Friday, December 18, 2009

Meet the Good Hope Family

Over the years since Josephine Machuwa opened Good Hope's doors some children have come and stayed, others have been able to leave and still others have taken their place.
Here are some the girls and boys who are living at Good Hope December, 2009

Musa Abdul was one of the very first Good Hope kids. He was about 8 when he came in March 2003 - his exact birth date is unknown, as is his father. When his mother died family members took in his five sisters but no one could take Musa, the youngest. When Josephine found him he was surviving by begging for food from house to house and had never been to school. Although he was school age the local school would not accept him so he was enrolled in a local nursery school and began class 1 in 2005. He has just successfully completed Class 5, enjoys school and is looking forward to going to secondary school. He has learned quite a lot of English thanks to lessons provided by a Peace Corps volunteer working at a nearby school and is overcoming his reluctance to chat with English speakers he knows. He has a real talent for things technical and spends hours making or fixing things. He is a strong leader, especially when it comes to the music making which is a part of every Good Hope day.

Whitney Mukure was also one of the first Good Hope kids. She came when she was about 8 and like Musa, her birth date is unknown. When Josephine found her she was severely malnourished and looked more like an emaciated 3-year-old. Her very young mother had herself been abandoned when her parents died and little is known of her other than that she left the baby with her grandmother to go to a distant town to find work and has not been seen since. Whitney and her great-grandmother subsisted on food begged from neighbours. She also had never been to school and joined Musa at the local nursery school. The following year she was still so tiny that when Good Hope opened its own chekachea (nursery school) she was one of the first students. Bright and creative, she loves to sing and dance and has flourished academically in primary school. She is extremely loving and responsible and provides lots of caring for the younger children. She is still very small for her age and continues to be susceptible to respiratory infections.

When Jacklina Bilini's father her died her very young mother disappeared, leaving Jacklina with a grandmother who was unable to care for her. She was passed from house to house until 2003, when she was about 8. A GH neighbour became aware of the situation and asked Josephine to take her in. She was extremely malnourished, very nervous and distractable. Like the others she had not been to school and would have been unlikely to ever go if she had not come to GH. Once she gained strength she spent a year in the GH nursery school before heading to Class 1. She manages by working very hard and is very proud that she has just completed Class 4. Her real strengths lie in all things related to home making. She takes pride and joy in helping with the younger children, in the kitchen and cleaning up - a task shared by all.

Bahati Santonini is also one of the original kids. When he was born his very young, orphaned, intellectually challenged mother was unable to cope alone. They were taken in by a very poor Good Samaritan but he was unable to care for them and gave up. When Josephine found Bahati in 2004 he was living with his grandfather who very ill and both were straving. He started at the chekechea and then joined Class 1. He is extremely bright, shows great artisitic talent and has excelled in school, where he has just completed Class 4. He takes pride in his sucess and loves to demonstrate how well he can write both English and Swahili. He is very sociable and his sense of humour and winning smile make him a real favourite with all.

Jacklin Aklei came to live at Good Hope in 2007 when she was 14. Abandoned at 6 months, she lived with her grandmother until she died, then was taken in by an aunt. Initially GH helped with her school expenses but later was asked to take her in. She completed Class 7 in 2008 but did not do well enough in her exams to be accepted for secondary school. Thanks to a generous GH supporter from Norway she was able to enroll in a 2-year tailoring course where she as been very successful and has discovered that she loves to sew. Once she finishes and has a sewing machine she will be able to set up shop at GH and produce school uniforms and other garments for GH and for sale as well as look after the mending that a household of kids creates. Jacklin is hard-working, quiet and shy but makes a lovely calm contribution the the GH family.

The Jerome family, Joseph 16. Pius 14, Riziki 12 and Dorcas, 3, joined GH in 2008. Their mother died shortly after the baby was born. Their father is seriously ill and cannot provide care of any kind. He lives nearby with his bed-ridden mother and visits when he is able.

Joseph had completed Class 7 and was living with a widowed man who was forcing him to work long hard hours for meagre pay without any hope of going to secondary school. He provides a lot of help with the GH farming and is in Form II at the local secondary school thanks to a caring Egyptian sponsor. He is soft spoken and quiet and a very hard worker. He likes school and is determined to succeed as he realizes that he must be responsible for his siblings. When he gets a chance he loves to kick a football around. He is a great role model for the younger boys who really look up to him.

Pius is 14 and in Class 3. He came to the chekechea in 2005 but disappeared when his baby sister was born. He ended up doing odd jobs, including hauling rocks and sand for builders to contribute to the household while his mother was so sick. After she died he wandered around the area carrying the baby on his back as he begged for food. When he was able to get a job he left the baby with an old woman and brought back what little money he has able to earn for food. Now he is back in school in class 3 and has struggled to catch up. However he is smart and determined!

Riziki is about 12. He stayed with his helpless father and bed-ridden grandmother, begging food for them all. When he came to GH he was very malnourished, had jiggers, a seriously distended belly and other problems associated with extreme deprivation. He had never been to school and has flourished since starting in Class 1, quickly moving up a class as he forged ahead. He is very bright, has a delicious sense of humour and a great appreciation for the turn his life has taken. He told Josephine, "Before I had nothing but now I am a shining man!"

Dorcas came to Good Hope with Pius. She was sick, weak, seriously malnourished and extremely wary of strangers. For a time we wondered if she would live but she has made amazing gains and has developed into a smart, happy, loving, curious toddler who is every one's pet. She loves to spend time in the chekechea where she seems to absorb all that is going on. She will have a wonderful head start when she is old enough to go to school

Grace Solomon is about 14. She was a student in the first chekechea class but left when both her parents died. She was passed from household to household working as an unpaid, ill treated house girl until a neighbour called Josephine in the summer of 2008 asking for " for a suffering orphan" he had rescued but didn't know how to help. Grace had never been to school but was eager to learn. Since coming to Good Hope she has enrolled in MEMKWA- a Ministry of Education alternative primary education program for out-of-school youth. She reached Class 4 level in less than 2 years, is delighted with her new-found ability to read and write and is is anxious to join the others in Class 5 at the local primary school. When she arrived she was terribly thin, weak and stooped but now is a strong, healthy young lady. She is quiet and shy, a very hard worker with great initiative and really enjoys helping with the cooking.
Delphina Mushi is about 5. In April 2009 a young woman came to visit Good Hope and then vanished, leaving Delphina behind. Several months later she reappeared to explain the painful circumstances which had led her to abandon her niece. Soon after Delphina's father died accidentally their house burned down leaving her mother and two sisters homeless. Her mother went away, leaving the sisters with different neighbours and Delphina with her grandmother and the widowed aunt who has five children of her own. When their house also burned, killing the grandmother, the aunt was desperate. That is when she came to 'visit' Good Hope. She soon after became seriously ill and had only just begun to recover when she returned to tell her story. She said that she was unable to care for any extra children and had heard that Good Hope looked after kids who had no one to care for them. She could tell that Delphina was a smart little girl and wanted her to have a chance for a future that schooling would give. Delphina is indeed bright and is very happy at GH. She loves nursery school and has blossomed. She makes it very clear that she wants to stay and she and Dorcas have become the much loved little sisters in the Good Hope famil

Dotto and Kulwa Minishi, twins who are about 9, were left at GH in the fall of 2008. Little is known about their parents although they do have a distant auntie in Dar es Salaam. When they first came thay had no language other than garbled sounds and signs which they seemed to use to communicate with each other. They are extremely active, highly distractible and impulsive and at first seemed oblivious to their surroundings. The other Good Hope kids have taken them under their collective wing and slowly the boys are learning to speak and beginning to be able to control their their compulsive and sometimes dangerous behavior. The local primary school is unable to accommodate their special needs so they spend some time each day with the younger children in the chekechea where they seem to manage for short periods of time. The future for these boys is a big question but it is clear that right now the best place for them is with the adopted brothers and sisters who have become their family.

John Joseph, 15, never knew his parents who died when he was very young. He lived with his kind but destitute uncle and aunt and their several children in a very small, crowded house. When he was younger Josephine spotted him hauling sand and rocks to buy shoes, uniform and school supplies so he could stay in primary school and began to help with school fees and supplies. In 2008 he came to Josephine to ask if he could please come to live at Good Hope in return for work around the place because he "... needed a place where he could learn."Like Joseph he has just completed hit Form II final exams and is confident that he did well. He is able to continue next year thanks to the same generous sponsor who is helping Joseph. In addition to studying hard he and Joseph do a lot of the chores required to keep the fields of maize planted and weeded. The large vegetable garden is their special responsibility and they organize everyone to do their share. He also provides a wonderful role model. He aspires to nbe a doctor and with enough support should certainly be able to realize his dream.

Mama Josephine Machuwa is the heart and soul of Good Hope. She grew up in a small house where Good Hope now stands and built the original GH building as a home for her late parents. She left Moshi as a young woman and went to Nairobi where she brought up her two sons. She became a successful business woman and retired from a senior level position with a multi-national corporation to return home when her widowed mother was very old and needed care. At that time she started looking around for a way she could make a difference in her home community which, she discovered, included abject poverty hidden very close by, was very hard hit by the HIV and AIDS pandemic and was seriously lacking in hope. So Good Hope Trust was born. After surveying the needs on foot she discovered many children who had been orphaned, often after caring for their dying parents, left to fend for themselves or to live with destitute grandmothers and sometimes great grandmothers. These, she decided, where the people who needed her most. What started out as a home for a few abandonned kids soon evolved into a more comprehensive support program: in addition to the 'family' there is also a nursery school that provides a nourishing meal half-way through the morning, follow-up support as tboth resident and nursery school girls and boys move on through primary school and now secondary school, provison of school suppplies and uniforms for a large number of kids who have no other way to stay in school, and income generation projects with local women to help them support themselves and the many children who need them.
While the community was initially quite suspicious they slowly began to understand what Josephine was ready to do for her community. This is evident in just some of the roles she has been asked to assume: treasurer of the committee responsible for building a new primary school close by, member of the boards of directors of two local secondary schools, representative on the district HIV and AIDS committee and friend and counsellor to the countless people who come to the door. One result of her outreach has been the formation of WAVUMBE, a dynamic, multi-age group of about 50 people living with HIV who actively advocate for greater openness and understanding about HIV and AIDS and the pain and fear caused by stigma and discrimination. The group also provides encouragement and support to each other as they struggle to stay healthy. They also help other community members deal with the challenges of going through the process of testing and follow-up. Together with Good Hope they are currently trying to build a community medical clinic close to home which the district has promised to equip and staff.
The miracle of all this is that it has, so far, mostly been accomplished without any official donor support. Rather funds have come from Josephine's own pocket as well as contributions from individuals and their families and friends in Canada, the USA, Norway and Egypt who have in one way or another learned about Mama Josephine and Good Hope. She has absolute faith that God will provide and so far she has not been disappointed! As the needs grow so does that circle of Good Hope friends.
If you would like to be part of that important circle contact

Josephine Macuwa at
Rosemary O'Shaughnessy,

Donations can also be make on line through KESHO Trust: . Just follow the Good Hope link.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Piglets & Construction Work

8 piglets were born yesterday. The sale of piglets is an important source of income for the centre. A 3-month old piglet sells for 35,000 Tshs (approximately $28 (US) ).

Meanwhile, workers are busy digging for the new septic tank and working on the new bathroom/toilets.

Webmaster Thomas (that's me) took photos and updated the website, for which he received tea, bread, and a fried egg. I call it a good trade.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rosemary Garden & New Bathroom Construction

Below is a picture of Good Hope's vegetable garden, nicknamed Rosemary Garden. The vegetables grown there help supplement the children's diet and help cushion our pocketbook.

Next is a picture of a new bathroom under construction. It will have separate facilities for boys & girls. We expect to have it ready by mid November 2009.

Monday, May 25, 2009

New Progress on the Resource Centre

Below are some more pictures of the latest construction work.

The framing for the roof will begin soon, but we lack funds for iron roofing sheets. Approximately 80 sheets (each 6 m x 1 m) @ Tshs 75,000 each are needed, for a total of Tshs 6,000,000 and another 600,000 for the cost of labor. A budget for the costs of the project to date will be posted shortly.

Special thanks to Tasha Komery (Canada), Rosemary O'Shaughnessy (Canada), Steve and Claire (Canada), Agatha Marie, the initiator of the resource centre (Tanzania), Victoria Mushi (Tanzania), Turid and Inge (Norway), the congregation of Zion Episcopal Church, Charles Town, WV (USA), and The Tobiason Family (USA).

"Rome wasn't built in a day."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Progress on the Resource Centre

Below you can see the work which is being done on the Resource Centre. It was necessary to strengthen the structure to prevent further damage from the heavy rains (May/June).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kindergarten (Chekechea) & Other Current Projects

The centre hosts a kindergarten (Chekechea) for the children of poorer villagers. The children contribute by bringing a clean cup for porridge and a piece of firewood. Below you can see the teacher, Rogati, serving morning porridge.

Next is some renovation work being done to enlarge the children's rooms. The rooms were somewhat cramped before and the roof was leaking badly.

Here you can see our old kitchen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Some of Our Accomplishments & Our Thanks

With help from our friends in Norway, we were able to construct a modern kitchen which was completed in December 2008. Thanks to Turid and Inge for gathering donations from their friends, relatives, and other well-wishers.

A kindergarten classroom was repaired with help from Lynne and David Harty from USA.



The classroom was originally built with help from Rosemary O'Shaughnessy from Canada, Kevin Commons, and their family and friends. The purpose of the classroom is to provide early education for orphans and other vulnerable children of Kibosho Umbwe and other nearby villages.

We also have a pig project whose funds were donated by Corona Women of Dar es Salaam through the help of Rosemary O'Shaughnessy. They donated pigs and built a pen for them.

Furthermore, Good Hope was blessed with 3-acre maize farm which provides food for the children at the centre and the kindergarten students (CHEKECHEA). This land was bought for Good Hope by Rosemary and Diplomatic Spouses of Tanzania.

The initial chicken coop was built with help from Cynthia Tobiason from USA, who is the mother of Glory Tobiason who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kibosho Umbwe from 2003 to 2005.

And let's not forget the 4WD-drive Suzuki (visible above) nicknamed "Sarita" by Rosemary who collected donations from friends, relatives, and various organizations, especially Agriteam.

We would like to express our thanks to Glory for organizing a group of 12 women who were able to build a pig pen with help from PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). Each woman was given a pen along with a sow. Good Hope managed to register this women's group with the local government. Its name is Juhudi Women Group. "Juhudi" means "hard work" in Swahili. The group has expanded to over 50 members and has become self-sufficient through the sale of pigs. Recently, the government's Community Development Fund acknowledged the group's hard work with a loan to open a pig feed store which now provides pig feed to all the pig farmers in the area.

Thanks to TACAIDS (Tanzania Comission on AIDS) for providing money for school uniforms for needy children, for food, and clothing for widows/widowers.

Our special thanks go to Agatha Marie, a Tanzanian student studying in the USA who initiated the resource centre project. Words cannot express our gratitude for all those who are tirelessly working to raise funds to complete this project, including Rosemary O'Shaughnessy, Tasha Komery, Steve and Claire, The Tobiasons, David & Lynne Harty and the parishoners of Zion Episcopal in Charlestown, WV.

Thanks also Save Africa's Children Fund for their donation towards food and school uniforms.

And last but not least, we give our thanks to Thomas Harty, the new Peace Corps volunteer at Umbwe Secondary School for teaching English at the centre and for assisting with the centre's website.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Resource Centre

Below is a picture of a project which was begun in June 2007, but which has stalled for various reasons. Currently, we are raising money to finish its construction. Its purpose is to provide medical care and HIV education to villagers, many of whom are unable to access treatment facilities in Moshi (the closest town) due to poverty.

Part of the front wall collapsed during a rainstorm, but the structure is salvageable. The government has promised to send a doctor, a nurse, and a counselor once the centre is finished.

Patients will be charged a small fee to cover the operating costs of the centre. The fees will also provide some income to Good Hope. AIDS patients (42 in the area) will be able to pick-up their ARVs (anti-retrovirals) free of charge. Additionally, The centre will offer HIV testing and counseling.

Budget for February 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good Hope Trust Story

Good Hope Trust


Doubtless, every country, every region, every village in Sub-Saharan Africa has a heart-breaking story to tell about the combined effects of poverty, women subjugation and HIV/AIDS. Tanzania likewise has been greatly affected as the country continues to lose a large number of the labour force including highly-educated individuals. Much as the situation is worse in the urban areas, it is equally bad in the rural areas where education about HIV/AIDS is far fetched. Kibosho Magharibi in Moshi Rural of Kilimanjaro Region has been hard hit by the scourge. People do not talk of HIV/AIDS in public. Those dying of HIV/AIDS are said to have been be-witched. As a result the spread of the Pandemic is on the increase. A house to house survey recently conducted has revealed that there are more than 3,000 HIV/AIDS Orphans out of a population of 19,212 (Kibosho Magharibi Ward) whose future is uncertain. The affected families and infected individuals and the community at large need education and counseling on how to control further spread of the Pandemic.

At the same time most villagers in Kibosho Magharibi Ward depend on the land and the weather for their survival. Maize, Beans and Bananas are the staple foods. Even those who manage to feed themselves and their families (and many do not) are hard-pressed to find money for other needs e.g. school fees, and uniforms for their children maintenance for their house and farm etc. Gender roles are clearly defined in the Chagga Tribe. Women cook, farm, clean, wash, raise children, fetch water and gather firewood. Men make decisions regarding management of the family’s resources and consume mbege
(locally brewed beer).

This disregard for women’s concerns, opinions and priorities regarding economic issues is mirrored in the sphere of sexual politics. Women do not have a voice about family planning, their husbands’ fidelity or the use of prophylactics. This coupled with the region’s high HIV/Aids. Good Hope Trust founder, Josephine Machuwa returned to her parent’s homestead at Kibosho Umbwe, Onana Village after living most of her life in Nairobi Kenya.

This homestead is the site of Good Hope Trust’s Orphanage Centre and recently built a Chekechea (Kindergarten). She does not charge for the Chekechea as nearby residents are not able to afford it. Public education in Tanzania is not free! They cannot continue in school past Nursery age until they learn English. She is entirely dependent on contributions to pay the teacher, a Matron, Security Guard, Cleaner, and a Gardener (for vegetable and maize plantation) to feed the orphans.

In response to the growing crisis of children orphaned by HIV/Aids in Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania, Good Hope Trust is currently supporting children affected by AIDS in Kibosho Magharibi Ward (7 villages) in Moshi Rural. There are three factors shaping Good Hope Trust’s response to the crisis of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Kibosho Magharibi Ward of Moshi Rural.

In total, over 3000 children have lost one or both parents due to AIDS in Kibosho Magharibi Ward – (the collection of villages surrounding Good Hope Trust). Hundreds more are living with parents who are ill or with families that must stretch scarce resources to care for them. The enormous scope of the crisis requires a rapid scaling up of interventions, a broad resource base, and effective collaboration to ensure the best use of resources.

By 2010, the number of children who will have lost one or both parents due to HIV/AIDS within Kibosho Magharibi Ward is projected to reach 5,000. That number will continue to increase. Addressing the long-term needs of families and communities affected by this crisis, this will require sustainable interventions that will need the needs of affected communities for two or more decades.

Children affected by HIV/AIDS suffer from the stigma and discrimination associated with the decease, the loss of caring adults, and depletion of house-hold financial resources. Interventions must go beyond health issues and respond to the broad range of child and family needs.

Good Hope Trust is gearing its activities towards helping the Community develop and sustain strategies to meet the needs of Vulnerable Children by:
1. Strengthening the abilities of families to provide Care and Support.
2. Good Hope realizes that in trying to eradicate and prevent the HIV/Aids scourge, the question of poverty must be addressed. With financial help from well wishers, Good Hope Trust intends to begin small-scale income Generating Projects or raising and selling pigs. The initiative and labor to start these projects will come from the hands of the women and the management, decision- making, and profits will lie in those same hands.

3. The societal problems and institution that this group is challenging are huge, deeply-rooted and long-standing. And while they weigh heavy on the hearts of the Good Hope Trust, it is also a more tangible motivation for this Project. These women will create and secure a hopeful future for themselves and a better future for the Orphaned Children left behind under their care.

4. Mobilizing and Supporting Community-based Responses:
For children whose families cannot adequately provide for their basic needs, the Community is the next safety net. Good Hope Trust seeks to support Community-led initiatives to care for children and adolescents affected by HIV/AIDS. This could be through raising funds and provision of support for Home-based Care, Income Generation, HIV/Aids Prevention, Psychosocial Support, and School Fees for affected families.

Helping Children and Adolescents Meet Their Own Needs; Good Hope Trust also intends to work towards ensuring that children and Adolescents attend school, trained in Vocational Skills and receive adequate Nutrition and receive health services. As a start a Free Nursery School (Kindergarten) or Chekechea has been launched recently. It Currently has 47 Orphaned and those living in hardships receiving free Nursery School Education as a means to follow them up to Primary levelby Good Hope Trust Project Coordinator. Good Hope Trust is also in the process of building a Resources Centre which is intended to help in income generating as well as giving a free (Voluntary Testing andCounseling) for the Community. The Centre will also be used for 50 HIV victims to collect their medicines and over-the-counter medicines.

Creating a Supportive Social Environment:
Good Hope Trust founder member currently sits in the District Board as a NGO (Non-governmental Organizations) Representative. She is also a board member of two secondary schools. Good Hope Trust intends to use this opportunity to influence the Government Resources and policies towards Protection of Vulnerable Children and provision of essential services. Another approach is to advocate for Basic legal protection, transforming public perceptions of HIV/AIDS, And strengthening HIV/AIDS Prevention and Mitigation efforts in the education sector.

Good Hope is concentrating on Orphans aged between 6 months to 17 years after which they will be able to move on while being monitored up to high school. Those Orphans already in school are being monitored by Good Hope Trust to ensure they are not misused by close relatives of these, e.g. sending them to fetch water, collecting firewood for cooking for the old “bibis” (grand-mothers), grazing cows/goats, and all sorts of odd jobs thus forcing them to drop out of school at a very early age and most of them end up as house servants, car loaders, and any other cheap labor. Good Hope Trust intervention is to give them qualityeducation to be able to face the future with hope.