In October 2023, the Mvomero Social Welfare Department contacted Step by Step for help in the case of a severely malnourished young girl aged 1 year and 8 months, Zawadi George Anthony.

After giving birth, Zawadi (literally GIFT) was rejected by her own mother, who refused to care for or even see the child. The pregnancy was the result of severe abuse of the mother by a stranger while working in the fields.

Zawadi’s grandmother tried to take care of her, but she barely grew under these difficult circumstances. There was no access to food and nutritional supplements that she needed. The Mtendaji of the village made sure that the little girl received medical treatment at the Morogoro hospital for about 3 weeks, financed by the Mvomero social welfare office. After that, Zawadi seemed to be doing a little better, but the situation at home was still the same and the little girl’s future was uncertain.

Together with the social worker from Mvomero, we visited the village where Zawadi lived with her grandmother (about 150 km away from SBS, called Chazi), and talked to the grandmother about the possibility of raising Zawadi at the SBS Mafiri Childrens Home. The grandmother began to cry and repeated several times how grateful she would be if Zawadi were given such a chance for a safe and secure life, including medical care and a good education. Zawadi’s grandmother gratefully agreed and promised to visit her grandchild whenever she could.

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Hanno Breitfuss:

Udo Neyer: