Yesterday, we met two incredible Tanzanian women, both who aspire change in Tanzania. At the Upendo Orphanage, we met Sister Yasinta. She told us about history of the orphanage, why there are orphanages in Tanzania and about adoption in Tanzania. At the Upendo Orphanage, there are 46 orphanages are ages infants to 8 years old. When they are old enough they attend the primary school next door. Sister told us that she became very attached to the orphans and had a hard time when they had to leave to go to primary school. She talked a lot about how every life matters and babies have lives too. All she wanted was to give these children a chance and let them live out the life they were supposed to live out. We arrived too late to see the children and they were already napping so we will go back another day to read and sing with them.
After lunch, we visited Shirikisha. Shirikisha is a cooperative of business that is run by and supports deaf and others that feel they have nowhere else to go. They sew, cook food, rent rooms and have a beautiful garden. Cocaya who started Shirikisha is loving, optimistic and very proud. We sat in the garden having lemongrass tea while Cocaya shared her story. When she was young she had a childhood friend who was deaf. She saw how hard she struggled and started helping her. It gave her so much joy that she started helping anyone that asked. She says “I don’t need to teach people what to do..they already know. I just give them the confidence go out and make it happen.” Meeting Cocoya showed me that one person can inspire so many people to love themselves for who they are and to be proud of who they are.