Selborne resident Sylvia Goodall, patron of her two family charities The Mud House Children’s Foundation and The Goodall Foundation, has been made an MBE.
It was presented by Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace for her contribution to education in Tanzania. She was cheered on at the palace gates by a proud family support crew of 23 members – spanning four generations.
Sylvia fell in love with the Ngorongoro region and its community on a safari holiday to Tanzania in 2006 because of a chance meeting with a Tanzanian teacher, the beginning of a friendship which would last for years.
Since then she has been involved in numerous charitable projects in the country. The Mud House Children’s Foundation and The Goodall Foundation support the Maasai community of Wasso in northern Tanzania.
They have sponsored children, built playgrounds, installed chimneys in mud houses, converted containers into libraries, renovated old classrooms and built new ones.
One project was building a school with a borehole and playground in one of the remotest villages. The Maasai community requested that it be named Mama Sylvia’s School. On completion it will be donated to the government.
Sylvia has undertaken many visits to Wasso at her own expense to support her charitable work over the last 17 years. Her commitment and dedication to improving education in Tanzania has been exceptional. Travelling across the African plains at 86 is no mean feat and is testament to the love she has for this remarkable place and its people.
She said she felt “overwhelmed” to receive the MBE and could not believe it. She added: “It’s so exciting, a huge honour. This award belongs to all my family and friends who work tirelessly both here and in Tanzania to improve the education and health of the Maasai community. I’ve met so many wonderful people; it’s been a joy.”
The MBE is awarded to people who have made a significant contribution to their field or community. Sylvia’s recognition highlights her efforts to promote education in Tanzania and unwavering commitment to improving the lives of children in the region.