Mwanaidi (above) begins her day at 6 a.m. She does her chores, brushes her teeth and leaves to ride the bus to the Compassion center.
Mwanaidi is young, beautiful, energetic and enthusiastic about life. With no memory of her father, she has been raised by a single mom, Halima, 40, since she was an infant.
Mwanaidi is 21 years old. She has just completed advanced-level secondary school with grades high enough to allow her to apply for college. She is the first among the 60,000 Compassion-sponsored children in Tanzania to achieve this.
It is a long road that has led her to this place, a road she has traveled with her mother, younger brother, and Compassion International.
Mwanaidi was registered with Compassion when she was 11. Since then, all her days revolve around her studies and her involvement at Calvary Temple Student Center (TZ-101).
In Mwanaidi's Shoes
Today is Saturday, and for Mwanaidi it starts at 6 a.m. She prepares for school and cleans the floor as part of her household chores. Then she brushes her teeth and washes her face before she prepares tea for the family.
If her mother has made some profit from her fried-fish business, Mwanaidi goes to a nearby shop and buys bread for breakfast. Her family has seen the price of bread soar in the past year, so some days she leaves for school without eating first.
Classes begin at 8 a.m. It takes an hour for Mwanaidi to get to school by bus and help clean the school before the lessons start.
Children meet and share their school week in informal settings. Then they parade and sing and dance before attending a one-hour morning devotion at the chapel.
Later they group according to their ages for Bible- study classes. Mwanaidi attends the class for older children and is one of the leaders. The class has organized a debate about what it means to meditate on the Word of God.
She stays at school until 2 p.m. and then returns home to help her mother with cooking. They prepare ugali (stiff porridge), a popular and affordable food for all Tanzanians that is served with vegetable or beef stew or fish.
The Opportunity to Know Love
Mwanaidi says that Compassion has helped her in many ways. "First and foremost, Compassion has helped me know God," she says. "Before I joined Compassion I did not know God. Compassion has helped me receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior."
Next she gives thanks for the educational and health benefits. "I have been able to get secondary-school education to the advanced level, and now I have applied for a college education to gain a degree in education," she says.
"Not only that, I have received medical benefits. I remember one time I felt sick and was diagnosed with malaria. I was treated, and the child ministry center settled the entire bill."
She also appreciates her sponsor, who lives in Washington, D.C. "What I enjoy most from my sponsor is when I write a letter to him and he responds and explains to me different things about his country and the world," she says.
After dinner, Mwanidi finishes her homework before retiring to bed. Her day ends with time in God's Word and prayer as she thanks Him for rescuing her and taking such good care of her.What did you like about this article?