Tumaini Children’s Foundation is an international collaboration of volunteers dedicated to empowering desperately needy orphaned and vulnerable children by providing not only the basic human needs, but also, ongoing support encouraging growth towards health and safety, independence, and success.

Who We Are

Tumaini Children’s Foundation is a not-for-profit, charitable organization dedicated to the care, support and education of orphaned and needy children in and around Usa River, Arusha, Tanzania.  Tumaini has 55 residents at the orphanage on a regular basis, ranging in age from four (4) years to mid-20s. There are also another 1,000 children Tumaini supports in the community through outreach and enrolment at school. The Foundation also provides assistance to families to support their well-being and education of their own children so that the children can remain at home with their families.

Tumaini was founded in 2009 by Cherie Tiffin-Szucs, a resident of Ontario, Canada and the former co-Executive Director. In that year, Cherie tended to her dying father and nursed 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 had tugged at her heart for many years. A local newspaper ran an article on Tanzania and helping children there, with the link to co-Executive Director, Oddo Ndonde. After meeting initially over the internet, Cherie decided to make a trip to Tanzania to investigate and the rest as they say, is history. More than 13 years later, over 1800 orphaned, vulnerable and needy children have been helped either in residence or through outreach by Tumaini.

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2018, about 14 million Tanzanians lived in poverty, up from 12.3 million in 2011-2012. Using the international extreme poverty rate of US$1.9 per day, poverty in Tanzania has remained stagnant at 49 percent between 2011/12 and 2018 and 27.6 million people are considered poor along this line.

Tumaini has acquired its NGO registration (United Republic of Tanzania, Non-Governmental Organization Act, 2002, Section 12(2) of Act. No. 24 of 2002, Certificate No. 3232) and has received charitable registration approval from Revenue Canada.

Tumaini has no religious affiliation. Most simply put, the level of need dictates the level of assistance we provide.  

What We Do

With the endorsement of the government of Tanzania and the local Usa River communities, Tumaini supports desperately needy children in the most efficient ways possible. The Foundation is run exclusively by volunteers: both on the ground in Tanzania, as well as the Board of Directors in Canada, the United States and Belgium. The only exception to this are the handful of Tanzanians who are paid and who work at Tumaini to help cook, clean and care for the children before and after school.

The support and programs offered through the Foundation include:

  • Providing a home at the orphanage to children who are without family, who have been removed from their families due to violence, and where families cannot assist the children with much-needed medical treatment. The children come to stay at Tumaini to receive this support, but connection is maintained with their families. Tumaini also supports many children through outreach where the child lives with their family but is fed, clothed and educated through support from Tumaini.
  • Providing access to, and financial support of, medical treatment. This includes all medical treatment including HIV, malaria, broken bones, corrective surgeries, and more. In 2018, 880,000 women over the age of 15 were living with HIV.
  • Providing education to all children at Tumaini and access to privately-run state schools. In Tanzania, public schools are taught in Swahili while important Form exams for post-secondary education are done in English. Private schools teach in English which helps students be more successful when writing their exams in order to advance to post-secondary education.
  • Tumaini helps pay for the salaries of five (5) teachers and supports five (5) schools in the community. Tumaini also pays for the salary of a Social Worker on staff that assists to support the children at the orphanage and in the community.
  • For those students who do not attend university or college, Tumaini provides marketable job skills for life after graduation including cooking, trades and entrepreneurship.