Monica’s reports from Tanzania: Erieza

Monica’s reports from Tanzania: Erieza

Author: Monika Ugrenova


Today I will introduce you to Erieza.

He is special, the most special. ❤️

When we met, he was selling roasted corn on the market, after that he joined our drama club.🎭

Erieza was the person, who led the warm-ups, while I was late for class,  because I was on a trip associated with the organization of the festival (these trips were quite often and respectively my delays, too.)

Erieza organized everyone when needed. Sometimes he was settling other people“s disputes. Sometimes he was leading some of them himself.

He is one of the boys, who has a very developed sense. We spent a whole month doing sketches. I was giving my students different tasks every day and this boy amazed me every time.

One day I found myself wanting to look only at Eriez and Joshua (I’ll talk about him next time).

Erieza was the boy, who came to a rehearsal straight after his grandmother had died as soon as she had been buried (in Tanzania, the pre-funeral ceremony lasts for 3 days). I hugged him, told him I was sorry and if he wanted he could go home  because he needed a break. He hugged me in return and said, „Let’s get down to work!“

He wants both to be an actor and to eat apples every day. For the first thing, I can say that I would cry because that is a potential and discipline, that every teacher would want his kid to have. I would also cry because… the teacher is missing.

One day I asked all children to write their MATERIAL wishes on a piece of paper. Erieza wrote that he wanted to climb Kilimanjaro … and become a good actor so that me feel proud of him.

In the video you can see a quiet and unexpected happiness, humble happiness, happiness caused by an unexpected gift. This is a big stone, that I picked up from the tallest peak of Kilie that  I reached.

I took it and sent it to Erieza.

He feels loved and special.

Now he has something that will remind him of his dream. Every morning before school, he gets up at 5a.m. and at 5:30 he is already running around Chamino, then he gets home, puts on his uniform and goes to school. He says he wants to be strong for Kilimanjaro.

He is very weak physically but his mind is strong.

And I will never forget the taste of the last corn I ate, the one the boy gave me as a present.



Monica volunteered in Tanzania and worked for 4 months at our partner organization  “Chamwino arts center”.

The project is being implemented with the EU “Erasmus +”, Key Activity 2: Capacity building in the field of youth, “F.I.R.E – From Idea to Reality & Execution” project.