Through Their Eyes

Neema from Msaranga

Neema is a 9 year old girl who attends the BCC day center at Msaranga Parish. She has been receiving services from BCC since 2008. She is a very energetic young girl who loves singing and having her picture taken. Every time we visit Msaranga center, Neema greets us with a song and a smile.

Neema’s father left the family when he found out that Neema had a disability. Her mother stayed with her until she found a second husband. The second husband wanted to marry Neema’s mother, but he did not want to take care of Neema. Neema was left with her grandmother. Her grandmother is too old to work, so Neema and her grandmother rely upon charity of the church and neighbors for their meals. They live in a small house that Neema’s deceased grandfather built many years before Neema was born.

Neema was extremely malnourished when she started attending the day center. She was so malnourished that she could not walk; her legs were too weak. Msaranga center is approximately half of a mile away from Neema’s house. Her grandmother used to carry Neema to the center every day. Thanks to physical therapy that Neema receives at the day center and thanks to the nutritional meals that BCC provides, within the past two years Neema has learned to walk! She now walks to and from the day center every day completely on her own! When we were at the center the other day, she climbed on the teeter totter on her own and enjoyed the activity for several minutes!

Recently, Neema has received an opportunity to go to school at a local private school for children with disabilities. She was accepted into Faraja school, which we wrote about several months ago. Faraja is a wonderful school with very capable teachers. The program is focused on general education, but also on much needed vocational skills. Neema is excited for the opportunity to learn! She is most excited to learn how to read and write.

Unfortunately, Neema’s grandmother is still not able to work and they cannot afford the school fees. They asked the church for sponsorship last year, but the pastor said that funds were not available. The situation is the same again this year. The school fees are $100 per year at Faraja. This includes room, board, text books, and the school uniform. School begins in January.

We see the potential that Neema has and we hate to see her miss the opportunity again. Neema has found a special place in our hearts so we have decided that we will give $50 toward her tuition as our Christmas present to each other (and to Neema) this year. Perhaps someone is looking for a unique Christmas present this year. We would be happy to send more photos of Neema and progress reports about her education (at least until March) if someone is willing to help sponsor her.

If you are interested in giving Neema an opportunity to receive quality education and valuable vocational skills for $50 for one year (to reach the $100 total needed) please email us at john.melissa.tanzania@gmail.com.

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