Upenda Daima for Mabula

Upenda Daima for Mabula

From Martha Staab

I'm raising money for an 8 year old boy I met during my summer in Tanzania, Africa. Mabula was abandoned by his parents in the woods in NW Tanzania. He was found about 4 years later being raised by monkeys.

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Mabula’s Story

I'm raising money for an 8 year old boy I met during my summer in Tanzania, Africa.  I met Mabula at Upenda Daima orphanage in Mwanza, Tanzania. Upenda Daima, in Kiswahili, the native language in Tanzania, means “unconditional love”. An organization dedicated to reducing the number of homeless boys in the streets of Tanzania, ‘upenda daima’ is exactly what this organization gives.  

Mabula was brought to this organization about 4 years after being abandoned by his parents in the woods of Bukombe District, in Shinyanga Region due to a ‘social stigma’- which was later learned as a diagnosis of Autism. Mabula was found accidentally by a group of herders in the forest. He was being raised by a group of wild monkeys. Mabula and his monkey caretakers were tracked down and eventually Mabula was rescued, taken to a police station, and eventually admitted to Bukombe Hospital for medical attention.

When Mabula was rescued he was unable to talk, or walk. He was not toilet trained, and he was not able to feed himself or act without being terrified or aggressive. Several therapies have intervened to help Mabula develop his basic human skills. However, due to funding and lack of persistence, they have failed to make great strides in improving his overall character from it’s primal state. Mabula is physically weak, and separates himself from his human peers.

He is still, after years of therapy, unable to speak more than a handful of words and is emotionally unstable. Upenda Daima has a speech therapist, occupational therapists, nurses and social workers working directly with Mabula. However, like most orphanages- their funds are low. Upenda Daima depends on gifts, donations, and sponsorships to keep their project running. They cannot afford the rates of the therapists to come and provide Mabula with the attention he needs.

By raising awareness and telling Mabula’s story, I hope to raise money to provide him the assistance he needs and deserves. Mabula has solid support from Upenda Daima, but not the voice or reach to make his basic needs attainable. With all of our connections and our desires to help, this is a practical goal. We can all give a little to help Mabula manage his life and be the child that we all, at one point or another, were able to be.

Asante Sana,

“Thank you so much"

Upenda Daima Story


Upendo Daima was founded in 1995 Mwanza, Tanzania: committed with specific aim of caring and to take care of traumatized homeless street children with the unconditional love while giving them basic needs, counseling, education and helping them to get again a strong BOND with their families.

Upendo Daima, organization for street children consists of three parts. Administration is the back bone of Upendo Daima and its main role is to ensure the efficient performances of Back Home House and Malimbe Family are achieved with high degree of effectiveness.

Team members go regularly to the streets to seek contact with these children and gain their trust. After their trust has been gained and the children indicate a willingness to return home, they come to the so- called "Back Home House” a facility which has a capacity to accommodate 30 children. Here they will receive counseling, informal education health care and other basic needs, while getting used to a routine again and a perfect relationship. During the time we work with the children we also identify their families and do family counseling. The aim is to get the children back to their families within the period of 3-4 months.

If reunification fails in a short term due to the difficult circumstances in their families children will move out of the Back Home House to "Malimbe Family", another facility of Upendo Daima. The Malimbe Family facilities can house some 50 children and they will be able to stay here live together as a family, go to the local primary school and receive the attention that every child deserves till proper solutions have been found for the child. But Upendo Daima still do counseling and intensive follow ups to both child and family, as the ultimate aim is reunification of children with their families.

Alternatively, children are helped and guided to become independent and learn a trade so that they can earn their own living in the future. Of course efforts will continue to re-unite the child with his family.


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