initiate new schemes

    Further stays in Arusha:

    • February 2018 Carla
    •  October 2018 Carla and Sarah
    • October + December 2019 Carla
    Every association needs to provide a tax statement. Such a statement includes numerous documents to prove the charitable status. Before these are sent to the tax office and published on our website, Sharin carefully checks everything.
    Our team of sponsor and member support is mainly looking after the e-mail communication. Lara answers incoming E-mails and manages requests for sponsor or memberships.
    Corinne and Christina take care of the preparation and dispatch of development reports, as well as the writing of letters of thanks to the donators. All three of them were volunteering in Arusha themselves and are well-known with every project and every child WATOYO supports.
    The social media team, composed of Stella, Laura and Moritz, is responsible for our web presence. Whether Instagram, Facebook or this website, all the news are published by these three.

    In addition to our dedicated team, there are multiple other helping hands who support us. Biggest thanks to Hannah for her effort in fundraising, to Usha for designing our flyers, to Moritz, Benjamin, Sarai and Mara for the Website, to Vanessa for the legal advice, and to all the volunteers in Arusha and returnees who keep us up to date at any time.

    You want to get involved? We look forward to welcoming you to our team!