Frequently Asked Questions

Is Make A Difference, Inc. a Registered Organization?

Make A Difference is a registered organization in the USA, Tanzania and India. We are recognized as a 501(c)3.

How Was Make A Difference Started?

MAD’s History

MAD was founded by Theresa Grant. Grant left a marketing job in Silicon Valley, California to make a difference in the world by investing in education. She started helping up to 2,000 children in Zambia, Africa by sending them to government schools, but later found that many of the children were not acquiring the knowledge, nor skills they needed to rise out of poverty. The conditions at the schools were insufficient for learning. Many teachers were underpaid and failed to show up for class. Additionally, the children lacked the resources they needed to get the quality education which they deserved.

While helping in Zambia, Grant was asked by local Tanzanians to come to Tanzania to support the formation of an orphanage. After much research, Grant discovered that the conditions at the government schools were very similar to that of Zambia. Thus, she committed to send the children to locally run private English medium schools. The difference in quality of education was clear. After only one year of sending the children to private schools, Grant was able to see the difference being made in the children’s lives.

Grant founded her organization, (MAD), as a local charity to help raise funds to send the children to high quality schools. Since it’s inception in 2008, MAD has developed a unique model of care, which is enabling vulnerable children in developing nations get the chance to not only rise out of poverty, but also become leaders within their nations. Upending the status quo of accepting a large number of children but only providing the basic necessities, MAD seeks to concentrate resources on a smaller number of children with quality care.

Read More Here: MAD_History 2

What Does Make A Difference Do?

Our Dream
Our dream is to help children rise out of poverty and become leaders within their countries.

MAD’s Mission Statement
MAD’s mission is to support quality educational opportunities for vulnerable children and youth in developing countries.

Why We Help Tanzania
Tanzania’s economy ranks among the world’s bottom 10 percent. Children between 0 and 14 years old make up over 40 percent of Tanzania’s citizenship. High risk of disease coupled with poverty results in low life expectancy and high infant mortality, 66.93 deaths/1000 live births. Only 35% of Tanzanian children attend school through the equivalent of 8th grade. Remarkably, around 75% of the children who complete the government’s primary school program cannot continue their education due to a language barrier. Primary schools are taught in the national language of Swahili but all secondary school entrance exams are in English. MAD realizes that the future of Tanzania depends upon the education of its children. MAD enables children to attend schools with English instruction and academic standards, so students pass their exams, continue to secondary school, and later have higher level training and university opportunities.

Read about our programs in Tanzania

Why We Help India
India is now the world’s tenth most productive industrialized country and the second largest exporter of computer software. Despite this, it is home to nearly one-third of the world’s poorest people. About 350 million citizens of India live below the poverty line. Urban India seems to be getting richer, but over 70% of India’s population lives in rural villages – and the gap between urban and rural quality of life is widening. Many people in the villages remain illiterate and impoverished. MAD is working to ensure that village children gain literacy and education.

Read about our programs in India

Why We Are Different
We send the children we help to the BEST schools in their regions.
We make certain the children have access to private tutoring, allowing students improved understanding of their studies.
We consistently offer nutritional meals that include protein, calcium, vegetables, fruits and daily vitamins.
We provide sports therapy programs that incorporate.
We have weekly individualized counseling sessions for the children, so they may heal from their pasts.

What We Believe
We believe that by investing in children through education we can break the cycle of poverty and sickness that is present in the world today, creating a better tomorrow.
We believe in providing counseling to both the children we help as well as their living relatives in the villages they come from.
We believe in rewarding children for honesty, hard work and improvement.
We believe in operating an organization that is fiscally responsible and continually shows where donated money is spent.

How is Make A Difference Funded?

How We’re Funded
MAD is primarily funded through the support of private donations. We also raise funds through small fund raisers, grants, and foundations. 100% of every dollar you donate to MAD specifying “sponsorship” goes to the children. The administrative costs for MAD are only 10%. Our staff receives local salaries not international. Our focus is on children, not administration; these costs are minimal. We are incredibly thankful for the support that has enabled us to do the work that has touched the children we help.

How You Can Get Involved
Our wish is to obtain five educational sponsors per child so that we can send the children all the way through college. We want the children to get the best education possible so that they may get careers and later help out the communities they’ve come from.

To sponsor one of our children the cost ranges from $400 to $2,000 USD.
The cost is $400 USD a year to be a partial sponsor and $2,000 USD a year to be a full sponsor.

In India we are working on expanding the school that we support in Mysore. We have a goal of raising $30,000 USD so that more children get the chance to study.

Who Makes Up the Make A Difference Team?

Meet the dedicated, talented, and globally dispersed team members of Make A Difference.

Who Do I Contact if I Have Questions about My Donation and a Tax Write-Off?

Email our bookkeeper, Renee

What Do I Need to Know Before I Go Help MAD in Tanzania, Africa?

Must Read! Important Information

Download our MAD Tanzania Guidebook. This book will answer practically every question you could possibly have regarding our program in Tanzania.

Mandatory Insurance
To ensure that your time with MAD is enjoyable and free from worries, we have made travel insurance compulsory for all programs and events. The most comprehensive and best insurance available, considering our participants’ nationality, country of residence and medical condition, is included in our prices and the insurance sign-up procedure is part of the program and event registration. The insurance, provided by Danish-British ihi Bupa Insurance Limited, covers medical and non-medical events as well as trip cancellation and evacuation. For details, please see: Travel Insurance

Apply for your Tanzania Visa.

Review the CDC’s list of required and recommended Immunizations.

Download our MAD Packing List.

Follow our MAD Volunteer Countdown Checklist.

Read on Wikipedia about Moshi, Tanzania, the town where you will be staying.

Read our Child Protection Policy.

Read our Terms and Conditions.

How Many Students Does MAD Help?

MAD fully supports 26 children by sending them to local private schools so they can receive a high quality education, food, and accommodation. MAD also provides them with uniforms, clothing and toiletries.

MAD supports the children’s schools’ infrastructure by making sure they have technology centers, libraries, classrooms and playgrounds through an education development fund. The buildings we’ve helped build and equip benefit up to 50,000 people in the Kilimanjaro community of Tanzania.

What Does Orphaned Mean?

The children have lost either their mother or father or both parents.

I Can No Longer Go On My Program. Does MAD Issue Refunds?

Due to our small administrative staff and IRS restrictions, MAD doesn’t issue refunds of any kind for events nor any donations. However, if you tell us 30 days prior to your event for $150 fee we’re happy to move your program date later (as long as it’s within 1 year of when you originally signed up).

How Does MAD Find the Children They Help?

MAD used to go off of recommendations from council members and chiefs from the children’s villages. Now, MAD has an application process and review of the applications. Schools normally refer students to us and the children apply to be part of our program.

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