In 2011, whilst volunteering in a local school, Zac became very close to Mama Mary and her family. He began to visit on most weekends to supply them with food and other necessities. Eventually, Mama Mary felt comortable enough around Zac to ask him if he could fix their roof. The roof was riddled with holes and would leak perfusely when it rained, leaving the family sleeping in damp conditions. Zac thought at that moment that getting on the roof would end up with the house collapsing, so he decided to build them a new house instead.
Zac went home intending to raise the money and return the following year. After struggling to raise and save funds in the UK, Zac left to Australia where he intended to find work in a mining town and individually save the money to fund the project. After working three different jobs in Australia, Zac finally saved enough money for the project and headed back to Africa in September 2012.
Mama Mary has seven daughters. Jenifer, the youngest (bottom), Vicky (centre), Agripina (left centre), and Mary (left). Francisa, and her sister Veronica unfortuntely couldn't be in the picture. Mama Mary is holding her grand-daughter Brightness, who is Mary's first born child. Upendo, the eldest daughter, lives away from home.
Mama Mary is in her late thirties. Her husband is an alcoholic and lives in a different area of Tanzania. He has abandoned the family on several occasions and rarely returns to the household. After having children at a young age, Mama Mary used to work as a nurse. However, the with the weight of three children bearing down on her, she was forced to leave and find other means to an income. When Zac initially met Mama Mary, she was doing several different jobs to earn a living; cleaning neighbours clothes, fetching water, and helping with the vegetable garden in the local school.
The two eldest sisters, Mary and Francisca have sacrificed their education to care for the younger children, and to help provide for the family. This is a common occurence in Tanzania. Vicky and Agrpina now both attend Haradali Primary School, one of the best in the area. They are sponsored through some of Zac's family members.
After completing the build in early 2013, Mama Mary and her family now enjoy a spacious three room house, and an outside toilet/shower room. Alongside the house Mama Mary has her own vegetable patch, supplying the family with food at the end of each rainy season. Her main income is generated through her fruit and vegetable stall. Although it doesn't make a lot of money, it is enough to sustain economic stability, and ensures that the children are fed and in all in full-time education.
To see how the house took shape, click here.
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