Toys for Tanzania

Melissa Mngara on a visit to Tanzania.
Melissa Mngara on a visit to Tanzania.

Mrs Mngara said the aim of the Paper Bag Project was to put a smile on a child’s face by providing them toys.

‘Many of us have the comfort of a warm bed at night, running water, constant electricity and even the luxury of toys to play with,’ she said.

‘I learnt that even though there was a language barrier between me and a lot of the children, the one thing that helped us communicate was playing.’

Mrs Mngara said she decided to get people on board to help out the kids in the region for her upcoming trip in December.

‘I figured I would just have a few bags from friends and families to put in my suitcase, but within a few weeks, we had over 200 bags,’ she said.

‘There was such an overwhelming response that I set up to project to cater for all the interest.’

Mrs Mngara said she would visit the country for Christmas with her 14-year-old son Tyson and husband Will, who was born in the region.

‘It’s a bit more personal than sending money to a charity,’ she said.

‘The idea is you get a paper bag, personalise it with pictures and messages, and then fill it with toys and other items, then send it back to us.

‘We have had over 700 bags donated to the project.’

Mrs Mngara said she would travel to different villages and orphanages to deliver the bags personally.

‘When I first visited I was welcomed with open arms and the people were so warm and friendly, and most of all they were happy, even though many of them had so little,’ she said.

‘I wanted to give something back to these people.’

The bags were to be shipped over and picked up by Mrs Mngara when she arrived.

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