My passion: Guruguru Safaris Charity

Karibu, my name is Ralf Sandner, and I live in Germany. However, since I visited Tanzania in 2012, I’ve found a second home in this magnificent country. It’s my heartfelt wish to empower its wonderful people to shape their future autonomously and to support them in the best possible way.

I visit Tanzania almost every year and provide some people there with eyeglasses. Because eyeglasses are nearly a luxury item in Tanzania, and I’m an optician by heart. As the managing director of Heinemann Optik & Akustik, as an entrepreneur, I see it as my duty to look and assist wherever possible.

Our charity project Was born

When Peter Osmund Mponda and I in 2017 Guruguru Safaris Ltd. founded, we brought our visions and values, our knowledge and our experiences with us – and started an adventure that continues to this day. Our new charity project „Affair of the Hear“ is just a logical further development in our actions. Because tourism also has a positive effect in Tanzania: it makes a significant contribution to reducing poverty and safeguarding nature conservation.

About our charity project: Knowledge, school, a healthy mind and a healthy body are the basis for a self-determined life and this is exactly where we start with our charity project. It began with Guruguru Safaris sponsorships for children from the Patandi school and continued with increased commitment during the Corona crisis, when tourism was idle and the safari vehicle quickly became an aid transporter for children from the Patandi school. Peter and I then developed this project together – and even 9,700 kilometers couldn’t slow us down.

Because: We want to move even more with your support.

Guruguru Safaris personally delivers the Hero Packs

We have put together hero packages that give people – and especially children – very practical help. This ranges from the goat to the bicycle to the sponsorship of a child – gladly from elementary school to training. For example, we from Guruguru Safaris financed the complete training as a baker for the deaf Meibaiku. Peter became my first hero because he organized everything, motivated and was the constant contact person. You can find out more about Meibaku in the blog „Born deaf and mute in Tanzania. The wonderful story of a brave boy.“ 

By the way: If you would like to get to know your godchild personally at some point, we will be happy to organize it for you!

The best thing about our hero packs: Peter delivers them personally, so 100 percent of the help gets there – without any handling fee. And I was very fortunate to be personally present when the first hero packages were delivered. And what can I say: It was just wonderful to see the joy in the eyes of the recipients and to hear them laugh. I would be happy to take you on our hero tour.

Hero Pack „Mango Tree for Patandi School

From my previous visits to the Patandi school in Tengeru, I know that mangoes are very popular with the students there. When they are ripe, there are always many children standing in front of the mango trees with bright eyes and are happy about every single fruit. A source of joy, a source of vitamins, a source of shade and easy to care for: a mango tree was the right choice for the Patandi school. And so Peter and I headed towards the tree nursery in Arusha. A tree nursery in Tanzania is not comparable to a German one: it is more of a collection of many plants that have been brought forward, most of which are in paper pots on the side of the road. For my gardener’s heart it was a feast for the eyes, because each plant stood there individually and not sterile next to each other like cloned soldiers. Biodiversity like in a picture book – and yet presented properly, systematically and in a customer-oriented manner. So even choosing was a little party for me and we quickly found our tree.

With the tree and a ball in our luggage, we made our way to the Patandi school and were greeted with joyful laughter. Because the children know: When Peter comes with the big wagon from Guruguru Safaris, he has good news or delicious food in his luggage – for example for our New Year’s Eve feast. In no time at all, about 60 children, most of whom are deaf, were gathered around our car. As soon as I got the ball out, it disappeared into the crowd of children. It wasn’t inflated yet, but balls work in Tanzania without air. So it was a wonderfully colorful mess with a tree, a ball, cheering children, a shovel and a bucket of water. Under the guidance of Peter, a few older children dug a hole and together we planted and watered the new mango tree. With sweat on their foreheads and big grins on their faces, a happy group stood around the tree and looked forward to the many sweet fruits to come. For me – even after ten years of knowing the Patandi school – every visit there is a celebration that triggers indescribable feelings of happiness in me.

Hero Pack „Mosquito nets for my sweetheart”

For another hero pack, we headed deep into the hinterland of Tanzania to Rishankira. The 22-year-old comes from the poorest of backgrounds and, due to his deafness, is unfortunately the last in the family. We brought two mosquito nets to protect him and his six siblings from malaria. Because: This disease is still the most common cause of death in children here. Four mosquito bites showed me that we were on the right track.

I met Rishankira when he was twelve years old – during my internship at the Patandi School in 2012. We spent countless hours together with memory games and many other things and he has become one of my heart people here, his development I always followed.

In 2020 Rishankira finished school and I wanted to finance his education, but he was doing very poorly at the time. What to do? Luck in disguise: Since Peter couldn’t go on safari tours because of Corona, he took care of him. Because: In my business partner I have not only found a very good friend, but also a wonderful person with a big heart. So my business partner and good friend converted the safari car into an aid transporter and took Rishankira to the doctor. The diagnosis was hard: tuberculosis in an advanced stage. Peter accompanied him through this difficult time: he drove with him from doctor to doctor, got the medication and explained to his parents when they should be taken and what he should eat.

Rishankira is the key figure in founding the charity project and was the inspiration for our hero packs. Because we want to make a future possible for even more children and adolescents!

My big thanks go to the two heroines who made these donations possible!