Croatian Furniture for Tanzanian Orphanage

Total Croatia News

Furniture makers from Virovitica-Podravina County help the children of Tanzania.

Tanzania is a country in East Africa along the Indian Ocean with 36 million inhabitants. It is one of the least urbanized countries on the continent, and because of poverty, it is extremely difficult for the government to build kindergartens and schools. Therefore, humanitarian organizations from around the world often take a part of the job on themselves. One of those is the Croatian humanitarian organization Kolajna Ljubavi, which takes care of the orphanage of St. Anthony in the town of Songea. There are about 700 children, mostly orphans, living in the orphanage, reports on March 27, 2016.

“Since in Songea there are not enough educational institutions for pre-school children, we have decided to build a kindergarten there so they could acquire the preschool education to ease their transition to school. Since the attendance of kindergartens and schools in Tanzania is paid, we intended for the kindergarten to be open to other children from the town as well. In order to collect the funds necessary for the construction and equipping of the kindergarten, we organized many humanitarian events, exhibitions and lectures”, say representatives of the Kolajna Ljubavi.

The kindergarten was built, but there was not enough money for furniture to be bought. However, seven wood processing companies from Virovitica-Podravina County decided to help, together with the VIDRA Development Agency and the Viridis Wood Cluster. They donated a total of 132 new and special-made pieces of furniture.

It was a great challenge to produce 60 tables and benches and 12 cabinets for the Tanzanian kindergarten since all the furniture had to be fitted into only 120 square metres of space. They also had to select materials specially adapted to African climate conditions. In addition, they had to produce it in pieces so it could be put into containers and transported on a ship to Africa. However, they managed to solve all these problems thanks to their experience which they have acquired by many years of producing for Croatian and foreign markets.

“We were able to join forces, design the product, provide high-quality materials and produce it cheaply”, says the director of one of the companies who, like all the other generous people in this story, wanted to stay anonymous.

The furniture was loaded into a shipping container at the Port of Rijeka and arrived in Dar es Salaam in 2013. Under military and police escort, it was transported in a truck for another thousand kilometres and arrived undamaged in Songea. A special volunteer arrived from Croatia to assemble it in the kindergarten.

It took two years for all the permits issued by the Tanzanian authorities to be obtained, so the kindergarten was finally opened this year on 15 February. On the first day, thirteen kids in purple and green uniforms entered the kindergarten.

“We are proud to finally open the kindergarten and delight these children. After a long fight with the bureaucracy, Tanzanian laws and other obstacles, we have completed another humanitarian project. Images of happy and smiling little children from Songea are the best reward for the donors”, say the people involved.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment