A Caregiver for Bryson Edgar

On my first trip to Tanzania, I came across an orphanage called LOHADA. A Tanzanian woman named Happiness Wambura started this organization in 1998 with the vision of providing a loving environment for children who have been abandoned, abused, or orphaned (learn more at lohada.org). In Tanzania, over 71% of children live in poverty and over 73% of children have been abused. I met Mama Wambura at Camp Moses, the LOHADA orphanage that is dedicated to children under seven. Even though I was only here for one day, one child in particular stuck with me. He was the very first to run up to me and demand my attention. His name is Bryson Edgar.

Once I was home I researched LOHADA further. On their website, I saw their call for volunteers with special needs experience to work with Bryson. I knew I had to go back, and did so at the beginning of this summer for over a month. Working with Bryson everyday was humbling. He is only eight years old, and has already endured more pain and heartache than anyone I have ever known. Bryson was brought to Mama Wambura when he was only five months old. Neighbors had contacted the authorities because he was being left alone outside at night and they were afraid he would be attacked by stray dogs. He came to LOHADA malnourished, with impaired eye sight, and with shaken baby syndrome. Thankfully, since he has been at Camp Moses, he has been loved and cared for. This, however, could not prevent his severe case of the measles at age five that caused severe brain damage, which robbed him of his ability to speak and left him with deficits in his right arm and leg.

This is not where his struggles end. He has been diagnosed with autism and a severe seizure disorder. In the time I spent with him I only witnessed one of his seizures, but it was the most devestating thing I have ever seen. I was standing next to him when I saw his eyes start to move rapidly. I kneeled down to see what was wrong in time for him to collapse into my arms screaming in pain. This went on for what felt like forever. It was clear he was in excruciating pain for the rest of the day.

LOHADA is an incredible organization, but simply does not have the money or resources to provide the care Bryson desperately needs. In Tanzania, special education facilities are nearly nonexistant. There is one school, however, that gives me hope for Bryson. It is called Gabriella Children's Rehabilitation Centre. Founded in 2009, this school provides special education, occupational therapists, and an autism therapy week every month. All of these are services that would benifit Bryson immensely. I visited this school myself and could not have been more impressed with what I saw.

Bryson's tuition to this school has already been donated by some very generous individuals, however, he cannot attend. Bryson is unable to take care of his own basic needs like using the bathroom and bathing. For this reason, the school cannot accept him as a full time student until he has a caretaker to live there with him. This is a difficult position to fill. His caretaker would need to live at the school full time. In addition, every three months this caretaker would need to take the eight hour trip on public transport with Bryson back to LOHADA. This position asks for a lot of sacrifice with only the reward of helping Bryson and the very small salary LOHADA could offer. Most of the current teachers at LOHADA make only the equivelent of one hundred American dollars a month, what most of us make in a day without half the effort. Even then, there are months they do not get paid at all because LOHADA relies solely on donations.

My goal is to raise enough to guarentee Bryson has a caretaker for at least one year of school. Although there are obvious obstacles in his way, Bryson has a lot of potential. I believe in him so much and desperately want him to have a chance at an education. Together we can make this possible for him. Even if you can not afford to make a donation, please share this page so that his story might touch others. Thank you so much for your generosity.

  • Rachael eramo 
    • $20 
    • 73 mos
  • Joe Blotner 
    • $25 
    • 75 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 75 mos
  • Jessie Spinney  
    • $30 
    • 75 mos
  • Bridget Krane 
    • $125 
    • 75 mos
See all


Justine Johnson 
Melrose, MA
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