Category: Haydom

Together we can go the distance

The sun is rising abough the Haydom Airstrip as the sports pistol is giving the kickoff starting signal for about 200 runners to start moving. The sky is burning in red colours, the soil underneath our feet is red and dusty. 200 participants from Haydom and beyond are running for a good cause. 21 km ahead of me and the newest spotify GOOD MOOD playlist in my ears I am managing my first kilometers. It felt like I was the only one running as the others of my group quickly moved out of my sight. But I kept going, passing sunflower fields, little mud houses and farms, akazia trees, cows and goats. Sometimes the road was flat and paved, sometimes it was uneven and I had to jump across deep holes in the ground. My lungs were burning on every little hill I had to climb up, I could feel the altitude but tried to keep breathing deep and slow, focussing my thoughts on the goal not to stop running.

Along the way on each and every intersection were people standing clapping hands and cheering, some of them were waving flags to indicate which direction to continue. On the difficult parts I remember some were even running alongside with me to keep me going. Moments of joy and pure happyness probably caused by a rush of endorphines running through my entire body alternated with moments of deep exhaustion in which I was really fighting hard wanting to just stop and sit down.

The moment I entered the airstrip again I had only one thought left, to reach the finish line. With my very last power and accompanied by a lot of applause and cheering people shouting my name I crossed the finish line after 2 hours and 11 minutes. I did it!! And not enough, even as fourth best in my category. A lot of hands pat me on my shoulder and congratulated. I felt more than happy I was able to represent our Haydom team that way. I am more than thankful for all of your support and good wishes that have carried me across that finish line. When I received my medal and even a price I could not hold back some tears of joy.

Running that distance was reminding me on the fight that our kids with Spina Bifida have to go through every single day and I am so proud on our little warriors and happy I could do that for them. Mr Giniki, Tansanian most famous long distance and Marathon athlete, also was present shaking hands with me as a symbol of his now further on support and cooperation for our children and parents in Haydom. I had to promise I keep on training and running for a good cause. I am truly willing to do. And who knows maybe I will soon even be running the next level. Thanks to each and everyone of you who donated for our children with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus in Haydom. The parents and kids after a successful week of education and recreation left with my personal promise that we will continue to keep walking that distance all together and we will see back in October this year.

Wheelchair-Skating at Haydom Hospital

Finally back in Tansania, meeting up with those amazing guys from smallsteps skatepark UsaRiver. They really make a Change in the life of those kids here skating, giving them a home where they are loved and where they can unfold their Talents and spirits. So Glad and proud to be taking them to Haydom to meet our Wheelchair kids. Keep following us for more skating vibes coming up.

And obviously I was not able to resist to bring my own Surfskate to keep trying it in their skatepark. First Skatingpark Drop in ever of my life – and what to say after having defeated my brain, I have had the afternoon of a lifetime skating with those wonderful talented kids here in UsaRiver.

At the same time in Haydom our new obstacles for the short planned skating lesson are about to get finished. Now we need some good weather on Tuesday and some guardian angels to keep us all safe 🙂 🙂 🙂

28.05. Donate to make Dr Theresa sweat on her first African Halfmarathon

Who wants to see me sweat and fighting for a good cause?

After now almost 12 years of coming to Tansania I will finally be taking my first Halfmarathon challenge here in Africa.

Haydom is a small village in one of the most remote areas in Tasania. Medical Treatment here is not easily acessible for everybody as most of the patients dont have insurance.

Haydom Hospital was build in the late sixties by the Norwegian Missionaries and has become a 400 bed hospital now, providing medical services for everybody in need despite their financial situation. Therefore the hospital is providing help for coverage of hospital bills for the most poorest patients.

A large number of children are born here with birth defects and find help through the local program, initated by Haydom-Friends e.V. and its partners. Children find life safing surgeries as well as long term treatment and follow up.

You can support this wonderful work and help to cover the hospital costs of some of the kids beeing treated there by helping me run as many kilometers as I can.

I am promising I will run as far as I can for each donation you will be making. So dont be picky, let me really sweat, make my legs burn and donate what you can so that children at Haydom Hospital can continue to be helped.

Betterplace Donation Link

A new road into a new life for Happyness

For the first time Happyness is smiling at us at eye level. So far, she has only spent her life from the ground. She has always had to look far up at the people around her. Everyday life has always taken place above her head. Carried by her mother, the young girl could never move independently. Yet she bears a beautiful name that could not better describe her character.

Happyness, translated as the cheerful one, has never lost her radiant smile despite all these circumstances. The girl was born with a spinal cord defect, spina bifida. She was never able to use her legs. The necessary physiotherapy was missing, so that her hip and also her legs as well as her spine stiffened at an early age.

The girl was never able to sit alone or to bend her hips, her legs are fixed in an unnatural cross posture and cannot be stretched. The girl can only lie flat on her stomach. During the day, the now 12 year old is carried around by her mother in a special sling.
And most of the day she lies in a corner on the floor of the domestic hut.

Surgical help comes too late for the little girl, as surgery at this advanced stage would be too risky for her.

Happyness has never been to school, but lying on her stomach she paints beautiful pictures of a world where she could play with other girls, go to school or learn a trade. For several years now, Happyness has been coming regularly to Haydom with her mother for follow-up care. Here the team takes care of her wounds and also her bladder function.

For a long time, our hands were tied and we lacked ideas on how to make her daily life easier and give her access to the world and education. A wheelchair seemed like a perfect solution, however Happyness cannot sit or be placed in a seated position without suffering severe pain.

Working with CCBRT, a local Tanzanian rehabilitation association, we put our heads together and designed a custom reclining wheelchair for Happyness to lie prone on. Haydom-Friends e.V. financed the production and purchase of the special wheelchair made of locally manufactured materials. The first test drive with her new wheelchair moved all of us, who had been desperately searching for a solution for this girl for so long, to tears. Happyness took the first “self-determined meters” into her new life. Again accompanied by a brave big smile on her face. We all hope now that this new freedom will also give her the opportunity to attend school.

Happyness story shows how important is especially your help, without which we could never have realized this. It shows that limits and obstacles should always motivate us to look for solutions instead of resigning ourselves to the seemingly impossible.

Happyness needs further financial support for school supplies and annual school fees. If you would like to help or contribute, please feel free to do so through the association’s donation account, subject: Happyness.

Thank you very much.

Jerusalema Dance Challenge goes viral in Haydom

Recently the Jerusalema Dance-Challenge is going viral around the world. The dancing virus truly has spread among everybody in Haydom as well. Parents, staff and kids with spina bifida and hydrocephalus from Haydom are joining the worldwide Jerusalema dance challenge to raise awareness for more inclusion, better medical care and support for children with special needs in Africa. Having a child with spina bifida and hydrocephalus brings a lot of challenges every day. Participating in the worldwide dance challenge we want to encourage and give hope in these special times. Never stop trying, never stop loving and never stop believing in how much is possible when we all care together. We are nominating YOU to join the Jerusalema Dance Challenge and to support our work for kids with special needs in Africa.

Haydom Friends has been advocating for medical care and follow-up for children with birth defects in Tanzania, Africa, for more than 10 years now. Become part of a wonderful journey of helping, giving and getting back from our little heroes. Be Aware a smile can be contagious!

Little wheelchair athletes

For a child with spina bifida, a wheelchair is not just a simple tool of transportation but a tool for self-determined child development. With a wheelchair, they can actively participate in daily life and also attend school. As part of our follow up week, the little ones could really let off steam with their wheelchairs and show what they are capable doing. With a lot of fun and joy they mastered the obstacles of the small parcours that we had set up for them. And what can I say, real skater talents were awakened. The ball was then aimed at a waste paper basket that had been converted into a basketball hoop outdoors. Michal Jordan has found his successor here. An afternoon in the spirit of mobility and fun.

Haydom-Friends sponsors new wheelchairs

The rough terrain of the African bushland demands a lot from the wheelchairs. Regular maintenance of the wheelchairs is just as important as the wheelchair itself. Together with the local partner organization CCBRT, Haydom-Friends is now sponsoring new wheelchairs for Haydoms kids as well as their maintanance. 18 year old Neema got a brandnew handbike. Parents will be getting training to be able to carry out maintenance and repairs themselves later. The new wheelchairs were properly inaugurated on the wheelchair parcours just after.

African Cinderella

Shoes can change your life – Cinderella already knew that. Unfortunately, many children with Spina Bifida do not have a fairy godmother to fill their shoe cupboard. As a result, their small bare and often numb feet in a wheelchair often show severe injuries and pressure sores. To prevent this, socks and closed footwear are needed to protect their little feet. Haydom-Friends played fairy godmother for Haydoms kids and sponsored new shoes. The kiddies were super happy with their new sneakers. The parents were shown how they can treat their children´s wounds at home with natural honey bandages.

Rapid Response to reduce the Risc of Corona Outbreak in Haydom, Tansania

Our children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus rely on regular aftercare in the clinic for the supply of medication and catheters. This means that they have to use the overcrowded public transport to reach the hospital in order to receive treatment.

Haydom-Friends e.V. and partners CALL FOR ACTION to reduce the transmission rate of Corona among our children. We expressly ask for YOUR SUPPORT AND HELP !! For 10 EUROs you help to supply one family with local made facemasks and enough soap to stay safe during their travels and to keep their communities safe as well.



Corona – The Invisible Thread

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Donation Total: 10,00€

We have been experiencing what it means when an entire world is in a state of emergency for several weeks. The invisible enemy named Corona threatens us all equally, making no ethnic, cultural or existential differences. We experience what it feels like to wake up in the morning accompanied by fear and uncertainty about our own health, that of our loved ones, and the fear. Suddenly the foundation of our existence, which we take for granted, is crumbling. We feel locked up in our home office, uncertain when we will be allowed to leave our temporary social prison.

But let’s raise our eyes from our laptops and conference calls and focus them on the rest of the world out there, on the countries in which deprivation of liberty and existential fear become a companion every day. What damage is caused by such a virus in a society in which people have to travel hundreds of kilometers to the nearest hospital, in overcrowded buses and shared taxis. A large part of the population cannot afford to visit a doctor or even inpatient treatment in a clinic without insurance cover. Physical and social distancing in countries such as Tanzania unthinkable. In a society in which each individual relies on the support of a village community, or the daily business on the market place. Many families have no access to clean water or money for soap and daily hand hygiene. Not being able to travel to the market on the bus would destroy even the smallest income and drive families into starvation. A statistical assessment of the infection rate of the population cannot be made because tests are not widely available and are also expensive.

It is all the more important to have good information about hygiene and restrictions on contacts.

Our children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus rely on regular aftercare in the clinic for the supply of medication and catheters. However, this means that they have to use the overcrowded means of transport with their parents and are therefore at great risk.

Haydom-Friends e.V. and its partners calls for a comprehensive information campaign on measures to reduce the transmission rate of Corona. We need YOUR HELP and SUPPORT!! Facemasks are tailored and done by tailors in the village and distributed together with soap to children with Spina Bifida and their parents. For 10 euros they support this measure and cover travel expenses as well as costs for Facemasks and soap for a family.

Of course, these measures only work in conjunction with information about restrictions on personal contacts and the distance to other people in public places.

The first Corona preventive care packages have already been distributed to families in Haydom.

With only 10 euros you help us to reduce the spread and transmission of corona and help protect our children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and their families.

Show solidarity in these special and difficult times. Cohesion and mutual support is important. We can and will only do this together. Help us in this fight together.

One team – one world – one fight. One victory over Corona!