Sherry Bale
Sherry Bale, Communications Professional

With Mosaic International and BCC, Stanley Anthony Moshi Thrives

In East Africa lies the country of Tanzania, home to tourist destinations such as Mount Kilimanjaro and many famous wild animal parks such as Serengeti National.

But, it’s also a country where much of its rural population lives below the international poverty line and has poor access to good sanitation. As a tragic result, approximately 26,500 Tanzanians, including more than 18,500 children under five, die each year from diarrhea—nearly 90 percent of which is directly attributed to poor water, sanitation and hygiene.*

Amidst these harsh circumstances, Mosaic International—in ministry partnership with a local program called Building a Caring Community (BCC)—has been working in Tanzania since 2007 to serve children and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Within the country’s Moshi municipality, BCC’s Pasua Center and other BCC facilities located in the Pasua ward are primarily focused on helping children with IDD aged 2 to 15. As they move through the program and improve proficiencies, the children are moved to the young adult group where, if they’re physically capable, are trained in cooking, cleaning, animal husbandry, and other skills aimed at securing employment.

One such person served by the Mosaic International and BCC partnership is Stanley Anthony Moshi (no relation to the Moshi municipality), who also lives in the in the Pasua ward.

Twelve years ago, when Stanley turned 5, he developed a debilitating chronic fever that adversely affected his ability to speak, walk, and to remember the simplest things. The fever also caused other ancillary problems such as open wounds in his mouth and skin cysts.

Knowing that his fever, cysts and mouth wounds could lead to increased fragile health and possible mortality, his parents took him to a local hospital, and one of the doctors, who addressed Stanley’s physical issues first, told them he was intellectually disabled.

Understandably, the parents didn’t know what to do. Stanley stayed isolated, not capable to communicate or socialize. Out of love, his parents felt they had to protect him and keep him inside their home, because at that time, many villagers ostracized children who had disabilities. 

To add even more burden on the family, Stanley’s father died of malaria, which left his mother Hadiji to take care of Stanley and his younger brother Michael alone. This was extremely difficult, as their main income came from Hadiji traveling to other city markets in varying regions selling second-hand clothes under time-consuming and sometimes stressful conditions.

In late 2008, after being on a waiting list, Stanley joined the Mosaic International/BCC program at The Pasua Center.

After BCC’s director, Pastor Anna Makyao and The Pasua Center staff were able to assess Stanley’s behaviors, they began to “concentrate on him individually,” said Pastor Anna.

“We worked with Stanley hand-in-hand with close cooperation and support from his parents. We talked to the parents about the importance of giving him the opportunity to participate in different activities done at home. We also motivated him to socialize with others,” Pastor Anna added.

The years of therapy and reassurance from The Pasua Center’s staff have had a positive impact on Stanley. “He has had rapid, positive changes in terms of speech, socialization, self-awareness and activity performance,” Pastor Anna noted. 

Because of this progress, Stanley was recently appointed to a Head Brother at the Center. He directs, supports and guides the younger children, giving the staff the freedom to do individual therapies and teach life skills and job training to others.

Importantly, with funds from Mosaic, BCC bought an acre-sized plot as an opportunity for the young adults to learn farming job skills for continued sustainability. In addition to his Head Brother responsibilities, Stanley plants corn and other vegetables in the plot to learn a viable trade in agriculture—on which the Tanzanian economy heavily relies. The hope for Stanley is to eventually get a job to help his family, as is the custom in Tanzania.

As a related note, Stanley’s mother remarried, this time to a wonderful man, Thomas D. Mwakisili. He takes care of the boys while Hadiji works, and according to Pastor Anna, he is supportive and loving. “It’s very unusual for a man to stay with the family once a child with disabilities is born, so Stanley’s stepfather is a good guy.

“We received a word of thanks from his parents on how he has changed. They are surprised on how he has improved and does home activities well despite of his disability. His parents said they wonder how Stanley performs cleaning, washing clothes, washing dishes, preparing tea early in the morning, and taking care of (the family’s) chickens more effectively than his young brother who is in secondary school and (is) without any kind of disability.”

Stanley’s parents ended with, “We are proud of him.”

*Source: The World Bank

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