URI students raise money, collect old clothes for trip to teach children in Tanzania

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Program started by Karie Lee Orendorff, kinesiology lecturer

KINGSTON, R.I., March 29, 2016—If you’re a runner or have a pile of old clothes to give away, University of Rhode Island students who travel to Tanzania every year to teach children are looking for you.


The group is sponsoring a 5K run (or walk) Sunday April 10 on the URI campus. If you register by March 30, you get a free long-sleeve shirt and a medal.


Clothing donations can be dropped off through April 15 in Room 224, Independence Square, 25 West Independent Square, just off Route 138 in Kingston. Clothing, shoes, linens, books and small household items like blenders and toasters will be accepted. Donation boxes will also be set up on the URI quadrangle from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on April 10.


Karie Lee Orendorff, a kinesiology lecturer, started the program three years ago to expose students to another culture and also help children who are poor or orphaned.


Last year, the students built a playground for 120 poor and orphaned children—all students at the Maasai Joy Children’s Centre in Arusha in the country’s Ekenywa Valley region.


This year, the students plan to start building a library. “I’m really excited about that,” says Orendorff. “A playground is super important. They need a place to play, but they don’t have a library. That’s vital to any school and will help them promote a love of learning.”


Most of the students going this year are studying kinesiology. Besides building the library, they’ll also teach math, reading and writing and supervise physical education classes.


The Maasai are an indigenous African ethnic group of semi-nomadic herdsmen. They speak Maa, part of the Nilo-Saharan language, and are taught in Swahili and English. They live in huts made from cow dung, mud and straw.


For information about the 5K or clothing donations, contact Orendorff at 401-874-5454 or korendorff@uri.edu. To register for the race, vist https://www.raceit.com/Register/?event=35883.


Photos above: Students at the Maasai Joy Children’s Centre in Arusha in Tanzania’s Ekenywa Valley region.

Photo courtesy of Karie Lee Orendorff.