Mama na Baba


Mrs. Cherie Szucs (Such) “Mama Dee”

Born in Toronto, Ontario in 1961, Cherie grew up in typical, middle class neighborhoods in Mississauga, Burlington, Hamilton and most recently Simcoe, Ontario.  She attended Mohawk College and McMaster University in Hamilton (Women’s Studies & Religious Studies)  and has worked in real estate since 1980 in administration, accounting, management and sales and has assisted her husband as a ginseng farmer since 1992.  She has two adult step children, Amanda and Stephen and is “Mama” to the “watoto” (children) of Tumaini!

Cherie worked for years as a volunteer with the Burlington Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce); has been involved, for over a decade, with Girl Guides Canada as a troop leader and regional director; she has worked for several years as a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization; and has volunteered on several different committees within her church.

Early in 2009 Cherie tended to her dying father (prostate cancer) nursing him through  his death in April.  Shortly after his funeral she vowed to realize a lifelong dream to “give back” some of the many blessings she has enjoyed over the years.  Africa, and its’ terrible need has tugged at her heart for many years.

A local newspaper ran an article on Tanzania and helping children and the link was Oddo.  They met initially over the internet, Cherie decided to make a trip to Tanzania to investigate and the rest as they say, is history.

The two of them teamed together and Tumaini Children’s Foundation was born.  Tumaini was registered in Tanzania (2009) as an N.G.O under The Non-Governmental Organization Act, 2002 (No. 00003232), , and in February of 2010 we received our charitable status in Canada.

The needs of the children of Tanzania are immeasurable by western standards.  Deplorable living conditions, malaria, HIV/AIDS, all have contributed to an inhumane standard of living and we must help.

A home was leased and children in desperate and immediate need were brought into our care.  Initially numbering twenty four, we quickly grew to our present number of 52 children.


oddo head shot

Mr. Oddo Ndonde

Mr. Oddo Joseph Ndonde was born in the village of Songea in southern Tanzania, August 23rd, 1964.  The eldest of seven children he trained in the seminary and studied to become a Roman Catholic priest.   He is married and has four healthy children, Elizabeth, Joseph, Ruthie and Reuben.

Oddo is well qualified to assist children in need and has attended several training programs and courses over the years including:  Public and International Relations; African Traditional Studies; Conflict Resolutions; Children’s Rights; Clinical Pastoral Education (Counseling); Counseling for Traumatized Children; Project Planning and Management; Financial Management for Development Organizations; Gender and Good Governance and Civics Participation in Local Governance.

Since 1997 Oddo has dedicated himself to working with vulnerable and orphaned children in different organizations before cofounding Tumaini Children’s Foundation with Mama Dee.  He has held the positions of Central Manager, Project Manager, Counselor and Assistant Director and has been a member of the Executive Committee of the National Networking of Organizations working with Children in Tanzania (N.N.O.C.) and participated in forming the Forum for Child Concerned N.G.O.’s in Arusha (F.O.C.N.A.)

 Joining Mr. Oddo on a walk through the streets of Arusha is all the validation he requires as most adults and the many street children of “town” refer to him as “Teacher”.

Please tour our site, meet our children and considering sponsorship.  Asante sana!!

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