The Olive Branch for Children


Uyole, Mbeya, Tanzania

March 5 – March 22, 2016

On our last day in Tanzania, we had to describe our trip in one word. For me, that word was unforgettable.

When I left from Toronto to Tanzania, I had no idea what to expect, and I think that that was best because I came in with an open mind and what I actually experienced was better than anything that I could have imagined.

I would say the most impactful thing for me were the people I met. They are now my family. I would never have expected to form such close bonds with everybody at the Zion home, which is where we stayed. The Zion home houses vulnerable children who have been effected by HIV/AIDS or by medical or psychological issues that have been taken in by The Olive Branch for Children.

On our first night there, I thought to myself how crazy it was that we had just met them a few hours ago, as it felt like we’ve known them for years. Everyone on the trip agreed, which shows how warm these people truly are.


The founder Deborah and her husband Putiyei love these kids as their own. The children even call them Mom and Dad. Deborah and Putiyei work alongside many incredible, dedicated and caring staff who are changing so many lives. Not just the kids, but the whole community. The Olive Branch has multiple programs that support numerous villages throughout Tanzania. Some examples are the Home base care program, which cares for over 600 people living with HIV/AIDS, their food support program, a Montessori outreach program which provides rural villages with kindergartens, creating better futures for the children in that community, and many more amazing programs that can be read on their website. (theolivebranchforchildren.org)

Deborah on the left, Ms. Belore on the right.
Putiyei
On this trip, we were given many once in a lifetime opportunities alongside a great insight to the culture and I feel so privileged to be able to have experienced it. We even spent a night at a Maasai village. Being able experience such a different way of life gave me a new perspective on my own life, and a “reality check” as to what really is and isn’t important and that is something that I will treasure.

My journey to Tanzania and working with The Olive Branch for Children was a transformative experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life – truly UNFORGETTABLE.

I also just wanted to thank Ms. Belore so so much for everything she has done for me. If it wasn’t for her, I would have missed out on one of the most influential trips of my life. She has helped me with everything, including bringing this website to life! Thank you!!!

I would also like to thank Crescent School for giving us the opportunity to join you on this trip and allow us to make a new connection between The Olive Branch and Havergal. In particular Mr. Pestonji, Mr. Mcgregor, and Ms. Wen. 🙂

 

ALSO- The Olive Branch is currently in the process of building a new base! It contains The Olive Branch Center and new Zion/Peace Home all on one campus. They still need funds so click here to donate or buy prints in the shop and all proceeds will be donated to them!

Scroll horizontally through these galleries to see some of the photographs of the trip and click on a photo to make it larger! Also check out Tanzania 2016 under the Gallery tab!