Godfrey’s Children Center
was a haven for children in need and a hub of activity in an isolated
village hard-hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The center’s five
buildings were constructed by villagers who used a single hand-operated
machine to make 10,000 bricks. Unfortunately, due to a conflict between
a foreign donor, the community of Idweli and Godfrey’s Children
Organization (Tanzania NGO), the center was closed by the Tanzanian
district government in December 2007.
The Lundy Foundation regretted the closing of Godfrey’s
Children Center, but we were able to take the valuable lessons learned
there and leverage them. Our experience in evaluating the center’s
impact, for example, has evolved into a research
methodology that can be used internationally by any organization
seeking to improve children’s lives. Further, we have come to believe that all international projects funded by the U.S.
government can benefit from monitoring and evaluation, like we did
in Idweli. We have become advocates before Congress for the passage
of legislation requiring all U.S. foreign aid programs to be evaluated
for impacts and results.
Godfrey’s Children Center may only be a memory,
but its impact lives on.