Daphne, Visitor from Bundaberg

How thrilled I was to visit Amani in July 2013. Most days I walked the dry, dusty path from the house to the farm. As I walked this path I passed through large dry thorn bushes, weeds and rocks, and I tried to visualize that most of this land was in this condition when the journey of Amani commenced. Thorn bushes, huge and prickly, were all removed by hand to begin the farm now developing and producing luscious table grapes, wine grapes, sunflower, maize. There was now also a sunflower oil press and two grain mills. (Maize growing with drip irrigation.) Visitors to Amani, myself included, remark on the ‘peace’ Amani portrays. The house, set against a rocky mountain, with landscaped gardens and a myriad of winding paths, all made by people working for famine relief food and funds when Amani commenced, is a delight. For me, this was a life changing experience. To be with people, happy people, who have so little of the things we so frequently consider essential, was an inspiration.

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Heather Macfarlan, volunteer in Tanzania

Everyone should do this!

Hearts for Africa (Amani) Foundation is one of those rare charities that really does see the donations getting through to the people in Tanzania.

My three weeks at Amani was an experience of a lifetime. I had volunteered to help install a new accounting system. During that time I saw first-hand how donations from Australia were used. I was also very impressed with the local people I worked with, who were keen to share and learn.   I remain Facebook friends with 2 people there

The most confronting part of my visit was to the local district hospital, where $100,000 is pledged over 5 years to the Eye Department. I met a young man dying of AIDS. He was first admitted because of eye problems. The hospital was caring for him through his final days because of that Eye Dept grant. The young man was so grateful to be there and to have someone from Australia visit him. I was very humbled.

I also visited the Prince of Peace School and The Children of Peace School (the latter is for homeless and orphaned children). Hearts for Africa has established both schools on land given by local Tanzanians, and CoP is also supported by the local people who care for the children, and volunteer work at the school. These people are very proud to work towards self-sustainability in every way they can.

Fr John Naumann, who established Amani, has remained steadfast in his vision to ‘Plant a tree that will bear fruit’. I saw the benefits of much that he has sown.

If you wish to support a true humanitarian organisation that changes lives, or would like a volunteer experience, I would recommend Hearts for Africa (Amani) Foundation.

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Volunteer Fundraiser Brisbane

Spending a couple of weeks at Amani was a growing experience for me adding depth to my understanding of what Fr John is achieving in Tanzania.

Amani is a place of goodness and sharing, open to all-comers.  I feel lucky being part of it.

There is a positive vibe and everyone always seems to be smiling.  Whilst I saw real pain on some faces I was struck by the gentle and genuine appreciation for any helping hand that we can offer.

I came home with joyful memories of breaking through the language barrier by acting out the message!  This ranged from running across the room like an emu or kangaroo for the entertainment of small children to collapsing flat out on the dirt floor as the patient in a first-aid demonstration.  On both occasions the children and/or adult observers wanted to join in.  What fun it was shaking off the demeanour of the 50 year old woman I normally portray in Australia.

If you are thinking about visiting or supporting Amani, don’t think twice.

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