• Christina intake photo, 2009.


Christina is a very friendly, outgoing and happy child, but she will always struggle to learn and will require extra attention for all of life.  She is alert and willing, sometimes even the teacher, giving me instruction in Swahili.

Story of Christina

DOB – September 8, 2002

Came under Tumaini care early 2009.

Our darling Christina was born  with hydrocephalus due to a folic acid deficiency her mother experienced during the early stages of her pregnancy.  Unfortunately, many of the anti-malarial medications used in Tanzania deplete folic acid and Christina’s mother, not yet aware she was pregnant, may have allowed herself to be treated with such a drug.  As a result, Christina’s brain produces excess fluid which would be fatal if she didn’t have a shunt (small tube) running under skin from her skull, down the side of her neck and into her abdomen where the fluid drains and is absorbed into her body.

Christina’s father is unknown and in 2008 Christina was abandoned by her mother and was cared for by her Bibi (grandmother) who was well into her eighties and unable to provide more than the most basic of care for Christina.  When visiting Christina’s home I always found her filthy, and hungry, albeit ecstatically happy to see me.  You can tell in her photos how excited she got when we visited.

Christina lives and thrives at Tanz-Hands, a rehabilitation and training center in Usa River, where she is learning a wide-variety of life skills.  The center’s goal is to support people with disabilities in living as independently as possible.  After her three-year program, Christina hopes to graduate from Tanz-Hands with an accredited certificate in baking!

When home, Christina loves to share her passion for baking with all the children at Tumaini by making them some special treats.  This is just one example of how she shares the great amount of love that is in her heart.

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