When we started working with orphans in Tanzania, we rented orphanages in certain parts of Dar es Salaam, the seat of government of the East African state. It quickly became clear that we could not operate the orphanages like this in a way that we deemed meaningful and effective. Therefore we decided to buy our own plot of land in Mwandege, about an hour and a half outside of Dar es Salaam, and build an orphanage there ourselves.
The first orphanage built by Streetkids International was a mixed house for boys and girls. Following that was the orphanage for boys, the boys’ house; the first orphanage became today’s girls’ house. In 2012 a further orphanage was built, which now houses our youngest children.
Due to the growing number of orphans, there was no longer enough space on this land, and so in 2013 we bought an adjacent plot of 16000 square metres.
There we will have two further orphanages and a Montessori nursery in the second half of 2015.
Thanks to a generous donation from one of our members, and a donation from the charity help and hope, the house for young orphans was realised. In the summer of 2012, we started to lay the foundations in the last availiable corner of our property in Mwandege on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.
Since the project was budgeted, everything went relatively quickly. Thanks to the diligent workers and helpers, our youngest children have already been able to move into their own orphanage. In addition, we have already been able to take in new children, so that the house was full to capacity in the space of four months.
After the move from the orphanage in the Kijitonyama neighbourhood to our own land, all our children who initially lived there, moved to our first orphanage. Our foster mother Eva moved with us, as well as her husband Jesse and daughter Suzy. After the second house was finished, the first house became the girls’ house, where Eva now warmly and lovingly looks after all our girls.
The orphanage for our boys is the second of our own houses, after the girls’ house. Our boys have now been living there since 2009, after a turbulent transition period. At the time there were 14 boys in the house, and there was just enough room for all of them. Meanwhile it was a little tight during the holidays when the boarders and apprentices came home. The situation was resolved when our third orphanage, for our young children, was finished so that a few of our youngest could move in straight away.
The building of the orphanage was made possible by our main sponsor, Domspitzen Association e.V from Cologne. They proved their tagline „helping is child’s play,“ when straightforward and quick help arrived from Germany!
Since 2003, Markus Brand additionally supports us, with the promotional society for Cologne, whose tireless commitment to „the good cause“ has been instrumental in providing a place in Mwandege where all our children can live together.
Review – 2004 to 2009
From the henhouse to the orphanage for boys
Up until 2004, our children lived in a rented house in the neighbourhood in Mbgala with their foster mother Penina. The circumstances there were difficult; since the building was previously used as a henhouse, where the chickens were actually kept and bred, a complete renovation and cleaning of the building took a lot of work. With the permission of the landlord, we completed this work and in return we would be able to live there for five years rent free. However, after 4 years, difference of opinion with the owner consequently meant that we had to move prematurely into a temporary arrangement.
But: all’s well that ends well! Now, we have been living for years on our own land in Mwandege, happy and free from problems with landlords or owners.
In 2009 the transition period finally came to an end: our second orphanage was finished! It is a bit bigger than the first house, with an additional small classroom and a small apartment for long term interns, guests or assistants. With the completion of the second of our own orphanages, the children from Mbgala were also able to move to our property in Mwandege: so now all children are able to live safely and happily together.
Since 2009 we have a new foster father. Cyprian lives with his wife and two children on our property and takes care that the boys are brought with some strictness but a lot of love.
Thanks to your donations we are now building a fourth orphanage in Tanzania. We began work for the second orphanage in 2009. This orphanage gives 12 orphans a home.