10 years ago GO Campaign was formed to help 25 orphans living in Moshi, in Kilimanjaro. Since then, GO has expanded their work to help over 80,000 children across 30 countries. GO Campaign works directly with local grassroots leaders on initiatives that derive from the needs of the community.
Since 2012, GO Campaign has partnered with the Gabriella Children Rehabilitation Centre to support its mission to assist children and young people with autism, Down syndrome, ADD, and a wide spectrum of intellectual challenges. The Gabriella Centre ensures that these children’s needs are identified early, accurately assessed and treated. In addition, the charity provide support in the area of physical, social, emotional, verbal, and cognitive development plus life skills training so each child can become a functioning community member. Whether it’s through art and music therapy or organic gardening, the Gabriella Centre uses simple but innovative techniques to help each child realise his or her potential.
Children and young people with disabilities are still considered outcasts in Tanzania; the stigma associated with a child’s disability is so severe that it puts their life at risk. The Gabriella Centre is the best hope for children with intellectual disabilities in Kilimanjaro, but it is small and bursting at the seams; as a result too many children continue to go untreated. Since its inception, Gabriella Centre’s doors have welcomed 1,000 children, and the staff has performed home interventions for another 1,500 children in remote villages. The Gabriella Centre has a long waiting list of children like Teresia (pictured here) who has been identified as being in critical need of its services, but who is sadly not able to receive support due to a lack of space and resources.
Despite her warm smile, 17-year-old Teresia was considered an outcast to both her family and the community; she was hidden away for the simple reason that she was intellectually disabled. There are so many challenges that girls in Africa already face, but a disabled girl faces even greater trials. There was little hope for Teresia until she found the transformative Gabriella Centre in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Today she is back home, a fully functioning member of her community and the breadwinner for her mother and younger sister.
In 2016 GO Campaign is launching a capital campaign in partnership with the Gabriella Centre to build the premiere centre for autistic and intellectually challenged children in East Africa. GO Campaign is looking for partners to help Gabriella Centre realise this dream of a new facility to extend its reach and to all of the children and young people in the region whose lives are at risk. The Centre currently has capacity for 40 boarding students plus another 30 day scholars, and the centre impacts another 600 children a year through outreach programmes and short-term therapy weeks. The new facility will triple Gabriella Centre’s boarding capacity and the number of children impacted annually will increase to more than 1,200.
Thanks to the donation from ICAP, GO Campaign was able to make the first step of this dream a reality. Thanks to ICAP, GO was able to work with Gabriella Centre to map out a detailed plan for the future, which included Gabriella Centre purchasing a beautiful five acre plot of land at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Architectural plans and construction budgets have been finalised, and by supporting the partnering with GO Campaign, ICAP helped set the wheels in motion for this ambitious but deserving project that will transform thousands of lives.