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I traveled to Tanzania to report on the education system and the school conditions of two schools in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. It was an amazing and heartbreaking experience at the same time. I was able to meet with children, teachers and even parents to talk about the education offered at the school. What really stuck with me though were the details about some of the children's lives.
Most of the students have to walk miles through muddy and rough terrain just to get to school. For the majority of the students, their school uniforms were the only items of clothing they owned that were intact.
As I was walking through the muddy school grounds, I saw that a group of kids were playing soccer with a wad of paper, others looked through piles of trash to find something that they could make a game out of. This is what 'recess' consisted of.
The schools didn't have electricity or running water. The children shared workbooks that were later left overnight at school because there weren't enough supplies for everyone.
I was able to walk home with one of the little boys who I was informed by the school administration was in desperate need of surgery that his father could not afford. The walk was over a mile through the forest. Once we arrived, I realized that the family (father and son) had built a one room shack as their home. I was shocked and felt helpless. I couldn't believe that these happy, kind and lively children lived such poverty-stricken lives.
Through fundraising before my travels, I was able to donate new school supplies to the children as well as give funds to the family of the sick young boy that I met.
This trip and the reporting that followed made me aware of the conditions outside of the USA and of how luxurious of a life I live in the United States. I hope that everyone has an opportunity to travel to a third world country like I did. If so, be sure to visit a school, local homes and workplaces to see how other people live off of hardly anything and are still so very grateful.