Organization Name: Kilimanjaro Children's Fund
Former Names: Fund for the Kilimanjaro Orphanage
Employer Identification Number (EIN): 27-1426013
Address: PO Box 1126 - Haines, Alaska 99827, USA
Tax Exemption Code: 501(c)(3)
Mission and Purpose
The primary purpose of the Kilimanjaro Children's Fund is to provide financial support and assistance to the children in the Kilimanjaro region who are at risk because they are orphans, homeless, sick or living in extreme poverty. This activity will involve grant assistance for projects designed to deal with specific issues and sites to include orphanages, homeless aide agencies, school placement and assistance work, aide to needy schools and preschools, feeding projects, medical care needs and other worthy areas dealing with children. Grants will be awarded on an individual basis after insuring that financial accountability and oversight are in place. Our secondary goal is to educate the American public to the cultural, social, educational, medical and economic needs of the children of the Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania.
Letter from Dr. Higgins
I moved to Moshi, Tanzania in 2009 to be closer to the children of the Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre. Prior to this move I had been traveling back and forth to Moshi doing screening clinics in a preschool begun by the founder of the orphanage. My first contact with that preschool came in 2006 when I joined a group of high school kids and their chaperones to climb Kilimanjaro. Our lead guide was the founder of the preschool and the orphanage. On one of these visits I joined the founder to view his ''new'' orphanage (Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre - KOC) that he had established six months prior. Walking onto the grounds I was immediately aware that the needs were great as there was no electricity, no water, no designated cooking area and no toilet facility other than an open pit used by everyone. I was enchanted by the 30 children who had been living there the past months. They were engaging, happy and enthusiastic about there little oasis which to them represented a huge upward step from their past living arrangements. I went home to Alaska, placed my possessions into storage and moved to Moshi that spring. Over the coming years I was intimately involved in improving and growing the orphanage at this site and had plans to create a more permanent site on land that had been purchased through fund raising efforts. This was not to be.
By 2015 it had become apparent that the founder had other goals in mind than the efforts to create for the children at the orphanage the best lives they could have. This led to a painful separation and the eventual closure of the site by the government. However all was not lost. Recognizing the problems coming, in 2015 we began to make connections with as many existing family relatives of the children who were living at the orphanage. With their assistance we were able to help them assume the care for the majority of the children from the orphanage when it was closed. We have since then worked to place all of these children into schools and training programs both in Tanzania and Kenya. That work has become our primary mission.
Along the journey of caring for the children of KOC we also met other children in need. Most of these are from the poor area around the old orphanage site. Including these children whom we have wrapped into our ''family'' we presently care for 67 children. We accomplish this with the help of Lucy Alex who lives full time in Moshi and who keeps track of all of the children and their needs. Shannon now travels back and forth to Africa about four times a year to assist in the work of evaluating the schools and the home care of each child. I left Tanzania in 2016 after becoming ill and was subsequently diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. Since heat activates my medical problem, my time living in Africa essentially has come to an end so it has been wonderful to have this work continued by Lucy and Shannon. Luckily I have gotten well enough to return to work and that is how we finance the majority of the work we continue to do.
Kilimanjaro Children's Fund
P.O. Box 1126
Haines, Alaska 99827
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