Newsletter Fall 2019

Dear Friends,

As autumn is arriving and the days are beginning to get cooler, in Tanzania spring time and summer draw near with temperatures of around 85 degrees Fahrenheit – with a fair amount of humidity. With the beginning of fall the time has come for a short summary of the most recent developments of “Dunia ya Heri” – the Land of Blessing. 

Again we would like to start with the most important – our children. 

The Children at “Dunia ya Heri”

Currently we are taking care of 20 orphans and have now reached the maximum capacity of our first building, the home for toddlers. 

Unsere "Mamas" mit den Babys
Our "mamas" with the babies

On the 29th of May we received three babies at the age of two to three months within one day. The three children (two girls and one boy) were found at different locations in Dar es Salaam. On the 10th of July the next boy arrived. Nobody knows who the mother is and his father, incapable to take care of him, left him outside of a shop. Two days later a baby girl at the age of three months arrived. She was in a very poor condition and needed urgent medical attention. At the same time one of our baby girls, who was with us on a non-permanent basis, was able to return to her mother – because the mother’s situation had become more stable and the Social Welfare Officer decided that the baby could go back home. At rare occasions we are asked by the Government to take care of children on a non-permanent basis. 

The seven babies keep us busy day and night. We had to employ additional caretakers (or “Mamas” as they are lovingly called). It is not easy to find the right persons for this type of work. Often financial interests are greater than the genuine interest in our children. At the same time the newly employed caretakers have to work in harmony with the existing team. All new employees undergo intensive training and are generally put on a trial period. After a few months of training and some minor changes we now have a good team. 

The story of our little prematurely born Laura* who was born, weighing only 53 ounces (the mother died at birth), found a good end. She still had to return to the hospital twice for in-patient treatment and in the first few weeks she looked like being only skin and bones. But at the age of three months she eventually started to gain more weight. Now at the age of seven months she weighs over 12 pounds and looks very healthy. She still loves to drink her goat milk (imported from Germany), which is the easiest to digest and its content the closest to breast milk. But she also receives banana milk, carrot juice, and different types of mashed fruit. She has a very content, bright and happy disposition. Just for comparison, one of our employees had a child, which after two months already weighs over 13 pounds. So Laura still has some way to go. 

Früh übt sich
Early practice is key

One could think of it as a small miracle. Personally I was somewhat skeptical about the visit of four 
physical therapists from Poland. They are specialized in the treatment of disabled children and wanted to help us for three weeks. I wondered how much meaningful work we could really give this team of highly qualified persons! With the exception of one boy who has serious problems with his motoric development due to massive alcohol abuse of his parents, we did not have major issues with the rest of our children. Would our four lady-friends from Poland really have enough to do during these three weeks? 
But in retrospect we must say that their visit turned out to be a great blessing for us. By their intensive daily interaction with each of our children we were able to gain insight into the development of each child, their talents and skills as well as some of the deficits they have. They were assessed by means of different games, which were applied as aptitude tests. Now we are able to adjust the education of our children more closely to their individual needs.  At the same time our caretakers learned how to play with the children more intelligently in order to better support their motoric development.  

Unser polnisches Team am Strand
Our Polish team on the beach

But the real miracle for us was the generous offer of our Polish friends to invite Sasha*, the boy with major health issues, to spend two to three months in a specialized Polish clinic, the “Center for Education and Rehabilitation” “ (OERW USTROŃ - Ośrodek Edukacyjno-Rehabilitacyjn) – which is the same clinic in which the Polish visitors and physical therapists are working. Without this treatment Sasha is at risk not to ever be able to walk properly, and also the development of his speech could be impaired. Our Polish friends, together with sponsors from Germany who made a commitment to help, will carry the costs of his treatment.

The „Ośrodek Edukacyjno-Rehabilitacyjn Clinic” takes care of approximately 70 disabled children as inpatients and over 400 disabled children on a weekly basis. It is a private project founded by Dorota Kohut, one of the friends who visited us – made possible because of generous donations. 

We now face the challenge of arranging for all necessary papers in order for Sasha to be able to leave the country, namely, a birth certificate, passport, visa and permission from the local authorities. Of course, it is not possible to simply take a child out of the country without the consent of the government.  

In order for Sasha to be well cared for during his stay in Poland, one of our caretakers who is fluent in English is going to accompany him. She will be able to use her time in order to learn more about different methods to improve the mental and physical development of our children.

Construction Progress

Das dritte Waisenheimgebäude
The third orphanage building

Since the summer of 2018 we started a lot of construction projects simultaneously. Now we are slowly reaping the benefits and we are content and thankful for their completion this year. 

The third orphanage building is finished, with the exception of some minor details. Before the end of the year we will move the older boys into the dormitory. This will give us more space to receive younger children in the home for toddlers. 

The school and church building, just like the third orphanage building, is in its final stages. Water and electricity are there and need to be connected. Next we will finish the construction of the septic tank and details of the interior. In 2020 we hope to start with a pre-school program. 

Also a house with two apartments for employees will be completed by the end of the year. 

Die Mitarbeiterwohnungen
The employee housing

Electricity and water are two of the most important factors for life in Africa. Both are now available in sufficient quantity on the whole campus. We are proud to say that we are totally independent from public services. We use solar power for light, our refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, water pumps, computers and kitchen machines as well as the tools in our workshop. The solar batteries have sufficient capacity to get us over cloudy days in the rainy season. Each building has running water coming from our own wells – two buildings will even have a hot water supply. The garden and park have six standing pipes for irrigation purposes. 

Eine Treppe für die Regenzeit
A staircase for the rainy season

Recently we constructed a concrete outdoor staircase leading down a small hill as well as a short concrete path with a bridge leading over terrain, which was flooded and therefore impassable for three months after the rainy season. Now the children can move freely on this part of the campus – which leads to their favorite place, a beautiful sandy beach.


Unsere fleissigen Maurer
Our hardworking bricklayers

As already mentioned, the time since the summer of last year was challenging for us. But we are happy that most of the construction projects will be finalized by the end of the year. 

As we receive more children we will eventually need to employ additional caretakers. Currently we have 23 employees – roughly half of them are caretakers. Government mandates the amount of caretakers for an orphanage. 

Next year we need to start with the construction of a kitchen and cafeteria building. The current kitchen in the home for toddlers was intended to prepare food such as milk, teas, porridge etc. for our babies. Currently it serves as our only kitchen – which will soon become too small. The new cafeteria will host at least 60 children plus personnel and visitors. We plan its total capacity to be at around 120 guests. 

At year-end we want to start with the construction of a playground. It will be made out of round logs of eucalyptus wood, old car tires and hemp-rope. The Social Welfare Office requires us to have a playground as prerequisite for our license.  A construction team from Germany is planning to help us with the construction of either the playground or the foundation of the cafeteria at the end of December of this year. Anybody who is interested to join the team can contact us under:

Auf dem Weg in die Dorfgemeinde
On the way to the village community

Due to the extensive construction work and the regular maintenance which increases with each new building we would like to invite a young couple from Austria to support us. They are an ideal combination of a civil engineer and nurse. We are not sure yet how we will be able to finance the personnel costs (travel expenses, resident and work permits, health insurance and a humble salary). But we feel that this support is going to be necessary – especially as we will slowly reach the level of full capacity of 50 to 60 children. 

We are thankful to God, because so far we were able to pay the regular salaries each month. This is not self-evident as we often cannot foresee if the available support will carry us through the next few months. But we trust that we will be able to keep up with our work, knowing that this is only possible with your support. Only with your help can we offer a loving home and secure future to these orphans. 

Therefore we would like to sincerely thank all persons, companies or organizations which have helped us so far. And we believe that we will experience even more “little miracles” in the future.

Best regards

Thomas Küsel, Vice Chair, Dunia ya Heri
Judith Klier, Chair, Dunia ya Heri

* The names of our children have been changed.



DUNIA YA HERI African Family and Healthcare, P.O. Box 71573, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
NIC Bank Tanzania Limited, Kariakoo Branch, Dar es Salaam 
Account Number USD:  2000234853 
Swift Code:  SFICTZTZ
Intermediary Bank:  CITIBANK NEW YORK, Swift Code: CITIUS33

Within the US

Donations from US-citizens are tax deductible if they are given to one of the following None Profit - 501c3 Organizations:  

Please do not forget to mention the project name of »DUNIA YA HERI« on your check, transfer slip or the “ministry need”.