I’m pretty happy that the brick project is underway. We haven’t sold any yet, but I am happy that we are making bricks, so we can be ready to sell, cover our costs, build up profit, and use the profit to subsidize bricks for Church construction.
I am even more happy to be providing a hope and a future to five young folks who missed their education due to living on the streets. (The title means, “hope for the later life”. Sounds strange translated directly, but this is how to express “hope for the future” in Swahili.) You can meet them here. These pictures were taken at their request, and they were insistent that I include their self-given, English nicknames.
Sam, Uncle Boy
Mwita (Mwita directs our efforts to reunite children and youth living on the streets with their families) met Sam on the streets during February of this year, and quickly learned that Sam lives with his father. They get along quite well, so Sam only goes to the streets when his father cannot provide for him. Unfortunately, these times are pretty common. Given their poverty, school uniforms are out of the question, which is why Sam has long stopped attending school.
Yusufu, Super The One Baby.
Mwita met Yusufu on the streets four years ago. Over time, Mwita helped Yusufu to learn to live with his elderly grandmother and leave the streets. Unfortunately, Yusufu hasn’t been to school in four years, and is too far behind to return now, so we are thankful to him a job and skills with the brick project.
Marwa, For the Business
After years of a difficult relationship with his mother, Marwa decided life would be better on the streets. When Mwita got involved in the life of Marwa and his mother, he wondered if a little bit of communication could go a long way, and advised Marwa’s mother to simply communicate with Marwa each day. Mwita also advised Marwa to seek communication with his mother, to push her on it, instead of just running to the streets when he got fed up. This has been working surprisingly well- Marwa has been back living with his mother for several months now. As with the others though, this challenging situation took several of Marwa’s school years, and he is now too far behind to return to school.
Matiko Justin, WCB Wasafi
(WCB Wasafi is Tanzania’s most popular record label.)
Mwita met Matiko on the streets four years ago. At the time, Matiko’s father was working in Nyamongo, a gold mine town 15 miles away from Tarime. His mother was buying fruit in bulk and selling it, and his older sister was unable to leave the house, due to frequent seizures. Matiko had left because he didn’t get along with the family. Mwita started meeting with Matiko, Matiko’s father, and his mother. After awhile, they all agreed that if they would work at communicating with each other more, the situation would really improve. And it did- Matiko has been living at home for the last two years. A pretty rough tragedy came to their family when his older sister drowned three weeks ago. Mwita and I attended the funeral, and we are hoping that this project can give Matiko something positive to focus on during this awful time.
Josef Marwa, Star Boy
Mwita met Josef on the streets 3 years ago. Josef’s mother doesn’t do much to care for him, so Mwita tried to unite Josef with his grandmother. It turned out that the grandmother wasn’t able to provide for him, and didn’t even have a place for him to sleep, so he has returned to the streets. It was beautiful though, when, a few days ago, Josef visited Mwita to tell him that his mother is sick and he wants to go to Nyamongo to visit her. I’m hoping he will be able to make the trip.
Finally, I’m also thankful that we have been able to provide Mama Eppy with some employment. We use a portion of the youth’s daily pay to pay her to cook for them. (I know it looks like I rudely took this photo while she was eating. I promise it was posed, and that she specifically requested that I take a picture of her holding some ugali.)
Thank you for what you have done to love these people.