• Zawadi intake photo, 2009.


Zawadi (Joseph) presents initially as a “shy guy” . . . alas, he is anything BUT!  Mischievous – causing or showing a fondness for causing trouble in a playful way.  Should you ever be walking somewhere around Tumaini and you hear your name called but discover no one present when you turn to look?  That will be Zawadi!

Story of Zawadi

DOB – March 16, 2004

Came under Tumaini care in August of 2009

At almost six years of age, Zawadi weighed in at nearly half of what he should have.  He was the size of a three year old and our most malnourished child at the time. His Bibi (grandmother), who was also his sole caregiver, told us at his physical that this little boy ate soap and cooking oil out of hunger. Zawadi was at an age to begin school if funds were available.

Zawadi, which means “gift” in Swahili, is just that . . .  when not being a self professed “ropoka” (hooligan) he is an incredibly endearing little man because of his sweetness. On my last day, saying goodbye to all of the children, Joseph was the only child who knew how to hug.  Adults in Tanzania are not physically demonstrative emotionally and that aloofness extends to the children. I was hugging and cuddling and lap sitting my entire visit and the children seemed starved for it. Remembering how extremely difficult life is for everyone I can empathize, but I must admit that it was nice to receive a hug back from Zawadi.

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