Holly Perkins, a senior at Merriconeag Waldorf High School in New Gloucester, volunteered in Africa two years ago, during an extended visit with her family to a rural orphanage in Tanzania. Holly fell in love with the children, the staff and the countryside. Even before she returned to Maine she knew she would visit the southeastern African nation again.
In April, Holly returned to the Rift Valley Children’s Orphanage in Tanzania where she offered the children their first ballet lessons. She brought dozens of leotards, tights and ballet slippers, donated through Maine State Ballet in Falmouth, the studio where she has danced for the past decade.
The Rift Valley Children’s Village is an orphanage in northern Tanzania, and it is supported largely through the non-profit Tanzanian Children’s Fund. The founder, India Howell, is a former resident of Portland. The Village provides a home for about 65 young people, from infants to teenagers. The children are adopted by the Village, so that they can live there until adulthood.
Holly and Dave Perkins on ‘CLZ:
Video slideshows from Holly’s trip: