DOB – November 11, 2012
Came under Tumaini care in 2015
Shortly after being returned to their father we received a phone call from Junior’s “stepmom” explaining that he was sick . . . and was he. We picked him up and immediately took Junior to Dr. Lyimo who diagnosed him not only with pneumonia, but with kwashiorkor, a severe protein deficiency causing him a distended belly, the loss of color in his hair (it looked red when we met him) and an inability to walk.
He was simply too weak to stand up. Junior’s caloric intake was okay . . . he ate ugali daily, but there is no protein in maize and his liver had become damaged. He was a sick little guy and thanks to Mama Korosho, who lived with him for his first three weeks at Tumaini, and then Dada Mary’s loving care and attention, he developed into a busy, energetic, walking, talking young man!
We had never intended to take infants, or even babies (there are special “baby” homes for the very young), but he was so very sick and now that a new baby was in the house (and despite the support of a caring Tumaini volunteer), there simply was not enough work for Dad to find enough nutritious food for his family . . . Junior would have suffered again, and so it was decided that he would stay, which worked out well considering that Angela and Glory’s little brother Elisha joined us also. He is VERY much loved by the children, the mamas, and the volunteers!
Junior, like many of our children, is at an age to begin school. Children usually start attending school between the ages of five and seven. At seven years of age Tanzanian law dictates that a child must attend school but the primary education system in Tanzania is very weak. There are typically one hundred students per teacher, English is not taught, and the educational requirement of a teacher is only the completion of 10th grade. Primary school is taught in Swahili, but secondary school, and the mandatory national test which a child must pass in order to proceed into secondary school, is done in English. Without a solid English background a child’s educational and employment opportunities are very limited.
Junior has become a fun-loving, homework machine. He knows if he does his homework right away, he will have much more time to play after! His favourite playing activity lately has been learning to ride a bike (starting without training wheels, might I add, such a tough boy!)