What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
One night in 1999, Sister Crispina Mnate went to bed in her small home in Arusha, Tanzania, and dreamt of finding a small child abandoned, left to die, in the bush. The next morning she woke and headed into town for her job as a nurse at a local hospital. En route, she saw a crowd of people huddled around an infant left in a bag on the side of the road. She pushed through, picked up the child and started running towards the hospital. The baby died in her arms. Shortly thereafter, Crispina decided her calling was to rescue and care for the discarded children — those with no family and no other chance for life.
A local pastor gave her three acres of land and ~$20 USD. She purchased concrete to begin laying the foundation for the first dormitory. From there, good samaritans began bringing abandoned babies, and — by going door to door asking for help — support started to trickle in.
Crispina and her story was brought to our attention by Unite’s Director of Projects, Tanzania, Elias Shayo. Crispina’s joy for life is infectious, and her devotion and commitment to each and every one of her now 43 children, ages 3 to 23, is motivating and inspiring.
Since the Spring of 2014, Unite has renovated and painted the buildings; built vegetable gardens; purchased and installed two industrial stoves (donated by our Unite for Africa youth group), solar lights, and rainwater harvesting systems, tanks, filters and pumps for potable water, and built new latrines and complete sanitation systems. We have secured student sponsors for 16 of the 43 children and are currently seeking sponsors for the rest of the orphans. The cost: $500 for pre-primary, $750 for primary, $1,200 for secondary and $2,000 for University. Crispina is committed to providing her children a private, English education to ensure them the greatest chance of success in life. Government schools, although less costly, oftentimes suffer the challenges of extreme poverty; lack of proper infrastructure, resources, and experienced teachers; and overcrowding.
Students in need of sponsorship:
Currently, Unite is working on raising the funds to purchase and install a maize mill at the center to establish an income-generating program that will create jobs and a sustainable source of revenue for Crispina, her staff and her children. Future programs include: The renovation of an on-side guest/volunteer house; the build out of the Heaven Primary School and an on-site dispensary.
Here, a recent video of Unite’s work with St. Joseph’s Orphanage.