Priska intake photo, 2009.

DOB May 16, 2006

Came under Tumaini care early 2009.

Priska is the saddest child I have ever met. Whenever we were together Priska would cling to me, sadly, resignedly. I have dozens of photos of this sad little girl and am committed to turning her frown around! Priska, Mama and seven month old brother Saidi lived in another terrible house in Usa River, I would discover on my home visit.

As I have mentioned before, I became ill in the last week of my stay in Tanzania and was resting late one afternoon when I heard a commotion outside of my door.  The door to my room didn’t open into a home but to the exterior of a private compound.  Mr. Oddo and Mama Priska were arguing, outside my door, in Swahili, which, of course, I didn’t understand.  I wandered out to investigate where Mr. Oddo translated that he had already told Mama Priska we were at capacity and would be unable to help any more people.  Mama Priska argued that she had been to see us three times prior to this meeting to ask for assistance, that we must help she and her children because there was no one else to help and announced that neither she (who was nursing), nor Priska had eaten anything for three days!

I immediately got Priska and her mother some biscuits (there was nothing else prepared) which they devoured.  Mama Priska even let Saidi taste a cookie.

I packed up some dry beans and vegetables (what we had at the compound) and sent them home with my promise to visit them the next day.

Upon my arrival I discovered that Priska’s family possessed nothing in the way of furniture except a bed frame, without mattress or slats (they slept on the mud floor), and two five gallon buckets (the national tool of Tanzania).  We sat on those buckets.  They had no food except what we’d given them the day before and Mama Priska had no prospects for employment.  She had been trying, unsuccessfully, to buy and then resell milk, but was unsuccessful.

I made a micro loan of $55.00 to Mama Priska and we got her into the banana (ndizi) business, purchased her a mattress and had her bed repaired.  We also moved them from their unsafe home and into a home (room) with a concrete floor and walls.

Shortly after I returned to Canada Priska, Saidi and Mama all became ill.  The children have recovered but Mama Priska continues to struggle with tonsillitis and may require surgery when I return.  She continues, successfully, to sell ndizi and has made her first loan repayment installments without delay.

Priska is going to attend pre-school through Tumaini House and if her Mama’s health improves and she is able to continue to work, she may not need our assistance much longer but will return to her mother.

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