Thank you letter from Walther de Nijs at Happy Watoto 

Dear all at Green Waters,

First of all a BIG THANK YOU for your generous contribution!

Obviously with 100 healthy, playful and sometimes naughty children there is always someone in need of new clothes. Unfortunately funding doesn’t allow to cater for all those needs immediately. Obviously feeding, medical care and education get higher priority. So sometimes some kids need to wait a little, and we repair rather than replace their clothes.

But isn’t that part of raising children? They have to learn that they have to take care of what they have, because no salary in the world allows to buy something new every day.

As we are fully dependent on charity, we had to keep postponing for quite a while. When we had money for some new clothes, the challenge was whom to give and whom not. They are all our children and we want to treat them equally. But also, if we give those who need the clothes most, it might be interpreted as a “reward” for neglect. After all, those who took best care of their clothes would then be skipped.

Thanks to your very timely (!) contribution we could afford to give all children a brand new set of clothes: trousers and shirt or skirt and blouse, etc. So now those children who took care of their clothes, have more than their peers. This stimulates to take care properly, exactly what we want to teach them! It has been a long time since we were able to give all of them something new.

As your contribution came shortly before Easter, we made the clothes Easter presents. During Easter the school closes and so our Children’s Home contacted relatives of all children, who then came to take them home. This way they celebrate Easter as part of the family rather than in the children’s home. The uncle or grandmother may be too poor to prepare them a feast, but family can give them a feeling of belonging no-one else can. And this year our children have their new clothes to make it even more festive.

The money you sent us, when exchanged, amounted to 1,707,600 Tanzanian Shillings. In order to buy all children clothes we needed TSH 3,100,000. Therefore we had to add TSH 1,392,400, which is some € 600. We had to squeeze our budget a little, but it was possible.

In brief, you gave us two presents. One was the set of clothes to the children. Secondly you took the awkward task from us adults to decide whom to give something now and whom later. Or giving them either trousers or a shirt. You brought big smiles to the children’s faces and made us adults enjoy these smiles. So we ALL thank you very much!!

On behalf of the whole team I herewith send you our warmest regards,

Walther de Nijs

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