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About Upendo Family Orphanage

Upendo Family Orphanage is modeled on the African communal affinity archetype, Tanzanian Ujamaa (brotherhood) tradition and the community based extended family care of the destitute orphans and vulnerable children (ovc). This resilient traditional orphan care system which has made Africans survive against all odds of history like diseases, internecine wars, slavery and famines is currently being overwhelmed by the massive production of AIDS orphans and vulnerable children.

Currently more than 96 percent of the 12 million orphans in Africa are taken care by the community based extended family system in which women and especially grandmothers are the most important caregivers. The massive numbers of the orphans and their needs, the age and health of most grandmothers and their economic status have the cumulative effect of overstretching and overburdening this longtime resilient traditional disaster safety net. It stands in need of an overhaul, modernization and synergy to meet the new challenges posed by HIV/AIDS patients and its resultant orphans and vulnerable children.

The community based extended family must be energized to function to the best of its capacity. The international community and the national governments do not recognize and fund this system in Tanzania and Africa as a whole although the system is the most appropriate psychologically and socially; and the most cost effective economically. Upendo Family Orphanage is an effort in rediscovering, empowering and capacity building of the extended family system to help it play its role and make Tanzanian orphans and vulnerable children survive the tsunamic social, psychological and emotional problems created by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

We request you, our honorable visitor to our website, consider helping us in saving Africa's and Tanzania's orphaned generations. Do your part as we are doing ours and together we save the World from the threat of the ticking time-bomb posed by the hopelessly destitute. A checkered family background is the breeding ground for future potential fatalistic suicide bombers and political dictators. Every child needs a family not an orphanage, to bloom and prosper to respect and be respected.

The Founders

Sr. Mathilde OSB is a Camaldoli Nun from Italy. She is totally blind but is very empathic to the plight of the orphans and vulnerable children of Mafinga area in Mufindi district. She has always helped to the best of her capacity in financing the Upendo orphanage. Her advanced age and her health may finally limit her capacity to function and help.

Fr Bruno D Mgaya is a diocesan priest from the catholic diocese of Njombe and has been teaching at Mafinga Seminary for 15 years. He is a graduate of the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania [BA(Ed) Hons] and Fordham Jesuit University in New York [MA-Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care)

His weekend farming hobby, teaching the youth economic survival skills made him buy the plot on which the Upendo Family Orphanage today stands in both Changarawe and Uwemba. The magnitude of the orphan situation in Tanzania is what made him emphasize the project as a family orphanage to cater for the rising needs the most destitute orphans.

Our future plans are to extend the Upendo Family Orphanages in most villages. This will depend on availability of funds and volunteers to help the children.

Objectives of the Upendo Family Orphanage

  • To facilitate the children's growth in an empathic family setting which they need.

  • To meet the psychosocial needs of the orphans and vulnerable children by using a community-based care in love and compassion.

  • To provide a secure base for the children's physical, mental, emotional and psychological growth.

  • To facilitate their attending and finishing Primary school and whenever possible helping them excel to higher standards for upward mobility in social status.

  • To help them acquire economic survival skills necessary for adult productive life.

  • To help the children experience a holistic community based care which support them as they grow to become socially integrated adults in society.

The challenges

  • Integration of the caregivers family and the orphans

  • Financial needs to educate and train the adult orphans to start life on their own.

  • Improving the living standards, i.e. food, clothing and housing.

  • Recruiting, motivating and retaining the volunteers to help the orphans.

  • Soliciting government funding of this form of orphans care.

  • Limited skills of the volunteers in childcare psychology.