Irene is a sweet and playful young girl who was orphaned when she was 4 years old. Irene was taken in by her Aunty, who was desperately poor. Her aunty was kind, but earning only about 50 cents per day she was unable to look after Irene and her other children. In 2007 she was taken in by an all girls’ orphanage, but they wouldn’t take her brother Kalvin. Through the orphanage Irene was able to attend an English speaking school and was able to greatly improve her reading, writing and English skills. When the orphanage she was living at could no longer support her, so she was taken in by the Ujamaa Children’s Home and reunited with her brother Kalvin. Irene is attending a great school and learning to cook some different foods such as ugali, mashed potatoes and beef stew. She really enjoys cooking and wants to learn more. Her favourite book is Harry Potter and Night Society. Her school work is hard and they have high expectations but she enjoys learning and seems to thrive in a challenging environment. Her favourite subject is Chemistry.
Little Irene came to the home in 2016 with Teddy. These beautiful little girls were living in extreme poverty and an unsafe environment and were rescued by an organisation called Walk In Love who brought them to Ujamaa. Irene likes to draw and colour in. Her favourite thing to draw is flowers. Her favourite movie is Moana. Irene is enjoying reading and her favourite book is Winnie the Pooh and Friends. Right now her favourite food is chips! Irene has adapted into the home beautifully and is doing well in school. She is happy and friendly and enjoys learning.
Halima and Ally are first the beloved twins of the Ujamaa Children’s Home. They have been at the home since they were four and are absolutely delightful and have won the hearts of everyone at the home and all the volunteers. When Carley first went to visit them they ran up to her, hugged her and took her by the hand to show her around! Their mother died of AIDS when they were 2 years old and their father who is also affected is too sick to care for them any longer. He knows that his time is very limited and the look of joy and relief when Ally and Halima came to the home and he knew they would be cared for throughout their lives was simply priceless.
Halima likes being at school because she says the environment is clean and the teachers are teaching well. Her favourite teacher is Madam Veronica, who teaches Science and Vocational Skills. Halima says “When I grow up I want to be a Doctor”. On the school break Halima enjoyed playing and singing and dancing. Halima loves to dance and enjoys her weekly dance lessons at the home.Ally likes school because there are good teachers. Mr. Jared is Ally’s favourite teacher because he helps Ally understand the class work. Ally’s favourite subjects are Maths and Science. He says “When I grow up I want to be an engineer that makes cars”. Ally’s favourite food is rice and beans. His favourite movie is ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’.
Sabina was orphaned when she was 5 years old. She lived with her Aunty, but she struggled to feed Sabina and her own children. With Irene, Sabina was the first child in the Ujamaa Children’s Home and is the oldest in the family. Sabina was the first of the children to finish school, and we are now supporting her transition into adulthood. She has been doing a Hospitality Course through Jobortunity since November 2015 and is learning a lot of new skills. She is currently doing a placement on the Northern side of Arusha National park at Hatari Lodge. Because it is far away (about 2hrs from our home), Sabina stays on site for 3 weeks at a time and then returns home for a week of school each month. She is doing very well at this placement and already receives an allowance from them. We have high hopes that she will get a job there and will be able to continue with her role. We are so proud of Sabina and how far she has come!
Ema arrived at the Ujamaa Children’s Home in 2012. Ema was abandoned in a field when he was just 1 year old and has been raised in an orphanage in a small village outside of Moshi for the past 5yrs. While they attempted to give him good care, lack of funds has meant that Ema has had poor quality food, has been regularly ill and has only had a very basic education. Ema is thriving at school because it’s a nice environment and the teachers are good. Ema went on a school trip and watched how plastic bottles are made which he found very interesting. His favourite subjects arescience and English. His favourite games are football and netball. Ema says he loves being at Ujamaa because his ‘Aunties’ are teaching him good manners and taking good care of all of the kids. He loves having dance classes at home and is really good at doing handstands! Ema is a very happy young boy!
Kelvin is Irene’s younger brother who was left with his Aunt when Irene was taken to her previous orphanage. Ultimately his Aunt was unable to keep him and Kelvin was moved from one family to another, none of them really able to care for him or give him a home. It is an absolute joy that we have reunited Kelvin and Irene and that they are able to share their lives together again. Kelvin has come on in leaps and bounds since coming into the home. Kelvin started at his first English-Medium school in May and he’s loving it! Kelvin is thrilled to now be a part of the Future Stars Football Academy. They have training each Saturday morning to learn new skills and play matches. Football is his most favourite sport and he is very good at it! He says that he likes the training because it is helping him to learn how to control the ball as well as about defending and scoring. One day Kelvin wants to be the President of Tanzania!
Annie was born in a very poor Masai Village near Lake Manyara. She was brought into the home in September 2012 after her grandparents were no longer able to care for her. Annie is always full of energy and is very creative. She is often making up games and she is very happy in her own company. She of course loves to play with the other kids but with such an active imagination she also enjoys playing in the garden on her own and making up lots of stories. Annie is enjoying studying at school. Madam Vero is her favourite teacher, she teaches Science. She loves skipping rope and jumping on the trampoline. Her favourite meal at the moment is rice and beans.Annie is bright and funny and a joy to have in the home.
The home’s second set of twins Meshack and Shedrack were found by nuns on the streets of Arusha. They were walking 7km each day to collect metal scraps from the dump to sell for food. They were abandoned by both parents when they were born and were living with their very old and poor grandmother. Their grandmother is unable to care for them and the Nuns bought them to our home so that we could give them a chance at a better life. The twins have the most incredible bond and love spending time together. They are also thriving individually and have their own special place within our family. Meshack & Shedrack our now part of the Future Stars Academy Football (soccer) training in Arusha. They meet each Saturday morning to learn new skills and play matches. They absolutely love it!
Meshack is really enjoying the training at Future Stars Academy. He is also loving school. His favourite subjects are Science and Maths. At school he is having fun playing basketball for the first time. Shedrack does love his school but says he enjoyed his holiday as well because he could relax and play football. His favourite movie is Jack Frost and his favourite food is rice and beans.
Yohana was abandoned by his father when he was very young, and was then left with his Aunt in Arusha because his Mother believed he would have a better life. His Aunt was unable to care for him, leaving Yohana to fend for himself. Although he was a strong boy, it was very difficult and he was often sick and unable to attend school. Since coming to the Ujamaa Children’s Home, Yohana has been happy and playful and is learning how to live as part of a family. Yohana has settled in to his new school very well and he has been named Class Captain which is fantastic. He is growing up to be a responsible and kind young man. We are very proud of him.
Anjelina came to The Ujamaa Children’s Home from a village near Tanga. With only an ailing Grandmother to care for her she came to the Home to get the support and education she needs to thrive. Anjelina could only speak her tribal language, Kisambaa, when she arrived but she is rapidly learning Swahili and English and has just started Nursery School. Angelina loves to draw flamingos and she enjoys skipping rope. She loves singing and her favourite song to sing is ‘Follow the Leader’. Often when you come into to the home she is wandering around singing to herself. She is just adorable. She also likes to read stories to you in Swahili and explain the pictures. She tends to crack herself up with her own stories and spends most of the time giggling. Her favourite book is ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’. At the moment her favourite food is Chipsi Mayai (which is sort of like an omelette with chips in it) and she says she would like to have longer hair so she could braid it.
Remi was very ill and needed two serious operations which his dying mother couldn’t get for him. The Ujamaa Children’s Home took him in, arranged for him to have the surgery and cared for him through his recovery. He is now a happy, healthy, strong willed and determined little boy. Despite being one of the youngest in the family, Rey is the first to want a hug (in fact he runs for them!) and always wants to be a part of everything. He is inquisitive and is doing incredibly well at school and we are so proud of him. Remy loves to play and read. He is often sitting with a book and looking at the pictures. He also loves to build with lego. Remy is doing very well at school and gets top marks. HeHe loves to learn and we can see exciting things in his future.
Nadia is a superstar! She came to the home after she was found being used for child labour and with no one to care for her. After just one term at school she is top of her class and is already being moved up a level. Nadia is quiet and conscientious and loves to learn. She took a little while to settle in emotionally and socially but now she is thriving and we couldn’t be more proud of her. Nadia loves to study. She is really happy at her new school and her favourite subject is English. At the moment her favourite food is chapati and beans. Nadia loves to help the Mamas around the house and she actually likes to do chores, especially washing dishes! Nadia also loves to draw. She is very careful with her drawings and takes time to decide on colours and designs.
Isihaka was brought to us from Social Welfare because he had been removed from the environment he was living in due to it being unsafe. The people caring for him were put in jail and he had no where to go. Isihaka immediately became a member of our family and was so happy to be safe and well cared for. Since moving into our home he has settled in very well. He has a huge amount of energy and is always racing around the house playing. He is fearless and strong willed and a bit of a rascal. We love his energy and spirit.
Teddy came to the home in 2016 with little Irene. These beautiful little girls were living in extreme poverty and an unsafe environment and were rescued by an organisation called Walk In Love who brought them to Ujamaa. She has settled in very well and is enjoying studying at her new school, because her teachers are nice. She has made some great friends, including her Ujamaa sisters Annie and Irene. She enjoys English and Maths. At home Teddy likes reading books. Her favourite book is ‘The Flat Hat’. Her favourite movie is ‘Moana’.
Dorcas and Robbie were brought to the home in 2017 by an incredible organisation in Arusha called Plaster House which provides life-changing surgery for children in Tanzania as well as rehabilitation and outreach programs. Almost all the children that come to Plaster House are brought in by family members and after their treatment they are able to return home. Sadly both Dorcas and Robbie had nowhere they can go back to and were living onsite at Plaster House for some time before they were brought to Ujamaa.
Dorcas had been living at Plaster House for several years. She came from a Masai Village about 4 hours from Arusha and was brought to Plaster House for surgery. Due to some complications, she still has a colostomy stoma, however this does nothing to slow her down and she loves to run and play just like all the other children. Dorcas is full of energy and always has a smile on her face. She has settled into the home like she had been there all along! We hope that in time we may be able to take Dorcas to Nairobi for additional surgery to resolve this issue.
Robbie had been living at Plaster House for nearly two years while he received a number of facial reconstructive surgeries. He will steal your heart with a smile and is just an absolute joy to have in the home. He loves to kick the football around and now has lots of older siblings to dote on him! Robbie will continue to have surgeries and other therapies in the future to help with his growth and development. He is a little superstar and we just know he has a bright future ahead of him!