How our Idea developed…
We have all been living and working in Arusha, the largest city in Northern Tanzania, for many years. Upendo and Gilbert grew up in the Arusha and Moshi region. We all made similar observations that finally lead to the idea of taking action.
Due to its proximity to the most famous African National Parks, Arusha is considered the country’s tourist center. Many people are directly or indirectly employed in the fields of tourism, mining, agriculture and manufacturing. Nevertheless there is a large gap between rich and poor. Many people work in underpaid and precarious jobs where existing labor laws are not being observed. Hundreds of thousands of youths and adults are unemployed without receiving any government or social welfare support. Extended family members are often the only form of financial and emotional support, but many families are threatened by poverty and the resulting consequences such as alcoholism, domestic abuse, divorce, HIV / Aids and others. Many people cannot rely on the support of relatives. The situation worsened in the first half of 2020 as a result of the corona pandemic and the devastating economic consequences. Many people, mostly women, raise their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews alone and under difficult conditions.
In Tanzania, as in many other developing countries around the world, orphanages have long been seen as a suitable solution for children from very poor families. The majority of the children that live in such institutions are not actually orphans, but come from difficult family backgrounds or have lost one parent and are thus vulnerable. Their family often decides to take the child to an orphanage in the hope of better future prospects and education for them. So instead of systematically promoting family based solutions to poverty by helping the families to help themselves, families have been further weakened over the decades, with sometimes protracted psychological consequences and trauma for both, children and adults.
We believe that…
Families are the ground support of a society and every child has a right for their family.
That’s the idea and motivation behind L.I.F.E.