Children of Peace in Tanzania
Musa is amazing. He has a killer singing voice and has always been a great role model to the younger boys at Good Hope. He is so smart—he learned to touch type last month in just three short sessions. My hope is that we can bring him to the U.S. for college. His goal is to be the prime minister of Tanzania, and we’re sure he’ll reach it. This boy’s heart is so huge—he watches out for all his siblings at the orphanage. At Moshi Academy, he was named Head Boy, appointed for his maturity and sense of responsibility. He is a leader.
Robert came to us having lived alone as a young boy. Despite his challenging beginnings, he is growing up to become a star soccer player in Tanzania. Robert’s story is so incredible he will be featured in the upcoming documentary about AFWP in Tanzania. His story is a true testament to the strength of the human spirit.
Aidani came to us by sneaking in to the van as we left for Safari. He ran past everyone, dove between the sleeping bags, and climbed his way into our lives. A quiet watcher, he observes everything that happens at the center and is always ready to help out. He makes his presence known by gently slipping his hand in yours.
Bahati is hilarious—pure personality. He is funny, warm and charismatic. Naturally technologically gifted, if you give him a camera he’ll be taking selfies; give him a recording device and you’ll have his songs. He has to try everything.
Rizicki (big) is a born mathematician. As soon as we put him into a private academy, after he’d never been in school before, he got a B in math. The headmaster said he is gifted. And his singing is amazing—close your eyes and you’d think you were hearing Barry White.
Elibariki came to us by volunteering as a translator at our eye clinic—he always wants to help. A boy with an eager smile on his face and gratitude in his heart, he loves to learn, he loves people, and he is kind. Enrolling him in private school was like watching a child on Christmas morning. We had the pleasure of watching him bond with his new American mama and papa, Carol and Michael Gordon.
Salvatore came to us this past summer. He’s the big brother to our newest Dorcas, and he’s a great addition to our family. He is loving, protective, and kind, with a beautiful smile. He is eager to learn everything and excited to be enrolled in school. He, Musa, and Bahati learned to touch-type in three sessions and are responsible for teaching the rest of the children. He has a new American mama, Sue Collins.
Rizicki (little) was at the orphanage center morning, noon, and night. He had nowhere to go, no one to watch him, and he knew where he’d found love and family—right in our midst. Sometimes we choose people and sometimes people choose us. We’re so glad this sweet little boy chose us. Amy and Rich Lee are his mama and papa.
Ema is pure boy energy, with a huge smile and a sense of fun. Like his father, he is a wonderful artist and couldn’t wait to start Moshi Academy. Our welcome into our family meant the world to him. He loves drumming and coloring and playing with all the other children.
Rozina is being sponsored by Rosemary, who lives in Canada. Rozina is gentle, sweet, and smart. She wants to be a scientist or mathematician and is totally focused on her studies. We know she’ll go far.
Dorcas (big) arrived with Salvatore and Esta. She is soft-spoken, poised, self-assured, and grounded. She connects at the heart with people and forms friendships easily. She touches those around her with gentle warmth. Fran and Tom Bartlett are her mama and papa.
Jacqueline is everyone’s big sister; she’s the gracious guardian. Every child loves Jacqueline and everyone feels safe around her. She has a warmth, a glow, that is home base to everyone at the center. She goes out of her way to please all of us in any way she can—cooking us lunch, drawing us a picture, or by making sure we are comfortable. She does all this with a joy that makes it seem effortless for her. At Moshi Academy, she is the Head Girl, appointed for her maturity and sense of responsibility.
When we think of Witness we think of flowers in her hair, a bright scarf around her shoulders, and a huge smile on her face. She named herself “Whitney Houston” many years ago because of her absolute joy in singing. She’s been leading the church choir since she was a little girl.
Neema is a brilliant student; the headmaster at Moshi Academy, as well as her teachers, have told us this many times. She is pure joy. Whether she’s cooking, or heating water for bathing, or playing with the younger ones, she is always smiling. Math and science are her favorite subjects, although she excels in all.
Delphina has blossomed in her time at the Center. Her early years were challenging, but she has come into her own. Being with us and being at Moshi Academy has allowed her to blossom into the bright and sprightly child we see today. Ana Marie Gomes is now her mama.
Dorcas (little) is a pure peace-keeper. She has proudly worn and studied the International Peace Belt since she was three years old. Nothing pleases her more than sitting and doing artwork for hours with Mama Wendy and getting piggy-back rides from her big brother Miles. She is loving, kind, fair and a true diplomat, happiest when sharing. Joanne Leventhal is her mama.
Esta will entwine herself into a piggyback if you are standing, or into your lap if you sit down. Her fingers are always busy, braiding thread for bracelets, coloring pictures, snapping photos on a camera. She is bright, lively, eager, curious about the world and ready to play. Self-contained at times, she also ducks her head to hide if the spotlight lingers too long on her. She looks out for the younger children. Cathy Jackman and Cindy Rockwell are her “co-mamas.”
Upendo was given to Josephine to raise when she was four days old. Her mama put her into Josephine’s arms just before she died, and Josephine has been her true mama ever since, sleeping with her little girl each night. Upendo won’t go to sleep until Josephine comes to bed. Upendo is a homebody, happiest when she is home with all of the other children back from school. She has a strong sense of herself and views the world with a degree of seriousness and some skepticism. She doesn’t feel the need to please others or seek attention; she’s self-contained. Alyssa Barratt is Upendo’s sponsor.
Claudia Paul of www.claudiahehrphoto.com