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The children of Zaso Orphanage - Zanzibar

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I work with the Zaso Children’s home in Zanzibar. We have 46 children and they are all HIV+.

The orphanage is run by Abdu Haji. Zanzibar born, adopted to the UK, law graduate from Birmingham university and eventually returned to Zanzibar where he found his purpose and took on the HIV+ orphans of the island. He completely self funds the orphanage through donations and his legal work throughout Tanzania.

Abdu is pretty much living hand to mouth keeping the orphanage afloat and they are often completely penniless, desperately trying to be able to afford food for the children.

The orphanage needs around £1200 or 4 million TZS to feed the 42 children a month.
They also need money for electricity to keep a fridge running for the children’s medication and the milk he buys to ensure they have calcium to help their bones grow.

Abdu has to rent a school bus to take the children to school as the local transport will not take the children due to their HIV+ status. This costs £300 or 880 TZS per month.

There are staff at the orphanage who are rarely paid. This includes a doctor and women they call “mothers” who take care of the daily needs of the children. Ideally they’d be paid £150 a month or 500,000 TZS so they could afford to get the bus to the orphanage and feed their own families. Abdu is worried that if the staff are not paid they will soon leave.

Luckily the children receive free HIV medication from a global pharmaceutical company meaning their viral loads are almost undetectable and there is no reason they cannot lead full and healthy adult lives in the future. We just need to keep them fed and in school, the bare minimum any human being needs to thrive.

Despite everything being against Abdu he has faith and trusts that everything will work out in the end. All of the children are happy and as well as can be. Most of them have had deeply traumatic lives, either being born with HIV and losing their parents at a young age or contracting HIV through abuse. The ZASO children’s home is a safe place for all of the children under Abdu’s care and they all call him Baba.

The orphanage is a truly wonderful place but one man cannot do it all alone. In his words “anybody who wants to lend a hand please let them.” It takes a village and despite never meeting these children you can be part of the village that helps them thrive. By donating even a small amount of money you will be directly helping the children of ZASO to live happy and healthy lives.

Any money raised goes directly to the care of the children. Food straight into their mouths, transport to help them get an education and ensuring they have caretakers who love and nurture them as if they were their own.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and please consider donating.

If you have any ideas or contacts for funding or fundraising please contact us via our website. We need all the help we can get.

Asante Sana ✨


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  • Jacqueline von Behren
    • £10 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous
    • £15 
    • 1 mo
  • Fabian Höltkemeyer
    • £15 
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Jessica Harris-Lacy

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