Through Their Eyes

Fredrick – Msaranga

Fredrick is an incredibly happy 12-year-old boy. Each time we visit the Msaranga day center, he beams with excitement. He loves singing, playing with puzzles, and interacting with day center visitors. He has been attending the day center at Msaranga since it opened in 2008. Below you will see Frederick interacting with his peers in the day center.

Fredrick lives with his mother and two younger siblings. His father did not live with the family for many years and recently, Fredrick’s father died unexpectedly. Fredrick’s mother does not work regularly. She works odd jobs and as a temporary day laborer, making less than $20 per month. She cannot afford rent, so the family lives with a relative.

When Frederick first started attending the day center, he could not hold anything or grasp objects. His mother had to carrying him to the day center every day. Now Frederick can walk a little bit on his own. He is now able to hold onto things and grasp objects. This is beneficial because now his mother can bring him to the day center on a bicycle and Fredrick can hold on! This gives her more time to find work during the day!

Fredrick’s mother received a microcredit loan from BCC to begin a business selling fruit and vegetables. She was doing well and paid back the loan in full. Just after the loan was paid back, Fredrick became very ill. He had to go to a hospital in Arusha, a larger city about an hour and a half west of Moshi, in order to receive the operation. His mother was able to pay for the operation, but at the expense of her business.

Fredrick’s mother spent all of the profits that she made from the business on his operation. Also, he had to receive physical therapy in Arusha for two weeks before he could return home. His devoted mother stayed with him throughout those two weeks. When they returned from Arusha, her fruit and vegetables had gone bad and her customers had found other stands to buy from. She did not ask for another microcredit loan.

With services from the Hike 4 Healthcare, Fredrick’s mother would not have had to sacrifice her business in order to ensure her son receives a necessary operation. A surgery of this type would have been at least partially covered by the BCC healthcare fund.

The Hike 4 Healthcare will not only benefit the children directly with healthcare, it will also benefit their family’s economic standing by helping parents and caregivers avoid the situation of choosing between their businesses – often their chance to escape extreme poverty – and the health of their children.

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