Providing the best possible care
Zion and Peace Homes
TOBFC operates two homes for vulnerable children and youth. Zion Home is situated in the village of Uyole, Mbeya, and Peace Home is located in Mswiswi, Mbarali. The homes provide comprehensive care, education, nutritious food, a safe home environment, enriched extracurricular programming, and connection to valuable resources and opportunities. In addition, TOBFC commits to full sponsorship of each youth’s education. Montessori and primary level education are provided directly at Zion Home through the Olive Learners Montessori Academy, and students are supported as applicable through to secondary, college, and/or university level education. Our kids are accomplished and hard-working students, supportive brothers and sisters, and incredible young leaders in their communities.
Through our village outreach programs and Tanzanian Social Welfare, more children are constantly being placed with us. The reasons why children are placed with our homes vary. However, the most common are:
Girls who are in danger of being sold into early-childhood marriage
Children with unfit or deceased parents, with no surviving family prepared to look after them
Children achieving high academic standards who are unable to access they education deserve
Children with long-term health needs including HIV, heart conditions, hearing impairment and others
By providing children with a safe, loving environment, we are helping them reach their potential. The Olive Branch for Children is committed to ensuring the children and youths in our care receive the educational opportunities that will allow them to pursue their academic goals through to the post-secondary and/or technical college level. Moreover, we believe it is vital to prepare the children and youths at the Zion and Peace Homes for successful professional careers.
School fees, university fees, technical college fees, school transport, uniforms, stationary and text-books are the biggest and most important annual expenses for The Olive Branch for Children. Securing regular funding for the education of our children and youth will not only help the most vulnerable gain a formidable voice within their communities, Tanzania and abroad, but will work towards closing the income gap between rural and urban populations.
What makes our homes different?
We invest in high quality education
We provide our youth with internship opportunities and connections to the businesses in Mbeya for future employment opportunities
We ensure our youth, as able, engage in post-secondary and/or technical college training
We prioritize nurturing the relationships of our youth with their surviving family
All youth in our care volunteer with TOBFC in their own communities
All essential staff of our homes are Tanzanian
None of the operating costs of our homes are predicated on "voluntourism"
TOBFC is in the process of establishing a permanent facility for its activities and to house Peace Home children who are in our care. Until this point, TOBFC has operated out of rented facilities, which has required us to move to accommodate budgets and rental fluctuations. We are working with Kujenga Collaborative to design houses to support our activities and to provide our children with first-rate spaces to live and study.
TOBFC also supports 30 more children who live with their surviving families, enabling them to access education and better nutrition.
TOBFC ensures youth in our care are offered chances to be the best they can be. Our youth are exposed to the world, different cultures and ways of living to understand how important it is to embrace differences and work together to improve our world.
We offer leadership camps with international communities, family trips, after school tutoring, sports programs and camps, and gender equality mentorship programs that ensure the kids are offered a holistic development. The Zion Home creates leaders that will soar and become the ripple effect of change in their communities.
Awakening Silenced Voices
Awakening Silenced Voices is a gender-equality youth camp for girls living at the Zion Home. The camp provides a safe space for young women to discuss what it means to be, and their experiences being a woman highlighting gender equality and women’s rights. This program started as a joint initiative with a Toronto based high school to bring together young girls from Canada and Tanzania to share their experiences and learn together.
Throughout the two weeks, the participants travel around Tanzania and participate in intensive workshops. At the end of the two weeks, participants are required to submit a final team project that explores the question “What it means to be a girl, or to be a woman” through film and creative writing.
Amazing videos and books have been produced through these camps.
Our Step-Up Youths for Youths Development Camps run on the secondary school long holidays.
Our camps follow a schedule whereby, use sport as a tool for development in the morning, and academic programming in the afternoon.
The mornings include time for discussions on the topic of the day, skill development of the sport and time to play the actual game. Discussions include; food groups, innovative thinking, gender equality, being an ally, bullying, CV building, interview preparation etc. Youth then get to put the information to use during the co-ed camps, as sports can build transferable skills that can be used throughout their lives. One of the key aspects of our camps in the introduction to various sports (Gaelic Football, Ultimate Frisbee, Baseball) into Uyole, where football is the predominant sport played.
In the afternoon, the Zion Home Students partake in a rigorous academic camp that reviews material for their grade level. Qualified teachers come to the Zion Home to work with grade groups individually. Aside from review, students participate in activities such as Public Speaking, Debates, Research Projects, etc.
These Youth Development Camps are run annually at the Zion Home.
STEP-UP Youths for Youths Development Camp
We work with numerous schools around the world to match youth with penpals.
We believe it is so important for our youth to be exposed to different cultures and interact with other students as equals. The skills they learn through these cross-cultural projects ensure they can lead successful lives in our increasingly multicultural world.
Videos from the Zion Home Family...
"Nothing lights up a child's mind like play."
~ Dr. Stuart Brown
"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game"
~ Babe Ruth