Who is Kufunza?
Kufunza started from a kitchen table in the Karri Forests of Western Australia. Realising that their youngest could carry a backpack, Sarah and Paul Griffiths booked a last minute summer holiday to Tanzania, a decision that would change their lives.
Sarah, a Not for Profit Management Specialist, Social Worker, and graduate of the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, always dreamed of returning to Africa. After completing studies in Swahili and International Development, family life had kept her home bound in the UK and then Australia but she knew one day the perfect project would come up and draw her back.
Paul, a former Dairy Farmer, emigrated to Australia and retrained as a Teacher, combining his love for education with his knowledge and expertise of agriculture. Students aged 6 - 16 work with Paul to understand kitchen garden principals, science, nutrition, health and to explore careers in the Agriculture sector.
Their two kids, Ollie (7) and Emily (14) had grown up to be your typical Aussies but speaking with pretty awesome English accents. When they found out they were heading to Tanzania for the Summer, they really weren't sure what to expect.
Safaris with Elephants bathing, Maasai markets with Elders bargaining goats for them and lazy afternoons under palm trees at Bagamoyo Beach, created a trip of a lifetime. But one thing stuck out. One thing kept grabbing the kids attention.
Ollie made friends everywhere he went with little kids, just like him. Soccer games, hide and seek, running races, fun with kids just like him. But each time he asked the kids how old they were, they always turned out to be 12, 13 or 14 years old. Not 7, like him, at all. More like Emily, but only the same size as Ollie. Digging a little deeper they discovered nutrition was at the heart of this widespread stunted growth.
In fact, 40% of all children in Tanzania suffer from stunted growth! Heartbreaking, but even more so given the sheer volume of fresh fruit and vegetables being grown everywhere they looked. Many households grow more than enough to feed children yet these crops are sold to buy maize so that children can eat an almost nutrition-less porridge.
This became a topic of discussion at every meal time. And continued to bother the kids when they got home. Paul and Sarah realised that they could actually do something about this! And so Kufunza was born, around the kitchen table. Created from love for a country that stole their hearts and a passion to see other peoples kids thrive.
Sarah and Paul run Kufunza, but Emily and Ollie make sure they never forget what they are aiming for. Kufunza is not a faceless organisation, its not a corporate, its a great big family working together to help other families. Subscribe so you can see how we get on!