Arusha Christmas Fair 2013

by Dianna

November 28, 2013

fair6The Arusha Christmas Fair is a wonderful community fair and a perfect opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. 2013 was the first time Shika exhibited and what a huge success.

Over 100 stall-holders showcased their crafts, art, clothes and food products. With the support of an enthusiastic group of volunteers, Tent Number 19 was a flurry of activity. We sold many of our beautiful Shika dresses, skirts and jackets.  Mama Sonia and her tailors worked extremely hard leading up to the fair to produce an amazing range of beautiful pieces, designed by Aly our designer from the UK.

People were very impressed with the different styles and amazing fabrics.

Soon everybody will be able to buy via our online store, scheduled to launch in March 2013 – keep your eye out for –

All the profits from sales are donated to our After School Support Programme to directly support the Shika sponsored children.

Dianna’s amazing lunch money auction

by michelle

November 9, 2013

Shika Volunteer Dianna Snape has raised $19,351.00 AUD  for a nutritional programme to provide Shika supported children with a healthy lunch each day. Dianna ran an on-line  auction, supported by Melbourne’s creative community to raise the money.

A special website – – was configured and hosted by Melbourne based web developers efront  –  

Illustrations were crafted by Stef Ransom at Fathom & Co specifically for the auction site –

Auction items were donated by leading designers, architects, photographers, Jewellers, and many other businesses.  The auctions success is testament to the goodwill of a supportive network of creative people.  

On behalf of Shika, a HUGE thank you Melbourne.

foodWhile volunteering with Shika earlier in June 2013, Dianna learned that the children’s diets were comprised almost entirely of   carbohydrate-heavy and starchy-type hunger-killers (like maize and beans) which, when consumed more or less exclusively, cause micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) malnutrition: which lowers kids mental prowess and puts them at increased risk of night blindness, growth retardation, anaemia, and severe constipation-caused illnesses — all which can be fatal. A quick surf around the web confirmed fruit and vegetables were an excellent (and relatively cheap) source of micronutrients and that students would benefit from more fibre and liquid-based foods (like soup) in their diet.

More than 90% of Tanzanians consume roughly only 80 grams of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended 400 grams of fruit and vegetables per person per day. WHO’s paper on fruit and vegetable consumption in sub-Saharan Africa reports households with near- subsistence incomes “prioritise the basic fulfilment of their energy requirements to avoid hunger” and that “until the physiological need to satisfy hunger is met, households have no choice but to focus on cheap sources of energy such as grains and starchy staples.”

The World Hunger Education Service says undernourished children (which 22% of Tanzanians are) suffer up to 160 days of illness each year. It’s significantly affecting the country’s education outcomes with absenteeism, attention problems and early school dropouts linked to the short-term hunger of insufficient or poorly balanced diets.

Inspired to help give the sponsored children “the best possible chance to take advantage of their education,”  we trialled free fruit-and-vegetable-based lunches two days a week and Dianna committed to finding a way to make them on-going and every day.

The trial started in July 2013 and Susi Mayer, our Tanzanian Program Manager, saw immediate improvements in attendance and attention, “I see the children more motivated in their after-school activities and tuition after getting a healthy meal. They are having fun eating fruit and all the children attend the centre on our fruit and vegetable days.”

True to her word, Dianna has made good on her promise dishing up lunch money’s online auction as the fundraiser’s first-course.

“I believe, from the bottom of my heart, when faced with the world’s wrongs people genuinely want to help put them right,” she says.