Posted by Timothy FitzGerald on Feb 11, 2019
In the Swahili (Tanzania) dialect, Tumaini means "hope".
Lauren Fulton, being thanked for speaking to us today by Past President Dave Ferris, introduced that she grew up in Simcoe and now lives in Port Ryerse. She teaches swimming lessons and life saving at the Simcoe Recreation Centre. We know that life's path has many twists, turns and opportunities.
In 2013, at her high school, SCS,  Lauren met another local resident - Cherie Szucs, founder and director of the Tumaini Children’s Foundation (located in Tanzania).
In 2015, Lauren took a leap of faith, boarded a plane for Amsterdam - with Tanzania as the final destination. 
So what does the Tumaini Children’s Foundation do"? Simple answer - "its an orphanage and a school" - but, that is where simple answers end and the humanitarian need and miracles begin.
In Canada, many of us take for granted that children will attend primary and secondary grade schools; then phase into the work force or post secondary education. In contrast, Lauren told us that in Tanzania if one does not have schooling there is no opportunity to advance. If you don't have a family to pay for your schooling and uniforms, then you don't go to school. 
That's where the Tumaini orphanage miracle starts. Orphans now have a "family". They can go to school. Some arrive as toddlers; some perhaps aged 10-12. However, advancement is not guaranteed. An orphan, aged 12, who has never been to school starts in grade 1. If they fail they repeat grade 1. They must pass before advancing to grade 2.
The Foundation's work is supported by ongoing fundraising in Canada, Europe and the United States. Also hands on volunteers bring their skills. Lauren teaches swimming, so it was natural to bring children back to her hotel pool and teach them how to swim. Being skilled at teaching (but not at mathematics), she set up a fun map of the world so the children could move their players around the world and calculate how many were in each country (another volunteer was skilled at mathematics and lead the mathematical game - a win/win).
Last year Lauren returned to Tumaini. One of our Rotarians asked what happens when a child leaves the orphanage? She said Tumaini is a family. To those of you who have families, your adult children are still your "children" even when the're 45. Tumaini has supported some students through university. Some members of the Tumaini family have now "advanced" as safari guide, an anthropologist and a teacher - the miracle realized..