Volunteers of MAD

Future women in tech from Andy, Thang and Colin

Mambo! Day three of our volunteer trip was incredible. Every day seems better than the last. We had over six hours of hands-on interaction with local female students at the Moshi Community Centre, where we met with Father Dominic and began the day with him explaining what the day would entail. Today’s goals were to expose the girls to more English, technology and various career options by helping them register for a certification at the Centre. The center is focused on girls because there are fewer opportunities for women. These programs will give them access to new career opportunities not available to the average secondary school graduate.

Morning brief by Father Dominic at Moshi Community Centre

All the students had amazing attitudes and were very grateful we were there to work with them. The students defy all odds and work through immense obstacles, including, four-hour round-trip bus rides to school, poverty, lack of resources, and being orphaned at an early age. While they have not led easy lives, these students remain resilient and do not let excuses be part of their narrative. MAD offers buses for transport and supplies many computers to the center to help with these studies. Often the government doesn’t have the budget to supply computers to their schools and kids will only get access at private schools.

We began afternoon activities with introductions and played an ice-breaker called “Two Truths and One Lie.” There was an abundance of laughter as we learned more about each other’s personal lives.  We live continents apart, but ultimately, we all have so much in common. 

In addition, we taught the students google documents and introduced them to Microsoft Office. Most of the girls had very little exposure to a computer, many were using a computer for the very first time and we helped them all create their first email accounts. Although many of them had little to no experience with Google, their enthusiasm to learn something new and different made everything worthwhile. We taught them how to use Google Docs and sending emails as this is a baseline requirement for school and work. 

The Salesforce crew took turns explaining the importance of computers and the internet in our daily lives, both at work and personally as well. Our top tier MAD students were in attendance to help out and their translation skills were invaluable, as many of the concepts were better explained in Swahili for the class.

While we started the day as strangers, we ended as friends. We are thankful we had the opportunity to spend the whole day with the girls and look forward to seeing these young women evolve into successful women.

Day 3 from the Salesforce team

Volunteers of MAD

Chasing waterfalls from Sara and Alexandra

Today we had a jam packed day exploring the Kilimanjaro area with our main man, Stanley.  Stanley, one of the first students sponsored by MAD, took us to his village to meet his Babu and Bibi (grandfather and grandmother) in the home where he was raised. Stanley (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCL0Rmn2h50&t=148s) has been raised by his grandparents since both of his parents passed away from HIV/AIDS. When he is not in school, he spends his time supporting them.

Stanley with his bibi (grandmother) in their livingroom

The previous day’s Swahili lesson proved to be useful as Babu welcomed us warmly into his home.  Babu, now 78, inherited their home from his own grandfather and has been living there with Bibi since they had met in school many years ago.  The modest home is surrounded by livestock and the group was able to welcome the baby calf and days old goat fondly named “Flower”.  Babu, Bibi, and Stanley all wake early in the morning to tend to the animals and spend the day gathering food and water.  

Alexandra and Flower
Stanley and his family’s livelihood

After helping restock the troughs for the cows, Stanley guided us down the hill to show us the stream he spent his childhood running up and down to. Our group, however, inched along as we made our way slowly down the steep hill.  The hike was worth it though when Stanley showed us the beautiful waterfalls that he has grown up with.  The group couldn’t seem to take enough pictures and Stanley had to work hard to herd us away.  After returning home to Babu and Bibi with water in tow, we gave our last snuggles to Flower the baby goat and made promises to visit again soon.

One of the waterfalls in the village

With Babu and Bibi in the rearview mirror, we headed off to have a quick lunch before visiting the Chagga museum.  The Chagga are the native people of the Kilimanjaro area and we spent a few moments learning about the tools, housing, and traditions of the tribe before heading off to the Primary School that Stanley attended.  

Stanley’s babu and bibi (grandfather and grandmother) saying kwa heri (goodbye)
At the Chagga museum seeing a traditional Chagga hut

We were greeted with big smiles from children of all ages dressed in uniforms in all of the primary colors.  It turns out that Friday is the day each student can choose the color they wish to wear and the colors compete in various activities.  All of the students were excited to show off their English while we eagerly yelled “Mambo” to each student while giving them high fives and fist bumps.  We toured the entire school including the new computer room, science lab and basketball court.  It was overwhelming to see the impact that the combined Salesforce and MAD teams can make. 

Fist bumps with the primary students

As the students gave us their final high fives, everyone gave a warm goodbye to Stanley as he headed back home to Babu and Bibi.  The entire group was a bit worn down from the Tanzanian afternoon heat as we headed home to our MAD guest house but it is nothing a good meal from our favorite chef can’t fix!

Day 2 from the Salesforce Team

The Salesforce Team with Stanley, the principal of Royal Primary school and our driver Constantine
Volunteers of MAD

Day 1 from Kathleen and Pamela

Learning swahili

Mambo from Moshi!! Today the Salesforce team began orientation. In the morning we learned more about MAD’s creation, mission, and present day impact on the students and their communities. Stanley, a current university law student, spoke in depth about how his participation in the organization has been life changing. He is orphaned and said that MAD was a “light” in his life. The other students also reiterated the positive impact that the organization has had in their lives and it was really touching to hear how much this program has done for these students. 

                  After having lunch with the students, we began to take Swahili lessons. Swahili is harder than we imagined but it was fun to end the day practicing our new phrases and singing the Hujambo song which we all love! As we are trying to blend into the local life, it is important that we learn phrases that are relevant to present day Tanzanian society. For example, we were able to yell “MAMBO” to locals and get responses that we now understood. We culminated our day by going on a walk in the town with the students and learning more about each other. In short, day 1 demonstrated how important it is for us to volunteer and support this amazing program MAD has changed the lives of these students and their families and it is a gratifying experience that we will also never forget and will also change our lives. Looking forward to tomorrow’s day of activities. 

Day 1 from the Salesforce Team. 

Strolling around the neighborhood and practicing swahili with the locals
Thank you MAD students for a great first day

Esther, Uncategorized

Starting a new chapter as a student at University of Edinburgh.


Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing good. I am doing well.

I am writing to give my gratitude to you for your support during my high school life when I was studying International Baccalaureate (IB) at International School Moshi. It was quite a journey full of lessons, challenges and fun. From my high school studies, I gained new perspectives in life which improved my values. I learned new skills such as swimming, debating and playing tennis. For that and much more, I am thankful.

Now I am moving on to a new chapter, a new university in a new country. After I graduated high school, I applied to University of Edinburgh and I got accepted on a full scholarship from The MasterCard Foundation. I am so happy and grateful for the given chance to study Business with Enterprise and Innovation in the University of Edinburgh. Being an entrepreneur has always been my dream. My country, Tanzania, is full of potentials and as a citizen, I look forward exploring the potentials we have for the development of our nation. So, by studying Business with Enterprise and Innovation, I believe I can reach my goal.

University of Edinburgh provides the students with a nice environment to study in. Having to study in such a peaceful and diverse environment gets me excited. I look forward to explore my course and the universities resources, so I can increase my knowledge, skills and my values as a person.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers.

God bless you always.


Esther Mndeme.


Mary’s national exam results and future plans

Hello Everyone,

It is so nice writing again this blog. I graduated from high school on the 5th of May 2019. I started doing my national exam for two weeks from the 2nd to 14th of May. The first week was the theoretical part and the other was practical.

The results for the national exam were announced on the 11th of July. I thank God that I got good grades: Chemistry B, Biology C, Physics C. I got
division 1.8. On the 15th of July, I started applications for universities. I applied for three universities that is KCMC in Moshi, Bugando in Mwanza and also UDOM in Dodoma. They are all in Tanzania. I would like to go to KCMC where some of the MAD kids study, Subirah, Benny, Shabani, Exuper and Innocent.

I applied for Medical Doctor. I will hopefully be joining in October. It will take 5 years to become a Medical Doctor and one more year of internships. Then two years to specialize in becoming an Orthopaedic doctor.

Thank you very much for your support. May God bless you always.


Love, Mary

Volunteers of MAD

Reflections from a Family Volunteering Together in Africa



We end our time in Africa in Zanzibar on the Indian Ocean coast. We have been talking to our children over the past few days to hear what their reflections have been from this experience. We thought you might like to hear their thoughts. Here is what they had to say:

The problems we are often facing many days are not nearly as difficult as the ones many of the friends we have made in Africa have faced.      

– Grace

We see a happiness amongst many people here, despite the lack of material goods. 

The world is so much bigger than the U.S.   

– Sean

We watched CNN International the other day and a number of U.S. politicians were calling each other names. This all seems so insignificant in light of the events of the world – poverty, infrastructure collapses, global economic trade issues, etc . We’ve been able to watch international news while here which lets us learn about and see the events that are taking place around the world.


I know we have been so fortunate to be blessed to be able to come on this trip. I’m thankful to God for allowing this trip to happen. It’s been a prayer for many years that we would be able to return to Africa and show our children what life is like in a place so different from where they live. We wanted to shape them into the people we hope they will be- ready to see the needs of others and ready to understand a broader worldview than simply what they see in front of them. We also wanted them to see the wildlife that’s here, because that is simply quite awesome! Thank you to those who have walked alongside of us, prayed for our safety and supported the work of Make A Difference Now at the beginning of our trip through your donations of books, shoes, underwear and school supplies. Please pray that we will remember the lessons we have learned going forward.


MAD & SFDC Volunteering

Experience and Insights from Volunteering in Tanzania – Leslie Prevish

In four decades of life, I’ve been fortunate to visit many countries and learn first-hand about other cultures. When I arrived in Tanzania last September, I wondered what effect volunteering would have on myself and others here in Tanzania. As I finish up my five months, I know the experiences I’ve gained will help me both personally, and professionally. I’ve outlined some popular questions, and the answers and clarity I now have…

 Will you come back the same person?

Living in the moment here is a necessity. I’ve learned you also need to be flexible and understand that change happens on a whole different timeline. I think I’ve become more tolerant of situations I have no control over, such as electricity, water, internet and the laid-back “Tanzanian time”!

My time in Tanzania has made me appreciate the basics in life, sift through my “needs vs. wants,” and appreciate simple beauty. Each day more colored flowers appear on the trees here…purple, blue, orange and now yellow. It’s winter back home in Pennsylvania. I am grinning as I think about how sparkly, yet serene, the evergreens will be the morning after a snowfall. I can’t wait to make snow angels with my niece and nephew!

What will you miss most?

As I am packing to return to the States, I keep shedding tears on what—and WHO—I’ll miss. The children at the orphanage are such characters! It was energizing to watch their young eyes light up as they learned to ride horses. I did a Kilimanjaro fundraising climb and my friends and family donated $7200, which will provide sport and health programs for the entire year! When I saw photos of the children’s desperate situations before MAD, I realized how life-changing this organization really is, and how much I want to help improve their lives.

I’ll also miss…Theresa, who I truly admire and am blessed to call a friend…Pina at the MAD Guest House, singing and smiling all day long (her chapatti is delicious!)…and the strong community here, available 24/7, to lean on for support. They have been so welcoming to open their doors for holiday dinners and inspiring conversations.

What will you do when you come back?

I’m excited to start the next phase of my life, filled to the brim with experiences and ideas. As I start my business as a marketing consultant, I know I’ll be working with people of different backgrounds. My Tanzanian time has shown me how to celebrate differences and use them as an opportunity to foster new ideas. Also, nothing goes to waste here. After five months of conserving resources, I should be able to do more with limited time and money, which will help me and my clients!

Would you encourage others to do it?

YES! I’ve learned so much I wish I had done it sooner! I remember an interview a few years ago when I was asked, “describe a time when you had a challenge with someone and how you improved communications.”

Five months in Tanzania has stressed the importance of respectful and clear communication. You can’t assume someone understand you, it’s important to ask for clarify and keep an eye out for non-verbal cues. This has proved helpful for communicating with locals, as well as expats from many nations.

I’d also encourage people to come for the unique experiences, like the safari tours, where elephants and zebras pass within feet of your vehicle! The waterfalls, Chagga caves and coffee tour are must-sees as well. And I’d tell them to make sure to get to the Indian Ocean to watch the waves roll in while writing memories in a journal about the amazing experiences.

Volunteers of MAD

Sperry Family- Goodbyes

Day 5 (7/18/18)-

We were really excited for today because we were given the opportunity to go to two of the students villages and get a glimpse inside their lives. We left earlier so we had longer to be with Innocence and Jonas at their home. Paul drove smoothly and we reached the place where we had to pick up Jonas. After we picked him up, we continued driving toward Rombo. Once we reached their village we climbed and stretched our legs. We were greeted by Innocence.

The two brothers introduced us to their aunt and uncle. Then we walked to the place where they grew up, and they talked to us about their past, and their family history. Then they showed us around their farm. They had so many delicious fruits. Some grew in the ground, others grew on tall trees. There were bananas, pineapples, coffee beans, yams, avocados, mangos, and papayas. After the tour of the farm the brothers introduced us to their grandfather, which was a huge honor.

After that, we watched them dig up some yams, that we were to take back to the guest house. Then we walked to their avocado tree, and Innocence climbed up into the tall tree, and picked some avocados for us to take back to Pina. The avocados were twice the size of the ones back in the United States! Once they had picked about 8 or 9 avocados, we climbed back into the van.

On our way home we ate lunch. Pina had packed homemade pizza. It was absolutely delicious. Then we dropped the boys off in Moshi. Paul offered to take us to meet his wife and grandmother. We were delighted to meet them, and he gave us a tour of his property too. Once we arrived at the guest house, we realized that we would have to say goodbye to everyone because we would be leaving tomorrow.

We said goodbye to Janeth and Paul and wished them all the best. Even though we were sad that our week of service in Moshi was over, we were happy that we had the opportunity to spend time with students, and the children. We had learned about the culture, the language and about their way of life.It has been the coolest experience of our lives, and we hope that we can come back soon!

-Sperry Family, Tanzania Visit

Volunteers of MAD

Sperry Family – College Applications

Day 4 (7/17/18)-

Today, after breakfast, Janeth and a student, Christina, met us and walked to the orphanage with us. The walk seemed shorter because we knew where we were going. Once we arrived at the orphanage, we headed to the toddlers. They were finishing up their milk, and they waved at us as we walked toward them. They clambered clumsily out of their chairs and waddled outside to the playground.

The children were all over us. They climbed on the slides, the benches, into our laps, our arms, and into our hearts.

Everyone had a child that held their hand and wanted to be held. We played and spent time with the small children for about an hour. Then we carried the tired kids back to the room where they were given their lunch. We were very sad to say goodbye, but we reluctantly headed out the door because we had to meet the students back at the guest house.

They were already there when we arrived. First, we ate the lunch provided by Pina. Everyone was very hungry so we ate all the food. After lunch, the students introduced themselves and told the group what they aspired to be. Then, we started helping the students start to apply to the collages they wanted. There were only a few who finished because some of them changed their mind, and wanted time to think about what they really wanted to be.

When they were finished with the applications, we hung out and talked. We learned a lot about their lives and who they were. Sadly, it was time for them to get home for they had a long drive back to their villages. A sense of accomplishment and happiness filled us and we headed off to bed.

-Sperry Family, Tanzania Visit

Volunteers of MAD

Sperry Family- Bouncing with Joy!

Day 2 (7/15/18)-

We woke up in the morning, refreshed and excited for our second day in Tanzania. We devoured a breakfast of toast, eggs, and homemade banana bread made by our wonderful cook, Agripina. After breakfast, Mama Frida arrived at the guest house and introduced us to the native language of Tanzania, Swahili. We spent an hour learning the basics, such as hujambo, which means hello, and asante, which is thank you. Throughout our travels, we used the vocabulary we acquired to talk and connect to the people we met. Once Mama Frida left, Janeth and Stanley took us to the Upendo Baby Orphanage. They guided us around the busy streets, and up to the orphanage which was nestled on a quiet, peaceful backstreet. The orphanage was gorgeous. Colorful flowers and trees adorned the walkways and gardens. You could hear the children laughing as they played with each other. We met one of the caretakers of the children and we donated the books we brought. After the paperwork was complete, we joined the little kids outside on their playground. We were immediately swarmed with children, wanting to be picked up, and wanting their hand to be held. Their happy faces warmed our hearts and brought smiles to our faces. We left the orphanage bouncing with joy, and with high hopes of coming back. Once we arrived back at the guest house, we parted with Janeth and Stanley, and joined Revo for dinner. After dinner, we played some card games, showered, brushed our teeth, and climbed into bed, satisfied with our day.

-Sperry Family, Tanzania Visit