The young lady in the picture is Junior’s stepmother Tumaini. His big brother Aloise is standing next to him, half sister Vanessa on the left and the youngest, Stanley on Mama’s lap. They all have the same father, but Aloise and Junior have a different birth mother.
A very sick Junior was dropped at our gate by his mother when he was 2. He has not seen his birth mother since. He stayed with us until he got better. Trying to find his mama, we found his father who was with another woman, this Mama in the picture. She was taking care of Aloise, who is not her child and that is very rare in Tanzania but does show the beautiful heart she has. They had another baby, Vanessa and Junior’s health continued to decline with a condition called kwashiako which develops from a severe lack of protein. We decided to let Junior stay with us and we helped the entire family as they were struggling also.
A few weeks ago, we got a phone call that Junior’s father had sold everything and abandoned the family and mama was left behind with nothing. No food, nothing to sleep on, no clothes… and another baby.
We invited the whole family (except the father) to come to Tumaini and we heard their story. I now wish we had known it earlier because we could have protected them. The father has been doing nothing for his family other than beating his wife, abusing her and taking whatever she had. Mama has had no support from anyone, not even her own family because she didn’t want to leave Aloise behind. She protected him as a mama and tried to survive together with her 3 children. She doesn’t hear well in one ear and struggles with painful headache because of the many times he has beaten her. He tried to get rid of Aloise by sending him far away from home, hoping he wouldn’t find his way back and Mama snuck out in the middle of the night to find him.
It’s a terrible story but they are safe now! With us at Tumaini … We rented a room for them very close to us. Mama comes and helps at Tumaini during the day and we have sent the children to school together with ours. Junior is having so much fun with his older brother and you should see the smiles on their faces… I think all of them are still in shock over the positive changes in their lives.
We are looking for sponsorship for big brother Aloise to go to school and cover the costs for him to stay with us at Tumaini. We need 100 EUR per month, or 20 people who are happy to donate 5 EUR every month.
Any help is welcome as always… Thank you!