Board Member and Program Alumni
2017-30-05 – Ashlee “I spent a week with MAD in Tanzania last and it was an incredible journey that I won’t soon forget. The amount of time spent working and playing with the youth MAD helps, in their home and school environments, was unmatched. I highly recommend volunteering to anyone looking for a life-changing experience in the heart of Africa. MAD takes care of your accommodations end-to-end from airport pickup to whatever adventure you choose next (safari, Kilimanjaro Club etc).”
Donor and Volunteer, Elizabeth
“2015-10-08″,”singee01″,”5″,”My family and I were volunteers with MAD in 2010. We have continued to stay involved with this organization because of the sustained impact it has on children, and because of the long term vision it provides. Not only does MAD support the education of disadvantaged children who have suffered the death of one or more parent, as a path out of poverty, but it also teaches them to give back to the community of which they are a part. The organization teaches children true leadership values, fosters a balanced diet in an area of the world where poor nutrition and malnutrition are quite prevalent, and helps provide for the medical needs of the children it supports. The children that MAD sponsors go on to rigorous secondary schools, and even apply to competitive colleges in Tanzania and the U.S. Because this organization has its roots set down locally, in Moshi, it is able to have a large impact on the community it serves in a truly sustainable manner.”
Donor, Volunteer and Staff, Nancy
“2015-09-17″,”Nancy159″,”5″,”Early last year I volunteered with Make A Difference (MAD), a small grassroots organization that is passionate about educating orphans and vulnerable children in Tanzania. I was so inspired by this organization that I took a sabbatical from my business and am volunteering for a year. Now eight months into this assignment I am more impressed than ever. Not only does MAD educate children, they do significant investments in the children’s school. This not only supports all current students, but future students and the community.
The children are beautiful, smart, and grateful for the opportunity they’ve been given. I work closely with Theresa, the founder and Executive Director. She works hard, is creative in fundraising, spends money carefully, and has a vision for growth that will help MAD educate even more children. ”
“2015-09-17″,”Janeth E.”,”5″,”Administrative Assistant (Current Employee)
‘ Providing quality education is the first and foremost goal for Make A Difference (MAD). Children are sent to private schools where quality education is provided. MAD is also dedicated to providing balanced diets, medical care and sports therapy to the children it supports. Additionally, MAD supports schools by building libraries and technology centers for the schools it sends its kids. MAD must hit high goals and by this way, its contribution to end poverty in Tanzania is great.’ ”
Donor and Volunteer, Winnie
“2015-08-18″,”wleung12″,”5″,”I had the great opportunity to volunteer with MAD in May. It was such a great experience meeting the MAD kids, visiting one of their villages, and helping at the Royal School. I could see how grateful the MAD kids were for the opportunities they’ve received through this org. They are so smart and have such a great attitude despite their difficult pasts. MAD is truly making a difference in their lives!”
“2015-08-18″,”starburst”,”5″,”Make A Difference’s attention to each and every orphaned child’s education and overall well-being is phenomenal. They truly focus making them productive members of society with education and experiences they otherwise would never have without this organization. They are really Making a Difference in the world! I have been volunteering for many years of my life and I can truly say I am blessed to have found this organization and to be a part of it.”
Donor and Volunteer, Kel
“2015-08-17″,”KMc.”,”5″,”3 years ago, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Make A Difference Now. The work that the Founder, Theresa Grant is doing to help improve the lives of these children with a focus on education is inspirational. The children through education, have been empowered to become whatever it is that they want to be, and have the capability to be lifted out of poverty. Make A Difference is making a positive local impact on the community of Moshi, and Tanzania as a whole. Responsible, Transformative, Inspiring, and Sustainable. Make A Difference Now will always hold a special place in my heart. So much so, I have visited there on 2 occasions . And continue to support their efforts from afar. ”
Donor and Volunteer (Climbed Patagonia for the Kids), Pam
“2015-08-08″,”thacpj”,”5″,”Our involvement with Make a Difference happened purely by chance. Please be patient as I tell our story … My husband and I traveled to Tanzania in August of 2013 to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and go on safari in order to cross a couple of items off our bucket list. We trained for months for our climb and digested every possible scrap of information we could find to help facilitate successfully reaching the summit. While I am pleased to report that we were successful in reaching Uhuru Peak and our safari was truly an amazing experience, what we didn’t anticipate or prepare for was the life changing experience we encountered a few miles outside of Moshi at the Kilimanjaro Kids Care Orphanage.
We stumbled upon the orphanage via the Pack for a Purpose website. While I was checking out the Bristol Cottages website, the hotel where we stayed before and after our climb up Kili, I clicked on the Pack for a Purpose link and began to investigate what that organization was all about. I learned that PfaP was affiliated with Bristol Cottages, and that the hotel supported the Kilimanjaro Kids Care Orphanage. We found the current list of needs at the orphanage and then decided that this would be a great mission project for our church to become involved in. I prepared a flyer, and for a couple of Sundays before we left for Africa I did an announcement in front of the congregation. Donations began to pour in. We not only filled up one huge suitcase, but two! We were so excited! We had 102 pounds of donations making the trip to Africa with us!!
Since we arrived at the Kilimanjaro Airport on a Saturday evening and didn’t actually start our trek up Kili until Monday morning, I inquired with Gloria Moshi, the owner of Kindoroko Tours (who we booked our trip through), if she could arrange for someone from Bristol Cottages to take us to the orphanage on Sunday so we could deliver our supplies in person. Gloria graciously volunteered to take us herself – she picked us up on Sunday afternoon and personally drove us out to the orphanage, stayed there with us for the afternoon, and returned us to Bristol Cottages! When our car pulled up at the orphanage, we were immediately greeted by the smiling faces of children spilling out the front door. We were hugged over and over and over again. And not just any hugs. These were the kind of hugs where the kids just kind of melted into your embrace. Yes, we were already fighting back tears and we hadn’t even got through the front door!
All the kids gathered in one of the rooms where the seats were arranged in a circle around the edge of the room. Each beautiful child stood up and introduced themselves in English — stating their name, how old they were and what they wanted to do when they grew up. Mark and I then introduced ourselves, and we were able to show the kids where we were from (Indianapolis, Indiana) on a map of the world that was painted on one of the walls.
We then began passing out the supplies we brought with us to the kids. We had soccer balls, tennis balls, backpacks, lots of shoes in all different sizes for both boys and girls, medicines, vitamins, personal care items, bath towels, solar calculators, pencils, pens, rulers, etc. Each child was so happy to receive something new, and lots of smiles and hugs were exchanged!
After everything was passed out, the kids wanted to know if we would play football – soccer to us in the U.S. We had to break in those new soccer balls, you know! We spent the next couple of hours playing with the kids in the yard in back of the orphanage. We kicked the soccer ball around for a little bit, but quickly figured out that we were out of our league! Those kids can definitely play soccer! Being from Indiana where basketball reigns supreme, Mark spotted the basketball goal and felt more adept with that sport. While Mark was shooting baskets with a few boys, a young boy named Peter wanted me to throw a soccer ball back and forth with him. Peter kept wanting to throw the ball faster and faster, and then we got two balls going back and forth at the same time. I think he likes to play goalie.
Towards the end of our visit, we all gathered together in a circle in the backyard and the kids sang some songs for us. One song involved lots of repetitive clapping and dance moves. We tried our best, but I think the kids were pretty amused at the Americans with no rhythm! LOL! After the songs, one amazing young man stepped forward and spoke on behalf of all the kids. He spoke in English — very articulate for his age — and thanked us for the supplies we brought and for spending time with them. Once again, we found ourselves fighting back tears as said goodbye and drove away.
A little over two weeks later we were back home in Indiana and couldn’t stop thinking of those beautiful children. So, I got on my computer and began to investigate the orphanage further. That is when I discovered the phenomenal work that Make a Difference Now is doing. I found the MAD website and read about Theresa Grant and the organization’s history. I shared it all with my husband, and what we read and learned further solidified our desire to help.
Through the amazing work of MAD, the children at the Kilimanjaro Kids Care Orphanage all have amazing spirit and hope. Their smiles are contagious. They are all good students and are working hard to make a difference not only in their own lives, but in the lives of other Tanzanians.
The local community surrounding the orphanage is benefiting from the ongoing support and assistance provided by MAD as well. In addition to supporting and educating the children at the orphanage, a library/technology center, cultural center, science lab, outdoor educational trips for the children, libraries at the schools that the children attend, and a sports program are just a few of MAD’s projects. All this is possible because of MAD and its philosophy of changing lives through education. The world needs more organizations like MAD. People have an inherent desire to help, and MAD offers many opportunities to do just that.
Many blessings to all who work to Make a Difference!
“2015-07-22″,”Vivek N.”,”5″,”I’ve been involved with MAD since 2012. What initially started out as a mere orphanage has now become a transformational organization in the Moshi area. In 2012 I was won over the many opportunities MAD’s progam provided to interact with the children it supported. in 2014, I was impressed with the impact it has achieved in the Moshi area overall via the Public Library program and the technology center. MAD is truly inspirational!
Thank you for everything that you do!
“2015-07-01″,”jbs342″,”5″,”Writing this as a past volunteer and current donor. Couldn’t be happier with the work MAD is doing. Having worked with a few other orphan and/or education support programs, I can say this is light years ahead. I was happy to donate funds because with MAD, I know exactly where the funds are going. 5-star, for sure.”
Donor (Climbed Machu Picchu and Patagonia for the Kids), Volunteer and Board Member, Alexa
“2015-07-01″,”Alexa E.”,”5″,”I’ve had the great opportunity and honor to work with Make a Difference NOW since 2013, and the experience has truly been life-changing. Initially, I traveled to Tanzania in 2013 to meet the 22 children that MAD supports through education, shelter, and a family environment. That experience was so impactful, as I was able to see how transformational the work MAD does is to the lives of these deserving kids. The kids are intelligent, educated, kind, warm, and, most striking, HAPPY, despite having experienced so much loss and hardship.
Seeing first-hand the impact MAD is able to make has shaped me into a committed and grateful volunteer. Since my first visit, I’ve participated in the Machu Picchu 2014 fundraising climb, and am currently the group leader for the upcoming Patagonia 2016 fundraising climb. Through my company, Salesforce, I’ve worked to spread the word about this great organization, participating in information sessions and being interviewed for their corporate responsibility video. We’ve organized company-wide Bake Sales and bartending events to fundraise for MAD, donated iPads to the school and orphanage MAD supports, and helped spread the word about upcoming volunteer opportunities.
The reason for my commitment and passion has everything to do with the impact I see MAD make, the value the organization brings to the lives of these 22 children, and ultimately, to the world! As an organization, MAD has its heart in the right place, and the dedication and action behind it to make things happen and TRULY make a difference. I have no doubt that this organization has single-handedly TRANSFORMED the lives of these kids, as well as the many volunteers, employees, interns, board members, and donors lucky enough to be a part of it. I am endlessly inspired by the work MAD does, and honored to be able to help in any way. ”
Director of School Receiving Assistance from MAD in Tanzania, Sophia
“2014-09-24″,”sophiandjike”,”5″,”As an administrator of one of the schools that MAD is working with, I have to say that MAD has really changed the lives of not only the children that they sponsor at our school, but also of the community around them. For these children, being an orphan equates a lifetime sentence in torture. Orphans have no way of accessing a good education, health services and even decent living conditions. More often than not, they end up as someone’s housegirl/boy, early marriages for girls or as street urchins.
MAD has changed that for the lucky few that they can afford to host. I always wish that they could help more, that they could touch more lives.
We are grateful to MAD for their priceless help and contributions in building of the school computer center, school library and are now working on the playing grounds. All these amenities not only serve the school, but also the community around it.
So thank you Theresa, MAD and MAD volunteers. May God bless you so much. ”
Intern and Staff in Tanzania, Grace
“2014-09-22″,”Grace N.”,”5″,”I am Grace,Make A Difference helped me accomplish my career through their internship program. It has been a while since I graduated and started working with MAD.I appreciate and value our Make A Difference team.
I am experiencing lots of positive things from MAD.
Staff in Tanzania, Frank
“2014-09-21″,”Frank N.”,”5″,”Four years back I joined Make a Difference (MAD) not knowing that was the best decision I had ever done as a teenager, not only has MAD transformed my life in a tremendous way, it has also made me a better person, it’s hard to IMAGINE how my life would have been if I was not part of this amazing organization.
Student Receiving Help from MAD in Tanzania, Upendo
“2014-09-20″,”Upendo”,”5″,”My name is Upendo and I am a student that is supported by MAD.I like MAD because they help me with my education, clothing, food and anything else I need. I lost my parents and my grandparents are the only ones to take care of me. They are old and it’s too hard for them. They live in a small room and make very little money. They can barely take care of themselves.
I love the volunteers who come to help us. They are fun and also support us in many ways.
MAD also helps all of our schools we go to here in Tanzania. They help the schools with computers, books and sports. They really make a difference in many ways and believe in us!
I hope to be an eye doctor one day and with the help of MAD, I think I will be!”
Student Receiving Help from MAD in Tanzania, Maria
“2014-09-20″,”MariaErnest”,”5″,”Make A Difference (MAD) is an organization which pays for my school fees so I may attend one of the best girls’ schools in Tanzania. The school that I attend is called, Anwarite. I have had the opportunity to meet many people from around the world through MAD, improve my English, learn about technology, read a variety of books and go on educational trips within my country. I hope one day I can become a doctor who helps people recover from accidents. I want to help fix their bones. ”
“2014-09-10″,”revogatustesha”,”5″,”Make a Difference Organization is so great! It is the heart of all that I am right now and who I will be in the future. MAD has made it possible for me to go to school and receive the best education that is available in Tanzania. I have already graduated from best primary and secondary schools and I am now receiving advance education at the International School Moshi – a VERY special opportunity that I would NEVER dream of without MAD. This organization has lit up my future, shown me my potential and installed in me the desire to help others and give back to the society – I owe a lot to this organization. I only wrote about myself here, it should be noted that there is so many other children that MAD helps get proper education, food and shelter, in Tanzania and India. I LOVE MAD so much!”
CSR Program in Tanzania, Perrisa
“2014-09-02″,”Perrisa J.”,”5″,”Make a Difference NOW is a great organization that not only touches the lives of those that it helps provide for (the children in the orphanage), but those that are fortunate enough to volunteer with this great organization as well.
I cannot say enough about how great this program is and how much I wish I could go back and volunteer again. Theresa, the founder, is an amazing person that has created a well run organization. I loved not only the work we did on the technology center, but the one on one time that we got to spend with the children. They are really amazing kids with so much love and enthusiasm for life, you cannot help but fall in love with each of their awesome personalities.
I am thankful to have come across this organization and look forward to finding more ways to help stay in involved over the coming years. ”
Donor and Volunteer, Olga
“2014-08-30″,”Sociologist”,”5″,”I have traveled around the world and visiting the orphanage in Tanzania was by far my best travel experience ever. Make A Difference and Theresa are the real thing! The organization supports 22 children with nutrition, excellent education, life skills and hope for the future. Furthermore, the organization focuses on sustainable when making connecting with the local community. I volunteered there for a week and we now have a fundraising for the orphanage every year in Phoenix as well as sponsoring one of the children.”
Owner of Travel Company for our Fundraising Hikes
“2014-08-29″,”Robin56″,”5″,”What I like best about Make A Difference is that they really do what they promise. The program is also unique in that it has helped one group of kids throughout their school years so that no one gets lost along the way. MAD has kept their program manageable to ensure all the kids make it through school.”
Intern in Tanzania and Sponsor, Courtney
“2014-06-02″,”Courtney28″,”4″,”I first heard of MAD in August 2012 when I volunteered for a week with my university. Before I left, I was trying to change my flight to Cape Town to stay with MAD for that week instead! Needless to say, I had instantly fallen in love with the organization. I finished up my undergraduate & stayed home for the holidays, before returning to Tanzania for 3 months. My three months here is almost up and I couldn’t have imagined a better experience. I genuinely felt like I was contributing to the organization. Even after getting an inside look at the organization, I still believe that it is run by incredible, talented individuals, and that everyone who comes in contact with MAD is deeply touched by the organization. ”
“2014-05-29″,”Nancy159″,”5″,”Make A Difference has a unique and powerful focus on educating orphans as they provide support to develop them into leaders. I appreciate that they not only provide quality education but also care for the children holistically. This was apparent as I visited Tanzania earlier this year. They not only educate but provide housing, food, clothing, health care, enriching experiences outside of school, and the love and support that have resulted in children who are smart, polite, healthy, happy, and an absolute joy to be with. A focus on finding ways to support the larger community also inspired me. It may be by the children volunteering to help others, planting trees at one of the primary schools, or helping to build a community library that both the children and others can benefit from. So impressed with this non-profit I’m volunteering again next year.”
Board Advisor and Donor, Marcia
“2014-05-29″,”marcialiebich2″,”5″,”Every interaction I have had with Theresa Grant and Make a Difference has been very positive. We met several of the older children in March and we are so impressed with the quality of their education and their many attributes. They are ambitious, loving, polite, conscientious and personable. I believe Theresa is caring for and educating some of tomorrow’s leaders in Tanzania. ”
Board Advisor and Donor, Peter
“2013-09-17″,”vangjensen”,”5″,”Make a Difference is unique in helping Tanzanian orphans in that the organization puts emphasis on education. By educating the children at the best local schools, Make a Difference prepares the students for further education at the best learning institutions in the country, thus preparing them for leadership positions in the country and beyond.”
“2013-09-17″,”Jessica128″,”5″,”Make a Difference (MAD) is filled with loving, amazing volunteers and people who are servants at heart. This organization has made an incredible difference in so many lives, not only in the lives of the children and families that are touched, but in the lives of the volunteers and donors as well. When I see pictures of the children with smiles on their faces, I wish I could be there to embrace them. It is so beautiful to see the work and love, generosity, experience, willingness, giving, sharing and joy expressed throughout the organization. Due to health reasons, I am not able to volunteer, but if I could, I would. Make a Difference continues to do great work in Africa and India, and are appreciated by so many people, including me, around the world. So thankful for this organization, their leader is amazing and it ROCKS!”
“2013-09-15″,”Indigo C.”,”5″,”My heart is so filled with joy, whenever I interact with Make a Difference! Follow through is impeccable, and the work is THE WORK. I know my donations get used to make good things happen, and i can easily see the results. I am always kept in communication. One of my ALL TIME favorite orgs. ”
Volunteer and Donor, Mary
“2013-09-14″,”maryss”,”5″,”I had an amazing time as a volunteer with MAD. The professionalism of the way the volunteer experience had been planned and coordinated was superb, the children being supported through the charity are a superb example of the results that the love and education have produced.
The MAD team are a super representation of the founder, Theresa, and her passion for the education of the children and the support they are receiving shines through every member of her carefully selected team.
I enjoyed every minute and found the experience life changing. ”
Volunteer and Donor, Helen
“2013-09-14″,”hcharles”,”5″,”I found MAD quite by accident when I accompanied a friend on a volunteer mission to Tanzania in 2010. I met Theresa, the founder, spent time with the children at the orphanage and visited with the teachers at their school. I cannot say enough good things about this organization. The caring and loving atmosphere enables the children to thrive. The value of a good education is instilled in them and they are eager to learn. I have since then been sponsoring a child and supporting MAD through donations. I am getting ready for my next trip to Tanzania in a few weeks and am looking forward to do some more work with all the children.”
“2013-09-14″,”shawnacooper”,”4″,”The folks who run MAD are Passionate and dedicated. Their love for these kids shine through. We love supporting such a great team. ”
“2013-09-13″,”nicflow”,”5″,”I spent a few days with the kids at Kilimanjaro Kids Care and MAD for the first time in 2011. In that time I was able to get to know each of the children (who weren’t away at school at the time) by playing soccer, reading, and even visiting with two of the families in their local villages.
Along with getting to do a fundraising climb of Kilimanjaro, I also participated in the inaugural Machu Picchu climb. Theresa’s continued commitment to getting people involved in the fundraising for and interaction with the organization is commendable and I will continue to to support whenever I am able.
The children are wonderful and they will immediately capture your heart and Theresa is a strong and capable leader. The sustainable approach is one that should be mimicked and I can’t wait to see the growth and development as the years go by. I love MAD!”
Donor and Volunteer, Vickie
“2013-09-13″,”Vicki35″,”5″,”I first heard of Make a Difference when the mother of the young lady who started it came to our church and gave a talk about how she was called to begin this organization, and how it came to be. I have known this young lady all of her life, and have always known her to be a caring and loving individual, but never thought that she would go in this direction in her life. When she revealed her story to us, and showed us the pictures of all the children and families that she has helped, it was amazing! She is an inspiration to all who know her. We’re all so proud of everything she has been doing, here in her home town. Her cause is so worthy, and she just keeps expanding, and finding more ways to help the families in Africa and India to educate and establish a successful future for themselves, and especially their children. ”
Intern and Donor, Kyle
“2013-09-13″,”madebykyle”,”5″,”MAD is a wonderful organization with a great mission. They really put a lot of focus on the development of the children and their well being, and when you visit you can definitely tell that the kids are the first priority above anything else. They have a wonderful local staff, and when you are there they really go above and beyond to make you feel at home and like you are really a part of something great. Theresa is a wonderful woman with a great vision and she has created one of the best NGOs I have had the pleasure of working with from the ground up. In 2012 they also had one of the best long term volunteers on staff that worked amazingly well with the volunteers, and made for a memorable experience for everyone who was involved. I would recommend Make a Difference to anyone, and encourage people to get involved with the organization in any way that they can. ”
Intern and Sponsor, Courtney
“2013-09-13″,”Courtney28″,”5″,”I first discovered MAD in August 2012 on a trip through Western Washington University. In 4 short days those kids stole my heart. A year later I light up just talking about them. They are the happiest people I have ever met, and it is all because of MAD. These kids go to the best school in the area and are brilliant, dedicated students. MAD provides food and shelter for them, but the most important thing they give these kids is love. Everyone working there would do anything for them. I will be going back to Tanzania February 2014 to work at Make A Difference for 6 months and can’t wait to see everyone again! ”
Donor and Board Advisor, Pat
“2013-09-13″,”pat35055″,”5″,”My wife and I spent time in Tanzania with this great organization. The kids are wonderful and Theresa is an outstanding leader. She has a huge heart for both the children and the community. We cannot wait to go back and see the kids again!!”
“2013-09-12″,”Sociologist”,”5″,”This is the real thing!!! It is a a grassroots organization committed to educating children and improving on the society that they live in. I had the pleasure of volunteering at the orphanage in Tanzania. It was the most incredible experience to see someone so dedicated to 22 children. This is about making a difference and doing it in a sustainable way. It is about improving the lives of not just the 22 children but their family members and villages!”
Donor and Volunteer, Lyne’
“2013-09-12″,”Lyne’ R.”,”5″,”I spent time with Theresa and her staff with the children at MAD in Tanzania in March of this year. Both my husband and I fell in love with the kids and have become child sponsors. The program is structured, loving and seeks the best for both the children and the community. Theresa is tireless in her efforts to help these kids and seeks to find individual school situations that maximizes the development of their talents. She has a unique understanding of the culture and works for the betterment of the community.”
Donor and Volunteer, Nina
“2013-09-12″,”nina.ps.reyes”,”5″,”Actions speak louder than words. And with Make A Difference, my actions with them speak more than any review could say. I have volunteered with MAD every year for the past 3 years. I fell in love with the NGO, Theresa (the founder), the kids, and their mission back in 2011 and from that moment on I knew I wanted them to be a daily part of life not just a distant memory
MAD moves you. It moves your soul and your heart. As a volunteer you better their organization and as an organization they better you. I have volunteered with MAD Tanzania, MAD India, and did the MAD Climb for the Kids. I have had two friends go and volunteer with them, and will continue to encourage everyone I encounter to do the same.
MAD is truly a great non profit. Thank you MAD!”
Donor and Volunteer, Leslie
“2012-12-01″,”Leslie Prevish”,”5″,”I’m in Tanzania now helping Theresa with marketing and strategy. She’s an amazing woman, and has done so much for the children here! It is wonderful to see the effects of her work first-hand, and to help raise funds for such a wonderful, and very fiscally responsible, organization!”
Board Advisor, Volunteer and Donor
“2012-11-29″,”vthiel”,”5″,”My trip to Tanzania to volunteer with Make a Difference was meant to be a one-time experience that has turned into four trips in total and a position on the Board of Directors. Executive Director and Founder, Theresa Grant, is the heart and soul of an organization that gives so much to children in both Africa and India. She inspires the kids, the staff and the volunteers each and every day. It’s impossible for the kids not to touch the hearts of everyone who volunteers with the program. They even inspired me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro this summer to raise funds for their education funds. This is a first-class organization! ”
“2012-11-28″,”darius_li”,”5″,”As someone who was fortunate enough to spend time volunteering with Theresa and the wonderful kids at MAD, I can truly say it was a life-altering experience that changed my perspective on Africa, orphans, and the magnitude of change a few, dedicated individuals can make. Our trip to Tanzania was the first time any of us had been in Africa or an orphanage and to be completely honest, we had no idea of what to expect. All we knew up to the point of our departure was what we had seen through images in the news, television, and movies…. or in other words, an unflattering image of a highly-unstable continent full of danger and desperation lurking on every corner. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth, and I give much gratitude and appreciation to Theresa and MAD for designing a comprehensive volunteer program that enabled us to truly see the country and the orphanage as it is. She ensured that our experience spanned beyond the orphanage walls to include the local environment, culture, and its people, leaving us with a holistic impression of the world the orphanage operates in, thereby better informing the work we were doing. Our experience far surpassed our expectations on every conceivable level and I highly, highly recommend MAD to anyone looking to make a difference. You will not be disappointed!”
Donor and Volunteer, Barbara
“2012-11-28″,”svbw”,”5″,”My name is Barbara Wilkinson. I have been a donor for MAD for two years as well as a volunteer. I volunteered in Tanzania in 2011 and 2012. My experience has been incredible with this organization, the wonderful children, the culture of the country, the warm welcome of Theresa and Emanuel (Theresa’s assistant) upon arrival and throughout my stay. With each visit I have stayed just a little over 2 weeks. Getting to know these children has been the most rewarding experience of my life. The children are grateful and appreciative for eveyrthing the organization/Theresa has given them…the opportunity to learn, to grow, to plan and look forward to a successful life. They each have a drive to give back to their community once they have finished school. Theresa, her team, donors, interns and volunteers have truly made a difference for so very many in Tanzania and India. I know that the money is funneled directly for education, clothing, food, medical and dental expenses. There is so much I could write about Theresa and the children of the orphanage in Tanzania. I encourage all to look at the MAD website, plan a trip to meet this fantastic group. I will never forget my experience there. I will continue to support this great organization and plan to make my 3rd trip in Sept. 2013. Theresa truly is a dedicated, loving, motivated and brave young lady. I admire her strength and ability to give so much of her life in helping others. ”
Travel Partner, Bebe
“2012-11-28″,”BHakala”,”5″,”Make A Difference works! With the support of donors, volunteers and staff they have improved the lives of the many people in the communities where they work. I highly recommend volunteering at one of their programs, which is a life changing experience; or donating to fund the work of their staff and volunteers. Go MAD! ”
Donor and Board Advisor, Marcia
“2012-11-28″,”marcialiebich”,”5″,”I met Theresa five years ago. Since then I have served in an advisory capacity and my husband and I have been donors. I am impressed with her dedication to the children she serves and her efforts to work with their extended families. The academic achievement of many of the children is excellent. We have not yet volunteered, but intend to visit her in Tanzania in 2014 with our family. ”
“2012-11-28″,”es3143″,”5″,”MAD is a wonderful non-profit in Tanzania that helps educate orphaned children through secondary school, as a means out of poverty. They also provide housing, medical care, nutrition programs, sports opportunities, and art therapy and emotional support for these children who have lost their parents. The children have consistently performed extremely well in school and routinely go on to excellent secondary boarding schools in Tanzania. This program nourishes both the soul and minds of these children and it’s leader, Theresa Grant, is wholly invested in their futures. The program receives much local acknowledgement and is on its way to being a self-sustaining program. It was an honor and privilege to volunteer in Tanzania with this non-profit. I can’t wait to see what type of men and women these children become.”
Owner of Travel Company that Partners with MAD
“2012-11-28″,”Robin56″,”5″,”We have clients who want to give back to the local community when they are traveling. We always have them volunteer with Make A Difference because they really do help people, and it is a great experience for the volunteer as well.”
Student Being Helped by MAD, Revo
“2012-11-28″,”Revogatus”,”5″,”My name is Revogatus Tesha. I am a form three student at Tengeru Boys Secondary School in Arusha Tanzania. The Make a Difference adopted me when I was in grade 5(2006). From then my life chaned. Its paiful to think of how my future would be a misery if MAke A Difference would have set an eye to me. It helped me, it helps me and I believe it will continue helping me. Its not only be but with many others whose fate would just be as mine without MAD. I am greatful for that uneven that cant be well experssed by these short words. I am in school now, as one of so many services the organisation is taking care of for me. I finding myself short of words for the orgaisation has already done a lot. Madam Theresa and others at the organisation use a lot of time to think of our future. I once heard her say, ‘we will sell everything we have for our kids education’. They pay us frequent visits to school. They normally ask for what do we need(timely). Make a difference means my future! Anyone who gives Make a Difference, changes the life of so many African Children and many more.”
Student Being Helped by MAD, Deo
“2012-11-28″,”____684″,”5″,”My name is Deogratias Riwa. I am a form three student at Tengeru Boys. I have been supported with Make a Difference since 2006. MAke a Difference is a hand that holds many of us who were about to fall under the pit of poverty. We could not pay for our basic needs, education nclusive. Now we are provided with education and other basic needs. MAke a Diffrence is really interesting for we are highly cared for. We can imagine our future,we are certain that with MAD we will make our dreams come true. We thank the Make A difference organization for all it has done to us. I would like to ask for the donours to support this non profit for the benefit of young poor African children who are living in vulnerable conditions.Thank you!”
“2012-11-27″,”Kinch”,”5″,”Volunteering and teaching with Make A Difference and The Royal School in Kilimanjaro was such a rewarding experience! Working with the happy smiles and hearts of the kids at MAD made each activity .from delivering sports programs to educational workshops and tutoring such a fun and enriching experience. MAD works hard to address the needs of the community and ensure that the children it cares for are provided with sustainable, meaningful and engaging opportunities. I am happy to know that such programs work hard to ensure peace and development for vulnerable children.”
Board Advisor, Volunteer and Donor, Jeannie
“2012-11-27″,”Jeannie3″,”5″,”The greatest thrill of my life was to be asked by Theresa and MAD to serve on their Board. I had first met Theresa in 2010 at a friend’s birthday party where instead of gifts we gave donations to MAD. Theresa came to make a presentation and she had pictures of all the children displayed at the party. The moment I saw them, I knew I would be going to Tanzania and indeed, I went with 3 friends that Fall. The children changed my life and ever since that trip, I’ve been spreading the word and getting others involved. It is so wonderful to see how the kids respond to the attention and love provided by volunteers and donors. And, absolutely everyone who participates in some way feels their lives have been changed for the better. It’s difficult to explain the magic that is MAD, but it really does live up to its name — the organization is not only changing the lives of the children and their families/villages, but all who have the privilege to work with them. -jeannie logozzo”
“2012-11-27″,”Veronika B.”,”4″,”Working with Theresa Grant and Make A Difference was truly amazing. During my nine months in Tanzania and Moshi I got the chance to get to know her and the wonderful children at Kilimanjaro Kids Care. The experience was incredible and this is really something I recommend to people out there who wants to volunteer. Theresa is an amazing person with a big heart and when I saw how much she has given these children and how much they love and appreciate her as their guardian, it was stunning. She have thought me a lot about life at my young age and I couldn’t be more thankful for having her as a friend. Thank you!”
Local Tanzanian, Andrew
“2012-11-27″,”kaguga”,”5″,”This is my second year since i heard about MAD. Actually before i learned about this non profit, I met two beneficiaries who are the students at the school i was once the Headmaster. this is Tengeru Boys. Its this MAD organization that has manged to send these well perfoming boys and many others in other schools. MAD has chosen to give to kids, quality education. Yoy know most of the charities just use to educate the boys and girls! MAD offers the opportunity for the girls and boys to have the access to the best schools on the land. Tengeru Boys Secondary school for example, is one of the best schools in Tanzania, its the first in the Region. Any student who secures a place for admission there, is assured of scoring the first grade i.e division I.I would like to advise other non profits to take a leaf out of MADS page!!!!!Thank you,Andrew Ngazu, Arusha, Tanzania.”
Volunteer and Donor, Kelly
“2012-11-27″,”Kelly66″,”5″,”M.A.D is a fantastic organization that goes out of their way to fully-serve the children they work with. They focus on the whole-child and work within the community to provide individualized care and services. Here in the states we might call something like this an I.E.P – and individualized education plan….this is what this organization provides…but it goes beyond education. In addition, they are willing to think out of the box and come up with creative approaches for support. I had an idea for Christmas gifts this year. Theresa worked with me via email to make my Christmas Gift Project a reality. Last year I did this project on a much smaller scale and it was a HUGE success. I’m excited to take this project to a higher level this year and can’t wait to see the response. I couldn’t have done this with any other organization. Theresa’s personal knowledge and expertise about the region and children have been invaluable with my project.”
Volunteer, Charity Climber up Kilimanjaro, Jess
“2012-11-27″,”jessn”,”5″,”Volunteering with MAD was one of the most incredible experiences I have had in my young adult life. I participated in the Kilimanjaro fundraiser climb and I cannot recommend it enough. The joy that these children brought me during my short time in Tanzania will stay with me for a lifetime. Everyone was so welcoming and embraced us from the moment we arrived. As a volunteer you are encouraged to bring your own special touch to the orphanage – whether it’s teaching the kids how to swim or introducing them to a basketball. There is a huge emphasis on education, and much time is spent working with the children one-on-one. One of the most exciting things for me is being given the opportunity to now watch the children grow and learn. Theresa is so passionate about this organization and it shows. Many volunteers are repeat visitors – I hope to be one someday, too! Theresa and her local staff also run a tight ship when it comes to the volunteer logistics, which was so important to me while being far away from home.”
Volunteer and Sponsor, Bridget
“2012-11-27″,”Bridget6″,”5″,”I spent spend a week with the kids in Tanzania volunteering with Make A Difference. The program was established to develop, promote and support orphanages and schools in Africa and India. They have helped disadvantaged children rise above poverty and given them the tools they needed to establish and reach their education goals. With their focus on empowering orphaned children to focus on their education and health, we knew this was where we wanted to volunteer. We had an incredible week with the kids reading to them, making jewelry and painting their school cafeteria. The kids all have an intensive drive to succeed and great plans for helping their community once they are finished with University. They time I spent with MAD and the kids was truly life changing and one I will never forget! ”
Volunteer and Sponsor, Nina
“2012-11-27″,”nina.ps.reyes”,”5″,”Volunteering with Make a Difference Now is like joining a family. From the moment I stepped off the plane in Tanzania and was greeted by Emmanuel to meeting Theresa to the kids, I felt like this is where I belonged. From the food, the Kswahili lessons, the pen pal letters, my host family, to the laughs of all the kids and the songs, everyday I think of being a part of MAD and it makes my day better. I have volunteered with MAD at both Tanzania and in India. I loved both and am hoping to return to Tanzania to do the Climb for the Kids. Make a Difference NOW is truly changing lives- not just the kids they are setup to help, but they are changing the lives of every volunteer who joins them. I wish I could make MAD a part of my life everyday.”
Donor and Charity Climber up Kilimanjaro, Jana
“2012-10-18″,”Jana4″,”5″,”Volunteering for Make a Difference was one of the most inspiring experiences I have had. When reflecting back on my time at Kilimanjaro Kids Care I can’t help but smile and feel extreme happiness for the opportunity that I had hanging out with them. Theresa Grant has created an environment of safety, full bellies emphasizing on nutritious foods, and lots of play time. The biggest emphasis however is on education. Theresa believes that even though these children have had horrific pasts, they can and will become productive members of society in the future. When writing back and forth with these children they always write about their very big dreams that can become realities because of the emphasis on education they are receiving. I will continue to support this group because I can clearly see that the money I am sending really will Make A Difference. ”
Tanzanian Consultant for MAD, Eric
“2012-10-13″,”swai”,”5″,”As a Tanzanian what I am proud of Make A Difference (MAD) in Tanzania is love and commitments. Theresa Grant is really a perfect coordinator and knows how to work with every body under any condition. The funds and material that are targeted to kids are surely taken to the proper place. If you ask me I will say she is the best women and coordinator that I have currently see in Tanzania.”
“2012-10-12″,”Indigo C.”,”5″,”One of my all time favorite organizations, MAD is stellar not only in the work they do, but in the management and business skills of staff. I am very particular where I put donations of time, money or goods. I will always support the wonderful work of this organization and they hold a very special place in my heart. ”
“2012-10-12″,”Karen98″,”5″,”Theresa is passionate about her work through Make A Difference. She is always innovating and improving the lives of kids in Kilimanjaro. I’m so impressed by her spirit and love for others! We are regular donors and I appreciate knowing that the money is funneled directly into making a difference in the lives of so many.”