- House rented in Dar-es-Salaam
- First children were taken in
- The children go to school
- Support of the bank
- Children tested for HIV/AIDS: nobody infected!
- The President’s wife is supporting us!
With our help Najma Manji rented a house in Dar-es-Salaam. The house is just outside the centre and has a wall and large gate that can be locked. This house offers a safe refuge to 15 children and a helper.
The Malaika children’s home was not officially open, but Najma Manji took in seven children. The youngest child was a 4 year old boy and the oldest was a 7 year old girl.
The first children in the Malaika children’s home,with Najma Manji (centre) and helpers.
The first step towards a positive future is taken. The children are going to school!
In Dar-es-Salaam, the children go to school. Here they are in a class with children who still have parents.
The children go to school by public transport, which is very expensive. The children have to be accompanied by helpers. We therefore need to raise funds as quickly as possible to buy our own bus for the Malaika kids.
Within Tanzania our initiative has also been widely supported. The owner of the FMBE Bank has helped us by taking care of the problems and costs which international money transfers can bring. This bank also has branches in Cyprus and Russia and is the first bank in Tanzania to have a worldwide network. The Malaika Children’s home Foundation, our sister organisation in Tanzania, has opened an account at the branch of this bank in Dar-es-Salaam. Our contact person there is the Dutch bank director Jan van Jaaren.
The children in the home have finally been tested for HIV/AIDS. This was initially a problem: according to Tanzanian law, a test can only be requested by people of eighteen years or older, or by the parents of a child. It’s important for us to know whether the children are ill, so that we can provide the necessary medication. For quite some time we were worried about Fikilini, a five year old boy, who had been continually ill since he was brought to us.
After lobbying the government intensely, we fortunately got permission to have the children tested. All children have now been tested and the great news is that none of the children are infected, not even Fikilini! We have now agreed with the government organization, that places children with us, that the children will first be tested before they enter the home. Each child therefore has an HIV/AIDS-test report when he comes to us.
First we had the support of bank director Jan van Jaren, and then in 2005 we won the support of the wife of the president, Mama Anna Mkapa! Her organisation Equal Opportunities for all Trust Fund (EOTF) is supporting our initiative in various ways. First they helped by finding a piece of land on which to build the first children’s village.
Apart from this, her organisation can help us influence those government agencies whose support we most need. Certain processes can be speeded up and without any hint of corruption. This lobby has already borne fruit: Najma, the driving force behind the children’s home, had already been trying to get certain documentation from the local government. One telephone call from the executive director of EOTF, Basil Luwemba, worked wonders: One day later the document was ready and signed.
Read Our History 2005