​​ Our trips to Cannani Center always bring us joy!

 We bring school supplies to  the center. Here are the teachers accepting the gifts. 

The Village of  Engalaoni- Our Masai Fri​ends

                                       Volunteer with the Heart of a Lion  

                 Thank you Jim for your help in completing the Sisters' House

St. Rose of Lima Academy Pre School and Kindergarten
St. Rose Academy provides for the educational needs of more than 40 youngsters . It has 3 classrooms, teachers' offices and workrooms and bathrooms. The people of the village are very proud of their new school. We completed the third classroom in 2021 and registered the school with the government of Tanzania. We are a registered Kindergarten with the Tanzanian government.  In Tanzania the early childhood program includes nursery, preschool and Kindergarten; a 3 year long educational pre primary program. The school was in need of a kitchen and store room for food. By government law, each full time school must have a kitchen to provide lunch for the children. For most of the children who attend our school, these meals will be their only food of the day. We were blessed when Therese Bodenstein donated funds for our kitchen. We are so grateful for her generosity!

After we completed the third classroom and we were able to build a small convent with 5 bedrooms for The Little Sisters of St.  Francis to join us and run the school. Electricity was run to the school and the well project is now complete. The idea for the school was made possible by the extraordinary efforts of Eastport Elementary's Third Grade Students, parents and teachers (years 2014-2017) who came together to raise a village by building the first 2 classrooms. Sponsors like the Barker 
Family made sure the school was completed in 2021.

 Needs and expenses for St. Rose Academy:                           Irrigation tanks and funding for a sustainable 

Sponsorship of  more students *$16 per month                       garden project that will supply food for

​3 Teacher salaries and cook $350 per month                                our students, teachers and sisters. 

The convent of the Little Sisters of St. Francis is pictured above. Here are photos of The Little Sisters of St. Francis with Father Festus and team members of Seeds of Hope touring the school and sisters' house.Grateful thanks to the Linden Family and the Barker families for helping us complete this project.

Here is Nessi before.......     during ..........            and after surgery

Engalaoni is a remote rural Masai village where people are still living in 2023 without clean water or electricity. The village is  located high atop a hill outside the city of Arusha. The village is difficult to access with dirt roads nearly impassable during the rainy season except by donkey. The only clean water source is one water tap located 7 miles from the center of the village. The Masai people are farmers and herders and depend upon rainfall to sustain them. Often though, they are left destitute because of drought or the fact that, even during the rainy season, the rain just runs off the impermeable red clay. 

  PAST:     In 2013 the people  asked us to help them build a church and told us they wanted to put "God first". The church was officially opened on Sunday August 6th, 2017 beginning with a blessing of the church and mass. We are grateful that we began this church project because of the desperate need for water. After a failed attempt to dig a well because of the geographical location and lack of proper equipment, the church serves as a "cache system" to collect rainwater in the gutters and store them in the 6 sim tanks we erected alongside St. Joseph's Church. Although this is helpful to the people it is not a permanent solution. Currently the government is working on a solution to bring water from Mt. Meru to the village.

​​PRESENT:​ many children do not attend school because there is no school nearby and it is too dangerous for children to walk to school such a long distance unattended. Once the sun goes down there is no light to study by because there is NO electricity. Our plan is to start with a kindergarten and an early childhood education program in 2024.

Future: The villagers are faced with hardships the likes of which we have never had to endure. Our future goals include improving health care, especially for pregnant women. There is a high infant mortality rate in the village because there are no hospitals or clinics nearby. Another concern is that Our great hope is to help provide the most basic services for the poorest of the poor living in this remote village. We are accepting any and all donations for "The Engalaoni Village Hope Project" Please donate through our website or Venmo @seedsofhopetanzania.org  and indicate the funds are to be used for "The Engalioni Village Hope Project"
*Build a Women's Maternity Clinic and prenatal care Center $55,000.
*Electricity - cost being investigated via the government of Tanzania

Our friends in Tanzania warmly refer to Jim as "Tembo" or Lion.

Our volunteers hard at work bottling honey, another project we supported at Cannan.

On a past trip volunteers worked on a tree planting project (one of our favorites!) with the children. We read a book together titled “Planting the Trees of Kenya”, a book about the importance of replanting trees. We got to work planting 50 trees on the grounds with the help of William from FOSECU and our SOH sojourners Mary Rose Rodriguez, Jim Linden, Melissa Battaglia, RaeAnn Mariella and Mary Rodriguez. We also helped beautify the play area by painting murals with the children. 


some of the students at ESM who came together to help raise up St. Rose Academy. Third graders - world changers!

The kitchen at St. Rose Academy. Grateful thanks to Therese Bodenstein


      One of our favorite projects we support is the Cannan Center. Here 51 orphaned children find shelter and a loving home. Half of the children are HIV positive and require special diets and special care.

      On a recent visit, thanks to so many of our amazing supporters, we donated more than 60 coats to the children, teachers and house moms living here at the center. Here vulnerable children, receive excellent care and nurturing under the loving care of directors Alex and Caritas Lengeju. In the past we have supported them by funding a chicken project, bee hive project, mushroom project, and a reforesting project all aimed at making the center fully self sustaining. On a recent visit we were introduced to the pig project, their newest project to help the center’s sustainability and we watched as 15 piglets were born !  While we were there we bottled honey from the bee hives to sell at local markets. We love the work being done at this beautiful center on behalf of these children.

Needs and expenses for Cannan Center-

Pig project New barn completed and funded by SOH in 2023 

Health Insurance for the children: $30 per child per year- In the past, Friends of Mike Duerksen have helped tremendously with this project. It is an ongoing need for the center to insure good health care for the children.

One girl enjoying her new coat! They LOVED the coats with the fur collars! LOL! that's because Canaan Center is located at a high elevation and it can get very windy and cold. Temperatures can be in the low 50's and for these kids- that's COLD!.

The sustainable garden we helped begin.

This photo shows the villagers of Engalaoni standing in front of the new church on dedication day. We were able to build a cache system to catch rainwater and store it in sim tanks we provided in the spring of 2019. 

  St John Paul II Rehabilitation Center

                   at Monduli 

Things at the center continue to improve. The 5 water cisterns that we built have certainly helped with the need for water. The garden we helped to improve on a prior trip now provides the center with the food they need. Drip irrigation systems were purchased and installed to provide irrigation to improve the yield of the garden.

On a recent trip, our generous supporters sent us off with 2 suitcases filled with PT equipment to help refurbish the physiotherapy room where so many children receive post surgical therapy and PT including children with cerebral palsy. Special thanks to the Mariella family, The Dallesander Family, and Chrissy and Jon Mazura for their donations to help improve the lives of these children. People come from near and far to be treated at the center.
John Paul II Rehabilitaion Center, as it is known today , is directed by Mirele Kapilima, who once ran the physiotherapy program there. On our last trip she and the children helped us brighten up the PT treatment rooms and the dining hall by painting and “putting their mark” on this place they call home during their recovery. Grateful thanks to Kelly DeChene and Barefoot Theater for providing the funding for all the art supplies used for the project.

When we visited the center we met Nessi, a 5 year old girl who needed assessment for a growth and development problem, We funded Nessi's medical treatment, surgery and PT after surgery.


We also met two blind brothers, who often stay at the center when their school, Longidido , is closed for long holidays. Here they find comfort, food and care. We help to supply this center with water and money for surgeries throughout the year. On our last trip we donated a 2 month supply of food. The severe drought had left their 4 acres of maize regrettably unharvestable.

Blind brothers , Minyali and Jonas, sang us a song which translates:

“The world is full of difficulties ,
May people have pity on those

         who are victims of difficulties,
We pray that people may provide food

         for those who are starving,
May provide shelter

         for those who are homeless,
We pray that people may provide clothing to those who are without.”

Needs for the center: hospital care and surgeries for children in need

Water and food during droughts

​Jim has a soft heart for St. Rose Academy and the children there. Our dream was to build a convent near the school so that we could invite sisters to help run the school efficiently. Having people on the ground in Tanzania is essential to any project's success. The people of the village of Olkokola have worked tirelessly to complete the house but in light of  the global situation and rising costs, they could not see the project through to completion.  Jim and his family donated $8000 to finish the house  and our dream to finish the project became a reality. Little Sisters of St. Francis currently live in the house and oversee St. Rose Academy and the spiritual, physical and educational needs of our students. 

St. Rose Academy Pre Primary School... The three classrooms, bathrooms and teachers' workroom got a new coat of paint. This photo was taken when Little Sisters of St. Francis got ready to move in during the month of June 2022.

Breaking ground in August 2019 for the third  classroom.

Caritas showing our volunteers Barbara and Jim the mushroom project we supported.


Thank you to Kelly DeChene and Barefoot Theater for donating $400 to repaint the dining hall and buy all the paints to brighten up the physical therapy room and the dining hall at the center!

Jim Linden has been supporting Seeds of Hope since his very first trip as a volunteer in 2010. He has helped us build a playground, plant trees, set up a sustainable garden and lay a cement floor at St. Rose Academy. He has painted walls and playground equipment at The Rehabilitation Center in Monduli, and the Canaan Center, home to 51 orphaned children. He created a grinding mill project to grind corn flour and paid for electricity to be run to the building so people living with HIV and AIDS could work and make a living, without stigma or shame.  On every trip he brings hundreds of "Beanie Babies" to give to the precious children he meets each day in Tanzania. He  collects the toys from his friends at St. Lawrence Church in Shelton, CT, where he is a eucharistic minister. On several trips he has volunteered to be a Eucharistic minister as we visit the outreach areas in Tanzania commonly known as "the bush". He has dedicated countless hours both here in the US and in Tanzania to help make a difference. Because of Jim and his fellow parishioners, who partnered with Seeds of Hope and other sponsors, we were able to complete the building of St. Joseph's Church, a haven for the poorest of the poor in the village of Engalaoni. ​

Pictured left is the only tap that serves the village of Engalaoni. The villagers can walk  3 miles to a reserve tank to get water there as well. The photo on the right shows the completed water tanks which help the village in time of drought. The government is currently working to find a more permanent solution which will provide water availability and sustainability for villagers. 

                      Last semester all our students received new uniforms and shoes!

St. John Paul Rehabilitation Centre * The Monduli Center

A letter of thanks and photos 

History of St. Rose of Lima Academy

 Cannan Children's Center