In Tanzania, the Mbeya region has the highest number of children and teens who have been orphaned by HIV and AIDS. This staggering number of children, which is approximately 860,000 from 0-17 years old, are often abandoned and left homeless. They will often turn to gangs and drug dealers, or sell themselves just to be able to eat. They are also targets of sexual abuse and are shunned from their communities.
Rev. Dr. Tuntufye Anangisye Mwenisongole saw the desperate situation these children were in while studying for his counseling degrees. He realized that his background in child education and ministry gave him a unique opportunity to help these vulnerable children. He wanted not only to help them get back in school and work on their education, but he wanted to be able to provide for their physical and psychological needs.
“Because of the stigma from HIV AIDS, children are frequently hidden, making them invisible to society [and] leaving them without hope, basic schooling, and sufficient food,” says Mwenisongole. “Because of the stigmatization of HIV AIDS, organizations, including churches, have been reluctant to help them.”
Mwenisongole and Grace Romanus Kimbe and Nicodemus Nsyenge started Mercy World Organization (MEWO) in August 2019. So far, they have started working with one ward in Mbeya City called Hayanga Ward. They have been able to get 28 children living there to attend school. MEWO has been able to provide emotional support as well as school uniforms, supplies, and other essentials. Their goal is to expand the organization into 36 wards within the Mbeya region and beyond.
MEWO’s mission is “to partner with the governmental, church, and other agencies to provide support, advocacy, and counseling for vulnerable children and youth orphaned by HIV and AIDS in and around Mbeya, Tanzania. In addition to providing access to food, education, and health care, MEWO provides advocacy and counseling to children and youth who are suffering from neglect, abuse, sex trafficking, addiction, and other challenges.”
The greatest challenge MEWO currently faces is meeting its financial goals. In order to reach the number of children that need help, the organization needs to be able to support them financially. Please consider supporting a vulnerable child for a year by providing food, education, health care, and counseling with a one-time annual gift of $798 or monthly gifts of $67 for a year. Of course, gifts at all levels are welcome, and we ask that you click on the donation link below to make a gift.
Beneficiaries ages 5 to15 holding their gifts from MEWO
A child, one of the beneficiaries received school uniforms, exercise books, pens, and pencils from MEWO.
Children patiently and excited waiting to receive gifts from MEWO.