Michael Martinez in Tanzania.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Mosaic International

The Mosaic International team facilitated the first Discovery Trip to Tanzania for 19 supporters, including three current Mosaic employees. This trip aimed to increase awareness about the situation of people with intellectual disabilities in Tanzania and to directly observe the work of Building a Caring Community (BCC). Other trip goals were strengthening the relationship with the local church and sharing knowledge and tools used in disability service delivery in the U.S., while creating life-long memories for children and supporters alike.

The success of the trip was the result of over six months of preparation and communication with the travelers and hosts. Mosaic International staff members Teresa Roll (Resource Development Manager), Andrew Popa (Vice President of International), and Alex Bailey (Carman International Fellow), along with BCC staff ensured that all supporters had opportunities to see, experience and understand the life-changing impact of BCC’s ministry.

With only a few exceptions, the travelers did not have international travel experience. They were anxious about the experience, and somewhat apprehensive of the hard realities of life they would confront. Prior to departure, all travelers were debriefed on the status of people with disabilities in Tanzania, particularly on the significant risks resulting from stigma. Be it out of shame, economic necessity or sheer exhaustion, these children are often subjected to neglect and abuse. In this context, BCC’s services are a blessing for both children and parents.

During the trip, every evening after dinner, the group gathered to share their impressions of the day. The travelers consistently highlighted the compassion of the staff, the safe and welcoming environment in the day centers and the ability of the young adults to choose their activities and take control of their own lives. It was not difficult for the group to point to evidence of Mosaic’s mission success—a caring community, a meaningful life and a voice for all. 

Mosaic is organizing the next Discovery Trip to Tanzania for July 23 to Aug. 6, 2018. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience!